Talking about depression, anxiety or other issues that may affect your mental health isn’t always easy. But you’re not alone. Millions of people in the U.S. are affected by mental health issues each year.1 So let’s start the conversation.
Let's have an open talk about mental health
Learning how to talk about and understand the mental health challenges you or a loved one may be facing may be the first step. Then, you may learn ways to cope and start feeling better.
How to find mental health services and counseling
Learn about programs and support that may be available to you through your health plan. If you’re not quite sure what type of help you may need, get tips on choosing a mental health provider.
More mental health resources
Parent and youth support
Do you notice changes in your child’s behavior? Getting kids to open up about their mental health may be challenging. But with the right resources, help is possible. Learn ways to be open and offer support.
Thoughts of suicide can affect people from all walks of life. Know the warning signs and learn what you should say – and shouldn’t say – to a loved one experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Understanding mental health
Mental health describes conditions that may affect your emotional, psychological and social wellbeing.2 When we talk about mental health, it includes anxiety, depression or other conditions. Mental health may also include things like substance use, eating disorders or psychiatric conditions like schizophrenia, in which people perceive reality abnormally and may have hallucinations or delusions.3 We tend to think of mental health as part of the larger picture of our overall behavioral health.4
Each person has their own story. Mental health challenges may come up any time, and at any age – even in children. Mental health may be tied to social or emotional experiences. Sometimes, mental health issues can result from past abuse5 or trauma.6 Family history7, certain medical conditions or a brain disorder8 may also impact your likelihood of having a mental health condition.
Taking care of your mental health is important for your overall health. Your emotional state may impact your physical health, too. If you’re struggling, seeking treatment may help you feel better so you can live a healthier life.
Some mental health signs may be easy to spot — and some may be harder to notice than others. Mental health is complex, and signs differ for each condition or person. If you see some of these signs, it may be your signal that it's time to get help.9
Eating or sleeping too much or not enough
Excessive worrying or fear
Extreme mood changes
Difficulty perceiving what’s real and what isn’t
Inability to do daily activities or handle everyday stress
Losing interest in people and activities
Overuse of alcohol or drugs
Strong feelings of irritability or anger
Thoughts of harming oneself or others
Thoughts of suicide
Unexplained, ongoing aches and pains
While these may be some clues to look for, this list doesn’t cover it all. Check out mentalhealth.gov to view a longer list of mental health concerns. You'll find helpful information about each.
Mental health and behavioral health specialists can help you cope with concerns like:
Anxiety or stress
Alcohol or substance abuse
Grief or loss
Compulsive spending or gambling
Seeking out or asking for help may be your most important step in taking care of yourself. Learn how to choose a mental health provider.
Common mental health conditions
Many people may struggle with mental health challenges at different times in their lives. Learn more about common mental health conditions. If these issues sound like things you’re dealing with, you may want to talk to a professional.
Feeling nervous or anxious may seem like a regular part of life. But when it interrupts your daily activities, it may be a bigger issue. Learn how to know if it may be time to reach out for help.10
Constantly feeling overwhelmed, way too busy, unmotivated and unproductive at work? You may be experiencing burnout. Learn the signs of burnout and how to get help.10
Depression is much more than just feeling down. But there is treatment and ways to cope and feel better. Counseling and medication may help, as well as other resources. Learn more about depression and how to get the support you may need.10
Social isolation and loneliness
While it may be easy to overlook, spending time with friends and family is an important part of caring for your overall health. Make sure you have enough social support in your life and learn ways to strengthen and build connections.10
Mental health support and resources available by phone or online
If you need help right away — for yourself or a loved one — call 911 or use the emergency numbers below.
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org/chat for 24-hour, toll-free, confidential support and prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. For TTY users, use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.