It’s Mental Health Awareness Month, so we thought it was only appropriate that we take some time to discuss mental illness. After all, this is a problem that cuts across all socioeconomic, geographic, and political divides, affecting everyone from musicians to the man on the street.
In actual numbers, the data is staggering. Approximately 450 million people are currently suffering from one form of mental illness or another, according to the World Health Organization. On top of that, one in four people will be affected by mental health-related disorders during their lives. Furthermore, one study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that adults in the U.S. who are afflicted with serious mental illnesses usually die 25 years earlier than those who don’t.
But one of the biggest tragedies is that many who need help don’t get it, for various reasons. Research shows that only about 41% of U.S. adults with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year. One of the reasons for this is the fact that many who are afflicted don’t know when to reach out for help or where.
So, how do you know if your mental health might be under threat, and how do you know when, where, or to whom to reach out? Online therapy is an increasingly valid option for those who have mental health issues or those who think they might. Before we delve into this form of therapy, let’s discuss some of the signs that you might need help.
When to reach out for help
To begin with, if you’re wondering about your mental state, it’s probably a good time to think about getting support, whether that is talking to a friend or getting counseling. Here are some other signs that it might be time to seek help:
- You keep having feelings of sadness
- You’re worried about any and everything, regardless of how trivial
- The things you feel and think make it difficult for you to function normally in your daily activities
- You have deep feelings of dissatisfaction with your life and inadequacy; nothing pleases you
- Feeling constantly upset or angry but not sure why
Where to get help
Sometimes a nice chat with a good friend or family member might be all that is needed to deal with bouts of depression. However, finding someone to talk to (and who you trust) is not always easy. In addition, as humans, sometimes it’s hard for us to open up to the people closest to us for fear of being judged, as strange as that may sound. But even if that’s the case for you, there are plenty of places where you can get help, anonymously or otherwise. Nothing beats sitting in front of a trained therapist, but for several reasons, online therapy is turning out to be an ideal way to reach out for support.
Benefits of online therapy
Turning to online platforms for help with mental illness carries several advantages. These include:
Easy access and convenience
The explosion of mobile devices and increased access to the internet means people are spending more and more time online. According to a report published on the MIT Technology Review website, people in America spend an average of 24 browsing the internet weekly. In addition to keeping in touch, many go online, looking for products and services to consume. With the hustle and bustle of daily life, people can log on for online therapy from the comfort of their home, office, or anywhere they might be.
Not only that, but for people living in remote areas, who may not be able to travel to a city to get help, they are now able to get assistance once they have access to the internet and a suitable device. What’s more, with mental therapy being available online, getting professional help becomes as normal as shopping for shoes on Amazon, which helps to remove some of the stigma and fear that might prevent people with mental health issues from reaching out.
Variety of therapy
Everyone has different needs and, with mental illness having varying degrees, what will work for one patient might not work for the next. Some online therapy platforms recognize this and offer treatment in a variety of ways to suit the needs of people seeking help. For example, with BetterHelp, you can receive counseling via messaging, live chat, or live video. In addition, they also make it possible to connect via telephone if you prefer that channel.
Good mental health is critical to the growth, development, and longevity of everyone. With online therapy becoming more prevalent through platforms such as BetterHelp, it’s now easier than ever for those afflicted with depression and other mental health conditions to get the assistance they need.
1. Congruencies in Increased Mortality Rates, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Causes of Death Among Public Mental Health Clients in Eight States
2. Mental disorders affect one in four people
3. The average American spends 24 hours a week online
https://www.technologyreview.com/the-download/610045/the-average-american-spends-24-hours-a-week-online/ Disclaimer: Please note that the views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Tunedly.