Life can be challenging at times. Everyone experiences feelings like anxiety, sadness and stress now and then. While these feelings are common, it’s important to recognize when they may be interfering with your daily life. If you feel overwhelmed by emotions or experiences, know that you are not alone. Nearly 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience a mental health or substance use challenge each year.
If you or someone you know is impacted by a mental health or substance use challenge, consider seeking professional help. The right treatment can help you manage your day-to-day life and make mental wellbeing – including recovery from substance use – a reality.
If you are in crisis or are having suicidal thoughts, contact someone immediately!
We know from the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) curriculum that there are more treatments, services and community support systems than ever before, and they work. However, the process of finding a provider can be overwhelming, especially when you’re dealing with symptoms of a mental health or substance use challenge. Many offices are dealing with staffing shortages, and many providers may have longer wait times or be unable to take on new patients. Leaning on your loved ones and those close to you for support and focusing on self-care during the process can help make things easier.
According to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing’s 2022 Access to Care Survey, almost 50% of Americans who say they needed substance use or mental health care in the past 12 months did not receive it. One of the main reasons people do not get help is not knowing where to get it from. If you or someone you know does not know where to begin seeking professional help, start here:
SAMHSA also offers their National Helpline 800-662-4357 (HELP). The helpline is a confidential, free, 24/7/365 information service, available in in English and Spanish, that provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups and community-based organizations.
You can help too.
You might want to help a friend who is experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge, but you may not know the best way to support them. Take a MHFA course to become a resource to your loved ones and whole community. MHFA provides information about common mental health and substance use challenges, treatment options and resources available as well as guidance on how to help those around you. Choose to #BeTheDifference.
For more information on seeking professional treatment, read these related articles.
Mental Health First Aid USA. (2020). Mental Health First Aid USA for adults assisting adults. National Council for Mental Wellbeing.
National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2022, June). Mental health by the numbers. National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/mhstats.
National Council for Mental Wellbeing and The Harris Poll. (2022, May 11). 2022 Access to care survey results. National Council for Mental Wellbeing. https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/2022-Access-To-Care-Survey-Results.pdf.
Psychology Today. (n.d.). Find a therapist. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists.
Sapien Labs. (2021). Mental Health Has Bigger Challenges Than Stigma. Mental Health Million Project. https://mentalstateoftheworld.report/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Rapid-Report-2021-Help-Seeking.pdf.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2022, March 24). Certified community behavioral health clinics (CCBHCs). U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. https://www.samhsa.gov/certified-community-behavioral-health-clinics.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (n.d.). Behavioral health treatment services locator. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/.