Mental Health Resources Guide

What Is Mental Health? What Is Mental Health?

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.

Signs of Mental Health Problems

What are the signs that someone may be struggling with mental health issues? Below is a list of common early signs that someone may exhibit when they are suffering from a mental illness.

  • Having little or no energy
  • Eating/sleeping too much or too little
  • Withdrawing from others and activities
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling hopeless or like nothing matters
  • Feeling forgetful, confused, on edge, angry, upset, or scared
  • Increased yelling or fighting with others
  • Severe mood swings
  • Inability to perform daily tasks
  • Increased smoking, drinking, or drug use
  • Persistent thoughts or memories
  • Hearing voices or believing things that aren’t true
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others

How Many People Struggle With Mental Health? How Many People Struggle With Mental Health?

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.

Annual Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders Among U.S. Adults

  • Anxiety: 19.1% (48 million people)
  • Depression: 7.2% (17.7 million people)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): 3.6% (9 million people)
  • Bipolar Disorder: 2.8% (7 million people)
  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD): 1.4% (3.5 million people)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): 1.2% (3 million people)
  • Schizophrenia: <1% (1.5 million people)

Where to Seek Help for Your Mental Health Where to Seek Help for Your Mental Health

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

Anxiety and/or Depression

Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder affecting society today and can be brought on by an increase in stress in your life. Anxiety and stress can lead to racing thoughts, poor judgment, and memory impairment and make it harder to concentrate.

While 19% of the adult population in the United States is afflicted with anxiety, the ADAA has found that one in eight children also struggle with this mental health disorder. There are a variety of resources for both adults and children are dealing with a surplus of anxiety and stress in their lives.

  • The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA): This nonprofit is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and other disorders. You can find a wide variety of free resources and support on their website.
  • ADAA Online Anxiety and Depression Support Group: This anonymous peer-to-peer support group is a safe and supportive space for individuals to connect with others who are also experiencing anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders. With more than 40,000 people around the world subscribed to this support group, there is plenty of support to be had here.
  • Anxiety and Phobias Support Group and Discussion Community: Connect with others suffering from anxiety and phobias with this easy-to-use online community board run by Mental Health America.
  • The Mental Health Anxiety Social Network: This anxiety support network was created to offer support to the many people struggling with generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, PTSD, agoraphobia, and/or panic attacks. This network helps people heal together by offering a safe space to share their struggles as well as their successes and advice for others.
  • Families for Depression Awareness: This organization offers education, training, and support to help families recognize and cope with mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder, in their loved ones.
  • Child Anxiety Tales: This online training program is for parents of children struggling with stress and anxiety and includes step-by-step guides on what they can do at home to help their child.
  • High School Depression and Anxiety Support Group: This peer support group is for high school students who are struggling with anxiety, depression, and/or other mental issues. This group provides support, guidance, and resources for those going through a difficult time emotionally.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that can be brought on by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic or life-threatening event, such as combat, a car accident, sexual assault, or a natural disaster. After going through such an event, it is common to feel on edge, have upsetting memories, and/or have trouble sleeping, but if these symptoms last more than a few months, it may be a sign of PTSD. Reach out to one of the organizations listed below if you need help overcoming a traumatic event and symptoms of PTSD.

  • National Center for PTSD: This branch of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs is the leading research and education center on PTSD and traumatic stress. They offer self-help resources, treatment options, and information on PTSD for individuals and their family and friends.
  • PTSD Coach App: This tool from the National Center for PTSD makes it easier for those seeking help to find information, advice, and videos to improve their mental health.
  • Non-Military Resources: PTSD can happen to anyone who has gone through a traumatic experience, not just service members. The National Center for PTSD put together a list of resources to help people deal with non-military trauma as well.
  • BetterHelp PTSD Articles: This list of articles that BetterHelp put together can help you learn more about this mental health condition and how to treat it, how to recognize the signs of a PTSD attack, and whether you could be afflicted with PTSD.

Personality Disorders

Personality disorder diagnoses have increased in recent years, especially as the mental health stigma against them has lessened as more people seek help and share their experiences with these types of mental disorders. Reaching out for help with these disorders can greatly enhance the lives of those who have been struggling and those who care about them. Below are organizations that offer a multitude of services and support for people with some common personality disorders.


When individuals are not able to handle their anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues, they may turn to self-harm as a method of releasing the stress and pain brought on by these conditions. Self-harming can include cutting, scratching, burning, pulling out hair, or picking at existing wounds. Before turning to self-harm as a method of coping, reach out to one of the following organizations to seek help.

  • NAMI Self-Harm and Self-Injury Support Group: This online support group meets once a week, through Zoom or over the phone, to work together to identify, verbalize, and contain difficult emotions without acting on them.
  • Self-Injury Support Group: If you are struggling with self-injury, this forum created by DailyStrength is a great place to find encouragement and support and discuss your own experiences with others who are going through the same struggles.


Suicide is an unfortunate but very real side effect of mental illnesses. It is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and 46% of people who die by suicide had a known mental health condition. It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but there are many resources out there and people willing to listen to anyone who may be considering this path.

  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: This network of 163 crisis center in 49 states is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to anyone who feels like they are in a crisis for any reason. People have called the Lifeline for help with a variety of issues in their life, like loneliness, illness, substance abuse, family problems, abuse, or economic concerns. If you ever need to reach out and talk to someone for any reason, there are several different ways you can do so:
    • Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
    • Chat online with a national suicide hotline counselor.
    • Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.
  • Crisis Text Line: In a crisis and unsure of where to reach out? You can reach a live, trained Crisis Counselor 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by texting HOME to the number for your country.
    • US and Canada: 741741
    • UK: 85258
    • Ireland: 50808

Below is a list of other free suicide prevention hotlines that can be accessed in the U.S. for specific populations.

If you’re located outside of the U.S., there is help available to you, too. maintains a list of international suicide prevention hotlines.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Drug and Alcohol Abuse

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.

Eating Disorders

An eating disorder is a mental health condition that can develop from stress. Often, eating disorders occur alongside anxiety disorders, so it’s essential to treat both instead of just one of the disorders. This type of mental health disorder is more commonly seen in adolescents and young adults, but it is possible to develop an eating disorder in childhood or any age of adulthood. If you have been struggling with an eating disorder, such as an extreme reduction in food intake or binge eating, the organizations below are a great place to start on the road to recovery.

  • National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA): This nonprofit is the largest one dedicated to supporting those affected by eating disorders. They support both individuals and their families and promote treatments and access to care.
  • Online Eating Disorder Support Groups: Eating Disorder Hope has compiled a directory of Internet-based support groups to help those in the recovery stage of an eating disorder. Support groups can be an important tool in the lifelong journey of recovering from an eating disorder.

Trauma and Stress From COVID-19 DTrauma and Stress From COVID-19

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?