This is an exciting time to be a mental health professional. Our culture is slowly breaking the stigma surrounding mental health, and we are steadily refining our approach to treatment (and prevention) in order to reach more people and to provide higher quality mental health coverage.
My dream for the United States is that we provide excellent mental health crisis and inpatient services, high quality outpatient services, and consistent preventative/mental health maintenance measures (for all ages but especially for children). We still have a long way to go, but we are making some progress.
There has been increased news coverage on mental health and I think that this is helping increase our awareness of people who are going through mental health struggles (like Conan O'Brien for instance who shares his personal struggles with mental health in this interview), and also what resources are out there (1). The news is also highlighting where we can make improvements (often sadly from significant failures).
I gathered links to recent news articles that I think you will find interesting (especially for you Lega-Leaders out there). These articles span state, national, and world news on the topic of mental health. Click on the topic summary to go to the news website.
1. State (Missouri)
Topic: Patients in Missouri waiting months for psychiatric and mental health services (2).
Topic: You probably are aware of 911 for emergencies, right? Well, there is a proposal for a national number (988) for mental health emergencies (3).
Topic: In Oregon there is a team called CAHOOTS that responds to mental health crises instead of police (4).
Topic: In the UK there is a program in place that teaches kids about mental health self-care measures in the hopes of helping kids manage their emotions, and also to try to prevent mental health disorders from developing in the first place (5).
Topic: University of Toronto Mississauga student handcuffed after seeking mental health services for suicidal thoughts and how this is sparking conversation on where the school can continue to make improvements on their services (6).
On a different note, just a reminder about the office closing on Thanksgiving:
Closed Dates: Monday, November 25th through Friday, November 29th.
The mental health field offers a variety of services that are helpful and effective. That being said, there are still a lot of improvements that need to be made in order to reach people in the same way that we do with physical health. Improvements will need to come from all sectors, and all different parts of the community. All of us will have a different role to play in making progress, but each of us is important.
I am so grateful that as a society and a world we are having more open and honest conversations about mental health (the good, the bad, and the ugly). We must have regular dialogue on these topics if we want any change to happen, and mental health professionals need to be open to feedback and be willing to think outside the box (like the CAHOOTS mobile crisis team). Any thoughts or comments on the mental health field or on any of the news articles above? Please comment below or send me a private message on my feedback form (7).
Want to know how you can do something right now? Share the news articles with a family member, friend, or trusted colleague. Have a discussion. What do they think? Ask them their viewpoints on the various issues and what their experiences have been. You just might learn something really interesting, and you might even learn how these issues are actually a challenge for your own social network (but you just never talked about it). And guess what? Just by you initiating and encouraging discussion you are taking huge steps towards breaking the stigma of taking care of your mental and relationship health.
Talk to you next week. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
All the best,
PS-Can I send you an email about once a week? The email will have a link to my latest blog post in case there is a topic you are interested in. As the business grows and I add more products and services, I will mention in the email what has been added.
References and Links
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MoxiePsychology Legacy is an outpatient mental health clinic and not equipped for emergency services. If you are in need of emergency mental or medical services, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
Holly L. Harrison, MA, LMFT