Rawle Andrews, executive director, American Psychiatric Association Foundation, said primary care physicians can help connect people to resources, along with certified community behavioral health centers, which are designed to serve anyone, regardless of their insurance status. It can be daunting to seek these services when a person is unsure what may be wrong, so Andrews recommends starting with the basics.
“Sometimes even urgent care, believe it or not, if you talk about all of the things that are causing you problems, they’ll be able to help you and sometimes, they’re asking those questions at intake,” Andrews explained.
A federal survey released this year says in 2021, one in five adolescents had a major depressive episode that caused caused severe problems with their ability to do well at work or school, get along with their family, or have a social life. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, text the national Suicide and Crisis Hotline anytime, at 988.
Andrews added it is important to note many mental health groups are no longer using the word “stigma.” Instead, he said , they are on focused helping people navigate fears around mental health. He added younger generations are grappling with social media and mental health issues as a fact of life, so they are more comfortable speaking openly about it.
“And I think we need to follow their lead, because they’re ready to have the conversation,” Andrews continued. “Us ‘older folks’ are not necessarily so ready.”
Research from the American Psychological Association finds around 87% of Americans agree that having a mental health disorder is nothing to be ashamed of, and 86% reported they believe that people with mental health disorders can get better.