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Mental Health Awareness Month: What you need to know

Written By | May 14, 2019

SAN DIEGO, May 14, 2019–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.

A record number of Americans suffering from a mental health issue

In 2017 “Prevention and Early Intervention B4Stage4: The State of Mental Health in America” indicated 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.

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Learn more about mental health

There are a variety of mental health disorders and illnesses which are published in, and represent some which are more commonly known.

Anxiety disorders

Attention Deficit disorders



Bipolar disorders

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Eating 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

Substance abuse

Extreme changes in mood

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High blood pressure

Withdrawal socially

Suicidal thoughts

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:

Mental Health America:

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Tips to maintain mental health awareness

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

Stay positive

Get physically active

Help other people

Get enough sleep

Create joy

Eat well

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!

Laurie Edwards-Tate

Since 1984, Laurie Edwards-Tate has served as President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare, a non-medical Home Care Aide Organization, serving seniors, disabled, infirm and children. Laurie is Board of Director 2018 (elected), Palomar Health; Executive Board Member; Chair Board Human Resources Committee; Member of Audits & Compliance Committee; Community Relations Committee.