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Whether you’re a caretaker for someone who struggles with mental health or are navigating these challenges yourself, you know just how important healthcare and social services are to effectively treating symptoms and leading a productive life. But when world-shattering events like the COVID-19 pandemic arise, we’re shown just how far we have to go with providing adequate resources and services for survival.
Physical health is certainly prioritized when preparing for a natural disaster or catastrophic event. But you also have to incorporate mental health into your survival plan if want the best chance at thriving through and surviving these situations.
A future without healthcare and social services is hard to fathom. It’s even more difficult to adequately prepare for not only supporting your physical health but mental health challenges as well.
The best thing to do is make a plan. Here are 3 ways to incorporate mental health in your survival plan.
Practice holistic healing or natural remedies
In addition to medications, equipment, and necessary supplies, you should ensure you have holistic healing methods and natural remedies that help you ease any mental health challenges. It’s a good strategy to practice these methods and remedies regularly before any catastrophic event happens so you’re sure they’ll work for you when things are rough.
To continue to live at some level of comfort after medications get low, resources are scarce, and symptoms flare, you can utilize your list of methods and remedies like:
- Breathing techniques
- Natural herbs
- Regular exercise
- Plant-based diet
- Talking with someone you trust
The time you’ll be spending in survival mode is unknown most of the time. You’re only able to stock up so much medication, equipment, and other tangible resources that aid most of us in coping with our mental health. So, it’s smart to have techniques and remedies that don’t have a shelf life or won’t become scarce over time just in case.
Stock up on any resources you can
When you think about resources, most of us are focused on securing resources for our physical preservation. But we should also be focused on stocking up on resources for our mental health when prepping emergency supplies.
For example, people who suffer from bipolar disorder should prepare for their hypersensitivity to loud/constant sounds by including calming aids in their survial kits along with prepping quiet zones in their homes and recognizing their triggers. Many people who suffer from mental health challenges also take medication and use certain medical equipment to cope. So, make a list of your medications, keep copies of prescriptions on hand, and stock up when and if you can.
The following resources should also be a part of a survival kit:
- Your doctor’s or therapist’s contact information.
- A generator to power devices such as sleep machines.
- Transportation and housing options.
- Self-care essentials like bathing supplies.
- A tangible outlet for your symptoms like a few puzzles, music, or movies.
- An ability to perform maintenance on any equipment.
Any resources you stock up on should ensure your mental and physical health is prioritized.
Form a “survival” team
Your survival plan should absolutely include a community of people who you trust and all play an important role in making sure you survive. Having a community of people to help you during emergencies, natural disasters, and unnatural events is a good idea to ensure you know what tangible resources you have, the support they can provide, and how committed they are to making sure you’re safe.
Connect with neighbors, family members, medical professionals, transportation officials, coworkers, people in your neighborhood, and others who can help you when need assistance.
If you’ve spoken to your therapist, doctor, or counselor about your desire to prep for an event that requires long-term survival plans, ask them:
- If they’ve got any information to give you regarding their own survival prep?
- How they can be reached?
- Where they’ll be located?
- How they’re prepared to support their patients in a situation like this?
They’ll hopefully be able to utilize electricity and power at some point to engage in things like telehealth for virtual consultations, appointments, check-ins, therapy sessions, and other health-related tasks. It’s crucial to have some sort of communication and connection to someone in the medical field.
It’s also important not to wait until the last minute to evacuate anyone whose condition could turn fatal if the natural disaster or world event outlasts their supplies and resources. If you can move yourself, friends, or family members to a safer situation before things get out of control, do it. Your survival team can include a transportation person and a few medical officials that are available to you for transportation, medical care, or shelter if needed.
When preparing for a future where healthcare and social services are unavailable, your mental health should be just as much of a priority as your physical health. Practice holistic and natural remedies to continue coping with mental health challenges when traditional resources like medication and medical equipment become unavailable. You’ll also want to stock up on mental-health-related resources and form a “survival” team to have the best chance at successfully navigating a future where healthcare and social services are unavailable.