2020 is a year that is full of change like we have never seen before, and with such significant change you may find yourself in sudden need of mental health resources. Even if you have never struggled before. Many individuals find themselves overwhelmed with the events unfolding around us. It’s important to recognize that it’s okay, perfectly normal, and common. Research states that more than 33% of Americans are currently struggling with feelings of depression and anxiety, which is an increase compared to this same time last year.
No matter what your situation, if you need emotional support right now there are ways to find it. At GR8NESS, we believe that each of our readers should have the information you need right at your fingertips. That’s why we put together this list of mental health resources for 2020. Whether you’re experiencing stress due to COVID-19, would like help processing the civil rights events, or simply need someone to talk to, these resources are for you.
Determining the Help You Need
There are many different types of mental health care, just as there are many different types of internal doctors. The first step in seeking care for mental health symptoms is to determine the type of support and care you need. If you are experiencing symptoms, contact your primary care physician to see what they recommend. Below are several types of community mental health resources they may suggest.
Peer Support Groups
Peer support groups consist of individuals within a community who come together to support each other, share their thoughts and feelings, and help one another through tough times. These groups are not led by licensed mental health professionals but many find them to be extremely beneficial as they provide an open judgement-free space to speak with others who know just how you feel.
Care from a Psychologist
A psychologist is a licensed mental health professional, often referred to as a therapist. You may see them listed as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), along with various other credentials. These professionals do not prescribe medication but do offer talk therapy and can help you work through any issues you are facing. Psychologists may specialize in certain topics such as anxiety disorders and grief. They will often provide you with exercises and tools to take home and use in your daily life.
Care from a Psychiatrist
A psychiatrist is a type of medical doctor who can prescribe medication, such as antidepressants. They usually do not provide in-depth talk therapy, so you may see both a psychologist and a psychiatrist at the same time. Many individuals begin by speaking to their primary care physician or a licensed therapist before trying psychiatry. Or, if you visit a psychiatrist first they may recommend you see a psychologist as well. This is common as many experts believe medication works best in conjunction with other treatment methods.
If you are in immediate crisis or are having thoughts of harming yourself of others you can walk into any emergency room. Hospitals have psychiatric professionals on-staff and can provide you with stabilization as well as refer you to a professional for long-term care.
Additionally, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24-hours a day, 365-days a year with individuals standing by who are ready to talk to you, no matter what.
Call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
Online Mental Health Resources
If you can’t make it to an in-person meeting with a mental health professional, or simply feel more comfortable seeking help from your own home, our digital society makes it easier than ever before to access the resources you need. There are plenty of free resources available online as well.
Mental Health Apps and Online Platforms
Online platform Real launched in March of 2020 in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak to provide individuals with free online therapy and support. As the recent nationwide protests against police brutality are now a focal point that are causing many individuals to struggle with feelings of grief, uncertainty, and anxiety, the company is choosing to continue its mission.
Access Real online, sign up for the virtual support group you would like to attend, and receive support from those who are experiencing the same feelings as you. Led by a group of licensed mental health professionals and a medical director, Real is an online community mental health resource unlike any other.
Stress & Anxiety Companion App
If you’re looking for a free mental health resource that you can carry wherever you go, try the Stress & Anxiety Companion App. Formed by a licensed psychologist, the app contains Cognitive Behavioral Therapy exercises to help you counteract those negative thoughts that seem to take over sometimes.
Additionally, the app provides guided activities for mindfulness such as breathing techniques, positive imagery, and body scanning exercises. It also includes written guides, interactive content, and audio recordings.
You may have seen social media ads for TalkSpace by now, and the app is gaining traction with more than one million users. The app offers therapy-by-text and also provides access to a psychiatrist for those in need of prescription medication. TalkSpace accepts most major insurance policies, or offers plans starting at $65 a week. It may not be the least expensive option regarding mental health resources, but the app is based on personalized treatment plans and therapy you can access around-the-clock.
BetterHelp offers counseling for a wide variety of mental health conditions; whether you have a clinical diagnosis or just need a professional to talk to during these tough times. The platform provides individual counseling, couples counseling, as well as counseling for teens. You can text your therapist or schedule live sessions; there are more than 9,000 licensed professionals who work on BetterHelp.
The platform provides specialty mental health resources for depression, stress, anxiety, self-esteem, anger issues, grief, and more. There is a monthly cost associated with the platform.
Support Groups Central
Support Groups Central provides free online community mental health resources through group video meetings. You can choose what groups you attend and they offer support for everything ranging from coping with depression, eating disorders, LGBTQIA+ meetings, stress and anxiety, groups for people of color, gender specific groups, groups for veterans, and so much more. Best of all, it’s entirely free.
Community Mental Health Resources
If you’re looking for in-person support there are plenty of options. You can find a dedicated therapist through your company’s Human Resources department or Employee Assistance Program, through your insurance company, or from national organizations.
National Organizations for Mental Health Resources
In addition to online and mobile mental health resources, there are many national organizations that connect individuals with the help they need. These organizations serve as guides and many have hotlines that you can call for more individualized direction if need be. The benefit of using these organizations as a starting point is that all of the information they provide you is pre-vetted.
The National Alliance on Mental Health
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides information on signs and symptoms of mental health issues and is an excellent place to start if you are looking for an introduction to mental health.
The organization connects those in need with community mental health resources and provides a HelpLine that can be reached at (800) 950-6264. The phone line is run by volunteers who can answer all of your questions, provide emotional support, and direct you on what steps to take next in finding mental health care near you.
The American Psychiatry Association
The American Psychiatry Association is another resource that can help you find local psychiatrists. They can link you with medical doctors in your area that can help treat symptoms such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, OCD, and much more. Often a therapist or psychologist will recommend that you see a psychiatrist for a consultation if you find that therapy and support groups aren’t enough to help you through the tough times.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a government run organization that helps individuals find therapeutic and psychiatric treatment for mental health issues. SAMHSA not only links individuals with professional care in their area but also hosts several dedicated phone lines for anyone who may be struggling.
The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs
The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs provides mental health resources to those who have served in the armed forces. They offer free and confidential support and connect veterans with local facilities. They can also help you set up TeleHealth appointments and find the best online resources based on your unique needs.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has a dedicated mental health outreach team that helps connect all U.S. residents with resources. The department provides free information and articles you can read and can help you find a treatment provider in your area.
Peer Support Groups in Your Community
If you’re looking for a less formal peer-to-peer setting that’s free of cost, there are lots of local meet ups that act as wonderful mental health resources. Visit the Health and Wellness section on MeetUp.com to find a list of local groups in your area. With groups that focus on mindfulness, meditation and relaxation, anxiety and depression, and so much more, you will find local individuals just like you who are experiencing the same feelings.
Additional Mental Health Resources
If you are looking for resources you can use at home, no matter what time of day, there is a wide variety of places you can turn. Below are a few activities you can incorporate into your routine to improve your mental health. Please note that they are not a substitute for professional care and if you are experiencing symptoms it is crucial that you speak with your doctor.
- Try acupressure to help relieve anxiety
- Use these free therapeutic worksheets
- Watch these movies about mental health
- Read these mental health memoirs
- Learn how to edit your social media to protect your mental health
- Learn what questions to ask a psychiatrist about medication
- Listen to these podcasts for a healthy mind
- Watch these motivational speeches
Coping with Mental Health in 2020
If you are struggling with feelings of anger, grief, anxiety, or depression, you are not alone. The world is undergoing massive change and with that may come fear, sadness and a wide range of other emotions. Whether you are directly impacted by current events or exposure to the news is having an effect on your mental health, please come forward and ask for help. There are many mental health resources available to you.