Just like physical health should be cultivated and examined frequently to maintain optimal standards, mental health benefits from constant care and attention. And care and attention are more important today than they have ever been before. Modern living and working environments are filled with mental health hazards, artificial convenience, and other stressors.
The good news is that there are plenty of resources available for improving and cultivating better mental health. There may be times when a qualified mental health professional will be needed to provide suitable therapy and possibly medical treatment to improve conditions.
However, there will also be other times when just expressing the feelings and struggles that clutter your mind can provide great relief.
Highlighted below are some of the most readily-available mental health resources that can be applied by anyone concerned with their mental health. Those interested in fine-tuning their mental faculty to a streamlined and balanced machine will also find suitable guidance in some of these resources.
Fast, Free, or Cheap Mental Health Resources
The technological age has made communication and information-retrieval fast and efficient. Because of this, many mental health resources apply modern technology to help individuals match their specific conditions to an appropriate treatment plan.
Mobile apps allow users to access therapeutic support right in the convenience of their mobile device. Some of these mobile apps include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) practices that can be used to break negative thought patterns.
Others provide a visual focal point from which to address areas of mental health that may require improvement, while others offer soothing coloring projects to allow the mind to wander while the body recovers from stress or anxiety.
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If you’re not sure where to start, perhaps it’s worth an app might be an easy place to start:
This app includes CBT practices for interfacing with emotions and formulating plans to stop negative patterns of all types.
This app features fun coloring projects that offer an excellent 10-minute break from the oppressive demands of life and can potentially relieve stress and anxiety before they negatively affect the rest of your day.
Web Communities, Forums, and Online Mental Health Resources
The online mental health community works hard to build awareness of the need for mental health resources. In forums and social networks dedicated to mental health, users can find resources for everything from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders, teenager and young adult concerns, veterans’ mental health help, and more.
Some of these options even include professional assistance for planning treatment when facing more serious concerns like addictions, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, etc. Here are some options worth looking into:
This site is dedicated to increasing awareness of the nature and causes of mental illness and providing guidance to finding mental health.
This website offers a comprehensive overview of many aspects of mental health.
Hotlines / Helplines
Mental illness can come in waves, and it may seem that things are fine one day and by the next, the mind feels entangled and helpless. In moments of severe distress, there are trained professionals at the receivers ready to talk things over and help provide an alternative perspective or guiding hand.
There are hotlines dedicated to eating disorders, disaster and crime victim distress, suicide prevention, nervous hair pulling, and many more. It is a good idea to contact one of these numbers if you or someone you are close to is suffering from mental illness.
You can find an extensive listing of mental health and crisis hotlines here.
Professional Mental Health Assistance
Many health professionals are well-versed in matters of the human mind and are trained to diagnose mental conditions. However, before you seek professional assistance, it might be a good idea to know a little more about the different approaches to mental health that professional caregivers provide so that you can choose the best course of action for your goals.
One good way to find the right professional for your mental health needs would be to discuss your situation with your primary care doctor. They might be able to make a suitable referral based on their qualified perspective of your needs.
As trained medical professionals, psychiatrists address mental health as a product of physical health. While many of their treatments involve the use of health adjustments and medications, they often work in conjunction with a psychologist to produce a well-rounded resolution to a specific condition.
Psychologists are not medically trained but study a social science that allows them to address conditions of the mind through examining behavior and providing therapy. Treatment from a psychologist will involve finding ways to identify and manage the conditions of the mind and ultimately cultivate emotional balance.
Other Mental Health Resources
There are also support groups and counselors operating in most areas that can provide a variety of specialized mental health services.
The most common support groups are those dedicated to addressing addictive conditions. However, support groups like this also gather to support each other when dealing with grief, OCD, depression, and more.
You can find an extensive listing of mental health support groups here.
Therapists, Counselors and Peer Specialists
Other professionals also offer their expertise to promoting better mental health. Psychotherapists treat family, couples, and corporate needs, and can provide specific support accordingly.
There are also Licensed Professional Counselors that offer specialized help in coping with grief, disaster distress, PTSD, and other more specific situations. Finally, peer specialists are people who have gone through a condition similar to your own and overcame the challenges. They can offer some specific insights and understanding of your journey towards improved mental health.
Neglecting mental health can be as dangerous as letting an infected wound go untreated. It is always best to begin an appropriate plan of action before these conditions have a chance to worsen. If you begin to notice any signs of mental illness, consider seeking some of the resources available to you.
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