Seeking out mental health care is an arduous task, especially when driven by social factors. Professor of psychology, Dr. Patrick Corrigan, notes that the stigma associated with mental illness may discourage up to 40% of those experiencing the condition to look for the care they need. While this enables people to avoid negative labels, serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia can severely affect someone’s life and experience. Society’s negative outlook on mental health care can also lead to self-stigma, which can make people feel more ashamed, rather than honest and open about their condition.
With these hurdles, getting proper treatment for mental illnesses can be challenging. But with the pressing possibility that a person’s condition may worsen over time, it’s all the more essential to reach out to someone who can provide help and reassurance. Here are some easier ways you can get mental health care:
It can be very difficult to handle negative emotions alone, so being able to talk to someone you trust can provide you the support you need. Many people choose to divulge their struggles to a family member or a friend, but this can expand to teachers or coworkers. If you’re not comfortable talking to them, you can choose to consult with a doctor instead. In many countries, practitioners are not allowed to divulge confidential information without the patient’s consent unless brought under specific circumstances, so you can be assured that they won’t share information disclosed during consultations. Sharing your experiences can be a great way to ease your mind and start seeking help.
With the growing availability of mental health services through technology, patients may find it easier to find someone to talk to online. Advanced telemedicine software solutions allow patients to access flexible clinical services, which is particularly effective for mental health concerns. In fact, telemedicine is considered a landmark for patient comfort and accessibility, as it has been instrumental in removing roadblocks for people who struggle with in-person healthcare visits. Furthermore, these online consultations are more cost-effective and convenient, as you don’t have to spend extra time and money traveling to a clinic for quality healthcare. If you’re not sure where to start, several platforms offer online quizzes which you can answer, so you can be assigned the best doctor for your needs.
As mentioned earlier, facing mental health issues may feel embarrassing. While you know your feelings are completely valid, it can still be painful to overcome negative thoughts. In urgent cases, you can reach out to your mental health and suicide prevention contacts to help you cope. Many of these services are always available and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They also carry the added benefit of letting you stay anonymous and have specific lines that are optimal for struggling gamblers, pregnant women, and even teens. Even if the call may not be as comprehensive as professional doctor consultation, being able to talk to someone can help alleviate extreme emotions.
Like we discussed in our post on sharing, it can be difficult to face both achievements and struggles without anyone to share your news with. Often, the improvement of mental health conditions requires someone to reach out first. If you’re trying to seek help, you can reach out to different outlets be it anonymous lines, professional doctors, or even starting with your friends. Through these processes, you can make your battles a little easier to handle.
Steve Glaveski is on a mission to unlock your potential to do your best work and live your best life. He is the founder of innovation accelerator, Collective Campus, author of several books, including Employee to Entrepreneur and Time Rich, and productivity contributor for Harvard Business Review. He’s a chronic autodidact and is into everything from 80s metal and high-intensity workouts to attempting to surf and hold a warrior three pose.