Millions of Americans are affected by mental illness every year. Since 1949, Mental Health America has led the observance of Mental Health Awareness Month in May as an effort to spread the word and provide resources to those impacted by mental illness.
According to MentalHealth.gov, mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental health plays a critical role in each and every stage of our lives, from childhood to adulthood. Not only does it affect our mood and how we think and act, but mental health impacts physical health as well. Several factors contribute to mental health including:
Although there have been great strides in recent years in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, there is still a long way to go in eliminating the common misunderstandings. According to Mental Health America, 43.7 million Americans suffered with mental illness in 2017. The prevalence of mental health issues affects not only the individuals, but entire families and friends surrounding them.
Mental health issues are common but there are many available resources to get help and recover. Some early warning signs that someone may be struggling with mental health issues are listed below:
If you feel like you or someone you know may be struggling with a mental illness, it’s important to know the signs and that help is available. Maintaining a positive mental health state improves overall physical and psychological health. Those with positive mental health will feel confidence in themselves, be productive, and manage stress in a healthy manner.
This year’s theme is Fitness #4Mind4Body. As part of their efforts, Mental Health America is leading the #4Mind4Body day-by-day challenge on social media to highlight the importance of brain-body health. They encourage individuals to document their personal health and fitness journeys and become educated on how nutrition affects the mind and body.
Fitness #4Mind4Body highlights the importance of total body health and how physical health can improve our overall mental well-being. Since everything from diet and nutrition, exercise, stress and sleep has an impact on mental health, this year’s theme aims encourages the public to make small changes every day. These small changes, both physical and mental, can lead to huge improvements in overall health.
Mental Health Awareness Month gives organizations the prime opportunity to plan events, show support, and encourage those living with mental illness to get help. Mental health plays a significant role in physical and overall total body health. Here are some things you can do in observing Mental Health Awareness Month:
There are many different ways to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month. However you choose to celebrate, the most important part is educating yourself and others on the role that mental health plays in our daily lives. This month, we can all be part of the solution to ending the stigma of mental illness and spreading awareness.