National Mental Health Awareness Month

The month of May has been declared National Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health is extremely important, and occurrences of mental health disorders are incredibly common. Data suggest that one in five Americans will struggle with mental health issues in their lives. The main goal of National Mental Health Awareness Month is to increase recognition for mental health disorders, thus removing some of the stigma associated with mental health issues. Lapses in mental health are very common and treatable; no one struggling with mental health should feel that they are alone. There are a plethora of resources available for those struggling with mental health. Talking to a physician or primary health care provider is a great place to start.

Common mental health ailments include Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Schizophrenia and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, among others. There are a variety of treatment methods available for all types of mental health disorders, ranging from medication to counseling, and often a combination of the two. Primary care providers can be insightful as to which treatment methods are available and most effective for each individual. A primary care physician can also make referrals for specialists if identified as the best course of action. 

Early treatment is helpful, and allows the patient to live more freely. If you feel that you or a loved one is wrestling with mental health issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to available resources. One excellent resource is www.mentalhealth.gov. This website provides great information and a resource directory. There is no need to wait for a mental health issue to become more severe, or to suffer through symptoms that could be addressed and alleviated with professional help. 
Mental Health Awareness Month is a great reason to bring up a conversation about mental health with friends and family. Support is essential in combating mental illness, and talking about mental health destigmatizes this common phenomenon. Talk with friends and family members today in order to help make May a month of peace and care.