When 2020 started, no one could have predicted the current situation the U.S. is in. Halfway across the year, we are in the midst of a pandemic and there is much economic and political unrest.
The quarantine, anger, and frustration over lost opportunities, uncertainties, and anxiety for the future — all these are creating a profound emotional toll causing a severe impact on many people’s mental health. What is worse is that those who have been grappling with preexisting mental health issues are now facing more risks.
Even before the pandemic happened, a lot of Americans are already experiencing mental health issues.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reported that around 40 million adults, ages 18, and older suffer from anxiety disorders. Major depressive disorder affects more than 16 million American adults, which equals to about 6.7% of the population. Approximately 6 million adults report being affected by panic disorder. (1)
Mental health derails not just a person’s life but also impacts the lives of a patient’s family member. Serious mental health problems can impair a person’s emotional and mental state which leads to suicide.
The 2016 National Vital Statistics Reports from the CDC reported that nearly 43,000 deaths each year are determined suicide. (2)Suicide is one of the ten most common causes of death.
All these facts and numbers show one thing – mental health conditions are common. You may even know of a few people suffering it themselves. It is not just openly talked about because there is a strong social stigma against mental health issues.
The American-Canadian psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden said, “The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.”
Awareness, acceptance, and education are crucial to reducing the stigma on mental health issues. More importantly, they increase the chances of getting treatment early, leading to a better quality of life.
If you want to learn more about mental health or you need advice and tips on coping mechanisms, there are hundreds of articles online offering easy and manageable tips. It is encouraging to have so much information at your fingertips.
But if you like a comprehensive and evidence-based approach based on a reliable source, one who has studied about mental health and is backed by years and years of experience, you will find PsychHub an incredible resource.
PsychHub is the world’s leading digital platform for mental health education. It is a free hub for individuals, healthcare professionals, educational institutions, veterans, mental health providers, community supporters, and employers — practically everyone who wants to learn how to cope with the emotional stress of living in this pandemic time.
I had an opportunity to interview Marjorie Morrison, the CEO of PsychHub, and she shared the focus of the platform. “What we’re very focused on… is training providers to use evidence-based interventions in their practice,” she said. PsychHub trains providers, paraprofessionals, unlicensed mental health providers, gatekeepers, and everyone else.
Marjorie also has an incredibly unique way of explaining mental health management. “I think what makes it even more difficult is there is no silver bullet. If you have strep throat, you go to the doctor, you get an antibiotic. The expectation is within a few days, your strep throat is going to be gone.”
“Mental health, it’s you can have something that works for somebody, but it might not work for somebody else. And there are just a lot of variables. And they have to do with things you don’t even think about.”
“Are you urban? Are you rural? Your ethnicity, you know, they’re just there are so many different types of things that play into what’s more effective.“
“And then at the end of the day, different people need different things. Some people do very well with self-care. Some people do very well with peer support. Having somebody else with lived experience helped them through it is more powerful than going to professional saving.”
“We all have to move into a more understanding and more kind of just empathic spot with mental health and not be so egotistical that this is the one way.” Marjorie’s viewpoint on mental health puts things into proper perspective. If you go in for a treatment, do not expect things to change overnight. There’s also no one-size-fits-all solution.
A familiar expression says, “People are afraid of what they don’t know.” By increasing awareness and educating people on mental health and how to cope with it, you are in a better position to help others.
Whether you are a provider or a business owner, you will find PsychoHub an incredible resource of information about mental health and its management.
Listen to my full conversation with Marjorie here: https://outcomesrocket.health/psychhub/2020/06/
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Wesley Gilson Senior Director of MR Business Development at
Siemens Healthineers North America