Mental Health Awareness Month
Blair SharpMay 5, 2023
Each May, we observe Mental Health Awareness Month to raise awareness about mental health and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health conditions.
Everyone is impacted by mental health. Just like physical health, mental health is essential to overall well-being. However, it’s often misunderstood and neglected.
During Mental Health Awareness Month, individuals and organizations work to promote the importance of mental health and provide support and resources to those who need it.
What is “Mental Health?”
According to The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), mental health and well-being encompasses our psychological, emotional, and social health, influencing our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Mental health plays a crucial role in coping with stress, interacting with people, and making decisions.
Mental Health Conditions
Each person’s experience with mental health conditions is unique. Some will struggle with severe symptoms that affect their ability to function daily, while others experience milder symptoms or ones managed with medication or therapy.
The SAMHSA lists the following mental health disorders on their website:
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Anxiety disorders (including generalized anxiety, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, and social anxiety)
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
- Eating disorders
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Suicide and suicidal behavior
Various factors contribute to these conditions, and the appropriate treatment varies by individual. What works for one person may not work for someone else.
Mental Health Treatment
Mental health is health. Seeking treatment for your mental health should be as routine as seeking medical care when you’re sick.
Benefits of mental health treatment
Mental health treatment can improve your life in many ways:
- Help you manage and cope with difficult emotions
- Improve and strengthen your relationships
- Prevent future mental health problems
- Identify and address underlying issues
- Mental health treatment options
Traditional mental health options, like in-person therapy, involve talking with mental health professionals like a therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist. Typically, these sessions occur at a clinic, hospital, or private practice. The programming will be individualized to each person’s needs.
Technology has made online mental health treatment popular in recent years. This allows people to get care from the comfort of their homes using their phone or computer.
Both traditional and online mental health treatment options have benefits and drawbacks. The choice is personal, so research and talk to mental health professionals to find the best treatment option for your needs. Some find that a combination of the two is best.
Mental health treatments may be covered by insurance or paid for out of pocket. If you’re wondering about costs, check with your insurance carrier or mental health care provider.
At Recovery Unplugged, we strive to make your care as affordable as possible. We accept most major insurance carriers.
Mental Health Stigma
Over time, discrimination, prejudice, and stigma against mental illness and mental health conditions have decreased, but it still exists.
How can we reduce stigma?
Continued work to fight and reduce mental health stigma is essential to increase the awareness and support of those with mental health conditions.
Stigma harms those with mental health conditions and society as a whole. It can keep people from getting help, increase symptoms, and lower hope and self-esteem.
A lack of mental health education and understanding can mean more harassment and social isolation for those who struggle. It can also affect funding and local community support.
Here are some ways to help reduce mental health stigma:
Talk about mental health
Talking about mental health is a simple and free way to reduce stigma and support those struggling with mental health challenges. Talk about your feelings, and ask your loved ones how they’re doing.
Learn about mental health
Knowledge is power. Read about mental health conditions, symptoms, and what those struggling can do to help.
You can also listen to podcasts, read articles, or watch interviews with people with mental health challenges or addictions. Check out Recovery Unplugged’s podcast, Talksicology, for conversations with treatment professionals, people in recovery, and other passionate voices in the recovery community.
Consider how you can help and what kind of support you can give. Find local services and organizations to which you can devote your time, energy, or money.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) hosts walks around the country. There are other annual events in every state. A simple Google search will help you find what’s happening in your area.
Behavioral Health and Addiction Programs
Many hospitals, clinics, and mental health centers provide specialized programs for those with mental health disorders or addiction. Each program has different treatment plans, but all have one goal: to support and help people overcome their challenges and achieve long-term recovery.
Inpatient/Residential Treatment Programs
Inpatient treatment aims to help the individual heal in a supportive, distraction-free environment without outside influences.
These programs typically range from 7-24 days, and your time spent varies on your progress and needs. Many of the inpatient programs provide medical care, such as medication-assisted treatment.
In treatment, you live with others who are working through the program. This community support is beneficial in your recovery. Residential treatment usually includes group therapy as well as individualized counseling.
Recovery Unplugged has residential treatment programs in multiple locations throughout the United States. Each of our facilities provides medical detoxification and withdrawal management.
Our facilities offer semi-private rooms, freshly prepared meals, and snacks. We believe music can help you heal. We have fully-equipped music spaces and use music in our programming.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)
The outpatient treatment option is ideal for those who need structure while being able to return home each day. This more independent approach helps you build a life around your recovery.
IOP allows you to use the insights you gained in treatment to build your coping strategies and empower yourself throughout recovery.
Recovery Unplugged has an intensive outpatient program at multiple locations in the United States. Our IOP utilizes music-assisted techniques, group dynamics, and one-on-one counseling.
These programs are designed to treat people with mental health disorders and addiction together. The SAMHSA reports that approximately 9.2 million adults in the United States have a dual diagnosis, also known as a co-occurring disorder.
Recovery Unplugged has dual-diagnosis treatment programs with customized care plans from experienced mental health professionals. Our facilities offer comprehensive care for a variety of dual-diagnosis mental health issues, including:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Conduct Disorders
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- How do mental health and addiction programs work?
Many programs work similarly by providing a comprehensive range of services. Here’s an example of the process:
At the start of treatment, you’ll undergo an assessment process before entering the program, including a medical evaluation and answering many questions.
Detoxification may be necessary before beginning treatment to help with withdrawal symptoms. During detox, you are carefully monitored by an experienced doctor and a team of medical professionals 24/7.
Detox programs typically last five to seven days, depending on your needs and progress. Detox is a recognized medical procedure typically covered by private health insurance plans.
Buprenorphine (Suboxone®), Lorazepam, Phenobarbital, Diazepam, and Librium are some medications used for detox at Recovery Unplugged. In addition, your doctor may prescribe other medications to alleviate sweats, chills, headaches, nausea, and other symptoms associated with withdrawal.
Therapy and behavioral counseling
After you are medically stabilized and cleared for treatment, you’ll work with experienced clinicians and mental health professionals during individual and group therapy.
During individual therapy, you’ll work with a mental health professional to address the root of your struggles and to learn coping strategies for when a trigger or stressor arises.
In group therapy, there may be a discussion topic or an activity. Groups could be as small as five or fewer individuals or as big as twenty or more. Each facility is different.
If necessary, doctors and nurses provide medication-assisted treatment, mental health or medical care medications, or ones to lessen withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Your care is not over just because you finished treatment. Many people require aftercare and ongoing mental health care throughout their lives.
At the end of your treatment program, you’ll discuss your aftercare plan with your team. This could include continued care at their facility or a referral to another provider, including medical, therapeutic, or case management.
At this time, you’ll also discuss your plan for living and returning to your daily life outside of treatment. This is a great time to ask questions, request support, or express your concerns about returning to your daily routine.
Some facilities have aftercare programs for those who complete treatment. Recovery Unplugged’s alumni program provides outreach, weekly groups, and alumni events.
Mental Health Resources
To find mental health resources in your community, search “mental health resources (your city or state).” Here are some places to start:
SAMHSA – Find Support
CDC – Tools and Resources
NAMI – Support & Education
Resources at Recovery Unplugged
We support all paths to mental health treatment and recovery. You can find various topics and support through our blog and website.
Our admissions team is available around the clock every day of the year. If you or someone you love needs support, call today to talk to an experienced professional.
Whether through education, advocacy, or seeking mental health treatment, we can take steps to improve our mental health and support those around us. Let’s use the month of May to continue the conversation about mental health.
And remember, it’s OK not to be OK.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021, August 17). Co-Occurring Disorders. SAMHSA. Retrieved May 9, 2023, from https://www.samhsa.gov/medications-substance-use-disorders/medications-counseling-related-conditions/co-occurring-disorders
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (n.d.). Mental Health. SAMHSA. Retrieved May 9, 2023, from https://www.samhsa.gov/mental-health
American Psychiatric Association. (n.d.). Stigma and Discrimination. Retrieved May 9, 2023, from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/stigma-and-discrimination
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