SAN DIEGO: Mental Health Awareness Month was first observed in 1949. Throughout the month of May, millions of Americans will participate in events, walks, and celebrations to highlight the importance of mental health. Part of the mission is to help reduce the stigmas that create barriers to diagnosis and treatment.
Americans suffering from a mental disorder is at a staggering number
In a 2016 report, “Prevention and Early Intervention B4Stage4: The State of Mental Health in America 2016” it is estimated that 18.1 percent of adults were reported to have a mental health issue last year.
This year, the report indicates that approximately 43.7 million adults have a mental health issue, with approximately 9 million adults, or 4 percent, having serious thoughts of suicide.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 1 in 25 U.S. adults experience a serious mental illness each year which limits their ability to perform basic functions and tasks at home and at work.
Learn more about mental health
There are a variety of mental health disorders and illnesses which are published in http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml, and represent some which are more commonly known.
Attention Deficit disorders
Substance abuse disorders
Post-traumatic stress disorders
A mental health disorder may occur early or late in life and has the possibility of becoming ongoing or temporary depending upon its severity and access to proper treatment.
Recognize the warning signs
High levels of worry and fear
Excessive alcohol intake
Extreme changes in mood
High blood pressure
Given the personal, social and economic impact created by the disability of people with untreated mental health disorders, it is imperative to seek immediate attention from a qualified mental health provider.
Do not delay seeking treatment out of fear or stigma
The following contacts may provide direction to those seeking professional assistance.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (call 911 for an immediate emergency)
NAMI Helpline: https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/NAMI-HelpLine
Mental Health America: www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may
Tips to maintain mental health
To maintain the best possible mental health, or to get help getting back on track, Mental Health America offers the following tips on feeling better and growing stronger and more resilient.
Be certain to connect with other people
Get physically active
Help other people
Get enough sleep
Take care of spirit
Become more resilient
Seek professional help immediately
In a speech at the White House National Conference on Mental Health 2013 President Barack Obama said:
“Too many Americans who struggle with mental health illnesses are still suffering in silence rather than seeking help, and we need to see to it that men and women who would never hesitate to go see a doctor if they had a broken arm or came down with the flu, that they have the same attitude when it comes to their mental health.”
Choosing to be happy and well is a gift and a right–choose mental health by celebrating Live Your Life Well throughout the month of May and the rest of your life.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!