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Know When You Need Mental Health Support: Coping During COVID-19

Mom with child - knowing when you need mental health support

We’re all experiencing disruption in our lives due to the current health crisis. It’s natural to feel sad or anxious when we are surrounded by uncertainty. A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that 45% of adults feel that stress about coronavirus has had a negative impact on their mental health.

We as a society must begin treating our mental health needs as we do our physical healthcare needs. This includes scheduling routine check-ups and removing the stigma associated with staying emotionally healthy. You don’t need to be experiencing a mental health crisis in order to seek help. But how do you know when you need mental health support?

As part of our ongoing series, Coping During COVID-19, KVC’s Chief Clinical Officer, Chad E. Anderson walks you through some signs that you may notice in yourself, or someone else, that indicate a need for support. Watch this video to learn more.

Know When You Need Mental Health Support 

Knowing when to seek out mental health treatment and support isn’t always clear. One in five people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, yet most of us don’t know what to look for or where to turn for help. Self-awareness is important. When you notice changes, monitor them so you have a way of tracking improvement or lack of improvement.

A Few Signs to Watch for:

  • Changes in your mood: excessive anxiety, mood swings
  • Disruptions to eating or sleeping patterns: either too much or too little
  • Feelings that cause you alarm: hopelessness, prolonged sadness or despair

Utilize Self-Help Skills such as:

  • Mindfulness
  • Physical exercise
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Connecting with loved ones
  • Proper diet
  • Structuring your day

You, and those closest to you, know you best. Ask loved ones if they have noticed a change in you, and if they are willing to assist you in finding the support you need. Learn how to spot the signs of a mental health crisis here, to determine if more immediate help is needed.

Where To Turn for Help

Even though we are physically distancing from others at this time, it is vital to remember that you are not alone. There are many options when it comes to finding mental health support. Reach out to your primary care doctor, community mental health center, or contact a helpline for referrals and resources in your area.  If you, or someone you know is in immediate danger to themselves or others, they should call 911. If you or someone you know has thoughts of suicide or is in emotional distress, they can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Reach out to your employer to find out if they have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and what benefits it can provide for you. You can contact your insurance carrier to determine what services are provided and who is in network. For mental and/or substance use disorders, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations that are there to help. If you live in Kansas or Missouri and your child is experiencing a mental health emergency, call KVC Hospitals’ Admissions department at (913) 890-7468 or email hospitaladmissions@kvc.org. Our team will answer your questions and help you find treatment.

The experts here at KVC are providing helpful tips and resources in our Coping During COVID-19 series. You can also follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more updates and information. For as long as we’re apart during this health crisis, we’re here for you.

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