ESO and ERS Invite You to Recognize Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) has been recognized since 1949, and it is designed to increase awareness about the vital role mental health plays in our overall health and well-being. While mental health is important every day, each year in May we draw special attention to these topics to raise awareness and understanding of the complexities and challenges surrounding them.

ESO and ERS have collected some resources to help you care for your mental health and recognize MHAM:

An animation depicts a small person climbing onto a ladder to peek inside a larger animated person's head. Another small person is watering the area around the larger person's shoulders. A butterfly and  flowers are emerging from the person's head, suggesting that the care the person is receiving is positively influencing their mental state.
  • Virtual events to learn more about mental health topics, including:
    • The mental health benefits of physical activity
    • Finding strength in connection
    • The connection between food and mental health
  • An ERS newsletter that includes some tools to help you care for your mental health
  • A Mental Health Awareness Month toolkit created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to support you in recognizing MHAM with your team(s)
  • A reminder of your options for seeking mental health care through HealthSelect of Texas plans
  • Details about accessing virtual visits for medical and mental health care

ERS has also provided the following information to help you understand some of your options for getting started with mental health care:

  • Primary care provider (PCP): If you’re unsure about what care would be appropriate based on your condition, a good first step is to reach out to your PCP. Referrals are not required for mental health services, but your PCP might be able to help you find the best type of mental health provider for your concerns.
  • In-office mental health visit with a specialist: Counselors, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists all may offer mental health care, but only psychiatrists or mental health nurse practitioners can prescribe medication. Check with your provider to see if they offer a telemedicine option.
  • Mental health Virtual Visits: Virtual Visits offer a convenient option for accessing mental health care. Consult a licensed mental health professional any day of the week online. A mental health Virtual Visit is similar to an outpatient visit to a mental health provider’s office but the visit is conducted online.

While we hope these resources are helpful, we understand that investing in your mental health can feel daunting. Please reach out to a member of the ESO benefits team or our partners at the Deer Oaks Employee Assistance Program (EAP) if you have questions about your mental health coverage or the mental health resources available to you as a UHD employee. You are not alone in navigating these resources; we are here to help!