Helping You Meet Your Mental Health Needs
- Singer and mental health advocate Jewel Kilcher, 49, is working on a new album inspired by her on mental health journey. Her struggles with anxiety from a troublesome childhood continues to fuel making mental health resources more accessible to any who needs them.
- Research published in Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences found that “35 to 40 percent of cancer patients have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder,” patients battling late-stage cancer tend to face even more significant mental health challenges.
- Anxiety is triggered by many stressors, such as a diagnosis or the fear that your cancer will return. Experts tell SurvivorNet that tips for coping with anxiety may include finding hobbies that bring you joy or rationally managing your extreme thoughts.
- Dr. Asher Aladjem, a physician psychiatrist at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, recommends cancer patients address all of their symptoms one-by-one with a mental health professional, can go a long way in making treatment a more tolerable experience on your journey.
“I’ve always been on this mental health mission. I refused to let my life go by without learning how to be happy,” Kilcher said during an ABC News interview.Read More
“I got into mental health because I moved out at 15, and I knew that statistically, my story shouldn’t end well, and there were really no resources for kids like me,” she said.
Her experiences motivated her to start a youth foundation centered around mental health. The “Not Alone Challenge” is her latest and proudest accomplishment. The campaign is designed to raise money and awareness for mental health. She says while mental health has always been an issue, the COVID-19 pandemic elevated it to epidemic levels.
In addition to her advocacy work, Kilcher focused on her music for an upcoming album, which is like therapy for her.
“It’s like a lullaby for adults,” Kilcher said of the album in the works.
“It’s the music I’ve been writing to soothe myself at night, and I wanted to share it with other people,” she added.
Helping You With Mental Health Resources
- Fighting Depression, Addiction, & Eating Disorders Demi Lovato, 30, Advocates for Mental Health Awareness
- How to Be Realistically Optimistic: Coping With Mental Health Long-Term
- How to Handle the Emotional Toll of Caring for a Loved One With Cancer: Prioritizing Your Mental Health
- Mental Health: Coping With Feelings of Anger
- Mental Health: Understanding the Three Wellsprings of Vitality
Why Mental Health Matters for Cancer Patients
According to Mental Health America, “56% of adults with a mental illness receive no treatment, and over 27 million individuals experiencing a mental illness are going untreated.”
While millions of people have unmet mental health needs, the need for mental health resources is even greater among cancer patients and their families.
Research published in Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences found that “35 to 40 percent of cancer patients have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder,” and the number of people experiencing mental health challenges is “higher among cancer patients with advanced stages of cancer and in palliative care settings.”
WATCH: SN & You Presents Mental Health: Coping With Emotions
According to Dr. Asher Aladjem, a physician psychiatrist at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, addressing your symptoms one by one with a mental health professional can go a long way in making treatment a more tolerable experience.
“Patients need to know they’re entitled to get the whole spectrum of services, and the mental health service is a very important one, I think,” Dr. Aladiem tells SurvivorNet.
@jewel We’re back w the #NotAloneChallenge… go to @#NotAloneChallenge to get free mental health resources & bid on stuff! @Jada Pinkett Smith ♬ original sound – jewel
“I always tell patients that if they were not anxious before a scan or a test, I would be worried about them because I think that the anxiety is predictable and expected, trying to normalize for people the fact that there is going to be anxiety for any scan or any test that they’re going to experience, for the rest of their lives.”
Dr. Aladiem says the anxiety patients may feel (also called scan-xiety) can interfere with them getting all the necessary testing they need for their treatment plan. For this reason, he stresses the importance of “treating the anxiety” to improve the chances of completion of treatment.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
If you find yourself struggling with a diagnosis or helping a loved one cope with their emotions, consider asking your doctor the following questions:
- How can I go about improving my outlook/mental health?
- Are there any activities I can do to encourage positive feelings?
- When should I seek other interventions if I’m still struggling?
- What are the steps to finding a different therapist if the one I’m using is not working out?