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How to find support during Mental Health Awareness Month

It’s important to safeguard your mental and emotional health, and it’s okay to ask for help. Sponsored by Swedish.

Millions of Americans live with mental illness. Stress, anxiety, depression, addiction, and other issues impact many lives each day. Mental Health Awareness Month is a good time to recognize and discuss mental health issues. 

“It’s really important to remember that it’s okay to not be okay,” said Dr. Lida Turner, medical director of Ambulatory Psychiatry for Swedish Medical Group. “There’s been a lot of things going on with the pandemic. Life has changed dramatically. We may have put off healthcare and mental healthcare.” 

Many factors contribute to mental and emotional health and your ability to function. You don’t have to be in crisis to ask for help. In fact, it’s important to seek help sooner, rather than later. Preventative steps can be taken before symptoms become unmanageable.

Therapy is a valuable resource for many people dealing with mental health issues. Therapy allows you to talk to an objective third-party professional about various issues impacting your life and provides tools and guidance to manage those issues. With different types of therapy and therapists available, it’s key to find the best one for you. 

“The most important thing about therapy really is about fit,” Dr. Turner said. “When you’re working with a therapist, it’s not uncommon to actually need to find another one.”

Swedish focuses on person-centric care and the individual needs of each patient. Behavioral health services are integrated into all types of care provided in the healthcare system. Talking to your primary care physician (PCP) first will connect you to behavioral health clinicians who work side by side with the primary care team.

“If someone is in need or struggling, ask them, ‘Do you have a primary care doctor?’” Dr. Turner said. “That’s a really good place to start.”

The Swedish model of care allows for a seamless connection between your PCP and a behavioral health provider, with the opportunity to see a psychiatrist within two weeks if needed. There are many types of care provided, including various programs and in-patient and outpatient treatments. 

Psychiatrists are physicians who work to ensure there is an accurate diagnosis and manage medication. Psychologists and therapists are focused on specific types of therapy and working with people behaviorally. 

If you feel you could benefit from mental health support, reach out to your Swedish primary care physician by making an appointment on the Swedish website or calling 844-952-1099. 

Sponsored by Swedish. Segment Producer Suzie Wiley. Watch New Day Northwest 11 AM weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.com. Contact New Day.

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