By: Chloe Richard
If you are struggling with a mental health condition, you are not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions yearly.1–3 In addition, COVID-19 has exacerbated these concerns as people reported more symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress, as well as increased substance use and elevated suicidal ideation in the past year.4
When you are struggling, it can often be hard to reach out and find the help you are looking for. The time and effort to find a mental health professional may be overwhelming, and wait times to see a provider can be long. Despite the desire to get help, 23.6% of adults with a mental illness suggest that they have an unmet need for treatment.5
One way to engage with a health professional faster, and start getting the help you need, is to look to your local pharmacy. In addition to managing medications, pharmacies are beginning to offer more treatment options to help those struggling with mental illnesses. For instance, Walgreens provides screening and access to a licensed therapist through its online portal. Other chain pharmacies, like CVS, Walmart, and Rite Aid, are offering visits with mental health workers in their affiliated clinics in select states.6 If you are struggling, check out the resources below or visit your local pharmacy to see what treatment options they may be able to provide.
- Walgreens’ Online Portal: Walgreens has an online portal in collaboration with Mental Health America that provides access to screenings for mental health conditions and a therapist via video chat.
- As part of CVS’ MinuteClinic, they have started to offer visits with licensed therapists in select states. If you live in Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Texas, visit CVS’ Mental Health & Wellbeing page to get more information, and set up an appointment today.
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of mental illness, it is important to reach out. Contact your primary doctor or another healthcare professional for help and check out the resources below. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of hurting themselves or committing suicide, seek help immediately.
- Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and be connected to a trained counselor.
- Text HOME to 741-741 to reach a 24-hour crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization that raises awareness and provides support for those with mental illness. Check out NAMI’s website to learn more about mental health conditions, signs and symptoms, and treatment options.
- The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the leading federal agency for research on mental disorders. Visit NIMH’s website to find information on mental health disease states, statistics, brochures and fact sheets, and free education.
Mental Health America. Quick facts and statistics about mental health. https://www.mhanational.org/mentalhealthfacts. Published 2021. Accessed May 19, 2021.
Anxiety & Depression Association of America. Facts & statistics. https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/facts-statistics. Accessed April 9, 2021.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Depression. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/depression.htm. Accessed May 19, 2021.
Czeisler ME, Lane RI, Petrosky E, et al. Mental health, substance use, and suicidal ideation during the COVID-19 panemic – United States, June 24-30, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020;69:1049-1057. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6932a1
Mental Health America. The state of mental health in America. https://mhanational.org/issues/state-mental-health-america. Accessed April 9, 2021.
The New York Times. Therapy on aisle 7: Retailers are entering the mental health market. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/07/well/therapy-pharmacy.html. Published 2021. Accessed May 13, 2021.