Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, an increasingly important time due to the recent rise in the prevalence of mental illness.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, as of 2021, more than one in five adults are estimated to live with a mental illness in the United States. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that depression, behavior issues, anxiety problems and ADHD are the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders in children. These conditions affect millions of children between the ages of 3 and 17 each year.
That is a lot of people struggling with mental health at any given time. Therefore, this isn’t a topic we should shy away from.
It’s important to take this time to recognize that mental health is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being. We need to understand the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses so we can take the necessary steps to improve our mental health. The Cameron Psychiatry team wants you to be equipped with the necessary information to take care of your mental well-being not only during the month of May, but all year long. Keep reading to find out more information and where to find resources.
Recognizing Mental Health
How do you know when you or someone you know is struggling with mental health-related issues? The first sign is when you see a significant change in their behavior or ability to manage emotions and stress.
Noticing differences in eating or sleeping habits, lack of joy in once enjoyable activities, withdrawal from others and low self-esteem can also be indicators of mental health struggles.
Other common indicators include being easily overwhelmed with life, feeling “stuck” or making comments such as, “I wish I was never born,” “things would be better if I weren’t around,” or “I want it to end.”
Additional symptoms include poor personal hygiene, apathy, decrease in motivation, overall lack of interest, self-isolation, frequent crying episodes, angry outbursts and indecisiveness.
What to Do When Experiencing an Episode of Mental Illness
When experiencing a difficult moment or having a panic attack, it is important to have some practical tips to alleviate the situation.
Our providers recommend practicing deep breathing techniques. Also, try to be present in the moment by noticing everything around you and by analyzing all your senses. If you can, try talking to someone you trust. One of the most important aspects of addressing poor mental health is bringing awareness to the issue and breaking the stigma surrounding it.
Be a Resource
If you know someone who is struggling, try sitting quietly with them or listening as they share their feelings. Let them guide the conversation and allow yourself to react depending on what they need. Help them find needed resources, offer to take them to receive help, and connect them to providers. By consistently checking in on them, you are showing that you care and can be a resource.
One of the best ways to support someone who is struggling with their mental health is to encourage them to seek professional help. At Cameron, we have licensed psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, social workers and therapists who are all ready to assist you or your loved ones with mental health support.
When necessary, recognizing the signs of mental illness and seeking help can help create a healthier and happier community. Let’s break the stigma and raise awareness this month for mental health. You are not alone; Cameron is here for you.