Back To Basics: Practical Mental Health Information

Since the start of the pandemic, more and more people are talking about mental health. More of us have seen that mental health is an important part of our overall health and well-being, just like physical health.

But mental health conditions, resources, and conversations can still feel complicated and out of reach—like, are there common warning signs to look for? How does a mental health crisis happen? What resources are out there—and how do I know if they’re right for me?

Here is some helpful information about mental health and resources available to you.

Risk factors

There’s often no one single cause for a mental health condition. Instead, there are many possible risk factors that can affect mental health.

Some risk factors include: trauma (a one-time event or ongoing); your environment and how it impacts your health and quality of life; genetics; brain chemistry; and your habits and lifestyle.

Of course, understanding the risk factors for a mental health condition can be more difficult when it’s your own mental health. Take time to ask yourself about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to see if this is part of a pattern that may be caused by a mental health condition. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • Have things that used to feel easy started feeling difficult?
  • Does the idea of doing daily tasks like making your bed now feel really, really hard?
  • Have you lost interest in activities and hobbies you used to enjoy?
  • Do you feel irritated, possibly to the point of lashing out at people you care about?

If you are concerned about your mental health, there are several options available. You are not alone – help is out there, and recovery is possible. It may be hard to talk about your concerns, but simply acknowledging to yourself that you’re struggling is a big step.

Kaiser Mental Health

One call to Kaiser Permanente will get you started with the help you need. You don’t need a referral from your doctor. Just call 1-888-287-2680, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. After hours, call 1-800-297-6877. Kaiser offers treatment and support for all mental, emotional, and substance use conditions.

Learn more about Kaiser Permanente’s mental health coverage at

In times of crisis

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (also called the Lifeline) at 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Text Line by texting MHA to 741741. Starting July 16, anyone will be able to simply call 988 and get connected to the Lifeline.

Save this information

Our society focuses much more on physical health than mental health, but both are equally important. While you may not need this information today, knowing the basics about mental health will mean you’re prepared if you or someone you love ever need it.

Please contact HR if you would like more information about your coverage.