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Ask The Expert: Mental Health

Updated: May 7

During the month of May we celebrate National Mental Health Awareness Month!

Mental health is a key determinant of your overall health. Like the rest of your body, if your mind isn’t healthy, your quality of life and connection is greatly reduced. Hillsborough is home to mental health resources and programs located throughout the county and readily available to the community. Organizations such as the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay or Let’s Talk Tampa Bay work to provide active support for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis along with providing resources to local counseling services and therapists.

You might be wondering how to recognize when you need help or when to reach out for help. Monica Singh, a pediatric resident at the Ybor Youth Clinic, is here to answer all your questions on this topic! Read on to see how University of South Florida (USF) medical student resident Monica Singh has given valuable insight into questions regarding mental health!

Q: How do I know I need mental health services?

A: Knowing when to seek out mental health services can vary from person to person. There are signs that can indicate that mental health services can be beneficial. This includes prolonged sadness, distress, and anger, especially when they are impacting your daily activities. Difficulty functioning and completing your regular tasks as well as difficulty coping with stressors and changes are also times when therapy can be beneficial.

Q: How can I go about talking to my parent/guardian about needing mental health services?

A: Talking to a parent or guardian about needing mental health services can feel unnerving. It is best to approach the conversation with honesty and openness. Choose a time and environment where you can have an uninterrupted conversation and when the parent is not busy/tired. Express your feelings honestly and relay that you feel that you would benefit from therapy. Communicate what you need from them, whether it's emotional support or help finding a therapist.

Q: Are there other adults I can turn to for help with receiving mental health services?

A: Absolutely, it’s totally okay to seek support from other trusted adults, including a school counselor, teacher, or another family member if you are having difficulty talking to your parent/guardian. The important thing is to reach out for help when you need it.

Q: What can I expect to do during a therapy session?

A: During a therapy session, you will likely engage in discussions aimed at helping you explore your thoughts and feelings in a safe, supportive environment. The specifics can vary depending on the type of therapy and the goals you've discussed with your therapist.

Q: If my first therapist was not a good fit for me, does that mean therapy isn't for me?

A: Absolutely not! You can think of finding the right therapist as finding the right friend or romantic partner. Some are a better fit for us than others and it is common to have to try a few different therapists before finding one that you feel comfortable with.

Monica Singh DO USF Pediatrics PGY-2

Nova Southeastern University

Ybor Youth Clinic  - You can learn more information about making an appointment here!  

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