Why It’s Important to Talk About Your Mental Health
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If you caught a cold or broke your arm, you wouldn’t feel strange talking about it with your family or friends.
But what if you were battling depression or anxiety? Would you hesitate before bringing it up with others?
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, yet we approach them in very different ways.
Talking about mental health is healthy for you, in part, because you’ll be heard – which can make a big difference in relieving stress or anxiety. Family and friends aren’t replacements for licensed therapists or medical professionals, but they are a good place to start and can offer a safe space to share your emotions.
In fact, the process of verbalizing feelings is therapeutic and can help our sadness, anger and pain feel less intense.
Being open about mental health can also help break down the stigma that keeps so many people afraid to discuss mental health and treatment. There’s likely someone else out there that’s dealing with the same problems you are but may be afraid to speak up. Or, there’s probably someone out there that could benefit from understanding more about what it’s like to struggle with mental illness.
If you’re on the listening end of a conversation with a friend or loved one about their mental health, showing empathy is a good place to start. Try using these phrases when listening to others talk about their mental health:
- You are not alone in this.
- I’m here for you.
- You are important to me.
- You are not going crazy. Your feelings are valid.
- You are going to get through this.
Talking about mental health is important, but if feelings of depression and anxiety persist, it’s important to seek the counsel of a licensed medical professional or therapist for support.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network can help members find an in-network mental health professional by calling behavioral health access lines listed below:
PPO: Behavioral Health Access Line | 1-800-762-2382
- A free and confidential resource that’s just a call away when you need immediate support. Behavioral health professionals answer, 24/7.
HMO: Behavioral Health Access Line | 1-800-482-5982
- Connect with a behavioral health clinician if you need help finding a mental health or substance use provider.
- Behavioral health clinicians are available for routine assistance from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For urgent concerns after hours, clinicians are also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Learn more about mental health and options you have as a member to seek help at bcbsm.com/mentalhealth.
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- When Kids Cut: Understanding Self-Harm
- Why Random Acts of Kindness are Good for You
Photo credit: MStudioImages