5.10.2021

Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health has become a more common conversation, especially in light of the increased stress experienced by many during the COVID-19 pandemic. May is Mental Health Awareness month, and we want to support this conversation by providing resources to help those who may be struggling.

After all, from classrooms to boardrooms, it's a topic that touches every part of our community. And rightfully so; according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness:

Mental health impacts more than just emotional and psychological well-being; implications are seen both physically and financially in untreated issues like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia:

  • Those with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and those with serious mental illness are twice as likely as the general population;
  • Unemployment is higher among adults who experience mental illness;
  • Roughly 20% of those experiencing homelessness have a serious mental health condition;
  • Mental health and substance abuse costs employers $80-$100 annually;
  • The U.S. economy loses $193 billion per year due to untreated mental health conditions.

There is hope! What can you do?

With the rate of mental health issues on the rise, particularly in the current COVID-19 crisis, it's likely you or a loved one could benefit from support. Fortunately, you don't have to look far to find help.

There are resources available to help anyone experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues like anxiety and depression. We've included a few resources below, some of which are absolutely free!

If you are in crisis, call 800-950-NAMI or text "NAMI" to 741741 right away.

Self Care is Healthcare

Did you know 70-90% of primary care and emergency care visits are attributed to stress-related issues, including anxiety and depression?

Fortunately, we have access to self-care tools that can help us manage stress and it's effects:

*It is important to keep your scheduled appointments with your provider, as well as have your annual preventive screenings.

Nourish Your Mind

Studies show that there is a 25-35% lower risk of mental health issues for those who follow diets similar to "Mediterranean" or "Paleo" diets. Mood boosting chemicals like serotonin and dopamine are influenced by the nutrients we consume, as are levels of Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, antioxidants -- all important to mental health!

We've included some resources to help you learn more about nutrition and mental health, and what options are available:

*Dietary needs will vary based on each individual. Talk to a healthcare provider or nutritionist to determine your unique needs.

Move for Mental Health

It's no secret that movement and exercise are essential for physical health, but their benefits to mental health are equally important.

All variety of movement -- from yoga to aerobics -- have shown positive impacts to mental health!

Here are a few resources to help you find movement that works for you:

*If you have a medical condition or health risk factors, it's best to speak to your physician before starting a new exercise program.

Talk it Out

Simply "talking it out" has proven effective for many who are struggling. While talking with a licensed counselor is recommended, the simple act of sharing with a trusted person can have benefits. Below are tools and resources to help you to connect and share confidentially, anytime you need!

Another resource that may be available to you through your employer is an Employee Assistance Program. Please speak with your employer for additional information.

*These supports are not a replacement for care from a licensed professional. If you are in crisis or are having thoughts of suicide, call 800-950-NAMI or text "NAMI" to 741741 right away.

The suggestions and resources in this post are informational and are not intended as medical advice.