When I was in college, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It's an extremely common mental illness, affecting 6.8 million adults every year. My illness is characterized by mild depression as well, which only serves to make things harder to deal with sometimes. Luckily there are a myriad of resources in the city of Billings for people with mental illnesses of all kinds, and it can be quite overwhelming if you're looking for a place to start. I'm no professional, but here are some of my experiences.

I started with a primary care doctor.

My initial worry was finding help with the money that I had. However, I got lots of help and information from my primary care doctor. He didn't specialize in mental health, but he had the ability to show me where to go next, and that's what mattered. I was able to get in touch with a counselor through St. Vincent Healthcare, get the medicine that works best for me, and work my way up through the mental illness. I still have my bad days, however, I think that I've improved leaps and bounds, and continue to work towards bettering myself and those around me.

What are some mental health resources in Billings?

It does depend on your primary care hospital and insurance, but there are usually behavioral and mental health branches in hospitals. Billings Clinic has one for its patients, as well as St. Vincent Healthcare and Riverstone Health. There are also mental health centers that do independent counseling for anyone from children to veterans. You can even find a list of counselors in Billings here, many of them offer online therapy as well. Prices of sessions vary from person to person, so make sure you check with your health insurance to see what it covers.

Most importantly, if you or anyone you know is dealing with a mental illness and having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone.

Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic:

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