Maintaining Your Good Mental Health for a Better Life
When your mental health is in good shape, your physical health, relationships, and overall quality of life also tend to be in good shape. But life can be challenging. And as you face serious health issues, the loss of loved ones, or begin to lose your ability to get out, it can take a toll on your emotional well-being.
And, if you’re already dealing with mental health concerns, misuse of alcohol or drugs can affect your physical health and quality of life, too.
This page offers you resources that can help you keep your mental health, healthy. It also includes links to resources that can help if you’re worried about substance use issues for yourself or someone you care for.
Mental Health Benefits
Your SCAN plan includes mental health coverage, too. Find out how to use your benefits.
Substance Use Issues
Use these resources to learn more about substance use disorders and to get help overcoming them.
Everyone feels down sometimes, it’s a normal part of life. But if you’re feeling depressed all the time, or you no longer enjoy or want to take part in activities you used to enjoy, you may have a more serious problem. Below are resources that can help you understand depression better and find relief.
The Mayo Clinic provides information on recognizing and dealing with depression.
Feeling nervous or anxious on occasion is ok. But if anxiety is making it hard to function, you may have a chronic condition that needs help from a professional. And don’t think you are alone. Anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million Americans making it one of the most common concerns – but in most cases anxiety can be overcome.
Social Isolation and Loneliness Resources
Social isolation and loneliness can have a physical as well as an emotional impact and can lead to depression. Loneliness can also make older adults more susceptible to illness and even an earlier death. We’re here to help, with programs and services to keep loneliness at bay.
Togetherness Callers. We’ll match you with a SCAN employee for a little “togetherness” time on the phone each week. Learn more
SCAN Learning Communities. Our Learning Communities connect SCAN members for virtual social groups as well as for educational, health and wellbeing classes. Learn more
You might also want to check out these resources:
Friendship Line 1-800-971-0016
Available 24/7. The only accredited crisis line in the country for people aged 60 years and older and adults living with disabilities.
Grief and Loss Resources
You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone. GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people providing support through one of life’s most difficult experiences. Enter your ZIP code on the site to find a group or event near you.
It can be helpful to understand the stages and types of grief. This HelpGuide has practical and insightful information.
Mental Illness Resources
If you are concerned that you or a loved one may have a mental illness, please see your primary care doctor for an initial mental health screening. From there your doctor can provide any needed referrals to mental health specialists. In the meantime, you may want to explore additional resources online.
The National Institute of Mental Health offers a number of hotline resources and other information at Help for Mental Illnesses.The CDC offers these Mental Health Tools and Resources.
Who to Call if You or a Loved One is in Crisis
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline—Call or text 988 24 hours a day. It is the 911-equivalent for any mental health related emergency. Use this line if you or a loved are experiencing a mental health emergency, such as suicidal thoughts, a substance use crisis, or any other emotionally disturbing event.
On-line chat is also available. Provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress and offers prevention and crisis resources.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number 1-800-273-8255 will now route to 988 and will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis.
Friendship Line 1-800-971-0016 This 24/7 service is the only accredited crisis line in the country for people aged 60 years and older and adults living with disabilities.
SAMHSA National Helpline 1‑800-662-4357 (TTY: 1-800-487-4889) Provides 24-hour free and confidential treatment referral and information about mental and/or substance use disorders, prevention and recovery in English and Spanish.
Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 (TTY: 1-800-799-4889) Connects veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential hotline, online chat, or text.
Línea de Prevención del Suicidio y Crisis - 988
For TTY Users: Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.
Maintaining Mental Health with Exercise
Even moderate exercise can be good for your mental health. Regular activity releases endorphins into your bloodstream to help you feel better. For example, just 30 minutes a day of walking or cycling can help improve your mental health and wellbeing. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Here is an article with so some great ideas for minding your mental health.
Good Sleep is a Health Essential
Sleep is essential to keeping your mind and body functioning well. Problems sleeping can be one of the first signs of a mental health problem, so if you’re having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor. In the meantime, check out the resources below to learn how to get a better night’s sleep.
Finding Focus with Meditation
One way to improve your wellbeing and mental health is through meditation techniques. Meditation is especially helpful for reducing stress and can even improve your sleep. Studies show it can also reduce depression and anxiety, and help people manage chronic pain.
Try the Headspace App. As part of your SCAN benefits, the Headspace app is available at no additional cost. It’s designed for mindfulness and meditation and features hundreds of exercises for meditation, sleep, focus, and movement. You can use Headspace on your smart phone, tablet, or computer.
Want to know more about the benefits of meditation? Try searching YouTube for ‘Meditations for Being Present’ or ‘Mindfulness Meditation to help Relieve Anxiety and Stress’ to find more guided meditations.
Volunteer in the Community
Getting involved with others is a great way to lift your own spirits while doing good. If you have time to spare, consider volunteering—no matter what your skill or interest, there’s an organization who would appreciate you! Many local organizations are looking for help, but here are a few places to start your search:
Volunteer Match: Matches inspired people with inspiring causes.
LA Works Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP): Offers volunteer opportunities uniquely designed to tap into the experience, skills, and wisdom that those age 55 and over bring.
JustServe: Use this site to find volunteer opportunities in your specific area.
It’s nice to have someone to talk to. Get matched with a SCAN employee.
Enjoy fun activities, classes, and meet new friends through SCAN Learning Communities!