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Mental Health & Substance Use

How counseling can improve your mental health

May 28, 2021
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When it comes to counseling—the first step can be the most difficult to take. Sitting down for the very first time to discuss how you feel with someone you don’t know can make anyone nervous.  

But your mental health is just as important as your physical health. And mental health conditions are often feared or misunderstood and go untreated for far too long.

First, let’s discuss some important facts you should know.

Mental health conditions and issues:

  1. Are NOT your fault
  2. Can impact your physical health and even cause pain that requires medication
  3. Are just as common as physical illnesses
  4. Can interfere with your life, including your relationships, work, and sleep
  5. Are treatable
  6. Can get worse if ignored

How are mental health conditions treated?

The good news is that mental health conditions and issues are treatable—but it may take time and patience. There is no one-size-fits-all approach—what works for you may not work for someone else.

It’s important for you to find the right ways to cope that fit your personal needs. That means trying different approaches, such as pairing medications with a certain type of counseling.

What is counseling?

Counseling is the process of developing a professional relationship with someone who listens and works with you to develop coping strategies and provides education about your condition. Many people find counseling helpful—but you must remember that there are no shortcuts when it comes to your mental health. It can take time to establish a relationship with a counselor and see progress.

Counseling is commonly used to help people address challenges they face due to:

Counseling also can be flexible to meet your specific needs. There are several options for how to participate, including:

There are also different approaches to counseling, including:

There are also creative therapies such as music, art, or dance that encourage expression and communication to promote self-awareness, self-esteem, and emotional well-being.

How can I get help?

The first step is recognizing that emotions or feelings are disrupting your life. For example, you may want to seek counseling if you are:

The next step is to ask for help.

It takes a lot of strength to ask for help. If you’re a CCA member, talk to your care partner. He or she is trained and available to help you identify the right providers and treatment that meet your personal needs.

What other resources should I check out?

To learn more about your mental health and how counseling can help, you can visit the Anxiety & Depression Association of America.1

1 When you click this link, you will leave the Commonwealth Care Alliance website.

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