Destigmatizing Mind Health

When was your last mental health check-up?

Ever  thought why we need a specialist for your teeth and your eyes but we  rarely start with a mental health provider for our mind?  Most of us see  our dental every 6 months and we have an eye exam once a years, but  there is no recommendation for a mental health check-up.   Often the  first recommendation from a physician for overwhelming feelings is  medication rather than understanding the source of the problem and  developing skills to manage them.   If a general mental health check-up  were part of your health care plan, would you want to know if you were  doing well and get tips to keep your mind healthier?Say something interesting about your business here.

Mental illness is one of the fastest growing crisis in the world.

In  the US the overall cost of mental health services combined with the  lost earnings due to mental illness is estimated to be around $400  billion/ year. (Davidson, The Mighty 05/31/16).  The World Economic  Forum projected by 2030, mental disorders to be the highest health cost  estimating at $6 trillion/ year.The World Health Organization  writes "There is no health without mental health" and recommends a shift  to preventing mental health problems with early detection and by  emphasizing the cost to policy makers.  Leaders do not want to talk  about prevention.  Perhaps because people don't want to talk about  struggling with mental health or perhaps there is not a lot of money to  make in prevention, or both.

Promoting Preventative Care

 f  annual mental health check-ups were the norm, it would be just as  routine as having a cancer, cholesterol screening or checking for  cavities.  Imagine talking to a professional to discuss strategies and  coping skills to deal with life problems, or being assessed to see if  you need something a little more.  That would be like having a few weeks  of physical therapy after an injury.   Therapy shouldn't last years.   Short-term Evidence Based therapies show more effectiveness than  traditional talk therapy.

Promoting Mental Wellness

How do we teach children to keep their minds healthy?

Did  you know that 20% of children are expected to be diagnosed with a  mental health disorder by the time they turn 18?  Schools that are  trying to address emotional intelligence generally teach negotiation  skills but do not address the underlying need for emotion regulation.    Regulating emotions is the key to reducing strong emotional reactions  such as acute anxiety or anger, and according to Dr. Daniel Siegel,  will grow the part of the brain that develops interpersonal skills.

Most mental illnesses are preventable

The  National Institute for Mental Health identifies that 4% of mental  illnesses are severe and chronic to the point that their symptoms are  difficult to manage except through medications and close monitoring.   The majority of people with a diagnosis (25% of the adult population)  can or could have prevented becoming chronically ill.  Unfortunately, it  usually takes a crisis before people decide seek professional help.   This is because our society views "mental problems" as something to  fear and demeaning.  MENTAL HEALTH will never be viewed as any other  health need until we stop viewing it as a weakness.  Imagine being  ashamed of seeing a physical therapist for an injury?

Brief Therapy

Mental  health skills can be learned very quickly with motivation to change.   Understanding the mind and learning ways to cope with emotional  distress can be done in a few sessions.  Specialized techniques such as  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and EMDR along with practicing new skills  are ways to manage disturbing thoughts and emotions without spending  years in treatment.