In times of crisis, like the one we face now, it’s especially important to support mental health. Studies show that one in five adults experience mental illness, yet less than half receive the support they need.
Many individuals do not seek mental health treatment because of a lack of resources or the stigma attached to mental illness. May is Mental Health Month, and we’re challenging everyone in our community to do one thing to help change the conversation around mental health.
What You Can Do to Change the Conversation
The social distancing our community is practicing can lead to increased feelings of fear, anxiety, depression, boredom, anger, frustration, irritability, and even stigmatization if you are sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Here are some simple ways you can support the emotional well-being of yourself and others:
- Evaluate Your Feelings: Learn to recognize negative feelings and reach out to family, friends, or other people in your support network or a trained professional to talk about your mental health.
- Check in on Others: Just listening can go a long way in helping others with challenges they are facing. Send a quick text or call a friend or family member to ask how they’re doing.
- Share Trustworthy Resources: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extensive resources on coping with the stress of COVID-19. Share information from reputable sources like this on social media to promote healthy conversations around mental health.
Remember, we’re all in this together!
Community Mental Health Supports Available
With localized partnerships, United Way of Southeast Louisiana aims to change the conversation about mental health in our region. By providing access to mental health supports, United Way’s Community Partners ensure that our communities get the mental health resources they need.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or are dealing with other mental health challenges due to COVID-19 or otherwise, one of these local programs may be able to help:
- 211 Resource & Referral Line: VIA LINK provides a range services to Louisiana residents including crisis counseling, suicide intervention, opioid counseling, and help connecting with critical services. VIA LINK’s 24/7 phone, text, and online chat services are free and confidential. Reach a trained specialist by calling 211, texting your zip code to 898-211, or visiting VIA LINK’s website.
- #GetYaMindRight Virtual Support Group: The Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies is offering a virtual support group hosted by psychiatrist and trauma expert Dr. Denese Shervington and IWES social workers every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:15-11:15 a.m.
- Online Support Groups for Individuals Living with a Mental Health Condition and Their Families: NAMI St. Tammany is hosting two online support groups, one for adults living with a mental health condition and one for adults whose loved ones are living with a mental illness. Learn more about these groups and find a wealth of other mental health resources on NAMI St. Tammany’s website.
United we can change the conversation around mental health.