Did you know that May is mental health awareness month? According to Mental Health America, approximately 20% of adults in the United States are experiencing a mental illness, with South Carolina ranked 10th in prevalence.
Although many Americans are affected by mental illness, talking about it is still considered somewhat taboo, so raising awareness is essential. However, learning to talk about mental health is just the first step. It's up to us to arm ourselves with resources that we can use or share with friends or family who may be battling a mental illness.
Mental health resources and treatments can often be expensive. Utilize these free resources below and share them with others who may be struggling:
Utilize Employee Assistance Programs
Many employers offer Employee Assistance Programs, which are voluntary programs designed to assist employees in resolving personal problems that may be affecting their performance at work. Check with your human resources department to see if they offer any programs that you can take advantage of for free or little cost.
Check With Your Health Insurance Provider
If you are considering seeking professional support from a therapist or counselor, check with your health insurance provider first. Health insurance companies are required by law to cover services for mental health, behavioral health, and substance use disorders comparable to physical health coverage.
Join an Online Support Group
If you don't have health insurance, there are many free online resources that may be helpful. Consider joining an online support group to talk with other individuals going through similar experiences. Look for local groups that are evidence-based, and focus on the specific area you're struggling with. Click here for a list of different subject-matter groups and instructions on how to join them.
Watch a Webinar
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has numerous webinars hosted by psychologists and mental health clinicians that you can watch on YouTube. The experts break down complex subject matter and provide solutions to help you through the emotions you're feeling.
Whether you're struggling with a mental illness or supporting loved ones, I encourage you to take time this month to educate yourself and raise awareness to help in breaking the stigma surrounding mental health.