If you have a chronic mental illness, you might want a long-term plan in place to help ensure you will always be able to seek help for it if you need it. Some types of mental illnesses may need consistent treatment and monitoring, but this may not be the case for other types. However, even when those are in treatment for a mental illness, sometimes that treatment becomes less effective. The tips below can help you plan ahead and get some structures in place if you need to quickly access mental health care.
Have a Crisis Plan
Ideally, you will never have a crisis, but it is good to have a plan in case you do. It can be difficult for you or your loved ones to immediately figure out what to do in an emergency, and putting together a blueprint ahead of time can give you something to fall back on. You may want to talk to your doctor about resources and look into helplines that you can contact. You might also want to talk to family members and close friends about how to handle a crisis. Things you could discuss include signs that you are in crisis, your preferred treatment, and who you want to be contacted.
Consider Long Term Care Insurance
You might want to look into long-term care insurance. Not all policies will cover mental health, so if this is a primary concern, you should make sure that it is covered. You can review a guide to help you decide on the cost-benefit of LTC insurance and whether or not it is worth it.
Exhaustion, stress and other physical factors can make you more vulnerable to a mental health crisis. While pleasant surroundings cannot stave off serious issues, you might find that creating a checklist for yourself that includes paying attention to whether you need more sleep or something to eat can help. You can also think of how to create a more soothing environment as needed. That could include pleasant scents or music that you like.
Stay in Touch
Keep up with your friends and any family members that you are close to. Isolation can exacerbate some types of mental illness, and simply having regular phone calls or standing plans for dinner or coffee with a few people can help keep you on a more even keel. You don’t have to talk about your mental health or even reveal any issues you are having if you do not wish to. Simply spending time with others can help.
You do not have to be in the middle of a full-blown crisis to need help. You may want to find a support group. While family and friends can be an excellent source, there is nothing quite like being able to talk to other people who are in the same situation as you. Some groups may also pair you with someone who can give you one-on-one support, or you may make connections within the group.