Topic of the Month
May: Mental Health Month
What Is Mental Health Month?
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. During the month of May, organizations across the country bring awareness to mental health. However, fighting stigma, providing support, and advocating for equal care is important to address all year round.
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act; and 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. Many factors contribute to our mental health, including:
- Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry.
- Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse.
- Family history of mental health problems.
Early Warning Signs of 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
- 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
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Inability to perform daily tasks
Tips from Our Doctors
This month’s healthy tip is brought to you by F. Kiko Torres, MD, our Chief Medical Officer.
If you live with mental illness, you may be struggling to find treatment, manage your medication, and cope with life’s challenges effectively. But there is hope. You are not alone. Help is available, mental health conditions are treatable, and you can take steps to recover your life.
Recovery from mental conditions is a process of change through which individuals work to improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to achieve their full potential. Four major dimensions support recovery:
- Health: Making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional well-being.
- Home: Having a stable, safe place to live.
- Purpose: Engaging in meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school, volunteering, etc.
- Community: Building supportive relationships and social networks.
Visit our Behavioral Health page for useful information about our behavioral health services and resources.
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