9 life-saving resources anyone can use to take action now to feel better during Mental Illness Awareness WeekMental Health
By pH health care professionals
Did you know October 2-8 is Mental Illness Awareness Week? Tens of millions of Americans are affected by mental illness. This week is all about bringing more awareness to mental health issues and replacing stigma with hope. In fact, you can start being proactive by taking the #StigmaFree pledge at www.nami.org/stigmafree.
You can also use this week to take inventory of your own well-being and reach out for help if you need it. If you or someone you know may need a mental health assessment, anonymous online tools are available. For National Depression Screening Day on Oct. 6, you can get a free mental health screening at HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org.
Here are some other resources from the National Alliance on Mental Illness that you can utilize and/or share with others:
Immediate help. If you are in crisis, and need immediate support or intervention, call or go the website of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a confidential call. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals. If the situation is potentially life-threatening, call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room.
Seeking treatment. To locate treatment services in your area, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration treatment referral helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). SAMHSA also has a Behavioral Health Treatment Locator on its website that can be searched by location. You can also visit: Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Mental Health America and National Alliance on Mental Illness. You may find local treatment available in your state’s universities and medical school programs.
Help finding low-cost treatment options. The Health Resources and Services Administration works to improve access to health care. Their website has information on finding affordable health care, including health centers that offer care on a sliding fee scale. Also visit the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which has information about benefits and eligibility for their programs and how to enroll.
Find a practitioner near you. The National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus website provides a directory of health care practitioners, including psychologists and therapists, as well as a list of related organizations where you can find more information. You can also check your health care plan for a list of mental health professionals that participate with your plan.
Clinical trials. If you are interested in being a part of mental health research, visit the National Institute of Mental Health’s Join a Study website. You can also find out about clinical studies nationwide, searching by topic and location, by visiting www.clinicaltrials.gov.
Military. Service members and veterans can find mental health resources -- including live chats, email addresses and phone numbers they can call at any time -- on a MentalHealth.gov page specifically for current and former military and their families.
Get educated on mental health. You can find more educational information about mental health from the National Institute of Mental Health.
Get an advocate. Need someone to help you coordinate care for a loved one or for yourself? Consider getting a patient advocate.
Find natural solutions. You can also find complementary solutions for depression and anxiety from our prior posts here.
Enjoy Your Healthy Life!
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When I called the hotline, there was no answer. That was frustrating and discouraging.