May is Mental Health Month.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental disorders affect tens of millions of Americans each year, however, only a fraction of those affected receive treatment. Whether dealing with depression, an eating-disorder or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), mental health disorders should be taken seriously and those affected should receive the care and medical attention that they need.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of mental health services, Benefits.gov can guide you to the government programs and resources that may help.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a public health agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, focuses on programs and funding for improving the lives of people with or at risk for mental and substance abuse disorders. SAMHSA collaborates with the states, national and local community-based and faith-based organizations, and public and private sector providers, to ensure that people with or at risk for a mental or addictive disorder have the opportunity for a fulfilling life that includes a job, a home, and meaningful relationships with family and friends. The SAMHSA website provides documents and resources for any person with or at risk for mental and substance abuse disorders. To find mental health services in your community, use SAMHSA's Mental Health Services Locator.
Mental health issues can also be related to environmental stress. Many Americans found themselves out of a job and struggling to make ends meet in the wake of the recent economic downturn. If you or your loved ones have been impacted, you may want to read the SAMHSA guide to Getting Through Tough Economic Times to learn more about identifying health risks and warning signs, as well as tips for managing stress during these challenging economic times. For members of the military and their loved ones, who too often experience the stress of separation and trauma, SAMHSA's website has a page dedicated to mental health information and resources for Military Families.
If you are on Medicare, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Mental Health Services Booklet (March 2012) from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services may help you determine the required qualifications, what is covered, as well as the payment guidelines for each service. You may also want to visit Disability.gov and type "Mental Health" in the search field to find and learn about more government resources that may help you or a loved one.
For more programs related to your health, go to the Browse by Category page on Benefits.gov and select "Healthcare." You may also check your eligibility for over 1,000 government programs by using our simple and confidential Benefit Finder.
If you or someone you know are in immediate need of help, follow the recommendations on the NIMH Suicide Prevention page and call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to be connected to a trained counselor at a suicide crisis center nearest you.