May is Mental Health Month – and a reminder that behavioral, emotional, and mental health are just as important as physical health. If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, know that you’re not alone. Find out more about how your mind works and how to help yourself and your loved ones through emotionally challenging times at ibx.com/knowyourmind. Additional resources are available for Philadelphians at mindphltogether.com.
Google the phrase, and you’ll find over 1.3 billion results. It’s everywhere — and on everything: memes, T-shirts, masks, greeting cards, and coffee mugs. And yet, while it has become a unifying (albeit sarcastic) battle cry of the masses, less true words may never have been spoken.
Despite how “fine” we all claim to be, the pandemic has taken a measurable toll on our mental health. In 2020, four times as many American adults reported symptoms of anxiety as they did in 2019, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. And, as you could probably guess, the increase in the rates of depression, stress, and low self-esteem was similar.
Inching closer to fine
But every cloud has a silver lining, and we can thank the pandemic for casting an enormous light on the importance of our mental health and well-being. Mental health has never seen the kind of attention that it’s getting today. And as a result, you don’t have to look much farther than your phone to find a world of information and support designed to help you cope with the mental health effects of the pandemic.
Telebehavioral health professionals
There are a number of established and reputable telehealth services that connect patients with mental health professionals (even if you don’t have insurance). If you’re an IBX member, you can locate a telebehavioral health provider by calling the number for Mental Health on the back of your ID card. You can also check with your current provider to see if he or she offers virtual visit options.
Mental health and wellness apps
From unlocking a better night’s sleep to destressing with guided meditations to establishing a daily yoga routine, there are more than 10,000 self-help apps available for smartphones. If that’s more than you have the time or desire to weed through, here are some that might be worth a look.
Support is also available to you at the local and regional levels. Religious organizations, community groups, and county health departments can help you find and connect with nearby resources.
One of the largest grassroots mental health organizations is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI is dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Find your state NAMI chapter as well as other local resources.
Help during these emotionally challenging times is also available through ibx.com/knowyourmind. Know Your Mind combines information about the symptoms of depression and anxiety with expert tips for self-care, managing common mental health concerns, and talking to health care providers. Know Your Mind can make it easier to know when, where, and how to reach out for help.
And if you are a resident of Southeastern Pennsylvania, you can find local crisis and mental health services through your county health department:
- City of Philadelphia Network of Care for Behavioral Health
- City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health Services and Intellectual Disability Services
- Healthy Minds Philly
If you’re not fine, you’re not alone. Help is available if you’re experiencing anxiety or overwhelming sadness:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255 for free and confidential support.
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.