Hi, this is Bernie Dake. You're listening to The Salvation Army's Words of Life. Hey, this is Chris Benjamin, the producer for Words of Life. And we're going to push our Christmas series back one week, because we had an opportunity recently to sit down with a Christian psychotherapist and counselor, Kendall Loudon, on the Youth Down South Podcast. You know, this time of year, while so many of us are celebrating, there's also a lot of us that are really struggling with the mental health crisis. And this was a great opportunity for us to share this interview as she really highlighted the importance of us really discussing openly mental health and mental health issues, especially within the church. Kendall also offers a lot of resources to say, maybe you're not seeking help because you think you can't afford it.
She has some solutions there. And she highlights that now the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is now a three digit number, 988. You can call that anytime and speak to someone. Visit SalvationArmyRadio.org and on our Words of Life page, we'll have some of the resources that she mentions in this episode. So enjoy. Again, what you're about to hear is actually from another one of our shows, the Youth Down South Podcast. One of our hosts, Jessica Fagerstrom, is now interviewing psychotherapist and counselor Kendall Loudon. Merry Christmas. We'll start our Christmas series next week. I notice I'm noticing something about you, and I just wonder, is this something that you experience to that you are maybe wanting to talk to me about and maybe not me, but maybe somebody else?
And you can leave that door open. You're not alone. One in five adults in the U.S. experience a mental health challenge within a given year. Hey there, listeners. Today, I am sitting with Ms. Kendall Loudon. How are you doing, Kendall? I'm doing well, Jessi.
I'm so happy that we finally got you on the podcast and to talk about something that is very close to your heart and very important. So today we are talking about mental health. So I guess maybe we can start off by just kind of defining mental health and kind of like what is it and how does society view it?
It's a great question. So mental health is just like physical health. So it's a condition. In particular, it would deal with your kind of psychological health, your emotional health, and even your social kind of like we call well-being.
So that's kind of the definition of it. It can change over time based off the demand in your life and how much support you might have. Also biological factors. There's a lot of reasons and ways that make up why someone's mental health might be stronger than others at a given time.
So it changes over time. And then how society views it. Thank you for asking about that. I would say that there is stigma involved in mental health. Right. And the way we bust stigma is by talking about it. So this is this is a stigma busting thing that we're doing right now.
Right. Talking to your listeners. You know, why is it important for me to understand mental health either for myself or those around me? Like why is why is it important for me to know about it or to give it any any thought?
It's a great question. Ideally, we're thinking about mental health just as we would any other health category in life. So physical health or your oral health.
So you might go to the dentist once every six months. We're thinking about mental health just like that. And so just as you tend to your physical health, you want to tend to your mental health as well. The more we talk about it, the more we say, yeah, I struggle too. Or here's this challenge that I have or actually I have this disorder, but I don't really struggle from it anymore because I got treatment. We need to be talking about mental health just as we would.
I broke my arm. Here's this cast and you can see that I have this cast and that's really obvious to you. So then I get empathy and people help me with the door and people help me because they know I am debilitated in some way. Well, mental health, you can't see that. Right. So we need to be talking about it. And that's stigma reducing and that's why it's important to talk about it because the more you feel isolated, the harder it is to speak up and get help.
All right. Well, can I talk a little bit more specifically about the Salvation Army now? Because I know that you in your work, you work with people in the Salvation Army. But anything that you can tell us about mental health within the Army and what's being done and maybe how the Army helps those with mental health difficulties? So the Salvation Army is definitely an ally for mental health, for sure. If you are someone who is an employee, you would have Salvation Army insurance. And with that is an incredible mental health or what we kind of call behavioral health in terms of insurance benefit. So if you're someone in that category, the Salvation Army believes in mental health, believes in getting treatment, and that would be covered by your insurance. So that's a huge benefit and that signals we believe in this, we care about this, we believe that you should get treatment for this.
So that's one way that they say, yes, we believe in this and here's how we're going to support it. If I'm a young adult and I am struggling, I know that I am struggling, right, in this moment, what would you recommend for that person? How can they go about seeking help or what would you recommend that they do? Thank you for asking this question because there are what we call real barriers to care, right, which are cost, time, transportation sometimes, or access to internet. There's real barriers to this, but the big one being cost.
Sometimes culture can be a huge barrier to this, what we talked about with stigma. But if you're someone who has health insurance, the first route I would say is looking at your insurance card. So on the back of your card you'll have a phone number or a website and you can go to that or call that number and they will give you a list of providers in a certain radius for you that take your insurance. And then if you don't have insurance, then I would Google community mental health resources in your area or something called sliding fee counseling.
And what they're going to do is look at your salary and then provide a fee for you that would be equivalent to what is appropriate for your salary. What if I'm a young adult and I know someone in my life who is struggling, you know, what is a way that I can go about helping them in a way that maybe doesn't attack them or make them feel less than, how can I do that? I notice. I'm noticing something about you.
And I just wonder, is this something that you experienced too, that you are, you know, maybe wanting to talk to me about? And maybe not me, but maybe somebody else. And you can leave that door open. And actually this is a way of providing what we call mental health first aid. And you can do that.
The fear I think people have is won't that make it worse or won't that be so uncomfortable for me to say something, but I can guarantee the person that you are saying something to would love for someone to notice would say, gosh, actually, I'm not doing that. My greatest and, and thanks for saying something. Yeah. When, in your opinion, is medication something to consider?
And then kind of from there, you know. I'm just, I'm curious about the Medicaid. I'm curious about that element of it because of course that adds a whole nother layer to the help that they're receiving.
You have anything to say about that? Medication is one form of treatment for mental health challenges. Obviously you can't get to medication without having a provider. So if a provider's recommending medication, most likely they are going to be someone who's first of all educated.
Secondly, who is seeing the demand on you? Who's saying, you know what, with this amount of demand, with this amount of symptoms and the severity of these symptoms, I think that medication might be helpful for you. Ideally, no one wants to take medication, right? Like, let's be real about that. But, you know, you wouldn't not take pain medicine if you just had surgery.
You know, it's very similar. If the distress and the duration are high enough to get debilitating, then we need some care. If there is someone listening to this podcast who really doesn't have a community and they don't have someone that they can call upon, is there a safe way for them to contact you in your practice or contact your practice? Is there a way for them to connect with you specifically?
Is there a safe way to do that? Definitely. First, I'll answer that question in a more broad sense. The number 988 is now the suicide and emotional distress hotline. So much like 911, right, for any of those circumstances, you can dial 988, you can text 988 or you can chat 988.
You can even go Google 988 and you'd find their website and lots of different resources. Why I say that is because sometimes people don't have access, like we said, there's barriers to care. So if you are in distress, whether that be suicidal ideation or any other emotional distress and you feel like you don't have anyone, please reach out to that number.
So that's a national number. You can access someone at any time. So that's a great new addition, I guess, to our level of support. But then I would say, yes, you can reach out to us and maybe there's some show notes or something where I can put my email.
And yes, we are someone who wants to get people to care and maybe that's local care, maybe that's telehealth, but yes, we could do that too. Great. Excellent.
So we'll put that in the show notes. Well, Kendall, thank you so much for coming on today. Any last suggestions or things you might want to share?
Anything else that you have for us today? Yeah, I would just say it's been an honor to talk about mental health. This is stigma busting, right? This is how we do it by talking about it. You're not alone. That's what I would say. One in five adults in the U.S. experience a mental health challenge within a given year.
One in five. So you're definitely not alone in that. And so thank you for listening and yeah, just reach out for help if you need it. Thanks Kendall.
You're welcome. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit salvationarmyusa.org to offer your support. And we'd love to hear from you. Call 1-800-229-9965 or visit salvationarmyradio.org to connect.
Tell us how we can help. Share prayer requests or your testimony. With your permission, we would love to use your story on the show. You can also subscribe to Words of Life on your favorite podcast store. Or visit salvationarmyradio.org to learn about more programs produced by the Salvation Army. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. Join us next time for the Salvation Army's Words of Life.
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