May is Mental Health Month – but I don’t think we should wait until May to recognize the importance of our Mental Wellness and the Mental Wellness of those we love and interact with, even on a casual basis . . . For what affects one member of humanity – affects us all.
For support contact Radiant Journey to Wellness www.radiantjourneytowellness.com
As we look around to see what has occurred within all of us during this recent worldwide pandemic we can see dramatic consequences in the realm of Mental Health.
1. Thousands upon thousands of people who have never faced depression or anxiety or any Mental Health Issue, for themselves or for a loved-one have been deeply impacted due to loss of personal or family income, food insecurity, complexities of online school, deaths of people they know and/or love, isolation and homelessness for the first time in their life – often entire families.
2. Those persons who have dealt with Mental Health Issues for themselves or a loved-one have been often more deeply impacted by the effects of the pandemic. In addition to being impacted by everything the rest of the population was facing, these individuals often lost access to adequate treatment or any treatment at all, including life-sustaining medications. People with anxiety sometimes developed paranoid thinking about the ramifications of COVID-19. People who deal with processing issues often felt confused and disjointed making it difficult to function causing difficulties with personal needs or when attempting to interact with others. The recurrence or exacerbation of devastating symptoms have caused a dramatic increase in homelessness and of death by suicide, which is never accurately reported because we, as a society (worldwide) do not wish to discuss such tragedies.
3. There was some good news that came out of the dark hole that was the pandemic.
There is now easier access to Mental Health treatment via the internet and telephone, services that previously were either denied by insurance or could only occur in a clinical setting. People who pay for the services of those who struggle or suffer with Mental Health Issues are beginning to understand how consistent, appropriate care can have astonishingly positive results in the lives and livelihood of everyone impacted.
During the pandemic I provided telephone counseling to over one-dozen women and men (including Veterans), free of charge, for I knew that the majority of the people I served were dramatically impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, therefore they could not afford to pay me; the 2 people I counseled who had steady income worked as professionals in the Health Care industry and I didn’t feel I should charge such heroic individuals who were places their lives in jeopardy every time they went to work. Most places one would receive Mental Health Treatment will require some form of payment – I am now accepting payment. However, there are a few warmlines for non-emergency treatment, like when you just need someone objective to talk to and there some local and national Hotline services for urgent or emergent Mental Health Treatment: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has counselors from a variety of backgrounds, including Military/
Veterans, Native Americans, LGBTQ, Black/African American, Spanish Speaking and access to other groups and languages:
More in-person clinics are opening up, and increased numbers of in-home visits are occurring each week. If you feel depressed, anxious, paranoid or are having other difficulties coping with your emotional or Mental Health issues, whether you have always struggled with these issues or your situation was brought about or impacted by COVID-19, reach out to someone today – right now!
You can receive Health & Life Coaching, Spiritual Strengthening, Counseling or Wellness Support services from Radiant Journey to Wellness. www.radiantjourneytowellness.com
Rachel E Ford, ThM
Sole Proprietor – Radiant Journey to Wellness
Mental Health Provider – retired
Recipient of: Joint Resolution from CA State Senate and State Assembly for volunteerism in the Mental Health and Developmental/Intellectual Disabilities communities.