An estimated 18.9% of all US adults lived with a mental illness. That’s more than 46 million adults. Almost 20% of our friends, neighbors, coworkers and loved ones suffer from mental illness. But the really gut-wrenching statistic is this – over half of them struggle alone, without any sort of treatment. Only 19.8 million adults, less than half, seek help for their mental health.
Unaddressed mental illnesses can heighten the risk of severe complications, including physical illness, substance abuse, psychotic episodes, and suicide; there’s a 5% to 8% risk of suicide in individuals with mental illnesses.
To that end, we’ve come up with this guide detailing urgent care and mental health. Read on to learn how urgent care centers like CityHealth in San Francisco can help.
What Is Mental Health Urgent Care?
Mental health urgent care aims to deliver immediate relief to distressed patients. It includes services like mental health screening, referral services, and short-term treatment. Its main goal is to help patients recover and maintain stability in their lives.
A safe and compassionate environment is the cornerstone of mental health urgent care. Feeling comfortable in your healthcare environment is a must for all patients, but even more so in people with mental illnesses. Tragically, many avoid seeking help because of the stigma attached to mental illnesses.
With the help of urgent care health providers, patients don’t have to feel alone. They can always rely on these good clinicians for help to reduce the risks of mental health emergencies.
All in all, urgent care for mental health can help prevent involuntary hospitalizations. Getting care at the first sign of trouble can help prevent fatal outcomes, like drug overdoses, psychosis events or suicides.
When Exactly Do Mental Health Problems Need Urgent Care?
Did you know that there are over 300 different types of established mental illnesses? Of these, the most common across all ages and genders are anxiety disorders (ADs). Depression, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder are also widespread.
If you or a loved one experiences symptoms of mental illnesses, CityHealth can help. We can provide you with a referral to appropriate community resources, prescribe necessary medications, and help you find a psychiatrist or therapist who you feel comfortable with.
Here are some other situations where urgent care clinics can do more than just help the physical body:
Suicide Attempt Prevention
In 2018, there were an estimated 1.4 million suicide attempts in the US. Sadly, completed suicides claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people in this country.
Life-threatening suicidal attempts are mental health emergencies that warrant an immediate call to 911.
If you or a loved one has been contemplating suicide and don’t know where to turn, please know that CityHealth is always ready to help. Don’t hesitate to come to us for help, and we’ll be here to provide you with a safe environment and access to resources that can help you on your journey back to emotional wellness.
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Anxiety disorders affect an estimated 40 million adults in the US every year. Panic disorders are related to anxiety disorders and are also quite common, affecting about 6 million adults.
Both disorders can cause panic attacks, which can be so severe patients feel like they are having a heart attack.
Anxiety and panic attacks aren’t life-threatening, but they can feel like it. Symptoms of a panic attack are very close to symptoms of a heart attack, including:
- Trouble breathing
- Chest pain
- Rapid, pounding heartbeat
- Numbness, trembling or temporary paralysis
- Vomiting or a burning sensation that feels like indigestion
If you believe you are having a hert attack, call 911 and go to en emergency department.
However, if your symptoms are caused by a panic attack, emergency medical treatment is likely not necessary. If you feel you still require medical attention though, you may feel safe visiting an urgent care center.
If you have been to an emergency room for a heart attack that turned out to be a panic attack, the ER doctor will likely encourage you to see a mental health professional or primary care provider for follow up. This is also a wise step if you have had a panic attack and didn’t go to the hospital. CityHealth is well staffed with experienced clinicians who provide primary care, as well as urgent medical care.
If you’re in or near San Leandro or San Jose, CA, please don’t hesitate to visit CityHealth. Our clinicians will listen to your mental health concerns and provide advice on what you can do next. In most cases, we can refer you to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist.
You can also always visit us the next time you experience an anxiety or panic attack. Our compassionate health care experts can help you get through the episode. We’ll be here for you until the signs of your attack subside, and you feel calmer.
Laboratory Tests to Help With Mental Illness Diagnoses
After seeing a mental health professional, you may have to undergo some lab tests. These can help rule out conditions with symptoms similar to mental illnesses, such as heart disease. In many cases, these tests even reveal underlying causes of mental health problems.
For example, your doctor may advise you to undergo a thyroid test. The results of the test will reveal if you have an overactive or under-active thyroid gland. Both can result in mood-related symptoms.
Another example is a fasting blood glucose test, that can help diagnose diabetes. Researchers say that in people with diabetes, the risk for depression is up to three times higher. Your doctor may recommend that you undergo this test to help with your diagnosis.
A complete blood count (CBC) may also help diagnose (or rule out) mental illnesses. For instance, infections and anemia can lead to fatigue, dizziness or weakness, which are also symptoms of depression and panic attacks.
If your doctor recommends that you take these tests, you can come to CityHealth for help. We deliver on-site, certified CLIA Waived laboratory services in our state-of-the-art, fully equipped lab. Because of this, we can provide you instant results for common lab tests.
Boost Your Overall Well-Being With Prompt Mental Health Care Services
Always remember that mental health is just as important as your physical health.
Optimal mental health can even help reduce the risks of physical health problems. As such, it’s always best to get help for any mental health concerns you have before they worsen.
If you need mental health urgent care services and you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, CityHealth is at your service. Get in touch with us now or schedule a virtual visit if you can’t make it to one of our centers.