Mental health refers to the health of your thoughts, feelings and actions. A number of conditions can adversely affect your emotions, psychology and social well-being. Mental health conditions may be caused by past experiences, such as trauma or a family history of mental illness.
The chemistry in your brain can also affect your mental health. Mental health problems can cause difficulties in your life, your physical health and your relationships.
Mental health conditions are more common than many people think. You may have a mental health condition yourself, or one of your family members or friends may have one. Fortunately, many mental health conditions are completely manageable with the right treatment and support, allowing those who suffer from them to lead normal lives. Some may even permanently recover from their illnesses.
Treatment for mental health issues is available in many forms, and there are a variety of resources at your disposal to help you and your loved ones find the help you need. Read on to learn more about the mental health resources available to you.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a mental illness or disorder, there are a number of resources you might turn to for help. While the organizations, treatments and programs available to you may vary depending on your location, you should have access to the following mental health resources:
- Emergency services should be called if you or a loved one is in crisis, or if you are about to hurt yourself or someone else.
- Primary care physicians can help you find the right diagnosis and care.
- Mental health treatment centers are available for a variety of needs and conditions. A psychiatrist, a psychologist or another type of therapist might treat you. You may also require inpatient treatment at a hospital for a time.
- Online services and directories can help you find affordable treatment centers and other support options in your area.
- Your health insurance plan may be able to pay for some or all of your treatment.
- Clinical trials mean you can volunteer to be treated as part of research into a particular mental health condition.
- Support groups and peer support organizations put you in contact with others going through a similar experience.
- Self-help plans allow you to develop coping skills and methods of managing your recovery.
- Special education services or “free appropriate public education” may be available if your child has a mental health condition that may be considered a disability.
How to Find Mental Health Help for Yourself
In this article about finding mental health help for yourself, you will learn how to obtain mental health services for yourself. This section addresses the early signs of a mental illness and the need to monitor any signs or symptoms you show. These may include ongoing depression, anxiety, aggression or mood swings. The article also focuses on how important it is to pay attention to these signs if you have a history of mental illness in your family. Learning how to speak with your doctor about any signs you notice and how to receive a referral you to a mental health professional are discussed.
How to Find Mental Health Help for a Friend or Family Member
Intervening when a friend or family member is suffering from a mental condition can be difficult. In this article about finding mental health for someone else, you will learn how to take note of any warning signs in your friend’s or family members’ behavior and have a conversation with him or her about them. Offering help and support can sometimes be enough to get your loved one to see he or she needs professional help. This section offers you insight into how to approach this potentially difficult conversation.
The article also covers issues such as self-harm. If your friend or family member is in danger of self-harming or harming others, it is important that you contact emergency services or bring him or her to a hospital. This can be a big responsibility to take on, and you will need to be as informed as possible about the treatment and your loved one’s rights.
Mental Health Advice for Parents
Diagnosing mental health conditions in children can be difficult, and this article on mental health advice for parents focuses exclusively on children and mental health. If your child is behaving unusually, you may want to wait before seeking professional help, in case the behavior has been caused by a normal phase of growth. However, you should act with caution in these situations. Make sure to educate yourself about mental health conditions in children and find out if your child is at an increased risk by reviewing the article, which also stresses the fact that leaving a mental health condition to develop untreated can cause lasting damage.
Your child may benefit from therapy, medication or a combination of treatments, all of which are discussed in this parental guidance article. The information offered also suggests that a strong support structure is very important to your child’s treatment and recovery and gives suggestions for accomplishing this.
Health Insurance and Mental Health Treatment
While the potential cost of treatment might cause you to hesitate before seeking help for a mental health condition, you may find your medical insurance can help you pay. This article on health insurance and mental health covers the recent health care reforms that have sought to improve the level of mental health care coverage provided in the average health care insurance policy. According to this article, you may be entitled to equal coverage of both mental health care and medical or surgical health care, with no extra restrictions placed on psychiatric medication or therapy sessions.
Dealing with unexpected copays or high deductibles can be an unnecessary source of stress when you are trying to manage a mental health condition. Learning what you are entitled to and how to make the most of your benefits can help you find the right treatment at the right time. This article can show you how.