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October 24

Mental Health Matters: How Seeking Support Can Change Your Life

The LCH mission to improve health and well-being could not be complete if we did not address mental health support among our priorities. We believe that promoting wellness within our community requires high quality and affordable mental health services.

Though it is easier than ever before to discuss the importance of mental health publicly, many individuals still have concerns about stigmas or labels within this topic. The best way to reduce these concerns is to make sure our community is aware of the resources available and how they improve overall health.

Understanding Mental Health
Mental health is a broad category that involves an individual’s psychological, social, and emotional thoughts and feelings. It’s important to understand that the term mental health is very general and does not by itself indicate a state of illness or wellness. It’s really more of a way to characterize the evaluation of how a person is managing all the various aspects of life in their own mind.

Someone does not have to be suffering from a diagnosed mental health condition or illness to seek support. In reality, everyone will experience circumstances in life that challenge their psychological, emotional, or social wellness. Therefore, everyone should have access to the benefits of mental health support.

Someone may need support temporarily to overcome a particular difficulty or to navigate a life transition. Many people seek mental health services to address things like:

  • grief or loss
  • changing family dynamics
  • transitioning from school to work, or changing jobs
  •  physical health changes or complications
  • difficulty with relationships
  • undesirable or damaging habits

Others may need more intensive mental health counseling due to diagnosed conditions or mental illness. Diagnosis for a mental health condition is not something that happens quickly or casually. This evaluation takes place in the clinical setting with specially trained professionals. A few examples of mental health conditions that must be professionally diagnosed include:

  • addiction or substance abuse disorder
  • depression, anxiety, or mood disorder
  • schizophrenia or personality disorder
  • post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Whether an individual is seeking strategies to cope with a difficult or challenging time in their life, or they need therapeutic services to manage a diagnosis, they should be encouraged to reach out for support. LCH Community Health Center mental health services are affordable, confidential, and available to members of our community.

The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health
The greater societal view of mental health support is positive, but that has not always been the case. Unfortunately, old mental health stigmas and misconceptions still affect many people today. The more we openly discuss the importance of mental health and the wide range of services available, the more we can overcome these outdated and unnecessary fears.

In decades past, people with mental illness were often institutionalized and treated harshly in terrible conditions. Though in-patient hospitals do still exist, they are typically short-term treatment centers rather than permanent residential facilities. Mental health professionals are committed to treating individuals with ethical and compassionate care that respects their human rights. The goal for anyone in an in-patient setting is to get the therapy, medication, and other tools they need to return to an independent life.

In the day to day setting, mental health support is promoted among the wider medical community. Family doctors readily refer patients to therapists, counselors, psychologists, and social workers as part of a multi-disciplinary approach to overall well-being. The medical field recognizes the vital connection between physical and mental health. Therefore, doctors today are more willing than ever to encourage mental health resources alongside physical treatments.

When individuals avoid mental health services due to stigma, they will often experience additional physical symptoms, relationship problems, difficulties at work, and worsening of their emotional or psychological symptoms. What helps many people overcome their fear of seeking help is to hear from their friends, family, or co-workers who have received services. The best way to defeat misconceptions is to talk about the personal benefits one has experienced through mental health therapy.

The Importance of Seeking Help
Typically, when someone refuses to seek help, their challenges do not just stay the same. Unfortunately, those problems tend to get worse and new problems start to pile on. Conversely, when someone reaches out to a mental health professional for support, they will not only find some level of immediate relief, but they will also learn new skills and strategies for long-term change and improvement.

It is important to seek help as early as possible when experiencing psychological, emotional, or social difficulties that won’t let go. Without the ability to cope or mentally process what’s going on, individuals will develop unhealthy habits to get through the day. Those who do reach out for mental health services usually report better sleep, quality of life, work satisfaction, relationships, and self-confidence. They also feel better equipped to address new challenges and reach out for help earlier when they need it in the future.

Check out what this looks like in action through Sean’s story.

Available Mental Health Support
LCH Community Health Center provides mental health services in all of our locations, ensuring convenient access to patients in West Chester, Kennett Square, Oxford, West Grove, and the surrounding area.

Our providers promote an integrated approach to mental health support, which means that we work alongside primary care doctors to promote optimal health outcomes.

LCH offers general mental health therapy and counseling for anyone who feels this kind of support would benefit them, and we also work with patients who have a mental health diagnosis such as depression, anxiety, or substance use disorders. Additionally, our primary care providers help manage psychiatric medication for their patients and screen for mental health conditions.

One of the biggest deterrents to scheduling an appointment for mental health services is not knowing what kind of help is needed. That should not be a concern for anyone. Our caring staff is qualified to help anyone from our community connect with the right services for their needs. Simply call us with any questions, and we’ll get started.

How LCH Community Health Center Can Help
At LCH Community Health Center, mental health is every bit as important as physical health. We believe in treating the whole person for total well-being. Because we offer mental health services in all three locations, patients can work closely with counselors and their primary care doctor to ensure a cohesive treatment plan.

We also offer mental health services to non-primary care patients. We are accepting clients aged 14 and above to schedule new patient appointments with our behavioral health team.Our comprehensive resources are designed to promote individual and community wellness through high quality physical and mental healthcare.

If you have been trying to address your mental health on your own, it’s time to reach out for help. There is nothing to fear in seeking mental health support. In fact, the benefits of mental health services are often life changing!

Please contact your local LCH Community Health Center to discuss your mental health concerns and to get started on your path to overall wellness.