Mental health plays a major role in your overall happiness and well-being. It affects how you feel, think, act, and handle stress. Understanding your own mental health and recognizing any mental health problems you may be experiencing are crucial to maintaining your well-being. Mental health problems can disrupt the lives of people of all ages, not just adults, so it’s important to recognize issues affecting children’s mental health as well.
The COVID-19 crisis has proven to be very hard on many members of society and has become a mental health crisis for many. With so many people going into lockdown to control the spread of the coronavirus, an increase in feelings of isolation and loneliness can lead to more severe mental health issues. A recent poll found that 53% of U.S. adults felt that their mental health had been negatively affected by worry and stress over the coronavirus, far more than the 32% who felt similarly stressed before the pandemic began. There are a wide variety of free mental health services out there to help those struggling through this difficult time.
If you feel like you’re alone in your struggles with mental health, the truth is that you’re not! Millions of people are affected by mental health disorders every year. Studies of mental health statistics have found that one in five adults in the United States experience mental illness, while one in 25 experience serious mental illness. It’s not uncommon for an individual to suffer from multiple mental illnesses at once; 4% of the population has received multiple diagnoses of mental health disorders.
What are the most common mental health issues? The most common mental health disorder is anxiety, which afflicts an estimated 48 million U.S. adults, or 19% of the population. Depression is the next most prevalent mental health disorder, with an estimated 17.7 million U.S. adults having been afflicted with a major depressive episode.
The first step to taking control of your mental health is to actively seek out help. There are a wide variety of free mental health services out there to help those who are struggling with their mental health. These resources have been tailored to offer the specific help that is needed based on the type of mental illness. Please reach out to one of the following free mental health resources to get the help you need to get started on your journey to a healthier mindset.
These resources are a good place to start for those struggling with their mental health, but for those who would like to seek out a professional to help manage their mental health, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America has a directory of licensed mental health providers who specialize in the areas of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and other mental health disorders.
Free Resources for Common Mental Health Issues
Drug and alcohol abuse can happen to anyone, but those who suffer from stress and anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders may turn to drug and/or alcohol use as a form of self-medication. This can be a slippery slope as they begin to depend on drugs and/or alcohol to feel better, which can lead to addiction or alcoholism.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: This division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was created to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on our communities. They offer information and support for social programs and can help those suffering to find treatment.
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): One of the most well-known organizations for those suffering from alcoholism, they offer a variety of support groups, treatment plans, and information on how to recover from this disease.
- Narcotics Anonymous: This popular addiction support group was designed using the same model as AA. It was created to provide support for those trying to recover from addiction to something other than alcohol.
- Al-Anon Family Groups: This organization was created to give family and friends of someone with a drinking problem the opportunity to connect with others who have faced similar experiences and problems. They also offer Alateen, a place for teens who have been affected by someone else’s alcohol abuse to chat and stay informed.
- Nar-Anon Family Groups: This 12-step program features meetings for family and friends of addicts where they can share their experiences with others who have faced similar experiences. Narateen, a branch of Nar-Anon, is a space for teens who have been affected by someone else’s addiction.
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse Resources: The Recovery Village put together this list for those seeking rehab resources, including information on teen drug abuse, LGBTQ+ substance abuse resources, a sobriety calculator, and a treatment portal for the friends and family of those in need of help.
The coronavirus pandemic has been stressful for many and has led to an increase in mental health issues for much of society. The isolation and uncertainty that come with living through a pandemic can be very difficult, which can lead to a decline in mental health over time. Now is the time not only to stay safe physically but to take care of your mental health as well.
- Mental Health and COVID-19 Information and Resources: Mental Health America recognizes that this pandemic has heightened anxiety throughout much of society. They put together this list of resources that include information, webinars, wellness and coping skills and more for those in a variety of groups that are directly affected by the pandemic.
- CARES COVID-19 Resources: The UCLA Center for Child Anxiety Resilience Education and Support created this list of resources for children, their families, and anyone who needs help with staying calm and remaining resilient during these tumultuous times.
- Mental Health Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: Active Minds put together this guide with information, tips, and resources for those struggling with having to disengage from society due to the pandemic. Their resources are geared toward young adults, educators, parents, and communities as well as employees who now have to work remotely.
- Top Ten COVID-19 Anxiety-Reduction Strategies: The ADAA shares ten strategies you can implement if you’re feeling anxious about the pandemic.
- COVID-19 Resources: The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance has wellness tools, tips on how to cope, and inspiration from others to help support your recovery throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
- ADAA’s Top Tips for Handling Relationship Anxiety During the Pandemic: One aspect of your life that can be heavily affected by the mental health conditions that may surface during this crisis is your relationships. Being in lockdown with the same people for months can put a strain on relationships, but these tips can help you work on them while also looking after your mental health.
Have you noticed any mental health issues beginning to emerge in yourself or others during this difficult time? What forms of self-care have you been implementing to keep them at bay?