Mental Health Awareness Month is quickly approaching in May 2021, and while the term "mental health" is used more often, there's still some confusion around what the term actually means. Here's what "mental health" really is, how to improve it, and a quick list of resources to continue education on mental health.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is comprised of our emotional, psychological, and emotional well-being. It not only affects how we think, feel, and act, but it affects how we respond to stressful situations, relate to others in our environment, and how we choose to approach self-care. If someone is experiencing poor mental health, it doesn't necessarily mean they have a mental illness, and additionally, if someone has been diagnosed with a mental illness, they can still experience physical, social, and mental well-being.
Taking care of our mental health is equally important as taking care of our physical health. Think of it the same way as you think of working out the muscles of your body to become physically healthy, when you're working on your mental health it will strengthen your mind and overall well-being.
Promote and Prevent
What can you do to help? Promote and prevent!
Promote: Promoting good mental health and well-being involves taking actions to create environments at home, at work, and in your community that support mental health. When you create an environment that is supportive and promotes mental health, people will maintain healthier lifestyles overall.
Prevent: Preventing poor mental health is just as important as promoting good mental health. There are many ways of preventing poor mental heath, such as early childhood interventions, home visits for pregnant women, and programs that can help children build good social and emotional skills. Prevention isn't limited to early childhood though, it can also happen later on in life by offering social support to elderly people, and offering mental health resources in the workplace. Other forms of prevention are violence prevention programs and awareness campaigns to change the stigmatized culture around mental health and encouraging those that need help to seek it without fear of social consequences.
Here is a list of helpful resources from the CDC regarding many aspects of mental health.
- List of Resources for Those Seeking Treatment
- Recommendations for Coping with Trauma
- Information Regarding Children's Mental Health
- List of Resources for Adult's Mental Health
- Podcast On the Topic of How Diabetes Affects Mental Health
- Podcast On the Topic of How Obesity Affects Mental Health
Remember, seeking help for mental health is normal, and please utilize the resources above if you are struggling.
To read more information on how the pandemic has affected mental health and resources to help, read our blog here.