Today is World Mental Health Day. This day, proposed and observed by the World Health Organization (WHO) is an opportunity to reflect on the efforts needed to protect and improve mental health, raising awareness of mental health issues worldwide. In this article, we will discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, lack of access to mental health services, mental health issues faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals, and the connection between mental health and alternative medicine methods and other spiritual practices. We will also provide you with instructions for a simple healing jar to help ease anxiety.
The impact of the pandemic on mental health
The pandemic has had clear repercussions in every area of our lives. mental health is no exception. According to the WHO, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a 25% increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide. The pandemic has caused significant psychological distress. There has been an increase in symptoms of post-traumatic stress and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Even though everyone has suffered the consequences, some groups have been affected much more than others. Among them, we can mention young people, who have faced feelings of isolation which can lead to anxiety, depression, and behavioral issues. Having to stay at home has increased the risk of abuse, not only among children and teenagers but also among women. It has been reported that 45% of women had experienced some form of violence, either directly or indirectly during the first year of the pandemic.
Mental health needs have risen, so the amount of people seeking help has increased. This has led to mental health services being disrupted, as they haven’t been able to contain and provide support for an increasing number of people. Social measures have also been a problem, with isolation preventing people from accessing mental health services. There have also been cases of people refusing to seek help due to fear that attending a hospital might cause them to catch COVID-19. Even before the pandemic, the costs of mental health treatment were an issue for people seeking help. Many people lost their jobs during the pandemic, so the costs of treatment have been even more of a barrier.
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts and live in the U.S., go to https://988lifeline.org/ or call 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Lack of access to mental health services in the U.S.
The National Council claims that Mental health services in the U.S. are insufficient. More than half of Americans (56%) are seeking help, but there are limited options. In addition, there are long waits to access mental health services, and the costs are also an issue. All these factors combined together brought about a foreseeable consequence: there is a mental health crisis in the U.S.
Almost 6 in 10 Americans (56%) seek or desire to seek mental health treatment, according to the National Council. A study revealed that the majority of US citizens (74%) don’t believe that mental health services are accessible to everyone. Among the issues that were brought up are the high costs of treatment and insufficient insurance coverage, limited options, and long waits, and lack of awareness of where to go when in need of such services. Social stigma also plays a part, with 31% of Americans saying that they have worried about receiving judgment for looking for help. In addition, 21% of people said they have lied to avoid telling people they were seeking mental health services. Also, there is a disparity in access to mental health care based on location and level of income.
Mental health issues in LGBTQIA+ individuals
Non-profit organization Mental Health America states that 4.5% of Americans identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Of this group, 39% have reported struggling with mental health issues. Also, members of the LGBTQIA+ community are at particular risk for experiencing shame, fear, discrimination, and adverse and traumatic events. The transgender and bisexual communities report the highest rates of mental health concerns within the LGBTQIA+ population. In addition, many LGBTQIA+-identifying people are part of other marginalized communities. Such is the case of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or People of Color), people with a disability, and people with low socioeconomic status.
There are many negative stereotypes about being LGBTQIA+. This might lead to people not being able to disclose this identity with family and friends. Sometimes, openly-LGBTQIA+ people face rejection and loneliness. In a survey of LGBTQIA+ people, more than half reported that they have faced cases of mental health providers denying care, using harsh language, or blaming the patient’s sexual orientation or gender identity as the cause of an illness. Approximately 8% of LGBTQIA+ individuals and nearly 27% of transgender individuals report being denied needed health care outright.
For a list of mental health resources for LGBTQIA+ communities, visit https://mhanational.org/lgbtq.
Mental health, alternative medicine, and spiritual practices
There are many practices in alternative medicine that can contribute to healing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Some of them include yoga, aromatherapy, meditation, mindfulness, acupuncture, and other forms of traditional Chinese medicine. In herbalism, some healing herbs are Chamomille, Lavender, and Valerian. In addition, other spiritual practices such as Shadow Work, Reiki, crystal healing, or healing spells can help those struggling with mental health issues. Shadow Work helps you become your authentic self. You can read more about it in our complete guide for Shadow Work. Some healing crystals you can use during your practice are Amethyst, Rose Quartz, Black Tourmaline, Black Obsidian, and Clear Quartz.
However, it is important to note that if you’re dealing with trauma you should steer clear of mindfulness practices, Shadow Work, meditation, and other methods of alternative medicine or spiritual practice. Seek professional help, if possible. When you are ready to heal, you can do so through traditional Western medicine and/or alternative practices. It is important, however, to have a spiritual guide or support when practicing some of these methods. Reiki, for instance, can only be done by professionals.
Simple Spell Jar for Anxiety
Here are some instructions for a spell jar against anxiety. First of all, cleanse your jar with incense or candle smoke. Then, add salt for protection. Add Sage for mental strength. Remember White Sage belongs to First Nation communities! Add Lavender, which has a calming effect. Then add Chamomille, which brings balance. Basil provides inner peace. Rose can help with love and self-love. Add crystals: Amethyst is a good option for achieving relaxation. Black Obsidian is good for protection. Seal it with white or green wax. Green is associated with healing, as well as with Archangel Raphael, who has healing energy.
In conclusion, World Mental Health Day aims to raise awareness about the current state of affairs in mental health issues around the world. There’s still a lot to do, and governmental policies need to be reviewed and improved so as to guarantee access to mental health services worldwide. Mental health has been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and we need to take action now. In addition, LGBTQIA+ individuals and other minorities are at risk because they have less access to mental health providers. When it comes to spiritual practices, they have been proven to be effective in treating mental health issues, but it is important to have the support of a qualified mental health provider when addressing issues such as trauma. Remember that we don’t always know what a person might be struggling with. Always be kind.
The National Council: https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/news/lack-of-access-root-cause-mental-health-crisis-in-america/
Mental Health America: https://mhanational.org/issues/lgbtq-communities-and-mental-health
A W E S O M E !!!