By Lea Mercado
Web Content Assistant Manager
September is recognized as Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month. During the month, mental health advocates work to raise awareness by bringing discussions of mental health into focus.
Over the course of the past few years, talking about mental health has become less taboo through the rise in social media campaigns, testimonies and it is even reflected in much of today’s art.
Though despite the representation within the media, for many people the inability to form genuine connections post-pandemic or gain access to resources prevents vital conversations from ever taking place. Especially those of which could save lives.
According to a study published by the CDC on the relationship between mental health challenges and social isolation, reported cases of depression, anxiety, substance use and suicidal ideation increased dramatically. Notably in minority groups, younger adults and essential workers.
Meanwhile, uninsured rates also faced an increase as young adults age out of eligibility for family or public coverage and healthcare remains inaccessible to many minority groups and essential workers.
Though the act of speaking up and asking for help may seem daunting, or even impossible, there are methods to ease into talking to someone.
Taking Advantage of Resources
School, jobs and families are often core priorities, which is why when given the option between cooking at home or take out, or texting over calling, people are more inclined to choose what is most convenient. It allows more time for what matters most.
During trying times, the last thing anyone wants to do is actively search for attainable resources, which is why many organizations have strived to make it easier.
Minds Matter is a resource offered through Texas State. Minds Matter performs at a centralized hub for all of Texas State’s mental health services such as focused programs for topics ranging from social justice to career advice.
If unsure of whether to pursue treatment or just seeking more clarity on an issue, the University Counseling Center also offers an online confidential mental health screening.
Too Much, Too Soon
While everyone goes through life phases on needing help, not everyone arrives to that point at the same time. If seeking therapy or rehabilitation programs seems too premature, or simple inaccessible at the time, your phone can be your friend.
Within the realm of mental health apps, “What’s Up” and “Headspace” are among the some of the most popular.
“What’s Up” is a free app that offers grounding exercises, methods to cope with anxiety and depression and even habit trackers.
“Headspace” is a free app that offers guided meditation to help users relax, practice mindfulness or even fall asleep. The app also offers a paid subscription with more custom services.
Feeling better does not always have to consist of leaving the house… Though going outside is great too.
While dealing with depression, anxiety or PTSD, healing is always easier said than done, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. September serves as a reminder that regardless of how isolated some may feel, there is still a passionate community actively working to create a supportive space for anyone that may need a little bit of help.
Featured Image by Lea Mercado
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