Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental Health Awareness Month is acknowledged in the month of May. And as we wrap up these 31 days in Spring, let’s discuss the importance of maintaining an open dialogue about mental health. Although life is slowly attempting to return to whatever we consider “normal” at this point after battling a life with COVID for the last two years, there are many that are still struggling. And of course, many struggled with depression, anxiety, alcoholism, and substance misuse long before the airborne threat known as the coronavirus was even an issue. Speaking honestly about these topics with supportive friends and family, as well as creating solutions for the challenges is a great place to at least start.
With facilities across the United States and a variety of treatment options to treat thousands of individuals each year, AAC is the nationwide leader in addiction treatment. We provide medical detox, inpatient and outpatient treatment, as well as aftercare planning. If you’re struggling with an addiction to substance misuse or co-occurring disorders such as depression, please reach out to get the help you need today.
What Defines Mental Health?
Mental health is the psychological, social, and emotional well-being of an individual, impacting how we feel, think, and act. It dictates how we connect with others, how we handle stress, and the choices that we make.
Factors that may cause mental health problems:
- Life experience brought on by abuse or trauma.
- Family history.
- Biological factors (e.g., brain chemistry or genetics).
“Mental health” seems to be a phrase thrown around like a Frisbee, tossed to and fro so casually from person to person. Perhaps this is good because the more comfortable we are about the topic, the more likely we are to speak openly about it. It’s good that we are cognizant of the need for self-care and for those who may need to receive professional treatment when a serious disorder such as alcohol use disorder, substance use disorder, or bipolar disorder is at hand.
But how do we deal with a nation and a world that is facing the challenges that we are facing today and still address mental health?
There isn’t a simple nor satisfactory one-sentence response. Perhaps it may take advocacy groups going to schools and business organizations to raise awareness and to provide possible solutions. Perhaps it’s accurately depicting characters with mental health challenges in television shows, movies, and plays. Storytelling can be a powerful medium and contributor to shifting paradigms. Perhaps it’s something as small as being supportive to a friend or family member in private or on social media, but only if they are comfortable with discussing their own mental health in a public forum. For some, the need for professional treatment may be the most vital solution.
We’ve witnessed several unprecedented events over the last couple years, not just COVID. There is a reality that has impacted most, if not all of us, in some way.
Mental health statistics:
- 1 out of every 8 emergency room visits of an adult individual involves substance use disorders and mental illness.
- Roughly 8.4 million individuals in the U.S. provide care to an adult with an emotional or mental health issue.
- Individuals battling depression are 40% more likely to develop metabolic/cardiovascular diseases than the general population.
- In 2020, 1 in 5 U.S. adults experienced mental illness.
- In 2020, 46.2% of U.S. adults with a mental health condition received treatment.
With all the events going on in the world, the best advice is to be kind. It’s the least that all of us can do that can actually make a huge impact in the life of another individual. Obviously, those who are in need of professional specialized treatment for drug or alcohol misuse or mental health conditions, should seek it.
If you’re struggling with drug or alcohol addictions and a co-occurring mental health condition, you’re not alone. Please reach out for the help that you need today.