Resources To Cope with Mental Health Issues

How to Cope With Mental Health Issues?

Millions of people across America are affected by some form of mental illness. Such illnesses include everything from substance problems to schizophrenia. In some cases, mental health issues may be relatively minor. However, many people experience serious problems that damage their ability to maintain a stable daily routine. This means that the question of how to cope with mental health issues is a widespread, vital concern.

With effective help, recovery from mental health problems is within reach. In some cases, you may need assistance coping with your own issues. You may also need help dealing with a family member with mental illness. In either case, there are multiple types of recovery resources available. Some resources provide you with more information on any particular illness of concern.  Others provide you with immediate help during a mental health crisis. In addition, there are multiple resources available for diagnosis and treatment.

how to cope with mental illness

Informational Resources on Mental Health

Accurate information on mental illness is often an important first step in successful coping efforts. Why? Such information can help you get a better perspective on mental health issues. It can also help you learn about such things as:

  • The ways in which mental illnesses develop
  • Who has an elevated risk for problems
  • The potential symptoms of any given illness
  • Steps doctors take to make a mental health diagnosis
  • How mental illness alters your normal ability to function
  • The differences between mild, moderate and severe conditions
  • Available options for mental health treatment
  • Dealing with a family member with mental illness

Together, these topics help provide you with a big picture overview of how to cope with mental health issues. In turn, a wider perspective has a number of positive effects. That includes removal of at least some of the fear of the unknown. It also includes giving you the tools to become an effective advocate for yourself or a family member.

The federal government is an excellent source of accurate information on mental health and illness. Every year, government agencies spend billions of dollars conducting research on these topics. They also employ many of the nation’s top experts in the mental health field.

One top government resource is the National Institute of Mental Health, or NIMH. This organization maintains an extensive database that includes:

  • Detailed description of specific mental illnesses
  • A thorough explanation of how your genes influence your risks
  • Information on mental health issues for children, teens and adults
  • Mental health guides for both men and women
  • Evidence-based mental illness treatment options

Two other government agencies are also first-rate information resources. First is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA. More than any other agency, SAMHSA focuses on the mental health impact of substance problems. Its database includes hundreds of free digital brochures covering a vast range of subjects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offer extensive mental health resources.

There are also reputable non-governmental resources on how to cope with mental health issues. One major example here is NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Health. NAMI offers in-depth educational support.

How to Cope With Mental Health Issues: Help During a Crisis

Crisis situations are not uncommon for people with mental illness. Whether they involve you or a loved one, such situations may include:

  • Suicidal thinking or active suicide attempts
  • Episodes of severe, non-suicidal self-harm
  • Significant violence toward others

When a crisis hits, you may need immediate help for yourself. You may also need immediate help dealing with a family member with mental illness.

No matter where you live, chances are that your local government maintains a crisis hotline. This is a system designed to provide rapid access to helpful resources during an emergency. In some cases, city governments provide crisis services. You may also find county or regional options in your particular area.

In addition, there are nationwide resources for mental health crises. One such resource is the SAMHSA-sponsored National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This hotline is available to anyone in crisis.

mental health crisis

There are also hotlines dedicated to specific segments of the population. NIMH and NAMI recommend options for groups such as:

  •  Veterans
  • Sexual assault victims
  • Domestic violence victims

How to Cope With Mental Health Issues: Diagnosis

You may suspect that you or your loved one has a mental illness. However, you cannot accurately diagnose your problems or the problems of others on your own. Instead, you must seek help from medical and mental health professionals. That is the only way to get an informed, expert opinion on what is or is not happening.

Where should you go for a mental illness diagnosis? In many cases, a good place to start is your primary care physician. Primary doctors are not mental illness specialists. Still, in today’s world, they often receive training on how to conduct mental health screenings.

 A mental health screening is a kind of test. It is designed to provide a general overview of your psychological and emotional state. It can also help detect:

  • The symptoms of all manner of mental health problems
  • The extent to which you or your loved one are affected by such a problem

Instead of performing an in-office screening, your doctor may refer you to a mental health specialist. Some specialists operate independent practices. Others belong to larger organizations that provide a variety of mental health services. Specialists have the skills needed to provide in-depth mental health assessments. These assessments provide extensive information on your condition.

Doctors and specialists provide another essential service. If you are affected by a mental illness, they can refer you for treatment.

mental health evaluation

How to Cope With Mental Health Issues: Treatment

Treatment is essential if you hope to recover from mental health issues. The same is true if you are dealing with a family member with mental illness. There are several types of treatment available. Common options include medication, therapy and psychosocial treatment.


Dozens of medications are used in the treatment of mental illness. Choices are available for essentially all major conditions. Your doctor will choose options that are appropriate for you and your specific illness. However, not all medications work for everyone. This can be true even if you have the exact same symptoms as another person. Your doctor will do everything possible to make the right medication choices when you begin treatment. But adjustments are common, and it may take time to fine-tune your treatment.

There is another factor to consider: time. The medications you take for headaches and other physical complaints may produce rapid effects. However, it often takes time for mental health medications to work. This means that you may not notice any significant changes for days, weeks or even months.

Some people only need to take their medication for a year or less before reaching their treatment goals. Others need help for longer amounts of time. It is even possible that you will have to take your medication for the rest of your life.


Therapy is a communication-based form of treatment. For this reason, it is also sometimes known as talk therapy. It supports your recovery by doing such things as:

  • Helping you stay active and engaged during your treatment
  • Teaching you ways to recognize the effects of your symptoms
  • Showing you techniques that improve your day-to-day ability to cope

During therapy sessions, you may talk about a variety of issues. That includes important details of your emotional state and thought patterns. It also includes the state of your current relationships. In addition, it is common to talk about the details of your personal background.

Several different types of therapy are used in mental health programs. Your treatment team will help you pick options that work best for you. Some sessions are conducted one-on-one with just you and your therapist. Others are conducted in a group setting.

mental health treatment

Psychosocial Treatment

Treatments in this category show you how to cope with mental health issues in everyday life. Therapy is the most well-known psychosocial option. You may also receive assistance through psychosocial education. This option helps you understand the nature of your illness and the steps used to treat it. If you are dealing with a family member with mental illness, psychosocial education also helps you:

  • Cope with the changes in your loved one
  • Develop effective methods of providing support
  • Spot recurring mental illness symptoms

A third form of psychosocial treatment is called psychosocial rehabilitation. This treatment helps you develop the ability to function during your daily routine. Its goal is to make you as independent as possible.

Learn More About Coping Successfully With Mental Health Issues

Learning how to cope with mental health issues can take considerable time and effort. Not everyone needs the same types of help. Additionally, not everyone will recover at the same pace or in the same ways. Still, no matter the illness in question, there are concrete steps you can take to get help. This is true if you are struggling with your own mental health concerns. It is also true if you are dealing with a family member with mental illness.

To learn more about coping with mental illness, just contact the professionals at Emerald Isle. We have the training and experience needed to answer your questions. We also specialize in the effective treatment of mental health conditions. Our customized options help you maximize your potential for the recovery of your health and well-being.