May is Mental Health Month - Access Help with Online & Local Resources
In addition to being Physical Fitness and Sports Month, May is Mental Health Month. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. In fact, the two are connected. People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population, and people with serious mental illness are nearly twice as likely to develop these conditions.[i] Decreasing stress can help your immune system,[ii] which is the body’s way of fighting diseases.
Almost 20% of adults in the Unites States experience mental illness in a typical year.[iii] This year, COVID-19 and its disruption of our lives is affecting many people’s mental health. If you are struggling, please seek the help you need. Know that resources are available, and you are not alone.
Information on Mental Health Conditions and Medications
MedlinePlus – This is a go-to source for health information. Search for a variety of medical topics, drugs, and supplements.
HealthReach – Search for health information in many languages.
Medscape – Use this site to see if your medications interact with each other.
National Alliance on Mental Illness – This site has information on health disorders, including an overview, treatment, support, and discussion groups.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health – This site has information about complementary health products and practices.
Coping with Mental Illness
Navigating a Mental Health Crisis – Download this guide from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which includes factors that contribute to a mental health crisis, warning signs, strategies to de-escalate a crisis, resources, and more. It is available in English and Spanish.
Living Well with Serious Mental Illness – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has links to short videos about support and treatment for Serious Mental Illness, a behavioral health treatment locator, and a list of specialized hotlines to call if you are in crisis.
Mental Health Statistics
Mental Health by the Numbers – The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a page with Mental Illness statistics.
People who struggle with mental illness have shared their stories with the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They may inspire you to get help and remind you that you are not alone. Read their stories here.
If you find that reading other people’s stories is helpful, you can pay it forward and share your own story about mental health challenges.
Get Help—Service Providers and Hotlines
Center for Hope and Healing – Free counseling, advocacy, resources, and referrals for survivors of sexual assault.
24-hour hotline 800-542-5212
Crisis Text Line – Crisis Text Line provides free 24/7 support from a crisis counselor to anyone in any type of crisis through text.
Text HOME to 741741
Lowell Community Health Center – Lowell Community Health Center provides access to health care—including behavioral health services—regardless of ability to pay.
Lowell House – Lowell House provides addiction treatment and recovery. You can contact Rich (978-735-3734) or Jaime (978-770-8919) for the Recovery Cafe Peer Support Groups.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Network of Care – Find behavioral health services in Massachusetts.
The resources listed below have mental health advice specific to living with the challenges of COVID-19.
CDC Stress and Coping Suggestions
Massachusetts Government Maintaining Emotional Health & Well-Being
Suicide Prevention Lifeline Emotional Wellbeing During the COVID-19 Outbreak
[i] From National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health by the Numbers https://www.nami.org/mhstats.
[ii] From Maintaining Emotional Health & Well-Being During the COVID-19 Outbreak, Mass.gov, https://www.mass.gov/resource/maintaining-emotional-health-well-being-during-the-covid-19-outbreak.
[iii] From National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health by the Numbers https://www.nami.org/mhstats.