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Tune in to your mental health

GEHA | May 20, 2019

Mental health problems are common, but help is available.

Mental health affects how you think, feel and act, and helps determine how you handle stress, relate to others and make choices. It is important for your overall health at every stage of your life, from childhood through adulthood.

Poor mental health and mental illness are not the same. A person can experience poor mental health and not be diagnosed with a mental illness.

A person’s mental health can change over time depending on life experiences, family history and physical health. For example, experiencing a stressful situation for an extended period may affect your mental health, such as working long hours, an economic hardship or caring for an ill relative.

Early warning signs of a problem:

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling away from people or activities
  • Low or no energy
  • Feeling numb or as if nothing matters
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling hopeless or helpless
  • Smoking, drinking or using drugs more than usual
  • Feeling unusually forgetful, angry, upset, worried or scared
  • Yelling or fighting with family and friends
  • Severe mood swings
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others
  • Hearing voices or believing things are not true
  • Unable to perform daily tasks

Most people with mental health problems can get better. Treatment and recovery are ongoing processes that happen over time. The first step is to get help from your doctor or a mental health professional.

If you are struggling with a mental health problem, you may want to develop a written recovery plan.

Recovery plans:

  • Enable you to identify goals for achieving wellness.
  • Specify what you can do to reach those goals.
  • Include daily activities as well as longer term goals.
  • Track any changes in your mental health problem.
  • Identify triggers or other stressful events that can make you feel worse, and help you learn how to manage them.

Ways to maintain positive mental health:

  • Get professional help
  • Connect with others
  • Stay positive
  • Be physically active
  • Help others
  • Get enough sleep
  • Develop coping skills

Mental health problems are common but help is available. People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely.

You are not alone in facing these challenges. GEHA is by your side with carefully vetted, board-certified psychiatrists. MDLIVE gives you 24/7/365 access to board-certified psychiatrists from your phone, tablet or computer. Your covered dependents are also eligible. If necessary, MDLIVE can fill e-prescriptions to your pharmacy. Visit MDLIVE to activate your account.


“Learn About Mental Health.”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26 January 2018.
“Recovery is Possible.”, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 14 March 2019.
“What Is Mental Health?”, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 5 April 2019.