Mental Health: Let's Talk About It

Preventive care is not limited to physical health. If you believe a friend or family member is experiencing a mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression, you can make a big difference just by having a conversation.

Approaching someone to express your concern about his or her mental health may be the first step toward treatment or preventing the problem from worsening. Offering your support can make all the difference. Here are some tips on how to approach this important and sensitive conversation:

  • Discuss the topic where the person feels safe and comfortable, such as at home or somewhere private.
  • Speak in a calm tone.
  • Express your concern by leading with a question like, "I've been worried about you. Can we talk about what you are experiencing? If not, who are you comfortable talking to?"
  • Actively listen and pay close attention to his or her body language and verbal responses.

If you feel your friend or family member needs professional help, gently approach the topic— especially if this is his/her first time seeking care for mental health.

Encourage him/her to make an appointment with a primary care provider or another in-network mental health specialist, or call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration treatment referral hotline at 1-877-726-4727 to locate treatment services or resources.  Mental health treatment is covered by most Medical Mutual health plans. If you need to find an in-network provider, visit and click Find a Provider under the Resources & Tools tab.

The Seriousness of Suicide

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. On average, there are 123 suicides each day. Seek immediate assistance if you know someone who is in danger of harming themselves. You can call a crisis line or the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-877-273-TALK (8255). If you think a loved one is in immediate danger of making a suicide attempt, take him/her to the closest emergency room, or call 911.