It can happen to any of us. One week we feel fine, the next we’re overcome with feelings of anxiety, lethargy and worry that make it difficult to focus. Everyone has ups and downs, but for some, depression is persistent and debilitating.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five American adults is affected each year by a mental, behavioral or emotional disorder. In 2016, less than half received treatment.
People experiencing mental illness or substance abuse may be reluctant or embarrassed to admit it. Others can’t find or afford care. There is no shame in seeking help. Free crisis hotlines and online support offer resources any time of day.
It’s worth learning what resources are available in case you or someone you know ever needs help. Two sources of help that may be overlooked are employee assistance programs (EAPs) and insurance providers.
Employee assistance programs: People covered by employer-sponsored health plans often have access to benefits they don’t know about, including confidential services to help find a mental health provider. Support can range from confidential EAPs to help with arranging visits for depression, substance abuse, coping with grief or medication management. Connect with your employer for more information.
Insurance benefits: To find benefits and resources available to you, call the phone number on your insurance card to talk to an advocate, or visit a dedicated member website for information. Many plans offer options of seeing network providers in person or through a virtual visit, and some can help shorten the wait and schedule appointments within five days.
Knowing where and how to get help for mental health issues may be one of the best things we can do for ourselves and those we care about. Take a few minutes today and check into local crisis lines, online support and available employer-sponsored benefits. For more information and links to mental health support resources in your area, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness website or call the HelpLine at (800) 950-6264.