As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hold its firm grasp, nurses across the globe stand strong and tall as waves of patients continually flood hospitals worldwide.
Our doctors and nurses are especially impacted by this tragedy of mass proportions, as they are left to pick up the pieces and save lives.
Today, we are over a year since the onset of this devastating pandemic. Finally, the prognosis for the world is starting to look better, and we can begin to hope for brighter days in the near future.
In many countries, infection rates and mortality rates have each decreased significantly. Additionally, thanks to the physicians and scientists who worked tirelessly as the pandemic roared, we now have effective vaccines that have been proven safe through clinical trials.
Right now, things are certainly looking up, but the pandemic is far from over. Along with the responsibilities of working as a frontline nurse comes an immense amount of pressure and stress.
Unchecked stress can play a large role in the onset of mental health illness or mental health concerns. Those who dedicate their lives to caring for others can sometimes feel as if they can’t fully care for themselves, even when they really try to.
That’s why it’s so important to be proactive about seeking treatment from a professional, like those at MyTherapist, if you notice yourself beginning to experience symptoms of mental illness, or even if you’re just struggling to manage stressors.
Mental Health Help & Treatment Options
So, you’ve come to the conclusion that your mental health may be suffering as the result of your job, commitments, personal life, or other parts of your livelihood.
Recognizing that your experiences are related to mental health and having the desire to do something about them is the first step.
Of course, severe symptoms that significantly impact your ability to get through the day should be treated with the utmost of urgency, but in general, you do have some options when it comes to jumpstarting mental health care.
1. Take advantage of resources and information available to you. The internet is a powerhouse, and there are countless articles, advice columns, or other resources you can access with just a few clicks. For nurses, this is very much like reading scientific reviews or research papers and subsequently applying what you read to your own professional endeavors. After reading the self help articles, try to reflect upon their value and engage in analysis of how the advice could be integrated into your own life.
2. Develop a support system that works. If, and when, you decide that individual endeavors are not adequate enough to treat your mental health concerns, the next step in the progression is often to chat with a friend, a family member, or a significant other. It can be extremely helpful to discuss your feelings with the people you trust and know intimately. Developing a support system – that is, a group of individuals who understand what you’re going through and can consistently provide support – is often an essential part of not just overcoming obstacles, but continuing to be prepared for them in the future.
3. Seek out the guidance and care of a mental health professional. If mindfulness, self-care, and other more basic methods of addressing mental health prove to be unsuccessful, or if your symptoms are causing you a serious amount of distress, it’s likely time to speak with a professional. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding therapeutic treatment for mental illness has continued to diminish over the years. Therapy has traditionally worked best for those with a diagnosed mental illness, but it can also provide any other individual with the assistance they need. Although it may seem challenging to need to speak with someone to regain control of your mental processes, especially as someone in the field yourself, remember that experiencing mental health issues is very common. No one is exempt from the stress and chaos that come with life.
Healthcare Professionals Deserve Care, Too
We all know nurses are generally quite intelligent individuals. But, being an intelligent and crucial part of the world of healthcare does not mean that nurses can’t struggle just as much as those they help treat; in fact, caring for others on top of yourself can be doubly draining.
Working to address and treat existing mental health issues via therapy sessions will not only benefit your mental state, but it could improve your performance in the workplace as well.
Making Care Work for You
For busy health care professionals, it can be difficult to find time to schedule therapy sessions, drive to the therapist’s office, spend time in therapy, and then spend time driving home. However, thanks to the advent of virtual therapy, sessions are able to be more flexible while involving less commuting.
Virtual therapy is a new, convenient resource that continues to grow in popularity and availability. This form of therapy provides prospective patients with a confidential, convenient way to address concerns with a mental health professional from just about anywhere.
Another benefit of virtual therapy is the cost of online sessions. Online sessions tend to be lower in cost than in-office visits.
While some health insurance companies choose not to cover virtual therapy as often as in-person therapy, the overall cost of virtual therapy is still typically lower.
In-person therapy can cost between $65 and $200+ per session, depending upon the therapist and type of therapy required. Fortunately, there is a range of different online mental health services available to patients, and each represents a unique price point.
On some sites, text or email options are available for approximately $40 per week. Sessions with online therapists are less expensive than in-office sessions and typically run between $75 and $120 per session. This is a moderately priced therapy option that provides virtual face-to-face treatment with a licensed professional.
Takeaway: Help is Available, and Well-Deserved
No matter who you are, you deserve treatment, care, and compassion when it comes to your mental and physical health.
It’s easier than ever to choose a treatment option that is appropriate for your concerns and that will best fit your lifestyle.
Being a nurse is not easy; no one has to tell us that! But, being a functional and successful nurse includes taking care of yourself, too, perhaps first and foremost.
This article was contributed by Marie Miguel who has been a writer and research expert, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MyTherapist.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.