What is Mental Health?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
It is important to be mindful of our mental health and the mental health of our friends and family. Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected.
UNDERSTANDING MENTAL ILLNESS
“The fact is, a mental illness is a disorder of the brain – your body’s most important organ – and one in four adults experience mental illness in a given year, including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and PTSD. Like most diseases of the body, mental illness has many causes – from genetics to other biological, environmental and social / cultural factors. And just as with most diseases, mental illnesses are no one’s fault. The unusual behaviors associated with some illnesses are symptoms of the disease – not the cause. But most importantly, mental illnesses are treatable through medication and psychosocial therapies – allowing those who live with them the opportunity to lead full and productive lives.” (Bring Change To Mind)
Mental Health and Wellness
+ What positive mental health allows people to do
- Realize their full potential
- Cope with the stresses of life
- Work productively
- Make meaningful contributions to their communities
+ Ways to maintain positive mental health
- Getting professional help if you need it
- Connecting with others
- Staying positive
- Getting physically active
- Helping others
- Getting enough sleep
- Developing coping skills
+ Early Warning Signs
Not sure if you or someone you know is living with mental health problems? Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign of a problem:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from people and usual activities
- Having low or no energy
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters
- Having unexplained aches and pains
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
- Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
- Yelling or fighting with family and friends
- Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
- Having persistent thoughts and memories you can't get out of your head
- Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school (JAYNE CITE REF)
Mental health problems are common, but help is available:
Tell someone-you deserve and need support
Seek help from mental health professionals
Get informed from the many organizations dedicated to mental health today.
Many people have mental health concerns from time to time. But a mental health concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your daily life and ability to function.
Mental Health America (MHA) offers a free online screening tool, which can help give you an indication if you are dealing with a mental health concern. This tool is helpful, but Please Remember that only a mental health professional can properly diagnose you.
It is common
Mental illnesses are common in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Mental illnesses include many different conditions that vary in degree of severity, ranging from mild to moderate to severe.
+ ANXIETY DISORDERS +
Anxiety Disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year (NIMH,2018) Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment (NIMH,2018)
+ DEPRESSION +
Depression is also more common than you may think, an” estimated 16.2 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 6.7% of all U.S. adults” (NIMH,2018) According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Children and teenagers also may have depression, as well. More than one in seven teens experience depression each year.
The prevalence of adults with a major depressive episode was highest among individuals aged 18-25 (10.9%)
Mental Health America (MHA) offers free online screening. According to the MHA, “Taking a mental health screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition.
Not enough of us ARE getting help
There is a discrepancy between the numbers of people who deal with mental illness vs. the percentage that actually receive treatment.
In 2016, among the 44.7 million adults with mental illness, only 19.2 million (43.1%) received mental health treatment in the past year.
The percentage of young adults aged 18-25 years with a mental health condition who received mental health treatment (35.1%) .
More women (48.8%) received mental health treatment than men (33.9%).