July 20, 2021
Maintaining Your Mental Health as Society Re-Opens
States across the U.S. have lifted COVID-19 restrictions, meaning millions of Americans are starting to revert to pre-pandemic life. While many are feeling a sense of joy and relief, there are many individuals who are still struggling with mental health issues they are experiencing due to the pandemic. As society opens back up, it is important to remember that you are not alone, and resources are available to help.
It’s OK to Feel Not OK
The pandemic has had a catastrophic impact, and many are still mourning the losses they experienced. Whether you lost a loved one, a job or business, or missed out on special life moments, there is no timeframe for the grieving process. It is important to remember that coping and mourning takes time and just because “life is getting back to normal,” you are required to feel a certain way.
If you are experiencing anxiety, depression or other mental health issues, Providence has a network of mental health professionals, licensed therapists and behavioral health providers who can provide support. PHP makes it possible to access an in-network behavioral health provider in a few steps:
- Log in to your myProvidence account
- Click the provider directory to sort through and find providers in your area who offer mental and behavioral health services
- Contact the provider to make an appointment - no referral required
Supporting Friends, Family and Loved Ones
COVID-19 has impacted everyone very differently. Many individuals, whether they quarantined alone or with others, found it extremely difficult to maintain close connections, resulting in feelings of isolation and loneliness. Even with the pandemic coming to an end, countless people are still dealing with mental health issues, making it critical to continue to check in with loved ones who you think may be struggling.
If you are not seeing family, friends or colleagues on a regular basis, there are still ways to check in and provide support. Whether it is phone calls, scheduled video chats, or in-person catch ups, you can show your support while checking in to see how loved ones are doing. If you do think that something may be wrong, don’t be afraid to voice your support and remind them that there is nothing wrong with seeking help. In addition to providing encouragement, it is also important to reiterate that professional resources are available and will be helpful.
Accessing Virtual Mental Health Treatment
If you are still feeling apprehensive about in-person medical visits but want to access mental health treatment, telehealth appointments for mental health support provide patients with virtual video sessions with licensed therapists and psychiatrists. PHP’s telehealth network is continuing to expand to work with providers across the Pacific Northwest to improve care, keep patients close to home and save lives.
Alleviating Stressful Moments
The return to daily activities such as a commuting or going back into places of work can be stressful and trigger anxious feelings. If not addressed, these feelings can build up and take a toll on overall mental health. For those who may be experiencing those emotions there are tools you can use in the moment that can help you cope. Apps such as Calm can provide helpful meditation tips such as breathing exercises during times of anxiousness. If you are looking to ease your mind or distract yourself from a potentially stressful situation, podcasts, audible books and listening to calming music are all ways to help combat anxiety.
Seeking Support from Others
If you are looking to connect with others who are going through similar experiences, support groups can provide a strong sense of empowerment and community. Support groups bring together individuals with shared experiences who can offer one another advice, assistance, and coping strategies. There are support groups for many different topics (e.g., depression, grief, addiction issues etc.) and you can find a support group located in your area here.
To learn more about mental health services available from PHP, please visit: https://www.providencehealthplan.com/member-perks/behavioral-health-resources. Read the first blog post in our mental health series here: https://www.providencehealthplan.com/about-providence/providence-news/mental-health-awareness-month.