People usually care significantly for their physical health and not only try to consume a balanced diet but also perform physical activities to stay fit and active. Many people, however, do not realize the importance of mental health and wellness as it is the human brain that is managing nearly every physical and physiological action in the body.
Mental health includes our psychological, social, and emotional wellbeing and impacts the way we think, talk, and behave. The mental health also helps us to make different life choices, handle stress and relate to people around us from our family, friends, and office colleagues. People think that mental wellness always becomes important when a person becomes mature but it is a wrong perception as mental health is vital in every stage of a person from childhood, adolescence, maturity, and then adult age. There is no single cause of mental illness, however, there are several factors that do contribute such as your genetic makeup of the body, any past trauma, abuse, or injury and family history of mental and other medical-related problems. Just like there are certain signs of common illness such as fever, and flu, there are also certain signs of mental health problems such as
- Irregular eating and sleeping patterns
- Feeling lazy and unhappy most of the time
- Avoiding coming in contact with people
- Not conversing properly with your family and friends
- Feeling unexpected body aches and pain
- Getting addicted to smoking, and drinking
- Feeling helpless and hopeless about your life
- Feeling worried, insecure, forgetful, and upset most of the time
- Getting negative thoughts every time in your mind
- Losing focus
- Having difficulty to even perform easy tasks
One of the most common and negative effect of mental illness is stress, anxiety, and depression which persists until a person takes proper care of his body and mind. Mental wellness helps a person to be happy, contented, and active most of the time. A mentally able person can easily handle times of challenges and crisis, make the right decisions, help others, do productive work, and enjoy life. Mental illness can happen to anyone irrespective of caste, country, or religion. People usually feel physical pain such as illness or injury and take quick action to treat and cure it but are not that careful when dealing with mental illness. There are many people all over the world that do not care for mental illness and take it as an anxiety or panic attack and carry on with their lives.
It was not until recent awareness campaigns on different forums that the issue of mental illness was highlighted and then people began to take their mental health seriously. The issue of mental illness is usually dealt with by a therapist who will identify, diagnose, and treat your mental health problems. There are different types of therapist that include psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical counselors, and psychoanalysts. The psychiatrist is usually qualified and experienced to diagnose and treat mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A psychologist, on the other hand, is trained to help a person going through depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, relationship problems, or learning difficulties.
There are many common ways to maintain positive mental health such as:
- Taking counseling sessions with a professional therapist
- Connecting with your family members and family
- Staying positive most of the time
- Spending time in physical activities such as exercising
- Helping others with their work
- Doing the things you are passionate about
- Developing skills to cope with anxiety and stress
The first and most essential step of managing mental illness is to consult a therapist who can identify your mental issues and can provide effective treatment. But unlike flu or fever where simple medications can cure you, mental illness takes time to heal. People should not expect to feel better in a couple of sessions and even studies suggest that counseling sessions are a commitment and at least 5 to 10 sessions are a must to relieve the mental stress. But private counseling sessions can cost you quite a lot of money and health insurance does not guarantee that you would not have to pay any money upfront. There are different types of therapy which include individual, group, couples, and family.
- Individual: Involves just you and a therapist
- Group: Two or more persons may join a session at the same time. You and another person may share experiences and find some common things that they can talk about
- Couples: This type of therapy is best for married couples who are facing problems in their relationship.
- Family: Families are an integral part of a society and this method helps some people of a family to discuss their issues and find solutions.
The list of affordable options that you have been
Sliding scale therapists
The sliding scale therapists include psychologists, psychotherapists, and social workers who give affordable therapy to different people and adjust their hourly fee. This solution can be helpful to you if the insurance provider does not provide referrals to specialists. Nearly all mental health providers are trained to treat anxiety, stress, and adjustment disorders but not all are qualified to treat PTSD and postpartum depression.
Taking help from low-income mental health services
If you do not have health insurance or cannot pay for mental health care, then the low cost or free community mental health clinics can provide you with the best treatment. The clinics are managed by psychologists and psychotherapists and there are also licensed professionals who provide mental health care at very low rates. The services provided include individual and family counseling, drug addiction counseling, and medication management. The health care professionals are also qualified to treat other mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
Local support groups
A local support group is a very affordable and feasible option for many people struggling with eating disorders, alcohol addiction, postpartum depression, and other mental health problems. The main purpose of a support group is to allow people to connect and share similar experiences. The people not only share their issues but also agree on different opinions and solutions. When people share their stories, you feel that you are not alone and also face the same situation.
- Therapy applications
We live in a digital age and there are online applications for everything. Many smartphone therapy applications can help you connect with a therapist online. Many people find teletherapy quite effective as they can talk to a therapist from anywhere.
Kylie Thomas is a qualified psychologist and provides affordable mental health care services to many people who are going through mental health issues but could not afford the treatment.