Thursday, May 30, 2024

Mental health resources just a click away

Minnesota Prairie County Alliance Interim Executive Director Tara Reich knows the statistics.

In a room of five adults, statistically, at least one of them experiences a mental health disorder, according to data from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Then there’s the other reality. On average, there is an 11-year delay between the time someone has symptoms and the time the individual gets treatment. Aside from the stigma, Reich said there is often a lack of facilities or providers for people to get needed care.

“We also know that there’s such a shortage of mental health services available,” she said.

Now as a way to help close the gap, MN Prairie County Alliance has entered a partnership with CredibleMind to provide a free, user-friendly digital hub.

“This hub serves as a starting point to learn more about mental health that brings together local resources, scientifically validated assessments, expert-written articles, and thousands of resources including videos, apps, podcasts and books,” a press release read.

Reich said there was a noticeable increase of mental health issues during the pandemic, which has continued, in the post pandemic era.

“We know that there are more and more individuals who are experiencing mental health crises or a decline in their mental health,” Reich said during a phone interview, last week, a couple of days before the start of Mental Health month.

Another dilemma Reich pointed to is the stigma around mental health.

“People don’t always want to reach out for help because of the stigma,” Reich said. For some they may not be sure if what they’re experiencing are mental health issues or not.

“This website gives them an ability to kind of reach out in an anonymous and confidential way so that they can access resources, learn about local resources… and not have to identify themselves, so they can kind of do their own personal research.”

While inside the “hub” users, for free, have access to several different resources across over 200 topics, including things like aging, substance use, and anxiety to name a few.

Reich said users can use it in two different ways, one being someone creates an account, and their information is saved for next time, while there’s also the option of not saving it. She said the advantage of saving the information is so someone can compare how they are doing over time based on things like the assessments.

Minnesota Prairie County Alliance will also be gaining valuable information as well. While they won’t have access to anyone’s personal information, people sign up through a unique URL set up for the organization, which can then track data to see what people are looking for the most when it comes for help.

“What are the hot topics in the community, and then from there be able to identify if there’s a particular area that we want to address in the community further,” Reich said.

Visit mnprairie.crediblemind.com to use the website or for more information. MN Prairie serves residents in Steele, Waseca, and Dodge counties.

 

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