It's Mental Health Awareness Month. Here Are Mental Health Resources and Support in SoCal

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and has been in America ever since 1949, when Mental Health America began reaching out to the public "through the media, local events, and screenings."

If you're struggling because of anxiety caused by the ongoing pandemic, upset by violent incidents that have appeared in the news recently, grieving the loss of a loved one, spending time alone unexpectedly after testing positive for COVID, or simply feeling tired after a hectic few months, you're not the only one.

LA County is offering mental health counseling. Angie Crouch reports for the NBC4 News on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. For help, call 1-877-854-7771.

There are also ways to take care of yourself and your mental state. And remember -- mental health is important regardless of what month it is.

Below, you'll find a list of mental health resources from various Southern California and federal agencies to help and provide support.

Mental Health Glossary

Mental Health America has a list of helpful mental health terms to know, if you're just starting to learn how to address it yourself. Here are some of those terms. The complete list can be found here.

  • Coping skill: a strategy to help you deal with difficult situations and lessen unpleasant emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.
  • Lived experience: first-hand, personal experience dealing with a mental health or substance use challenge.
  • Mental health concern: anything that causes a person to believe their mental health may be suffering; could be a symptom, a group of symptoms, or a diagnosable mental health condition.
  • Mental health condition: a set of related symptoms that have been recognized by the mental health community; includes conditions defined in the DSM-V, ICD-11, and by people with lived experience.
  • Mental health professional: a licensed or certified mental health treatment provider.
  • Mental health screen: an evaluation of your mental health and well-being through scientifically validated assessment tools.
  • Risk factor: something that increases the chances of developing a condition.
  • Stigma: negative, judgmental, and/or discriminatory attitudes toward mental health challenges and those who live with them. Self-stigma comes from internalizing public stigma.
  • Stress: a feeling of emotional or physical tension in response to being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental/emotional pressure.
  • Symptom: a physical or mental feature that indicates the potential existence of a concern, condition, or diagnosis.
  • Therapist: a mental health professional trained to help individuals understand and cope with their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; may assess and/or diagnose mental health conditions.
  • Trauma: an emotional response to a disturbing, scary, or shocking experience that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope.

Tips for Coping With Stress During the Pandemic

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following tips:

A study released in 2020 looked at whether paying closer attention to the world around you during your regular walks can improve the walks' mental health benefits. This practice is called an “awe walk," and anyone can try it.

County Mental Health Resources

About half of college students screened in a recent Boston University study were found to have depression or anxiety. It’s a sign of the toll the pandemic is taking on millions cut off from human connections and, for many, their goals and aspirations. NBCLX storyteller Cody Broadway looks from college campuses to social platforms like TikTok at the impact social isolation has had on Generation Z and Millennials.

National Institute of Mental Health Resources

LAUSD Mental Health Resources

  • Click the link here to access non-emergency tele-health information. You can also call 213-241-3840.
  • Wellness Center and referral forms can be found here.
  • Crisis counseling and intervention services can be found here.
  • School mental health clinic emails can be found here.
  • Wellness Center locations and information can be found here.

California Surgeon General Nadine Harris Burke also released a report focused on toxic stress and health. Read Roadmap to Resilience.

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