Mental health has become an increasingly fraught topic in our culture and the National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that almost 45 million people experience mental illness at any point during the year. Unfortunately, just over 40% of adults who suffered from a mental health condition in 2015 got the services they needed. That percentage was only a bit better among adults who had a serious mental illness, with just under 63% getting mental health services — but that percentage still leaves far too many untreated and uncared for. Often people who think they might have a mental illness are afraid to confirm their suspicions or are ashamed, because of the stigma attached. However, taking a confidential online behavioral health care assessment is one way to figure out areas of your life or behavior that concern you and talk to a mental health care professional.
How Can An Online Behavioral Health Care Assessment Help?
An online behavioral health care assessment is one of a number of mental health screening tools that can allow patients to pinpoint specific areas where they might need help. Though patients with mental health concerns might have upsetting mental, behavioral, or emotional signs, there’s still a difference between mental illness and reacting to certain situations or circumstances.
An online behavioral health care assessment can be done in the privacy of your own home — in your own room, even — away from other people weighing in or checking in. It’s confidential and private, and you don’t have to give any identifying information when taking one of these tests. It can be a good way to do a first assessment of any behavioral, emotional, or mental patterns that you might have noticed in yourself that worry you.
Why Seek Mental Health Care Services?
Your mental health can affect almost every facet of your life. In some cases, it can make you a danger to yourself and others. Your risk for developing some chronic health conditions can also be linked to poor mental health, so it can manifest itself physically over time as well.
Unfortunately, in a study of over 11,000 children and adolescents who received mental health services for the first time saw that the majority of patients only stuck with treatment for two months — almost half dropped out after the first month and under a quarter stuck with it for six months. It’s not just children and adolescents though. Admitting that you need help can be a tough road, with fear, shame, and a feeling of being inadequate accompanying it.
However, getting help will ultimately improve your quality of life. You may feel physically better, find that you’re more productive, that your mood stabilizes or improves, and even your immune system and sleeping habits can get better. Furthermore, your life expectancy may even increase. Though it can seem like a long, hard road with no end in sight, the benefits of seeking help greatly outweigh the cost.
What Treatments Can I Seek?
One of the most common types of treatments is psychotherapy. A trained mental health professional guides you through how you think, feel, and behave and works with you to find ways to improve or think through these facets of your life.
A psychotherapist may also recommend looking into medication — and this can be very low dosage — to help you manage symptoms with more ease.
Other types of treatment can include working up a self-help plan, time in the hospital (though this is usually rare), a support or peer group, and case management. Depending on your symptoms, you may work through several of these treatments before deciding one one (or two or three!) that work best for you. There’s no one right answer for everyone — it’s an individual process. Don’t be afraid to talk with your doctor or psychotherapist and be frank and honest about what’s working and what’s not.
It’s time to take the fear and stigma out of mental illness. Taking an online behavioral health care assessment is a great first step to getting the help you need.