4 years ago · Leah Fogt · Comments Off on Let’s Talk about Mental Health!
Every year in May we recognize Mental Health Month as a time to raise awareness of mental health issues, reduce stigma, and promote access to quality care and services. The tradition began back in 1949 and remains an important opportunity to be mindful of the role mental health plays in our lives as individuals, couples, families, and communities.
Did you know?
Approximately 1 and 5 adults in the US will experience a mental illness in a given year.
About 1 in 25 adults in the US will experience a serious mental illness in a given year, which significantly interferes with one or more major life activities.
6.9% of adults in the US had at least one Major Depressive Episode in the past year.
18.1% of adults in the US experience an Anxiety Disorder (such as PTSD, OCD, social anxiety, or phobias).
50.5% of US adults who experience a substance use disorder also have a co-occurring mental illness.
>>>>>Even though mental illness is this prevalent, only 41% of US adults with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year!
We’ve got to work together as a community to solve this problem! Let’s support mental health research and encourage the development of effective treatments, programs, and services to help those who are struggling. Let’s educate one another, engage in dialogue about mental illness. We can’t be afraid to talk about this!
Here are some ways to get involved:
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is focusing its efforts this year on reducing the stigma of mental illness in American Society with the goal of “replacing stigma with hope.” NAMI emphasizes changing societal views of mental illness – that we see the PERSON first, not the illness. Even actress Mayim Bialik is getting involved!
Another organization, Mental Health America is focusing its efforts this year on sharing stories about life with mental illness.
“This year’s theme for Mental Health Month is – Life with a Mental Illness – and will call on individuals to share what life with a mental illness feels like for them in words, pictures and video by tagging their social media posts with #mentalillnessfeelslike (or submitting to MHA anonymously). Posts will be collected and displayed at mentalhealthamerica.net/feelslike.
Posting with the hashtag will allow people to speak up about their own experiences, to share their point of view with individuals who may be struggling to explain what they are going through—and help others figure out if they too are showing signs of a mental illness. Sharing is the key to breaking down negative attitudes and misperceptions surrounding mental illnesses, and to show others that they are not alone in their feelings and their symptoms.”
Whether you choose to be involved in any organized efforts this month or not, I invite you to take the opportunity to be mindful of role mental health plays in your life. Consider asking yourself some challenging questions.
- How has mental health impacted my personal life? My loved ones?
- Do I use any words that perpetuate stigmas, myths, or marginalization of individuals with mental illness?
- Am I embarrassed or ashamed to talk about my mental health, even with people I trust or people who could help?
- What do I wish the world knew about mental illness?
- What are some examples of ways I have been resilient? Who or what has helped me along the way?
If you or someone you love may be struggling with a mental illness, talk about it! One loving, judgement-free conversation can open the doors to a more healthy and hopeful future! Resources and treatment options are available through your insurance provider or your county’s Mental Health and Addictions Recovery Board. You can also read about beginning therapy with me HERE.
Categories: Awareness and News