What is Mental Health?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act, and helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is vital at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. If you experience mental health problems throughout your life, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected.
What is Mental Health Awareness Month?
The Mental Health America organization originally established “Mental Health Awareness Month,” which is recognized during the month of May. It was created as a way to educate the public about mental illness, raise awareness surrounding research and treatments, reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, and celebrate recovery from mental illness. Because of misconceptions and stigma surrounding mental health issues, people often suffer in silence and don’t seek treatment for their conditions. Mental health awareness is an important initiative to improve understanding of mental health conditions and increase access to healthcare for those who need it.
What is the importance of Mental Health Awareness Month?
Whether or not someone suffers from a mental health issue, Mental Health Awareness Month helps people recognize how mental illness impacts their lives and educates them about available services. Recognition and education are important ways to remove the stigma associated with mental illness. Mental Health Awareness Month creates a time and space to start a conversation. Talking openly about mental health can reduce misconceptions and stigma and encourage those suffering to seek help and find a support network.
Who can benefit from Mental Health Awareness Month?
Everyone! Nearly one in five adults in the US has a mental health condition. But that one person has family, friends, and others whose lives are touched by their condition, even if they don’t themselves suffer from one. You might be surprised by the prevalence of mental health conditions in adults in the US:
- 48 million have an anxiety disorder
- 21 million have major depression
- 9 million have post-traumatic stress disorder
- 7 million have bipolar disorder
- 3.5 million have a borderline personality disorder
- 3 million have obsessive-compulsive disorder
- 1.5 million have schizophrenia
Mental Health Awareness Month helps those with a condition get access to treatment. It helps their friends, family, and loved ones better understand their condition and connect with support networks.
What do you do if you are struggling with Mental Health?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help or admitting that there may be a problem can feel scary and overwhelming. However, spending too much time isolated or without genuinely opening up to a trustworthy friend or family member can make you feel alone, secluded, vulnerable, and depressed. Opening up to people you trust can be a lifeline.
What do you do if someone you love is struggling with Mental Health?
The first step may be the hardest, but you have to have a conversation with them and connect with them on a personal level because people suffering from mental health challenges often feel alone. Try to find out what they are experiencing so you can get a sense of what they are going through. Ask them what they need; it is crucial to listen to what they need from you. Empower them, encourage them to continue to try and complement them on their strengths and remind them that what they are feeling isn’t permanent and that there is hope. When possible, provide helpful resources. This could involve encouraging them to see their family doctor, seek therapy, or meet with a mental health professional.
At DP Air, we recognize the importance of mental health and the importance of treating mental illness. We encourage anyone fighting this fight alone to seek help and support. You are not alone.