5 Mental Health Resources to Focus on All Year

Karly Hurley

| 4 min read

The new year has come and gone and with it, maybe some of your resolutions? If so, you’re not alone. But it doesn’t mean all is lost. Looking for ways to improve or maintain your mental well-being can start anytime of the year. Mental health is connected to nearly all facets of life and is a driving force for how we interact with others. It’s also connected to our physical well-being.
Your mental health affects how you think, feel and act. It also influences how you handle stress, make decisions and connect with others. Focusing on your mental well-being could help you live and feel better in the upcoming year. Here are five easy ways you can resolve to focus on your mental well-being throughout the year.

Make Time for Self-Care

Adopting a self-care routine can improve your life. Self-care activities can be working out at a gym, cooking a healthy meal, taking time for a hobby. Self-care can also mean setting boundaries, adding breaks into the day for reading, meditation, or committing more to social activities.
And remember that reaching mental health goals this year doesn’t have to be something you do alone. Just as you may seek out a doctor for help with a physical illness, mental health professionals are there to help with emotional challenges. Pick a few of these practical ideas to start implementing self-care into your regular routine:
  • Exercise a few times a week.
  • Release the stresses of your day with deep breathing.
  • Get more rest.
  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Try meditation.
  • Learn to say no.
  • Seek out a mental health professional.

See Your Doctor

Many preventive services, such as depression screenings for adults and behavioral assessments for children of all ages are covered under health insurance plans. Annual checkups with a primary care physician are an important way to get ahead of health concerns, including mental health issues. If you’re experiencing depression, anxiety or a substance use concern, talking it over with your primary care provider is a great first step. Your doctor can give you guidance and direct you to a behavioral health provider, if necessary.

Educate Yourself

Mental health and substance use disorder conditions are easier to manage when you understand them. Learn more about mental health conditions and available treatments so you can be better prepared to help yourself, friends and family by recognizing symptoms of mental health conditions. Here are some great resources to help you get started:
  1. MIBluesPerspectives.com/Behavioral-Health
  2. AHealthierMichigan.org/Mind
  3. BCBSM.com/MentalHealth

Find Care

When it comes to picking a primary care physician or mental health professional, there is a lot to consider. You want to make sure you select someone you’re comfortable with and who can take care of your needs. On top of that, they need to be conveniently located and compatible with your insurance plan.
For Blue Cross members, the Find a Doctor tool is the perfect place to begin your search. It helps you refine your results based on various factors, like location, types of specialists, group affiliations, and more. The tool will list your best matches based on the selections you’ve made. Below are examples of questions you should ask yourself:
  1. Do they accept my insurance? This might be the most important factor, since seeing a doctor who is out of your network can result in much higher out-of-pocket costs for you. Make sure to pick your exact plan when using the Find a Doctor tool and confirm with the physician when you make your first appointment.
  2. Where are they located? Where will you likely be driving from when you go to your appointments? Whether it’s home, work or school, make sure the doctor is convenient for you to get to.
  3. Do they speak my language? You can also narrow down your search based what languages the doctors speak. This is helpful if you have a family member who doesn’t speak English or if you feel more comfortable talking in a different language.
To find a behavioral health provider, you can also call the Mental Health and Substance Abuse number on the back of your member ID card.

Know Where to Go in A Crisis

If you are feeling down, depressed or just not yourself it’s normal and can be treated. But when those feelings are overwhelming, you may need immediate help. To prevent death or serious harm to yourself or others, know the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline-988 or 1-800-273-8255.
Photo credit: Getty Images
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association