We don’t have to look very far to find someone dealing with some type of mental health problem. Mental health disorders are alarmingly prevalent in the United States, affecting more than 50 million people, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Nonetheless, roughly 60 percent of these have not sought proper medical intervention.
The enduring stigma surrounding mental health disorders has kept many people dealing with them from getting the help they need, even from their own families. This has led many to reach a crisis point. When left unresolved, a mental health crisis can lead to suicide. Around 90 percent of suicides –from which one person dies every 40 seconds—can be ascribed to an untreated mental health disorder.
If there’s a silver lining to this, it’s that regaining control of your mental health is well within your power and that it is possible to get kind, nonjudgmental care. If you feel that your mental health is in a downward spiral, or you are experiencing a crisis situation, the five strategies we’ve listed below are aimed at helping people like you overcome it.
1.) Speaking Openly and Honestly with Your Mental Health Provider
The best thing to do if you feel your mental health has worsened is to talk to your mental health provider about your situation. Be open and honest about what might and might not be working with your treatment plan. This way, they can make all the necessary adjustments to keep things in check.
If you’re not currently under the care of a mental health professional, make an urgent visit with your primary care physician to get a referral and receive appropriate treatment right away.
2.) Quieting Your Mind
Research shows that prayer, mindfulness meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises can elicit your body’s relaxation response, which is a physical state of deep relaxation— the opposite of fight-or-flight response. These activities can bring you a sense of calm and even enhance the effects of your treatment.
3.) Making Self-Care a Priority
“Self-care” means doing the things that can help give you a sense of well-being. These include exercising, eating healthy, staying hydrated, sleeping well and enough, watching a feel-good movie, and creating a toolbox of coping strategies (e.g., playing an instrument, writing, talking to a friend, etc.). Do them, even if you doubt that they will work, and observe how you feel afterwards.
4.) Reaching Out for Encouragement
You could greatly benefit from reaching out to your family and friends. Clinical findings demonstrate better treatment outcomes when family and friends are well-educated about a person’s mental health problem and involved in their care.
There are also free, peer-support services, such as the NAMI HelpLine, that aim to provide useful information, resource referrals, and support and care to people dealing with mental health disorders.
- Knowing When to Get Immediate Help
Call 911 immediately if you find yourself in any of these situations:
- Having suicidal ideations
- Having disturbing thoughts of harming others
- Experiencing serious side effects of your medications
- Experiencing symptoms of an overdose (alcohol or any other drug)
If you are plagued by thoughts of harming yourself or of taking your life, you can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline hotline at (800) 273-TALK (8255) or text “HOME” to the 741-741 immediately. They are staffed with trained counselors who can speak with you 24/7 and assist you in a crisis situation. Have a family member or a friend stay with you until things get stable.
Mental Health Care in Richmond, Martinsville and Danville, VA
At Epic Health Partners, our professional counselors and social workers are highly trained to assess, engage, and connect people dealing with mental health problems to the most appropriate interventions.
We offer person-centered, comprehensive psychiatric services, which include supportive counseling for both the individual and their family members, psychiatric evaluation, psychoeducation, medication management, and care coordination. All of these are part of our firm commitment to not only helping patients adapt to the challenges they’re currently facing but to empowering them to thrive through all seasons of their lives.
To schedule a consultation with one of our mental health providers, give us a call at (434) 835-4601, or request your appointment right here on our website.