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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Our Mental Health and These Stressful Times




Economic crisis is hitting all aspects of our life. Some Americans are forgoing their much needed therapy sessions, and even not taking their medications as a means of saving money that might be needed for other necessities. We will look at how anxiety for many is rising, but why the utilization of therapy is on a downturn.

What are psychologists, therapists and psychiatrists seeing in their practices?

• Americans are facing higher levels of anxiety and depression due to stressors. National Hopeline Network, a suicide hotline report a 10% monthly increase this year in calls.
• Americans are cutting their health care ranging from preventive tests to prescription drugs.
• Americans are losing jobs at an overwhelming rate and that means the end of insurance coverage and mental health care for thousands of people.
• The consequences of these factors could be dangerous.

What does research indicate regarding the correlation of suicide rates and recession?

• Research indicates that psychiatric hospitalizations and suicides peak at the lowest point in a recession.
• Harvey Brenner at the University of North Texas found that when employment rates drop, suicide rates rise.
• Rand Corp noted that when costs increase people tend to defer their mental health care more than their physical health care.

What are some suggestions for these stressful times?

• Suicidal risk: Those who are thinking of hurting themselves should not curtail therapy. Call your therapist and negotiate a plan.
• Use crisis hotlines as intermediary measures
• Don’t cut back on your medications without the supervision of your physician
• If you can’t afford your therapist or psychiatrist’s rate, ask about a payment plan, or a referral to a community health care agency with a sliding rate
• Investigate pharmaceutical companies that have patient assistance programs to access medications for those who cannot afford their meds.

1 comment:

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