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3 Steps to Start the Anxiety and Depression Healing Process

By Innovation Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sunil Budhrani

Working as an ER doctor, I frequently saw patients whose anxiety and depression had gone unmanaged and ultimately led them to attempt suicide.

Nationally one in four adults and one in five children have a diagnosable mental health condition. In Virginia alone, more than 230,000 adults, which is roughly 3.8 percent of the population, have experienced a serious mental illness.

I realized that many times these patients weren’t getting the help they needed, because they feared being labeled or misunderstood. Time and again, I saw that the cost of not treating these symptoms could be fatal. Now, after so many years, so many news reports, and seeing so many of my colleagues and friends struggle, it is clear to me that we must confront the topic of mental health head-on if we are truly going to make a difference.

Many people don’t get the services they need because they don’t know where to start. If you or someone you know is struggling, you can start the healing process by following these three steps:

1. Talk to a primary care physician (PCP) about your mental health. They can help connect you with the right mental health support. If you do not have a PCP, I highly recommend you select one for your general health care needs.

2. Educate yourself. For example, you can visit the Innovation Health website to take a depression or anxiety assessment, or call 703-289-7560 to schedule an in-person assessment with a trained counselor.

3. Be proactive about mental well-being. If you know someone who may be experiencing symptoms related to a mental health condition, encourage them to get the help they need.

Innovation Health is a partnership between Inova, a nationally recognized not-for-profit health care system serving more than two million people each year, and Aetna, one of the nation’s leading health care benefits companies serving over 22 million medical members.

Note: If you are in crisis, you can call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

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