Physical health has been at the forefront of medicine for centuries, but more recently mental health is finally getting the attention it so much deserves as it unsuspectedly affects billions of people around the globe. Especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues on after almost 2 years, many are becoming more aware of the status of their mental health. The previous stigma around mental health has prevented many people from seeking out the help they need. Today we can help end that stigma by educating ourselves about these mental diseases and the signs to watch out for.
World Mental Health Day annually takes place on October 10 and it’s objective is “to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.” According to Mental Health America, even before the pandemic the amount of adults with mental health illness was increasing. As of 2018, 19% of adults experienced mental illness which is an increase of 1.5 million people over the previous dataset. (MHA)
Mental Illness in Healthcare
This struggle is no stranger in the healthcare field either, healthcare workers have had difficulties adapting so quickly to changes in patient volume, mounting demands, new technologies and ways of working and not to mention being faced with a high risk of infection with limitations in protective equipment each time they step into work. While focusing on the patients physical health they are also dealing with the anxieties of the patients who are dealing with the virus and are scared of what could happen. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis conducted by Li et al. across 65 studies, involving 97,333 health care workers in 21 countries, has identified a high prevalence of moderate depression (21.7%), anxiety (22.1%), and PTSD (21.5%) among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. (frontiers in public health)
Get to know the warning signs of mental illness and know when to seek out professional help. Some common signs of mental illness in adults can include excessive worrying or fear, extreme mood changes including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria, prolonged or extreme feelings of anger or irritability, avoiding friends and social activities and unexpected changes in sleeping and eating habits. You can see more common signs of mental illness here.
Getting help can look like different things to different people. It can mean having a deep and meaningful conversation with someone you trust. It can mean reaching out to professionals. Below are some pro-bono resources for healthcare professionals:
Therapy Aid provides pro-bono therapy for frontline health care professionals, including individual and group support.
Nurse Groups is a free and confidential videoconference group service for nurses to connect and process issues related to COVID-19.
PeerRxMed is a free peer-to-peer program for physicians and other healthcare professionals. PeerRxMed offers support, connection, encouragement, resources and skill building for optimal well-being.
American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress offers online support groups for emergency responders and health care workers.
Traveling with OneStaff you’ll have access to our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which provides convenient and confidential help whether that be family or money issues, legal services, identity theft recovery, health and everyday life. Our EAP program provides expert advice for work, life and your well-being including your mental health.
Phone: 1-888-319-7819 > Select “Employee Assistance Program” when prompted
Web: www.metlifeeap.lifeworks.com > Username metlifeeap > Password eap
Mobile App: Download the “LifeWorks” APP > Username metlifeeap > Password eap
Suffering Mental Illness is nothing to be ashamed of. You are not alone going through these struggles. Reach out to others and get the help you need and deserve. You won’t feel like this forever. Just keep going. Mental Healthcare for all; let’s make it a reality.