Every year, we remind you that May is Mental Health Awareness month. Because one in every 4-5 people suffers from a mental health issue which is debilitating enough to be considered a mental illness, we can safely say that these disorders are very common. You probably know someone who is suffering, and you may not even know it. WHY? While we are openly talking about mental health like never before in the history of our country, we find that the stigma associated with mental illness still prevails enough that many people simply won’t admit to having a problem.

How do we change this? The answer is simple: Keep Talking About Mental Health. Talk about good mental health, as well as the disorders. Make everyone you come across aware of what Sanger said: “There is no health without mental health.” A person’s mental health is as important, if not more important, than their physical health. Mental illness, often, starts in childhood and recovery is possible if we can catch it on time; however, it often takes a decade or more before people seek help or get treatment.

Early intervention is key to success and recovery, so people need to feel safe enough to talk about their mental health issues without the feelings of impending judgement. We can help by learning and practicing active and non-judgemental listening skills and allowing people to tell us what is happening to them. We can openly talk about mental health. We can change the way we talk about mental illness and how we present the topics to our friends and family members. We can change mental health policies at work, especially those which limit future potential for those who openly admit they have mental health issues. Afterall, mental illness is rarely permanent and will affect each and every one of us sometime during our lives, even if we don’t want to admit it.

May is Mental Health Awareness month. At any given moment, one in every 4-5 people will suffer from a serious mental health disorder. Who do you know that you can help?

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