Nearly one in five American adults struggle with mental illness – whether that’s anxiety, depression, OCD, severe phobias, eating disorders, depression, bipolar, mood disorders, PTSD, personality disorders, or psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia. Mental health disorders range from no impairment to mild, moderate, and severe impairment; about 1 in 25 adults live with or in a severely impaired mental state.
Mental health has long had a stigma associated with it, and we think it’s time for that to change. There is no reason to be embarrassed or ashamed of how you feel. Instead, if there’s something wrong, we urge you to reach out and get the help you need.
This month, and every month, we ask that you take care of yourself. When your mental health starts to shake, get ahead of it. Reach out to your doctor or therapist. Adjust medicine if needed. Cut toxicity and stress out of your life wherever possible. Remember that exercise, enough sleep, and a healthy diet are all ways to lower anxiety, feel in control, and help get back to feeling like yourself. These steps can help in the non-impaired, mild, or moderate phases. If you’re in a severely impaired mental state, please reach out to your doctor or a helpline immediately.
If you have a family member or friend who struggles with mental health problems, let them know that you are there for them. Sometimes, a listening ear, shoulder to cry on, or a silent presence can make a difference. Sometimes, they need more. Each person is different, and what they need will differ, too. If necessary, encourage them to seek help. Estimates state that fewer than 40% of people with anxiety and depression get the help they need. Let’s help raise those numbers so that everyone in need can get the required help.
One of the best ways to end the stigma is to talk about mental health. The more we talk, the more normalized it becomes, and those suffering may feel less alone.
Please keep these numbers handy and provide them to friends and family you know may be struggling with their mental health.
911: if you or someone you know is in deep crisis or threatening to hurt themselves, 911 should be your first call.
1-800-273-TALK: this 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is free and provides confidential care and support. Starting July 16, 2022, you can simply dial 988 to reach this lifeline.
For those who would rather converse via messaging, text HOME to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line, available 24/7.
There are many resources available to help those struggling with their mental health. It’s time to put yourself first and take control of your thoughts and your life.