Mental Health Care

Mental Health Care Shortage and What You Can Do

The shortage of mental health care professionals in the United States is a growing concern for many individuals. The National Institute of Mental Health states that 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience mental illness each year and according to a recent survey by Assurance, over 70% of Americans admit that they’ve felt an increased need for help with their mental health after recent years. This shortage of mental health care professionals has created significant barriers to access for those who need mental health services.

It is more important now than ever before to check in with ourselves about our mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted mental health globally, with increased levels of anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. Unfortunately, the shortage of mental health care professionals has made it challenging for individuals to receive the help they need. It is essential to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, and seeking help for mental health issues is a sign of strength, not weakness.

The data collected by Assurance found the ten best and worst states when it comes to mental health care coverage.

The Top 10 cities With the Worst Mental Health Care Access

  1. Birmingham, AL
  2. Phoenix, AZ
  3. Orlando, FL & San Antonio, TX
  4. Jacksonville, FL
  5. Atlanta, GA
  6. Miama, FL
  7. Memphis, TN
  8. Dallas, TX
  9. Houston, TX
  10. Las Vegas, NV

Prioritizing Your Mental Health

Prioritizing Your Mental Health

One way to prioritize our mental health is by practicing self-care. Self-care refers to the activities and practices we engage in to maintain our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. It is crucial to incorporate self-care into our daily routines, as it can help us feel more energized, reduce stress levels, and improve our overall mental health.

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Here are some tips and resources for practicing self-care:

  1. Exercise – Engaging in regular physical activity can improve our mood, boost our self-esteem, and reduce stress levels. Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
  2. Mindfulness – Practicing mindfulness involves being present in the moment, without judgment or distraction. Mindfulness can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Consider using apps such as Headspace or Calm to guide you through mindfulness exercises.
  3. Sleep – Getting enough sleep is essential for our mental health. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and establish a consistent sleep routine.
  4. Healthy Eating – A balanced diet is crucial for our overall well-being. Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein into your diet.
  5. Hobbies – Engage in hobbies and activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Whether it is reading, painting, or hiking, taking time to engage in activities we enjoy can reduce stress levels and improve our mental health.

In addition to practicing self-care, it is essential to seek professional help when needed. While the shortage of mental health care professionals in the United States can make it challenging to access mental health services, there are still options available. Many employers offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that provide free or low-cost counseling services to employees. Additionally, many mental health organizations offer sliding scale fees for individuals who cannot afford traditional therapy.

It is more important than ever before to prioritize our mental health and practice self-care regularly. Incorporating self-care into our daily routines can improve our overall well-being and reduce stress levels. Remember, seeking help for mental health issues is a sign of strength, and there are resources available for those who need them.

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