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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Each year the month of May is dedicated to Mental Health Awareness. Why do we dedicate a whole month to mental health awareness?  I am happy you asked. Mental health awareness has become a national movement providing awareness to the millions of individuals living with a mental illness and educating those that are less knowledgeable. There are many Americans who struggle with mental illness and lack the confidence to seek treatment. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides support and education to the general public and advocates for policies that support individuals and their families living with mental illness. We must remove the stigma about mental illness because our mental health affects how we think, feel and act. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being and we should treat it with the same care we give to our physical health.

Statistics show that more than 50% of individuals will be diagnosed with a mental illness within their lifetime. Within past year due to the recent pandemic many have experienced mental illness and one in five Americans will continue to experience a mental illness within any given year. Children can also exhibit symptoms of mental illness and one in 25 Americans live with serious mental illness that include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression disorder. There are early warning signs that can detect if someone should be seek help for mental illness. The signs you can look for to identify if it is time to seek professional help are:

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Experiencing have low or no energy at all
  • Having feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Mood swings and unexplained aches and pains
  • Fighting, feeling irritable, or yelling with others
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or someone else
  • Easily distracted and unable to focus to perform daily tasks
  • Smoking, drinking or using alcohol or drugs excessively
  • Hearing voices or seeing things others do not see or hear


Mental health awareness is about providing the nation with information that can save a life. If you or someone you know exhibits signs that something is wrong, please do not be afraid to seek help. A qualified mental health professional can assist you in getting your life back on track. Mental health can be treated with psychotropic medication and/or therapy treatment. Your mental health professional can assist you in deciding what is best for you.


References:

Mental Health.gov

The National Alliance of Mental Illness

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