Each May we mark “Mental Health Awareness Month.” Getting help for you or a loved one is hard. Whether it be due to stigma, navigating resources and bureaucracies, finances, time, or previous experiences with providers that were less than ideal, finding help can be a daunting process. With anxiety as the most common mental health concern, followed by depression and substance use, finding others who have experienced similar symptoms and empathy is easy—getting help is often the hard part.
If you or a loved one is needing support to manage stress, improve sleep or your mood, consider speaking with a professional today. Finding a provider who is available, connects with you (and vice-versa), and can meet your financial needs can take time. Therefore, it’s important to start the process of finding a provider early, and to also identify your “musts” vs “likes” in a provider. Can you be flexible with the day or time of sessions? Are you open to working with a student trainee who is being supervised? Would you be willing to work with someone who lives in your state, but may only be accessible by telehealth?
Finally, it’s important to know that you can start working on making life improvements before you connect with a mental health provider. Practicing meditation and mindfulness, establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries, creating a routine, and communicating your wants and needs with others are all great ways towards self-improvement. And if you’re wanting support from others to help navigate life’s challenges, consider contacting the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Depression Bipolar Support Alliance, or the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration for support groups and general resources.
We’re all in this together…and the process starts with you! Join forces as we break the stigma!