About one person in every five experiences a mental health issue over the course of a lifetime. All too often, these problems are hidden away either due to lack of awareness or fear of stigma. As we emerge from the pandemic, perhaps one small benefit is that there seems to be more openness and attention to mental health issues. Many public figures from politicians and professional athletes to actors and musicians are opening up about their personal challenges with mental health. That openness is a good thing because it raises awareness that help is available for mental illnesses and it can be highly effective in providing relief. Depression and other mental health illnesses don’t have to be unbearable if you reach out to get help. If you or a family member is suffering from depression or any other mental health issue, why not get professional help, just as you would if you had a physical malady that caused problems in your life?
Here are some hotlines, tools, and resources that can help.
Mothers and Mental Health
Last Mother’s Day saw the launch of the free, confidential National Maternal Mental Health Hotline. The hotline operates 24/7 and provides support in English and Spanish before, during and after pregnancy. In addition to pregnant people and new parents, including dads, the hotline welcomes people who have had pregnancy losses or infant losses. Call or text 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262). TTY users can use a preferred relay service or dial 711 and then 1-833-852-6262.
Since its launch, the line has fielded about 1,000 calls per month, or 12,000 total in its first year. Calls spiked after the deaths of three young Massachusetts children, allegedly killed by their mother, who suffered from post-partum depression, and possibly post-partum psychosis. The top reasons people dialed the hotline over the past year were depression, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed, the HRSA data showed. Phone calls made up about 70% of hotline interactions, while texts comprised about 30%.
National Crisis & Suicide Lifeline
Everyone in the U.S. can dial the 3-digit code 988 to connect to the 988 Crisis & Suicide Lifeline. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support, prevention, and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. Everyone in the U.S. can dial the 3-digit code 988 to connect to the Crisis & Suicide Lifeline. The 988 dialing code is available nationwide for calls (multiple languages) or click for the Lifeline chat and text.
Take a Mental Health Test
Mental Health America offers free, confidential online mental health screenings. Scientifically validated screening tools are provided to help individuals understand and learn more about their mental health. It is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Post-test, it offers information, resources, and tools to help you understand and improve your mental health. Here’s a list of the available screenings: Depression Test • Postpartum Depression Test (New & Expecting Parents) • Anxiety Test • ADHD Test • Bipolar Test • Psychosis & Schizophrenia Test • PTSD Test • Eating Disorder Test • Addiction Test • Parent Test: Your Child’s Mental Health • Youth Mental Health Test • Self-Injury Survey • Test de depresión • Test de ansiedad
Your Employee Assistance Program
Most workplaces offer an Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, as part of their benefit program so check with your HR department.
If your organization is a Member of our ESI EAP, learn more about the excellent counseling services available to you and your family 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In addition to telephonic in-the-moment counseling, you can access telehealth and video counseling, coaching and training programs to help you address any underlying issues causing stress or problems, and a comprehensive self-help center with thousands of resources.
Whether or not you are a member of ESI EAP, here are other resources that may help.
- NAMI – Find help and support for individuals with mental illness; family members and caregivers; teens & young adults; veterans & active duty; and front-line professionals.
- Mental Health America – The nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans.
- Right Direction – This site from the American Psychiatric Association Foundation offers tools and resources for both employees and employers.
- HelpGuide – Independent, not-for-profit site with a mission of providing empowering, evidence-based information you can use to help yourself and your loved ones improve mental health and make healthy changes.
- Emotional Wellness Toolkit – The National Institutes of Health offers six strategies for improving your emotional health.