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Mental Health Awareness Month

April 30, 2019

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Mental Health Awareness Month

 

The month of May is Mental Health Awareness month.  Mental health conditions are common among teens and young adults. 1 in 5 persons who have not endured the trauma, abuse or neglect our youth have live with a mental health condition. For our population, it is more than double and 1/3 of our total population is prescribed medication for a mental health issue.  

 

This is truly a cause for greater awareness.  With greater awareness we can create better understanding and acceptance.  This will take the stigma and shame out of having a mental health condition.  It will also make it easier for youth, adults and families to seek and access the help needed.  A mental health condition isn't the person’s fault or the family's fault—it develops for complicated reasons that researchers are only starting to understand. What we do know and understand is that the teens, adults and families we serve can live well with a mental health condition.  We can teach skills to help individuals gain the power to take the steps necessary to improve his or her mental health. 

 

Awareness is a big key in creating understanding and acceptance.  Without these things, the teens and adults we serve, and their families are left to feel they are at fault. When that happens getting help is even tougher.   Awareness can be raised by talking about mental health.  It is a community issue.  Ask people how they’re doing and mean it! Always be ready to listen and encourage. Ask questions and never judge. The following tips are also useful.  

  • Encourage non-judgmental speak. Try to educate those around you on how to talk about mental illness. Never use words like “crazy” or “insane” as insults.

  • Read about it. Educate yourself about mental illness and suicide. Learn about the signs and symptoms and where to receive help in your area.

  • Talk to loved ones about how they are feeling. Regularly check in with those close to you, especially if you know they are dealing with a mental illness.

  • Talk about mental health with your children. Don’t assume kids are too young to understand. Depression can affect children in elementary school.

  • Learn the signs and symptoms of depression. Know what to watch for in yourself and those around you. Symptoms can be different in men and women.

 

Question, Persuade, and Refer training is available online and offers great information for non mental health professionals.  It provides information on how to ask the important questions about suicide and offer hope.  https://qprinstitute.com

 

There are a few suicide hotlines for teens and adults.  

  • The suicide prevention Lifeline is a national suicide prevention agency with a 24/7 crisis line for youth and adults. 1-800-273-8255   http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org  

  • The National Association on Mental Illness is a great education site offering signs and symptoms of mental conditions.  https://www.nami.org

Mental health wellness is everyone’s business.  It is an important part of a healthy society.  

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