The Importance of Mental Health : 10 Helpful Tips, Resources, and Facts Around Mental Healthcare in Oregon

The importance of mental health

When’s the last time you checked in with yourself? May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which makes it a great time to be doing a bit of checking in and some self-care since there are so many resources being made available right now.

Getting the support you need can feel daunting, for sure, and you might not even know where to start. Let’s get you started on the right foot for the rest of the year with some mental health awareness month tips and facts!

This month, we’re putting out a series to help you navigate the resources available for mental health in Oregon and understanding why it’s so important for all of us to check in on our mental wellbeing

The Importance of Mental Health : 

Mental Health Awareness

Getting the word out, creating visibility, understanding the importance of mental health … that’s what this month is all about! We’re all just trying to reduce the stigma and encourage people to seek help when they need it– having an overall awareness of the importance of mental health makes it a bit easier to navigate it all.

Keep an eye out in May for educational campaigns, community events, and partnerships with mental health organizations that increase public awareness. These are the kinds of communal connections that can provide the mental health awareness tips and opportunities that make your well being improve. 

Private Health Insurance Offerings

 Private health insurance plans in Oregon typically provide coverage for mental health services. Oregon mental health insurance policies can cover therapy, counseling, prescriptions, and psychiatric treatment. Talk with your agent to find out what exactly your policy covers.

Mandates and Required Coverage

Oregon has laws that require private health insurance plans to cover mental health services. These mandates make sure anyone has access to essential mental health care through their insurance without facing significant financial barriers.

The importance of mental health has been a guiding factor in Oregon creating mandates to allow access to help for all of its citizens. In all we have experienced statewide– from the wildland fires turned urban, Covid shutdowns, stressor associated with our rising cost of living…seeing the state as a whole understand the importance of mental health makes it easier to prioritize in our personal lives too. 

The importance of mental health Oregon Mandates
Prevention Efforts

Preventing the negative impacts of a mental health crisis is why mental health awareness is important to the wellbeing of everyone. This is another reason why seeking these mental health awareness tips is a good stepping stone in the beginning. 

Early intervention programs, workplace mental health initiatives, school-based mental health education, and community support services can help reduce the prevalence of mental health disorders, as well as bringing into focus what we can do to help safeguard our own mental health. 

Access to Care

It probably goes without saying, but what good is coverage if you can’t find the help you need when you need it? Over half of adults with mental illness, and more than 28 million people in the U.S., did not receive treatment in 2023. That’s where access to mental health providers comes in. 

The expanding telehealth market is helping to fill in those gaps where access may be limited, like in rural and underserved areas. Groups like BetterHelp have made it so anyone with a phone or even a library card (free internet!) can get started with understanding the importance of mental health. 

A reassuring little tip: the free internet that comes with that free library card? That doesn’t mean you have to have your session in the open areas at your library. Most libraries now have study rooms you can reserve for private calls like this. 

Affordability

This one goes right along with access– If you can’t afford the out-of-pocket costs, that can be an even bigger block to care than not having a provider in your area. You’ve sought the mental health awareness tips that guide you to knowing the next steps to take. What happens when you hit the biggest roadblock of seeing what you need but not being able to afford it?

Knowing the importance of mental health awareness and access, Oregon could help with making it affordable. The Oregon Health Plan (OHP) offers coverage for low-income Oregonians, and caps on your co-pay could help anyone that doesn’t qualify for OHP

 If you’re not in Oregon, there are state-run options elsewhere, and nationwide programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), that can help.

The importance of mental health childrens mental health
Integration of Mental Health Services

Mental health is health, right? So, it would make sense to have mental health services be a part of your primary care, right? Combining the two doesn’t only increase your access to these services, it also comes with the added bonus of reducing the stigma associated with seeking help.

Plus, primary care providers trained on the importance of mental health are better equipped to serve patients experiencing mental illness during their physical health examinations. Seems like a win-win situation, right?

Crisis Intervention and Support

When you, or someone you care about, are in a crisis, it is critical that help is there as fast as possible. Fortunately, now it is easier than ever to get that help in Oregon: just call or text 988 for mobile crisis teams and psychiatric emergency departments.

So now, mental health providers are in CAHOOTS with the public to avoid a crisis escalating. That’s referring to Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets (CAHOOTS), a Eugene, Oregon-based mobile crisis unit serving their community by intercepting folks in a mental health crisis so it doesn’t become a police matter. This provides people in their community with on the spot care, and helps to avoid legal issues down the line resulting from a mental health crisis.

These types of groups are expanding and establishing in states across the U.S. Knowing who you can call in a time of need is imperative in being able to address a crisis the right way when it happens. 

Cultural Competency and Diversity

Mental health awareness importance doesn’t have just one language or background. People of every culture sometimes need help, which is why it is so important now that providers are trained in cultural competency, and outreach is offered in ways as diverse as the people it’s there to serve.

Cultural competency is now a standard in the healthcare field, but it’s a work in progress. Groups like SAHMSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) are constantly improving education and best practices for health care providers. This includes producing quick guides on important topics like cultural competency, so that providers can better serve and connect to their communities and patients.

Community Engagement and Support

On the topic of outreach, community networks are the best resource to educate and engage everyone in the conversation around mental health. Engagement and resources can be found in your local government organizations, schools, churches, and nonprofits.

Community engagement is not a one-way street, though. It has the added benefits of giving a voice to the community members, and creating a dialogue between the people and the providers.

If you’ve ever spent time in Ashland, Oregon, you’ll know just how important the community is to every one of our citizens. This is why it is so important to Ashland Insurance to engage with our community, and try to provide the best information for anyone seeking it. We rely on our community just as much as they rely on us.

The importance of mental health community outreach

The Importance of Mental Health: Mental health is health

Mental Health Awareness isn’t just for one month. Our own mental health well being, and that of our community as a whole, is fundamental in overall health. 

During the New Year in January, the newly set intentions of living healthier, getting to the gym more, and living a more full life filled with the goodness of prioritizing ourselves doesn’t just live for a single month. Those intentions are set to improve entire lives. 

May can be your mental health New Year! With the resources available (kind of like this guide for mental health tips), you are empowered to learn what is available to provide what you need. 

Sometimes it’s hard to ask the questions, and sometimes it’s just easier when someone else brings up the conversation first. Alongside the numerous outreach groups and resources, we’re here to start that conversation with you.