Action Plan for Declining Mental Health
The Meru Health Program is designed to alleviate symptoms of stress, depression, burnout, and anxiety. However, sometimes when you begin to explore your struggle and circumstances, you might feel worse before getting better. It is also possible that adverse life events occur during the program that might worsen your mood or mental state.
This document outlines the steps to take if your symptoms get worse while you’re in the program. The Meru Health Program does not include face-to-face therapy. For this reason, it is critical that you know where to seek medical attention, whether from a therapist or a physician. It is also vital that you know how to determine whether to schedule a face-to-face appointment and then go directly to urgent care or the nearest emergency room. So let’s review the steps we recommend:
Step 1: If at any time you notice your symptoms worsening, or you find it increasingly difficult to engage with life, or have trouble engaging with the practices and content in the Meru Health Program, please inform your Meru therapist. Your therapist is available to support you during regular business hours M-F, and will be able to modify the program, to allow more frequent contact with the therapist. Please be aware that your Meru therapist may take up to 24 hours to respond and is not available on weekends.
Step 2: Typical symptoms of depression may include thoughts and feelings of hopelessness; as if nothing in life is worth living for. If you feel like this, or if you’re having a severe panic attack or having thoughts of harming yourself; or if it is after business hours and your Meru therapist is not available; we still want you to get support. Please don’t try to “tough it out” alone! If you have a personal therapist or a primary care physician, contact them right away.
If you are unable to do this, then please call or text the National Crisis Hotlines listed below. There are trained professionals who are available 24/7 to talk/text with you about whatever is causing distress, not just suicidal thoughts. Inform your Meru therapist if you take any of these steps so that your therapist can follow up with additional support as needed the next business day.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline number: 988
Crisis Text Line: Text the word HOME to 741741
Step 3: When depression is more severe, some people’s thoughts could turn to suicide planning or a concrete plan to end one’s life. If you feel that you are in immediate danger of being harmed, harming yourself, or harming someone else, the best thing to do is call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room right away.
Other symptoms that indicate a need for immediate medical attention include increased use of substances, insomnia, or decreased need for sleep, hallucinations, or any extreme changes in your behavior or personality. If you experience any of these symptoms, please don’t let guilt or shame get in the way of seeking help you need. The most important thing is for you to be safe. We’d appreciate you informing your Meru therapist of this as soon as you are out of danger, whether that is while you are at the hospital, or immediately upon your safe return home.