At Medical Solutions, our mission is connecting care by helping you answer your calling to care. Part of that is being genuinely invested in our travelers’ mental and emotional wellness and supporting you in this capacity. In that spirit, we wanted to make sure you knew that May is Mental Health Awareness Month — a time to recognize the importance of mental health issues, conditions, treatment, self-care, and other related issues.
As part of our commitment to our current travelers and anyone who joins the Medical Solutions team, we invite you to read on for some helpful information and resources to consider as we recognize this Mental Health Awareness Month.
What is Mental Health?
According to MentalHealth.gov, mental health includes “our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.” Mental health concerns can arise because of biological factors like genes or brain chemistry, family history, or life experiences like trauma, abuse, and other difficult circumstances.
Early warning signs for mental health issues listed on MentalHealth.gov can include:
- Changes in eating or sleeping patterns — eating/sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from people and usual activities
- Having low or no energy
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters
- Having unexplained aches and pains
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
- Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
- Yelling or fighting with family and friends
- Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
- Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
- Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school
If you need mental health support, you are not alone! Despite unfair and outdated stigmas around mental issues, getting help or working on your mental health never means there’s anything wrong with you. In fact, it means you’re on the right track and taking good care of yourself, because positive mental health allows you to realize your full potential, cope with life’s stressors, work more productively, and make meaningful contributions to your communities.
Some of the best ways to maintain positive mental health include:
- Getting professional help if you need it
- Connecting with others
- Staying positive
- Getting physically active
- Helping others
- Getting enough sleep
- Developing coping skills
Your Mental Health Matters and We’re Here for You
Living and working through a pandemic has put additional strain on many of our team members, making it more important than ever to prioritize your mental health and self-care. This is especially true for our healthcare heroes who’ve been on the frontlines fighting COVID-19. Fortunately, travel nursing has been shown to combat nurse burnout, a condition that can negatively impact nurses’ mental health and job satisfaction.
Your recruiter is here to support you professionally and personally, so please know that you can always reach out to them. They may not be a mental health professional, but they truly care about you, are always here to listen, and can help connect you with additional mental health resources whenever necessary. You can also always reach a member of our team through our 24-hour customer care line.
FREE Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
All current Medical Solutions travelers automatically have free access to EAP through Cigna. With this complimentary benefit, EAP personal advocates will work with you and/or your household family members to help address personal issues, connect you with the right mental health professionals, direct you to a variety of helpful resources, and more. This free EAP benefit includes eight in-person or remote counseling sessions, as well as legal assistance consultation, financial assistance consultation, and identity theft consultation, plus resources and referrals related to parenting, eldercare, pet care and more.
If you’re a current Medical Solutions traveler and would like to access your free EAP benefit, please contact your recruiter for more details and instructions.
FREE Wellness Webcasts
All current Medical Solutions travelers also have free access to Cigna’s series of live and on-demand wellness webcasts — a treasure trove of insightful programs covering a variety of mental health and wellness topics.
The next live wellness webcast is Wednesday, May 5, from 1-2 p.m. CT and the topic is “Mental Health: Let’s Talk About It.” This webcast will focus on how to conquer the stigma surrounding mental health issues and how to get help if you need it. Like your EAP benefit, this series is free to all current Medical Solutions travelers and you do not need to be enrolled in our medical insurance to take advantage of this resource!
If you’re a current Medical Solutions traveler and would like to access these free wellness webcasts, please contact your recruiter for more details and instructions.
More Mental Health Resources
For anyone seeking additional resources that detail various mental health conditions and how to identify them, educate on how to talk about mental health, and offer actionable steps for finding help, here are several we recommend:
- Mental Health America — MHANational.org
- National Alliance on Mental Illness — NAMI.org
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — SuicidePreventionLifeline.org and 800.273.TALK
- Cigna Health and Wellness — Cigna.com/individuals-families/health-wellness
- Boys Town’s YourLifeYourVoice.org and national hotline 800.448.3000 (great for youth, parents, and caregivers)
If you need help, please reach out. Exercise self-compassion and treat yourself like you’d treat any friend or family member in need — with love and understanding. Don’t judge yourself. Rather, you should actually take pride in prioritizing your mental health care and engaging in self-care.
Healthcare professionals can be especially vulnerable to mental health care issues due to working in such high-stress, high-stakes environments. We want to remind you that as a part of the Medical Solutions family we’ll always be here to support you and we wish you positive mental health!