Happy World Mental Health Day!

Vanessa here once again, and Happy World Mental Health Day! If you didn’t know, today is International World Mental Health Day-a day embracing the importance of taking care of one’s mental health. This can encompass emotional, psychological, and social well-being, which has a direct impact on things like your social cognition, how you perceive something, and your general every day behavior. Despite it’s critical importance to our every day being, mental health is a topic that is oftentimes neglected and even stigmatized as something that will pass or ‘just get better’ over time. This typically is what leads to feelings of exhaustion, varying degrees of depression, and ultimately, burnout.

Part of why we wanted to craft this blog is to help people take more control over their mental well-being so that it doesn’t keep you from having a fulfilling day, a good week, or time to appreciate you. No one should be made to constantly feel like they’re on edge, anxious, irritable, or unmotivated due to things outside of their control. In earnest: seeking help isn’t just challenging-it’s expensive, which adds it’s own layer of anxiety when considering taking better care of your mental health. We want to try and help in that endeavor by providing resources that people here at Crystal have found to be beneficial but more importantly low-cost (if not free). Our hope is that this World Mental Health Day, you can be empowered to reclaim your mental well-being. We’ve also listed some charities whose work is focused in helping those with mental health needs gain access to resources, therapy, medical needs, and much more.

RESOURCES (Free & Low Cost)
Centre for Interactive Mental Health Solutions (CIMHS)
While CIMHS offers paid services at low cost, their main product that they boast on their home page is for Bliss: a free, 8 session interactive therapy program with a focus on depression. They offer services worldwide, but are based out of Ontario, Canada.

Based in Silicon Valley, this is a readily mobile accessible means to reach out for help at all times of the day. Upon getting started, you will be given a free personal Happiness Coach. Additionally, you can opt for dedicated therapy plans for just a fraction of the cost of traditional counseling (however this is not mandatory or pushed on you at any time).

BetterHelp strives to make therapy of all types more affordable across the board. According to Forbes, in-person therapy can range anywhere from $100-$200/hr; BetterHelp offers counseling and therapeutic services starting from $60-$90 per week. They cover the entirety of the continental US and offer both in-person and virtual options.

7 Cups of Tea
7 Cups of Tea is a free online text client utilizing non-clinician liksteners, complimented with paid online therapy. Their philosophy thrives on the need of individuals needing someone to talk to who can empathize, understand, relate, or simply listen when paying for therapy isn’t an option. They build community around similar and like-minded people finding each other who need help from all around the globe.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
NAMI offers education and advocacy for those in need, while also advocating for better mental health training and helps shape public policy around mental health for individuals and families. They work with volunteers and put on public facing events to help raise awareness and rally to destigmatize the negativity around mental health.

To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA)
TWLOHA is an organization focused around presenting hope and aiding people struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts, addiction, and self-injury. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and invest directly into treatment and recovery. Their mission is realized through a series of events, festivals, marathons, and a content creation program.

TakeThis! is a non-profit providing comprehensive resources and support that is tailored for the unique needs of the game development community and embraces the diverse cultures and issues of the game community. Their goal is to create safe, inclusive, and welcoming spaces specifically in gaming, while acknowledging the need for mental health awareness and tools that cater specifically to the gaming space. They accomplish their mission through a variety of panels in gaming conferences, talks, and a thorough listing of therapy resources covering the world.

Fountain House
The Fountain House operates on a ‘clubhouse model’ of community therapy. Their model is built specifically to aid those in recovery of living with severe mental illness. FH seeks to help those with severe mental illness by integrating back into day-to-day life and activities, with a firm belief that normalized social and recreational activities are pivotal to an individual’s recovery. They base their methods on the historical use of activity group therapy and milieu therapy.

Active Minds
Active Minds boasts itself as the premier nonprofit supporting mental health and education for young adults. AM is looking to have conversations about mental health start sooner rather than later, before they manifest as larger problems that require more help. They have presence in over 1,000 schools, communities, and workplaces nationwide, with over 500 student-led chapters. Their work is predominantly ushered to students.