Maintenance check: Prioritize your mental health

Mental health has been a topic that has not received the attention it should.  According to an article from the New York Times, there has been an increase in the number of individuals seeking mental health services since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.   For years, we’ve been admonished to make and keep yearly appointments and follow-ups with our primary care providers.  However, the time has come and will continue in which individuals understand their need to prioritize their mental health.  Our mental wellbeing interconnects with our physical health and overall outlook on life and productivity.   At Whole and Holy Integrative Wellness, LLC, we seek to approach your mental health journey with a holistic lens.  We understand that you are more than the situation that is bringing you to our office.  Our goal is to guide you to a deeper understanding of yourself and work to provide you with the tools you need to navigate your path. Taking the first step to pursue therapy can seem monumental.  Too often, we seem to procrastinate on the things we know will ultimately be the most beneficial for us.  Finding a therapist can seem too overwhelming to even know where to start.   There are some factors that you want to consider when choosing a therapist.  When you finally make the call to schedule, it’s helpful if you have some information ready.  You’ll want to have a brief idea of what is bringing you to therapy.  While it can seem difficult to summarize a very personal experience or series of situations, especially the longer we wait to schedule an appointment, it will be helpful to your intake coordinator who is scheduling and to the therapist you’ll meet with if you can provide a brief overview of your current situation or some key features that you want to address. By having your “summary” ready to present, this will help you be able to find a good fit for a therapist.  Before scheduling, you may want to review some profiles of different professionals and see if there is a style or approach to therapy that resonates with you.  Let’s be honest, while there are many very qualified professionals, each has a unique point of view and style, and some styles connect better than others with the approach that will best assist you on your journey.  So, do some research beforehand, and seek out a provider with the qualities and values that connect with you.  Another question you’ll want to ponder beforehand is if you’d like online or in-person, if that is an option.  Many therapists, post COVID-19, are still seeing clients online only for a variety of reasons.  What many people are not aware of is the requirement to be physically present, at the time of the telehealth visit, in the same state in which their therapist is licensed.  While this can seem confusing or frustrating at times, these are the laws and regulations which guide therapeutic care.  Being aware of this beforehand can reduce some confusion later. Of course, cost is another piece that you’ll want to consider when seeking a therapist.  You’ll want to be aware if your therapist takes your insurance, if you’re utilizing that option.  It is best to be armed with as much information as possible.  You might consider reaching out to your insurance company before you call to schedule to verify your mental health benefits.  You should inquire with them if the therapist you’re considering is in-network.  While a therapist may take a certain insurance type, every plan is different and covers different things.  The best way to be certain is for you to inquire before you make the call to schedule.  This reduces potential surprises with billing down the road. There are many more factors to consider, but this gives you a place to start when considering how to choose a therapist.  And just as you take care of your car with yearly inspections and required maintenance, it is healthy and necessary to take care of YOURSELF and your mental health.  You don’t have to wait until something is terribly uncomfortable or life seems to be falling apart to seek help.  Let Whole and Holy Integrative Wellness help you to prioritize yourself and take the steps necessary for a “mental health maintenance check.”