Although its getting better, there is still an enormous amount of stigma and shame wrapped around the subject of mental health and seeking out help. Often times its viewed as embarrassing and/or shameful when the reality is that its no different from talking to your physical doctor about a pain in your knee or taking your car in when the check engine light comes on. Zero difference. Anyone can benefit from talking with someone when the need to unpack comes up.
The month of May has been Mental Health Awareness Month in the US, so lets review some facts about Mental Health.
One in five adults in the US will experience a mental health challenge at some point during their lives. One in five. And over forty percent of people suffering from a mental health event will take over a year to seek out help.
Stigmas around mental health and its treatment can include shame, embarrassment, ego and pride, discrimination and even culture. Many “isms” go hand-in-hand with mental health: substance abuse, food, and sex are common ways that people can avoid themselves. People can overwork, over acquire possessions and people in their lives to numb themselves so that they won’t have to feel what they do when there’s no action around. Simple logic dictates that we see a doctor when we’re physically ill. Working to treat our emotional health is no different.
What is Mental Health?
Mental Health is a state of emotional well-being in which an individual:
Realizes their own capabilities
Can successfully mange the normal stresses of life
Can work productively
Can contribute to their Community
What is a Mental Health Challenge?
There is a major change in someone’s thinking, feeling or behavior that interferes with the person’s ability to live their life.
The interference lasts longer than typical emotions or reactions would be expected to.
How to observe Mental Health Awareness:
1. Take care of yourself. Sometimes life’s ups and downs can seem to be heavy and burdensome.
2. Check up on your friends and family. Often, all people need is a non-judgmental listening ear. Support and encourage your friends and family if they are being treated for any mental problems.
3. The more mental health is discussed, the more accepted it will become. Learn about what behaviors and language to watch for in your friends, family and also in yourself.
Crisis Text Line
Text MHFA to 741741
Mental Health First Aid USA
Finding a Behavioral Health Professional