SANTA BARBARA — With May 1 marking the start of Mental Health Awareness Month, CenCal Health is urging the community to acknowledge signs of mental distress and seek help if needed.
According to a Pew Research study from February, 21% of U.S. adults are experiencing high levels of physiological stress. The study found that 32% of adults ages 18 to 29 expressed physiological stress, such as anxiety and depression, which are common and treatable.
“Without a doubt, the ongoing shutdowns, job losses, and fear of COVID-19 virus infection have affected people’s emotions and mental health,” Dr. Karen Hord, CenCal Health deputy chief medical officer, said in a statement. “As we enter our second year of the pandemic, it is important that our CenCal Health members and community members of all ages have access to appropriate mental health resources and services.”
CenCal Health offers a range of mental health services to its plan members in both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. These services include mental health assessments, individual or group therapy, and alcohol and substance use services.
“The difference between enduring mental health difficulties alone and getting support can be night and day for patients in need,” CenCal Health Chief Medical Officer Farid Hassanpour said in a statement. “While COVID-19 may have changed how doctors serve their patients, it does not change the quality standards of care. Telemedicine appointments, for example, allow our members to receive mental health care in the safety and convenience of their homes.”
In Santa Barbara County, Behavioral Wellness acts as the hub for psychological assistance. For more information, visit countyofsb.org/behavioral-wellness or call 888-868-1649.