Mental Health Information

"A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life. Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder. The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible. Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan."

About Mental Illness - National Alliance on Mental Illness

Douglas County Behavioral Health Website

Creating a Self-Care Plan

Self-Care is the action made to preserve and improve one one's own mental health as defined by the Mental Health First Aid Program Offered through Bert Nash. The following information is taught in this program and shared here.

It is time to focus on self-care when an individual experiences negative feelings or thoughts related to their own personal experiences.

Self-care is comprised of any combination of actions focused in the following eight areas - 

  1. Emotional - activities that involve the senses.
  2. Spiritual - creating a quiet place for introspection, solitude, and contemplation.
  3. Intellectual - entertaining the mind through reading, logic games, or relaxation.
  4. Physical - engage the body through exercise, healthy eating habits, and movement.
  5. Environmental - interact with the outside world in some way, take a walk in the park or grow a plant.
  6. Financial - budget expenses to ensure financial security.
  7. Occupational - manage work/ life balance and make friends with your co-workers.
  8. Community/ Social - engage with the community you have, talk with a partner, friend, or coworker when feeling overwhelmed.

A healthy well-balanced self-care plan will include multiple of the above areas, but it is important to work with what you specifically can handle in the moment. If that means only using one, that is fine, work to a place where you can care for yourself more holistically, but don't expect to start there.


How to Find a Therapist

Finding a therapist is one of the most widely recognized treatments of mental health changes. However, finding the best therapist for you can be challenging. Here are some helpful tips to find a good fit.

Do you have health insurance that covers therapy?

If yes, check which providers in your area accept your insurance and then research those therapists to find out which therapist is the best for you. 

If no, please know that therapy ranges in price and there are multiple different options for all budgets.

What identities do you hold that are important for your therapist to understand?

Many therapists have specialties regarding mental health condition, experience, or treatment type, but the most important specialty therapists have are their understanding of identities held by their patients. When searching for therapists check to make sure they are identity friendly for any identities you hold that are important for your therapist to understand.

How do you know it's time to go see a therapist?

There is never a wrong time to see a therapist, if it is something that interests you and something that you can budget, try it out. If you are noticing more experiences in line with mental health changes than you've previously experienced that might be a sign that it could be more important to seek some sort of treatment plan to prevent a future crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed lots of unexpected stress on everyone, Counseling and Psychological Services created this webpage for tips on coping with the added stress.

Where do I search for therapists - is there a list?

One of the easiest and most recommended source for all therapists is Psychology Today. On this website you can filter therapists through multiple different needs for each person. Filters include: location, in-person or virtual meetings, insurance, identity, mental health condition, and treatment type.


Remember that not every therapist will be a perfect fit, it takes time to build a trusting relationship between patient and therapist, the therapist works for the patient so make sure you are being supported as you need in every therapy situation. If you meet with a therapist that isn't working for you, it is okay to find another.

Identity Specific Resources on finding a Therapist

Inclusive Therapists

Inclusive Therapists offers a safer, simpler way to find a culturally responsive, social justice-oriented therapist. We center the needs of marginalized populations, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, the LGBTQ+ community, neurodivergent folx, and people with disabilities.

Black Emotional and Mental Health (BEAM) Virtual Therapist Network

BEAM is now offering an online directory of licensed Black therapists who are certified to provide telemental health services.

The National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color

The National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN) is a healing justice organization that actively works to transform mental health for queer and trans people of color in North America. They also offer a directory that helps queer and trans people of color locate queer and trans people of color mental health practitioners as well as offering a scholarship fund.

Melanin & Mental Health

Melanin & Mental Health was born out of a desire to connect individuals with culturally competent clinicians committed to serving the mental health needs of Black & Latinx/Hispanic communities. They are committed to promoting the growth and healing of our communities through our website, online directory, and monthly events.

Employees and Mental Health

The Office of Disability Employment Policy keeps informational statistics and information on mental health in the workplace. "Nearly 1 in 5 Americans may experience some form of mental illness each year. For many of these individuals (and many without mental health conditions as well), work is key to their health, contributing to a sense of purpose and well-being. Thus, it's important that employers understand how to foster a mental health-friendly work culture." Visit the Office of Disability Employment Policy website to learn more about employment and mental health. 

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