Hi. Things are a bit different at Kairoticast today.
We don’t have a full episode for you today because I, Elizabeth, had to take a mental health day in the middle of our usual recording time.
But we thought that would give us a minute to talk about mental health and how important that is.
There is a stigma around mental health, and we all know it. But if you don’t take care of your mind and your emotions there is simply no way to function in a healthy, efficient, productive way – not in the long run.
There’s a lot of talk about self-care these days, but a lot of times that’s a pretty classed conversation. Often times people say, “self-care” and they mean a day at the spa or a massage or a something that costs money. For those of us who don’t have money to burn self-care has to be something a be more feasible on a budget – a hike by a river, doing something creative, an afternoon with your family, or sometimes an afternoon AWAY from your family. Self-care is hard because for some people self-care used to be going to a favorite coffee shop and reading or writing and that’s not in the cards right now. So it’s really easy for self-care to become self-destructive: a bottle of wine and sleeve of cookies. But honestly, I’m not here to judge. We are all getting through this however we can.
But sometimes self-care just doesn’t cut it. Self-care is in many ways the oppressor’s response to oppression. “What, oh, you are in untenable circumstances, you just aren’t taking care of yourself enough! Spend more of your valuable resources that we have bestowed on you not on things that address your immediate needs, but on things to keep your mind off the situation we have put you in!” Telling a teacher in Oklahoma “you just need some self-care” does nothing about the fact that she is just barely above the poverty line, is overworked, unappreciated, has no resources, and is the constant victim of a right wing state. No amount of scented bubble bath is going to take that off her shoulders. Self-care is, in many ways, the upper class trying to alleviate themselves of the responsibility they have for the working class’s problems.
So instead of just a bandage, what we need is a real, systemic approach to mental health. Mental health needs to be a part of any health plan proposed by any institution or party or politician. Let’s think like a capitalist for a minute (which you know I am loathe to do) – your workers are cogs in a machine. If their hearts and minds break down, they will eventually stop working. Is it a better plan to keep the machine running well continuously or stop it to replace the cogs at regular intervals because they are wearing down? If you answer the latter you are a straight up bad person because a) PEOPLE ARE NOT COGS and b) EVEN IF THEY WERE IT WOULD BE YOUR JOB TO MAINTAIN THEM, YOU JERKFACE. That’s just good business.
But let’s say, that like many, you don’t have a system in place, or at least a system you trust or afford, that can help you. There are a few places you can try:
There is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
SAMHSA’s National Helpline, (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
There is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Live Online Chat
If you or someone you know is suicidal or in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your confidential and toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 1-800-950-6264, firstname.lastname@example.org. NAMI operates an emergency mental health hotline Monday–Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Operators can provide information about mental illness and refer callers to treatment, support groups, family support, and legal support, if needed.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): (866) 615-6464. This organization has a variety of methods for you to communicate with knowledgeable people about mental health issues. In addition to the phone line, there is a live online chat option. These resources are available Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.
You can also find the
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) provides information on prevention, treatment and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and related conditions (240-485-1001)
- Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) provides information and referrals on ADHD, including local support groups (800-233-4050)
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) provides information on bipolar disorder and depression, offers in-person and online support groups and forums (800-826-3632)
- International OCD Foundation provides information on OCD and treatment referrals (617-973-5801)
- National Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (NCEED) provides up-to-date, reliable, and evidence-based information about eating disorders (800-931-2237)
- Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA) offers Schizophrenia Anonymous self-help groups and toll-free teleconferences (240-423-9432)
- Sidran Institute helps people understand, manage, and treat trauma and dissociation; maintains a helpline for information and referrals (410-825-8888)
- Treatment and Research Advancements for Borderline Personality Disorder (TARA) offers a referral center for information, support, education, and treatment options for BPD (888-482-7227)
Some of the reputable 24-hour mental health hotlines that can provide you with support, education, and resources include:
- Mental Health America Hotline: Text MHA to 741741. Mental Health America is a nationwide organization that provides assistance through this text line. You will be linked to someone who can guide you through a crisis or just provide information.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. Crisis intervention and free emotional support are available, which is helpful when you need confidential assistance during a time of emotional distress for you or a loved one. The helpline is open 24/7, and a live online chat is available as well.
- Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741. Specialized crisis counselors are just a text message away on this free, confidential 24-hour support line. To further protect your privacy, these messages do not appear on a phone bill. The text line also provides services and support if you are upset, scared, hurt, frustrated, or distressed.
- The Samaritans: 1-212-673-3000. This is a New York–based organization operates a 24-hour crisis hotline for anyone in the area. Even if you’re not in crisis but feel like you need emotional support, this hotline can help.
- Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255. Text a message to 838255. Operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, these services aid veterans and their families who may be in crisis by connecting them with VA responders.
- The Trevor Project 1-866-488-7386 (1-866-4.U.TREVOR aimed at gay and questioning youth)
If you are struggling with mental health, be that the sustained stress of mental illness, or just the difficulty of responding to our current crises, reach out. I know that is asking SO MUCH. If you’re worried about a friend don’t wait for them to reach out to you, reach out to THEM. Call them. Text them. Ask how they are. And don’t just say you’re there if they need you – offer real support. Ask what you can do to be supportive right now. If you live nearby say, “Hey, I have dinner, when would you like me to drop it off?” or “I’m going grocery shopping what do you need?”
A lot of people are really struggling right now. Anxiety and depression are monsters that have come out in full force in the last six months. If you are struggle with that, call one of these numbers and get some help. If you get some help, share your story with us at Kairoticast. We love a victory narrative. If you’re worried about a friend reach out to them. Share this list with them. Order them a pizza and video chat for a while. Check in. You might make a world of difference.
That’s all we have for Kairoticast today. I know it was a little different, but times are rough right now and we’re all dealing with things in our own way. Anyway, we just want you to know that we appreciate all of you, and we hope you are doing well. Reach out to us when you can. Let us know how you are doing at email@example.com.
We’ll talk to you next week.
Music in this episode is “Fearless First” by Kevin MacLeod at https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3742-fearless-first.