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Take Care of Yourself – Good Healthcare Includes Mental Health

Did you know – good healthcare includes mental health

By Curtis Thill, M.D.

The people in Crawford and Orange counties have spoken. Stress levels are up, and people need to do something about it.

Our medical practice recently conducted some in-person research and that was one of the big takeaways. Many people want to reduce their stress and anxiety levels, and many want additional professional resources to help fill in the gaps.

What can you do to help yourself or your family?

As a practicing physician in Crawford County, I know firsthand that the pandemic left a lot of stress in its wake, and current economic conditions aren’t helping to lower stress levels.

But there are positive things you can do take care of yourself.

First, at our practice, we understand and fully support the truth that the spectrum of sound healthcare includes positive mental health. If you feel overwhelmed, depressed, or anxious to the point where it’s affecting your work or family help, get professional help as soon as possible. Don’t worry about what people may think. Being mentally healthy is a critical part of life.

Second, if you can still cope positively with daily life, but are feeling stressed out, having occasional problems sleeping or feel physically or mentally exhausted, try these self-help steps:

  • It can certainly be a challenge in our region, but make a renewed personal effort to take care of your body. This means eating more fresh vegetables (especially now that we’re in harvest time), drink plenty of water, and if you are a smoker or vaper, look at ways you can decrease and quit altogether. That last one is a hard one, but it has immediate benefits!
  • Find a way to get regular exercise – walking for 30-45 minutes three times a week (or more, if you can do it) often brings the surprising benefits of lowering anxiety levels and lifting mild depression; plus, it directly helps with the important health benefit of getting enough good quality sleep.
  • Learn techniques for relaxation and resilience – we are fortunate to partner with Kara Schmidt at SO IN Body to produce a number of short videos that can help you learn techniques to reduce stress (in both adults and children), improve focused attention, and more. Check them out on the SICHC YouTube channel:

Taking care of yourself when things become overwhelming

As I mentioned, anxiety, depression and other mental issues can escalate to the point where life becomes difficult, even nearly impossible. I see it personally in my medical practice in Crawford County. If you or a family member are in this situation, the good news is that professional help is readily available. Like other area healthcare service providers in the region, we at Southern Indiana Community Health Care in English and Marengo offer a broad spectrum of certified mental health professionals who are prepared and ready to help you. This also includes specific treatment for children (and adults) who may have suffered adverse or traumatic experiences in childhood.

Don’t wait!

Remember, everyone has been through tough times of one kind or the other – especially in the past two years! It’s certainly no moral failure to seek help. Find a medical professional who can meet you where you are and walk with you. Value yourself and take care of your needs today!

A board-certified family physician, Curtis Thill, M.D. has practiced medicine in Crawford County for more than 30 years.

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