Updated: Aug 3
The Mental Health Connection
As we look forward to the joys of Summer, we think of those with mental health concerns who don't have access to therapy. Are they welcoming Summer?
Help Therapy started as one of the first providers of in-home therapy. Now we’re taking steps to address another need—the need to provide treatment to underserved populations. We want to continue this mission of Breaking Down Barriers to Exceptional Mental Healthcare.
With this goal in mind, Help Therapy is giving additional support and opportunities to our provider partners. One way we support our providers is by offering insurance carrier credentialing. This new service will give patients access to therapy by various providers who accept their insurance, including Medicare.
Annette Conway, PsyD
June is LGBT Pride, PTSD Awareness and Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month
LGBT Pride June celebrates sexual diversity. LGBT Pride Month promotes dignity, equal rights, and self-affirmation and is a way of increasing society’s awareness of the issues LGBTQ+ individuals face. Peaceful protests and parades are frequent awareness activities, displaying the iconic rainbow. Of course, San Francisco celebrates big with marches, parades and ceremonies throughout June, as do many communities elsewhere, including Help Therapy’s own Hillcrest neighborhood in San Diego! PTSD Many people may be familiar with PTSD as it relates to veterans. But many more are unaware that PTSD affects many others who have gone through a traumatic event —such as survivors of natural disasters, serious accidents and sexual assault. This month, help spread the word about PTSD and the availability of treatment.
Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness An estimated 6.2 million Americans age 65 and older live with Alzheimer's. It’s predicted that the number could grow to 13.8 million by 2060. Although the entire month is an opportunity to spread awareness, June 21— is a special day. It’s referred to as “The Longest Day is the day with the most light”— the summer solstice. On June 21, thousands of participants from across the globe unite to fight the darkness of Alzheimer's. Together, they use their creativity and passion to raise funds and awareness for the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Rising Need, Rising Shortages
According to a 2022 survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association, stress is on the rise and the need for easier access to mental health services is consequently on the rise. More than half of Americans surveyed reported they could have used more emotional support since the start of the pandemic.
Also, this year, the U.S. Census Bureau, along with other federal agencies, conducted a Household Pulse Survey to research the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.
Overall, over 26% of respondents of this survey reported experiencing anxiety or depression—with the highest percentage of individuals (over 50%) belonging to one of the following populations:
As a comparison, in 2019, 10.8% of the individuals surveyed reported symptoms of anxiety disorder or depressive disorder, so the need has more than doubled.
More than half a million people work in the mental health field in the U.S., according to a USAFacts report. Yet, 74% of the need for mental health services is NOT being met.
The National Council of Behavioral Health reported that 77% of counties in the U.S. have a severe shortage of psychiatrists. And the National Center for Health Workforce projects there will be a need for 45,000 to 250,000 additional mental health professionals by 2025.
A 2021 report shows the deficit of mental health care providers by state. Below are the statistics for the four states Help Therapy is currently focusing on:
It’s clear that there's a need for qualified mental healthcare providers in the U.S. Some universities and colleges, such as William James College, are addressing this need by offering scholarships for specific degrees related to mental health. William James College, for example, awards Behavioral Health Initiative Scholarships to students who demonstrate outstanding dedication and commitment to providing services in behavioral health.
For those interested in advancing their education and career, now may be a great time to pursue this path.
What to Know About Emotional Support Animals
Emotional Support Animals are becoming more widely used to help individuals with mental health issues. They provide their partner assistance through constant companionship and connection. This relationship can help ease a person’s anxiety, depression or other mental health issues. Another benefit is that caring for an animal encourages a person struggling with depression or anxiety to maintain a schedule and participate in social activities. Emotional Support Animals vs. Service Animals However, Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are not Service Animals. The Americans With Disabilities Act states that service animals are defined as “dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.” A service dog, such as a guide dog, is trained for a specific job directly related to the person’s disability. Some of these specially trained dogs include:
Psychiatric dogs: trained to detect and lessen the effects of psychiatric episodes
Autism assistance dogs: trained to help those with autism identify important alerts, like a smoke alarm or overstimulation
Guide dogs: trained to recognize seizures and stand guard or go for help during a seizure
This specific training is the key difference between a service dog and an emotional support animal. This distinction is critical.
Welcome New Help Therapy Mental Health Provider Partners
These mental healthcare partners are new to our network and offer evaluations and other types of therapy. They are accepting new patients and provide telehealth appointments.
Insha Rahman, LCSW
Elizabeth Soliday, PhD
Lincoln Lim, PsyD
Dr. Janelle Fisher
Born and raised in Costa Rica, Dr. Fisher has experienced racism and discrimination firsthand.
She aspired to become a mental health professional in high school. Then, in her sophomore year at California State University- Los Angeles, she decided to pursue a doctorate in psychology.
She graduated from Alliant International University- Los Angeles and then received her Postdoctoral Master of Science in Clinical Psychopharmacology.
Dr. Fisher has been a licensed psychologist in California for 11 years and recently secured licensing in Iowa and New Mexico. She started her private practice while in graduate school and recently began focusing on the growing needs of individuals during the pandemic.
Her long-term goal is to make psychological testing readily available to underserved children and young adults by creating a non-profit organization to help this population.
This Month's Tip
Enjoy the Healing Benefits of Nature
Our mental and physical well-being is constantly affected by our environment. Spending most of our time indoors—often in a stressful environment—can harm our health and well-being. The pressure to get more done—multitasking, working faster, working harder, meeting deadlines—causes constant stress. It even makes us feel guilty for taking some time for ourselves. This type of environment can lead to many mental health issues. Conversely, slowing down and spending time in nature is shown to have many physical and mental health benefits. These benefits include:
Improved blood pressure levels
Increased immune system function
Improved ability to handle stress
A quote by Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher and author of the Tao Te Ching, provides an important message: “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” The medical community has long declared the psychological and physiological benefits of slowing down and connecting with nature. We can use nature as a catalyst for relaxation as well as mental and emotional healing. Just being in nature can make us more present, calm and joyful. When we incorporate exercise into this experience, the health benefits increase even more. When considering an outdoor space to exercise or just “be,” it’s important to find a place that’s not heavily populated or noisy. Walking or running on the beach may be enjoyable, but the calming benefits may not be as great if the beach is crowded. Exploring ways to integrate nature into our routine can significantly impact our health and well-being. A few minutes a day is all it takes to start experiencing the benefits of spending more time in nature. A few ideas include:
Hiking on a nature trail
Walking through a nature preserve
Bike riding along the coast
If you can’t find time to travel to a natural area, spending time in a quiet park or even your backyard can provide many of the same health benefits.
Pet Appreciation Week
June 5-11, 2022
See Hartz for more information.
The Longest Day
June 21, 2022
See Alzheimer's Association for more information.
International Yoga Day
June 21, 2022
See Yoga Day for more information.
PTSD Awareness Day
June 27, 2022
See PTSD Day for more information.
“Self-care is how you take your power back."
Partner With Us
Are you a psychologist, LCSW or LMFT?
We’re always looking for exceptional mental healthcare providers. Visit helptherapy.com for more information and fill out the quick and easy application.
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