I study the help-seeking process, specifically, what helps or stops people from getting professional treatment for mental health concerns. When I tell people what I do, they often relate it back to things they have read or watched in the media about mental illness and the challenges and rewards of getting treatment. Below is a list of such articles and videos; you may find some of these to be a helpful introduction to the topic of help seeking from a non-technical perspective.

  • New study reveals lack of access as root cause for mental health crisis in America (National Council for Behavioral Health) – Article about the results of a national survey of access to mental health care, which revealed American mental health services are insufficient, and despite high demand, the root of the problem is lack of the ability to find care.
  • Many Americans Are Reaching Out For Mental Health Support — But Can’t Get It (NPR) – Article about barriers to seeking mental healthcare such as cost, lack of knowledge about how to find a mental health provider, and insurance disparities in coverage and reimbursement for physical versus mental health providers.
  • Don’t suffer from your depression in silence (TED Talk) – In this TED Talk, Nikki Webber discusses her own personal struggles with depression and mental health and some of the stigmas and stereotypes that people face about seeking help due to race and socioeconomic status.  
  • Tips for starting or continuing mental health care from home (NPR) – As states issue stay-at-home orders to combat the coronavirus, people are struggling with anxiety, stress and depression. NPR’s Life Kit explains how to start or continue mental health care from home.
  • How to start therapy (NPR) – Feeling anxious? Overwhelmed? Unhappy? Not sure what you’re feeling at all? These might be signs that your “check engine” light is on and seeing a therapist could help.
  • Mental illness: We must increase access to mental health care (Courier Journal) – Article that discusses the differences in health care requirements and regulations for mental health versus physical health and proposes the idea that maybe people don’t get mental health help because of the limited accessibility. 
  • A regular checkup is good for the mind as well as the body (The New York Times) – This article outlines the importance of regular mental health checkups and talks about the fact that mental health problems are very relevant in the US and these issues can become worse when they are left untreated. It also gives ideas on some mental health assessments that may help people realize they need help.
  • Mental-health researchers ask: What is ‘recovery’? (The New York Times) – Articles starts with a brief story of Claire Bien trying to deal with her mental health issues, then talks about a couple ways to measure mental health. Then the article discusses what ‘recovery’ means in mental health and some possible benefits of dealing with mental health concerns.
  • Personal stories (Time to Change) – This is a page of short personal testimonies about experiences with mental health stigmas around a few different mental health conditions. 
  • Julian’s story: “The stigma that still surrounds mental illness is remarkable” (Mental Health Foundation) – A personal story of the history of a man’s mental health concerns, how he held them in for so long, the stigmas that surround mental health, and especially for men. 
  • Personal stories: Beyond blue (Beyond Blue) – This link provides a number of different personal stories revolving around mental health. Some talk about how seeking help benefited them, some about how they wish they or someone they knew had sought out help sooner, and some about their mental health concerns in general in hopes of making others more comfortable sharing their own stories/concerns.
  • Success story: A personal story of mental illness (Physician Health Services, Inc.) – Article about the onset of mental health concerns and how one woman went about seeking help and treatment and the success she eventually had with the treatment.
  • Understanding stigma as a mental healthcare barrier (Patient Engagement Hit) – Discusses stigma as a huge barrier to mental health, even in a military context also. Also proposes ideas to reduce stigma and how to educate patients on these stigmas in a productive way. 
  • Deciding when to seek treatment (Association for Behavioral Cognitive Therapies) – Gives guidelines on ways to tell if you might need to seek mental help based on daily life, relationships, and symptoms and how to make those decisions.   
  • It’s OK to feel overwhelmed. Here’s what to do next (Ted Talk). The video discusses the range of human emotions that have erupted from the coronavirus pandemic. The author focuses on the concept of “hope” in her video. 
  • The bridge between suicide and life (Ted Talk): The author discusses his experiences patrolling the Golden Gate Bridge. He discusses mental illness and how to approach a loved ones who are at risk for committing suicide. 
  • How to connect with depressed friends (Ted Talk). The author takes a comedic approach to discuss his experiences with depression, how depression looks to other people, and how to talk to those experiencing depression. 
  • There’s no shame in taking care of your mental health (Ted Talk). This video was published in February of 2017. The author discusses how he bettered his mental health and the stigma he faced.

Online Resources for Finding a Therapist