May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in the United States since 1949 and is a time to raise awareness of those living with mental and/or behavioral health issues and reduce the stigma associated with seeking and receiving mental health services.  It also serves as a time to highlight the ways mental illness and addiction can affect all of us. According to the National Institute of Mental Health nearly one in five Americans lives with a mental health condition.  These include any mental, behavioral or emotional disorder such as:
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Mood disorders, including bipolar disorder
  • Experiencing or witnessing trauma
  • Substance-use disorders
There are many contributing factors to mental illness such as isolation and loneliness, physical illness, grief, job loss and increase in exposure to crime and violence. Mental illness isn’t something that can be overcome with willpower any more than a toothache will go away if you just stop thinking about it.  If you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms such as insomnia, low energy or motivation, sadness, nervousness, difficulties with concentration, debilitating self-doubt, irritability or conflict and tension in important relationships, maybe it’s time to seek professional help that supports a return to a full productive life as quickly as possible.  Mental health issues can be addressed through individual, family or group therapy and/or medication management. Since the Covid-19 pandemic and the wide-spread use of telehealth to treat mental health, these services have become more accessible and convenient. If you’re looking for treatment, on-line directories such as Psychology Today can provide information about efficient ways to contact qualified clinicians to set up a consultation.  If you or someone you know is suffering let this be the time to focus on healing, reaching out and acknowledging that seeking help is the first step to getting better.

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