Caring for your mental health and wellness

Feeling good isn’t just about physical health. What we’re thinking and feeling — our mental and emotional health — is just as important to our overall well-being as good physical health. Whether you’re feeling anxious or depressed or have another mental health concern, there are many ways to get help and feel better.

The best person to get you started on the road to feeling better is your personal doctor. Your doctor is trained to diagnose common conditions like anxiety and depression. If a mental health specialist is needed, your personal doctor can connect you with the experts or resources to get you the care you need.

At Kaiser Permanent care locations, adults are screened for common mental health concerns at their regular wellness visits. Children are also screened at their preventive care visits. Mental health clinicians, who are part of the primary care team, can diagnose and offer short-term treatment for common mental health concerns.

When more help is needed

For some conditions, your doctor may recommend that you see a mental health expert such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist. These specialists can diagnose and treat many conditions including:

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic attacks and panic disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Schizophrenia

Are you concerned about a possible addiction?

If you think you may be addicted to alcohol or drugs (either prescription or nonprescription drugs), it’s a good idea to speak with your personal doctor about your concerns. If you’re not ready to do this, answering some questions can help you figure out whether to see a specialist in addiction medicine.

Keep in mind that addictions can take a variety of forms and include behavioral addictions to things like gambling, gaming, and shopping. Kaiser Permanente members can call 1-888-287-2680 to be matched with a mental health specialist in your area or to help you find addiction treatment.

Self-care is important

  • Stick to a sleep schedule. A lack of sleep affects your mood, mental sharpness, and ability to handle stress. Get into the habit of going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Move your body. Exercise can release tension, tame stress, and improve your sense of well-being. It can also relieve some symptoms of anxiety and depression as effectively as certain medications.
  • Talk to someone. If you’re not feeling well — physically, emotionally, or mentally — talk with your loved ones. They can’t help unless they know you need their support.
  • Take advantage of self-care resources, including healthy lifestyle online programs, wellness coaching, Living Well programs to help you manage health conditions, gym membership discounts, and a member resource line.

How can we help?

We can match you with a mental health specialist in your area at 1-888-287-2680, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information and resources.

 

Want more local health news, wellness tips, recipes, and more? Subscribe to the Kaiser Permanente Washington newsletter.