RICHMOND, Va. – A recently released National Health Rankings report found Virginia ranked 38th in the number of available health care providers.
The UnitedHealthcare report also ranked the Commonwealth 8th in the nation for frequent cases of mental distress.
Suzanne Perkins is Vice President of National Support for Health Engagement Strategies for UnitedHealthcare. She described mental distress as the percentage of adults who said their mental health was not good on 14 or more days in the past 30 days.
“When we look at Virginia and how well you’re all doing there, I also start to think about things related to common mental distress like physical distress, physical inactivity, even food insecurity, to put it mildly. to name a few,” Perkins explained. “Virginia does better than many other states in these categories, and has even improved in these areas over the past few years.”
May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month.
According to the rankings, Virginians enjoy a low percentage of food insecure households and a low prevalence of frequent physical distress.
The report highlighted some of our state’s challenges, such as low public health funding per capita, a high prevalence of sleep deprivation, and a low number of mental health care providers.
CBS 6 reported on burnout in the healthcare industry, especially among doctors and nurses. These professionals have declared themselves overwhelmed and are leaving the industry in droves due to the stress of their jobs.
Perkins said mental health counselors and providers are not immune to work challenges.
Think the struggles you hear around burnout among health care providers are real, she said.
“A lot of what we aim to encourage people to do, we’ve tried to do ourselves,” Perkins said. “Self-care is an integral part of it and taking care of yourself. It may take time to recharge. For some people who walk outside, stand outside with the sun on their face for a few minutes, or spend a few minutes with their children.
Don’t wait to seek help if you are experiencing a mental health crisis or emergency. Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed, depressed, anxious or sad.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255.