The month of October is Mental Health Awareness Month. Not that we shouldn’t pay attention to our mental health and that of our friends and family in other months of the year but it’s important to take a moment to focus on this issue. In researching the topic for this post, the University of Washington website has great information. Here’s a bit of their material:
“Mental health awareness month provides the opportunity to refocus on self-care and acknowledge the importance of mental health. Many people prioritize their physical health, but mental health is equally important for holistic wellness. In fact, mental and physical health are inexorably intertwined. According to the CDC, untreated mental health issues like depression can increase the risk for long term physical health issues like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. This is especially alarming when it is accompanied by the fact that over 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lives. The ongoing pandemic has only heightened these issues. There are already many stresses in daily life and COVID-19 adds to this creating an increased sense of unknown. Mental health affects all areas of life and should always be taken seriously. WHO reports depression as one of the leading causes for disability and suicide as the second leading cause of death for 15-29-year-olds.”
That is an amazing statistic: “…over 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lives.” The article goes on to recommend the following:
This month, take some time to prioritize your mental health:
The “connect with others” statement is critical; take the time to reach out to your friends, family, work colleagues, and neighbors. Even a short check in call or text can send the message you care, you are here for them, you can provide love and support if/when it is needed. Don’t limit taking this action to the month of October; it’s a good year-round practice, one that will help others while simultaneously contributing to your health and wellness.
To learn more, click here.