April 29, 2021
When it comes to assessing our own mental health, it can be tough to know whether you’re just going through a brief rough patch or in need of some additional support. Fortunately, there are a number of trusted resources available to you at any time.
If you are in the middle of a mental health emergency, it’s important to seek help immediately. You can call 911 for help right now or utilize one of the following resources:
• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: If you are having suicidal thoughts, call 1-800-273-8255. The Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide free, confidential help.
• Veterans Crisis Line: The Department of Veterans Affairs runs a crisis line for veterans who need support, which is available whether you take advantage of VA benefits or not. Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.
Whether you’re trying to understand your own mental health or support a loved one, there are a number of excellent resources where you can read about mental health issues ranging from stress to diagnosed disorders. Reliable sources include:
• The National Institute of National Health (NIMH) Health Topics: These resources collected by the NIMH include articles on disorders, access to clinical trials, and free publications for research.
If you would like to get information on available treatments, such as therapy or medication, there are several websites that can offer access to providers or information about how to find the right provider for you. They include:
• Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: This federal agency offers information on local treatment options, including a searchable directory.
Insurance companies, such as Independence Blue Cross, are also focused on raising awareness of mental health conditions and making sure their members know where to access appropriate resources, if needed. In fact, Independence’s Know Your Mind public health campaign offers information and resources about anxiety and depression. You can also look on the back of your insurance card for a number to call for immediate mental health help in both English and Spanish. Additionally, Philadelphia residents can find local resources at mindPHLtogether.com, a website developed as a joint effort between the City’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services and Independence Blue Cross.
There can be a stigma in society about those working on their mental health, and online resources can give you the ability to be supported without jeopardizing your privacy until you are ready to share more with those you trust. However, if you are struggling, it's important to reach out for help, and a conversation with your healthcare provider is a great next step.