Mental health is an important part of our overall health, and many of us need help at some time during our lives. This page is a place to start to “know your mind” better, and to learn more about the things you can do to support mental wellness, from self-care such as exercise to starting a conversation with your primary care provider. In the blogs and videos below, a generous group of local, volunteer mental health experts shares information on the symptoms and treatment of some of the most common mental health conditions, offers tips on self-care, and helps us all chart a course through emotionally challenging times.
Depression is more than just feeling sad or unhappy. It’s feeling overwhelming sadness or a loss of interest and pleasure in your usual activities. Depression can affect almost every aspect of your life, including your behavior, your relationships, and your physical health. It’s one of the most common mental health conditions, and people of all ages and backgrounds experience it. The good news is that, with the right plan, many people can and do get better.
There is no single cause of depression, but traumatic events, genetics, life circumstances, chronic diseases, and drug and alcohol use can trigger or worsen depressive symptoms. To be diagnosed with depression by a health care provider, you need to have symptoms for at least two weeks.
We all feel anxiety. It’s the emotion we experience when we’re worried about something. But feeling too anxious or anxious all the time is different. An anxiety disorder can make it hard to focus and leave you exhausted. It can even cause physical pain.
If you have anxiety that interferes with your daily life, it might be time to talk to a health care provider to see if what you are experiencing is an anxiety disorder. There are many different types of anxiety disorders, and many people with anxiety also experience depression.
Our local experts share their best tips for self-care, managing common mental health concerns, and talking to your health care provider.
Dr. Monica Campbell is a licensed psychologist with nearly 20 years of experience providing therapy services to diverse clients. She is an expert on anxiety and depression, and owns and operates a private practice in Philadelphia.
Dr. Cerdá is Vice President of Clinical Care Transformation at Independence Blue Cross, where he works on collaborative approaches to bring health insurers, hospitals, and doctors together to improve access to well-coordinated, high-quality, and affordable health care.
Licensed psychologist Dr. Tamar Chansky is a national anxiety expert and founder of the Children’s and Adult Center for OCD and Anxiety, as well as frequent media commentator and blogger.
Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Dr. Suzanne ChuChian Chong is a multilingual staff psychologist at Ursinus College who uses her familiarity with immigration and acculturative processes in professional practice.
Dr. Ryan Connolly is a psychiatrist and behavioral health Medical Director at Independence Blue Cross. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
Dr. Thea Gallagher is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Outpatient Clinic at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Guerra-Garcia is a board-certified internal medicine physician and Senior Medical Director at Independence Blue Cross. She leads medical management operations, collaborates with local physicians to ensure high quality evidence based care, and provides community outreach.
Dr. Lopez-Pajares is a Medical Director at Independence Blue Cross, where she conducts member case management, and focuses on quality improvement and educational projects.
Dr. Ramírez,, a.k.a. “Dr. Queerness,” is Executive Director of Ramírez Psychotherapy in Philadelphia. They provide individual, couples, and family therapy and queer-affirmative clinical supervision, and serve on the faculty of the Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis in Philadelphia.
24/7 emergency support
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Call 1-800-273-8255 for free and confidential support.
Crisis Text Line:
Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor
The #mindPHL campaign aims to reduce the stigma around people’s need for mental health support. It also encourages Philadelphians to seek help for their mental health challenges. Learn more about the #mindPHL campaign at mindPHLtogether.com. This campaign is sponsored by the City of Philadelphia and Independence Blue Cross.