May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. So much of what we do physically impacts us mentally –it’s important to pay attention to both your physical health and your mental health, which can help you achieve overall wellness and set you on a path to recovery.
This May is Mental Health Month; Mental Health America is raising awareness about the connection between physical health and mental health, through the theme Fitness #4Mind4Body. The campaign is meant to educate and inform individuals about how eating healthy foods, gut health, managing stress, exercising, and getting enough sleep can go a long way in making you healthy all around.
A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems. It can also play a big role in helping people recover from these conditions. Taking good care of your body is part of a before Stage Four approach to mental health.
Getting the appropriate amount of exercise can help control weight, improve mental health, and help you live longer and healthier. Recent research is also connecting your nutrition and gut health with your mental health. Sleep also plays a critical role in all aspects of our life and overall health. Getting a good night's sleep is important to having enough physical and mental energy to take on daily responsibilities. And we all know that stress can have a huge impact on all aspects of our health, so it’s important to take time to focus on stress-reducing activities like meditation or yoga.
MHA wants everyone to know that mental illnesses are real, and recovery is always the goal. Living a healthy lifestyle may not be easy, but by looking at your overall health every day – both physically and mentally – you can go a long way in ensuring that you focus on your Fitness #4Mind4Body.
For more information, visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may.
Mental Health Facts
1 in 5 adults in the United States lives with a mental health condition.
1 in 25 (10 million) adults in the United States lives with a serious mental illness.
60 million people in the United States face the day-to-day reality of living with a mental illness.
Half of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24, but early intervention programs can help.
African Americans and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about half the rate of whites in the past year, and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.
90% of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, but suicide is preventable.
The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 and 90% of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with the right treatments and supports.
Additional facts and citations are available at Mental Health by the Numbers
What Is Stigma?
People experiencing mental health conditions often face rejection, bullying and even discrimination. This can make their journey to recovery longer and more difficult. Stigma is when someone, or you yourself, views you in a negative way because you have a mental health condition. Some people describe stigma as shame that can be felt as a judgement from someone else or a feeling that is internal, something that confuses feeling bad with being bad.
Navigating life with a mental health condition can be tough, and the isolation, blame and secrecy that is often encouraged by stigma can create huge challenges to reaching out, getting needed support and living well. Learning how to cope with stigma and how to avoid and address stigma are important for all of us.