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?
During the month of May, mental health professionals across America are asking you to educate yourself and others about mental health issues. The more we talk about it and educate people, the better our chances will be to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness. That relates to getting more people the help they need as early as possible. We know that early intervention is a primary key to diminishing or eliminating the effects of mental health issues which can perpetuate into mental illness. Recent research indicated that 1 in 5 adults experiences a diagnosed mental health disorder in any given year.
Diagnosed mental disorders are only a fraction of the mental health issues which we want to address. Many people experience mental health issues which are not bad enough to be diagnosed as mental illness, but which could benefit from being addressed before they become a serious problem. When we are aware of some of the symptoms and how they affect people, we can better identify who could use some help. The goal is to help as early as possible, so the person who is suffering can move on to live a healthy, productive life. You don’t have to be a medical provider to ask someone if they would like to talk or to let someone know that you think they are important. Your intervention could be all it takes to save a life or direct a great person to the help they need.
Look around for a training program. They are all over the country. If you want to become certified in Mental Health First Aid, email us at MHFA@educationwellness.org. We can help you find a course anywhere in the country or provide one for you or your organization, right here in Central Indiana.