May is Mental Health Awareness month, and I think this is the perfect time to remind ourselves and others that we need to take care of our minds.
People aren’t either mentally healthy or mentally ill. Mental health is constantly fluctuating, just as your physical health is. Your environment - be it your job, your family, your school, or just a combination of life - directly affects your mental health.
When people are diagnosed with physical health problems – like diabetes or heart disease, even a cold! – they don’t wait to seek in treatment in hopes their illness will disappear on its own. Yet, most mental health problems go untreated for years. Unfortunately, without treatment mental health problems may get worse, making them more difficult to treat.
Nearly 1 in 5 people experienced a diagnosable mental health problem in the last year, and many other people are at risk, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The vast majority of people struggling with issues like depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses suffer in silence.
So please take this time to reflect and assess your mental health. Are you stressed? Depressed? Feeling frustrated or confused or unsure about where you are in life? Do you just need an ear to listen and someone to tell you that you can make it through?
Even if you feel like you're completely alone, there is always, always someone waiting to listen. There is always someone rooting for you - from problems ranging from stress over school all the way to contemplating suicide. Every mental struggle is worth a solution.
If you need help, or just want to talk:
Crisis Chat: Talk about stress and other problems anonymously and get non-judgmental support.
United Way Hotline: 1-800-233-HELP
Youth America Hotline: 1-877-YOUTHLINE (1-877-968-8454)