Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month is observed in May. It serves as an opportunity to raise awareness on the importance of mental health and behavioral concerns. Countless people face the stigma that they are dangerous, crazy, or incompetent for having mental health issues, when they are struggling with a diagnosable disorder, which can be easily managed given the proper treatment and care.

Millions of Americans will go through their life with feelings of overwhelming sadness or anxiety without ever knowing why. The most common disorder is depression, affecting 300 million people a year, men and women, young and old. An estimated 20% of Americans– about 1 in 5 people — suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder each year. Mental health conditions affect us all, either personally or through someone we know.

Listed below are a few simple tips to help improve your mental health:

Together for Mental health. Green and blue background.

  • Let go of material and emotional clutter. This will lessen stress and allow you to focus on what is important to you.
  • Practice basic self-care. Getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, and exercising to keep your mind strong,
  • Practice deep breathing to reduce momentary anxiety. Simply inhale for four seconds, hold the breath for four seconds, and exhale for four seconds.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Everyone needs a little extra support sometimes.
  • Give yourself permission to feel your emotions so that you can properly release them. It is ok to not be ok.
  • Do something you enjoy. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it, and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.

The World Health Organization says, “There is no health without mental health”. Having mental health issues can cause severe physical health issues as well, so it is important to be aware of your mental state and get help if it is suffering. Mental health is serious and not something to shy away from talking about. To learn more about how to speak up and educate people about mental illness – and how to do so in a compassionate, judgement-free way – visit the National Institute on Mental Health website.

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