The transplantation process is loud. The constant difficulties that can arise with medication, insurance, preparation, compliance, and ever-present worry about whether the organ will take can make it difficult to keep it together in your day-to-day life. Amid all the noise of a major medical procedure, it’s easy to forget one crucial aspect of every transplant journey: mental health.

Due to the stressful, traumatic nature of both the situation and the surgery, organ transplant patients are at unique risk for mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis. These conditions have the potential to impact a patient’s ability to attend tests and treatments or remain on a consistent course of medication. Additionally, high levels of stress can interfere with surgery and recovery.

Mental health issues are still emerging into mainstream culture, and it can be hard to tell if what you’re experiencing is a problem that requires medical attention. Below, the ATF has enclosed some resources to help make sense of the complex emotions and experiences that the transplantation process can entail.

Mental Health Resources

The Adam Project – Created by Howard Gerver in memory of his son and organ donor Adam Gerver. Adam struggled with a variety of behavioral health challenges for 17 years. While his passing was tragic, he did not die in vain. Four adults benefitted from his life-saving organs. The Adam Project is a free, volunteer-supported website that aggregates free mental health resources from all over the internet, organizes them by criteria so you can customize to your needs, and provides them to you in a user-friendly feed.

Mental Health America’s Mental Health Tests – Mental Health America believes the best way to get in touch with your mental health is to evaluate it with the help of their quick, user-friendly screening tools. Each test provides a brief snapshot of where your mental health might be according to certain criteria, and provides you with resources and advice based on the way you scored. 

1+1+LIFE Mentorship Program – Our emotional and educational support program is here to help those waiting for transplants, donors, recipients, and caregivers. We know how tough this journey can be, which is why we offer free support so nobody should feel alone during this process. This program makes a real difference by connecting you with mentors who have been through the transplant process themselves. Get connected with a mentor today. 

Cultivating your mental health is a deeply personal process. Just like transplantation, everyone’s journey looks different. The American Transplant Foundation encourages you to invest in your mental health, reach out for support, and treat it the way you would your body- with an attentive eye and an open heart.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat at Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger or go to the nearest emergency room.