May is Mental Health Awareness Month

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May has been nationally recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949. It is a time to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and to promote strategies and tools for improving mental well-being. It is estimated that one in five people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, however, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact mental health, the need for support and resources has become more critical than ever before.

Mental health is a vital component of our overall health and well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and behave, and it impacts our relationships, work, and daily life. Mental health conditions, such as Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Panic Disorder, can be challenging to navigate and can have a significant impact on our lives.

Mental Health America (MHA) has announced its 2023 theme for Mental Health Awareness Month as Look Around, Look Within, which focuses on practical tools and resources that can help individuals take charge of their mental health and build resilience in the face of challenging situations in their world. The theme emphasizes that everyone should look around their surroundings and determine how their environment is affecting their mental health. It encourages individuals to connect with their communities, their neighborhoods, and nature to better manage stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has launched its 2023 More Than Enough campaign encouraging individuals to recognize that mental illness is a common health issue that affects people of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds. NAMI hopes to reduce negative attitudes and misconceptions that can prevent people from seeking the help they need and increase access to mental health care. The campaign encourages individuals to take action by sharing their own experiences with mental illness to reduce the stigma. It reminds everyone that having a mental illness is “more than enough” reason to seek help and support.

Steps You Can Take to Support Mental Health Awareness.

Reduce the Stigma Around Mental Health

Unfortunately, there is still a significant amount of stigma surrounding mental health issues, which can prevent people from seeking help. Stigma can be particularly damaging in communities of color, where mental health issues are often stigmatized and overlooked. NAMI encourages you to Share Your Story to help destigmatize mental illness. Find out how you can make a difference on Mental Health Action Day on Thursday, May 18th!

Prioritize Self-Care

Self-care means taking time to engage in activities that promote physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Some examples of self-care practices include meditation, exercise, healthy eating, spending time in nature, and getting enough sleep. Self-care can help you build self-compassion, manage stress, and build resilience. MHA has a helpful Prioritizing Self-Care worksheet to help you figure out how to fit self-care into your daily routine.

Seek Help

It is important to recognize when you may need help for your mental health. Here are some warning signs to indicate that you may need to consult a professional.

  • Changes in mood: Are you experiencing persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability, or hopelessness that are interfering with your daily life?
  • Difficulty functioning: Are you finding it hard to complete routine tasks like getting out of bed, going to work or school, or maintaining relationships?
  • Changes in appetite or sleep: Have you noticed significant changes in your appetite or irregular or problematic sleep patterns?
  • Social withdrawal: Are you isolating yourself from friends and family or avoiding social situations?
  • Substance Use: Are you using drugs or alcohol to cope with unmanageable feelings?
  • Physical symptoms: Are you experiencing frequent headaches, unexplainable chronic pain, or digestive issues? Mental health issues can manifest as physical symptoms.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be important to seek help. Bloom Health Centers has a variety of evidence-based treatments available for mental health conditions available via in-person or telehealth appointments. Using a unique Care Team Model, Bloom providers will collaborate with you to provide a personalized treatment plan and continuity of care to support all stages of the behavioral health journey. These treatments may include psychiatry, therapy, or innovative interventions such as TMS Therapy or Spravato®. It’s essential to remember that seeking help for mental health concerns is a sign of strength, not weakness.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, please call or text 988 or chat The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity to learn more about mental health and to take steps to support our own mental well-being and that of those around us. By reducing stigma, prioritizing self-care, and seeking help when needed, we can all take steps to improve our mental health and build resilience in challenging times.

Have questions?

We’re here to talk to you about your specific mental health needs. Give us a call or request an appointment through our online form.