Popular TV shows like The Me You Can’t See featuring Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry, are working to open up the conversations about mental health, and what it’s like to cope with several mental health issues. And according to psychotherapist, Dr. Ashley Bryant, she believes that the show has had a positive impact on millennials.
“And so, it’s just become a part of their regular conversations, to talk about mental health, to talk about therapy, and also be more pro-active and protecting their mental health.”
High profile celebrities like Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles are making public their challenges with mental health, and how it affects them personally and professionally.
Bryant tells me that one of the signs that you may need some help can begin while doing your job.
“You’re finding things to do at work a little bit more difficult as far as like staying on task, or concentrating.”
The pandemic has made it easier to fall into a rut, with so many changes to our normal routine. Bryant suggests that we make a calendar of easy to accomplish tasks to help add some normalcy to our day.
“This particular thing during this particular time, will make it to where you are more likely to keep that schedule, and make it a little more habitual.”
Another thing that Bryant suggests we do, is to keep a journal with things we are thankful for, or even make a gratitude box.
“Where you write one or two things that you are grateful for. Put it inside of the box. Every now and again, stick your hand in it, pull it out and read it to remind you of some of the things that you are grateful for, especially when things are a little bit more, um stressful for you.”
If you think that you might need to talk with someone about your feelings, Bryant suggests that you seek professional help, and that your employer might be able to help with the Employee Assistance Program.
“A lot of employers offer that benefit, that individuals may not be aware of. Where they can get from 6 to 8 sessions with a psychotherapist for free.”
Vince Erickson is the Director of Public Information for the Heart of Texas Region of MHMR, that covers six Central Texas counties including McLennan, and says that pandemic has brought to light many mental health issues.
“No, mental health is for every single one of us, and COVID really has brought that out, more than anything else. And it’s good to be able to number one, be able to talk about these things and see that we are all in the same boat with this.”
Heart of Texas MHMR offers several programs for those who need it, from developmental help, substance abuse to crisis counseling.
One program is called the Texans Recovering Together crisis counseling program, and offers free, anonymous help to anyone.
“For anybody affected directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 pandemic. And that includes, just anxiety, that includes depression, that includes isolation because of COVID. Business owners who may be having a hard time running their business because of not being able to staff because of COVID.”
Erickson says to call the main number to the Heart of Texas Region of MHMR to get more information about their programs, however if the need is more urgent…
“If they are feeling like I need help, and I need it like right now, they are in crisis, that’s the 866- 752-3451.”
Bryant says that even though the stigma of seeking help is getting easier, it can be the biggest step for someone.
“The fact that you are seeking help in and of itself shows that that’s not a sign of weakness. Because that, it can be one of hardest things for an individual.”