When we talk about health, we can’t just focus on your heart, or your diet or your vital statistics. That’s not whole health. That means the whole person is important including tools and resources that benefit minds and bodies together.
We know so much more than our parents about this connection. Physical health is so much more than your blood pressure, weight, blood sugar levels and pulse. When things like stress, anxiety, insomnia, and trauma occur it impacts all of us.
May is Mental Health Month so it’s a good time to focus on what we can do to be fit. For the near future and where ever our own personal journeys might take us. Mental wellness discussions are sometimes avoided because of stigma and the lack of the basic understanding of how these “unseen” medical issues impact us.
Let’s learn a few things. Did you know:
- Around 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. (over 46 million) experiences mental illness in a given year.
- 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
- Only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year.
- Half of all mental disorders begin by age 14 and three-quarters by age 24.
Here are tips to help you maintain your mental health.
- Value yourself. It’s up to you to take care of your body and your well-being.
- Don’t be afraid to get help. Speaking with an unbiased coach, counselor, or therapist can be more beneficial than you think.
- Take care of your body. There are numerous posts here that explain easy ways to lower stress, improve sleep and maintain optimum health.
- Quiet your mind. Research shows that meditation may help you feel calm and enhance the effects of therapy. Any mindfulness practice will help you feel centered and you’ll lower stress.
Lastly, ask for help. Seeking help is a sign of strength. Treatment is effective. People who get appropriate care can recover from mental illness or addiction (a big factor in mental health issues) and lead full, rewarding lives.
Decide to take steps in May to improve your mental health awareness.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
It is normal to feel nervous before calling someone you don’t know on a mental help hotline, but the people at mental health hotlines have extensive experience talking to people just like you. Everything you say to them is private and confidential—you don’t even have to give them your name if you don’t want to.