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Mental Health Matters!

What is Mental Health?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.  It affects everything in our lives: how we think, feel, and act.  It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.  Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.  Positive mental health allows people to realize their full potential, cope with the stresses of life, work productively, and make meaningful contributions to their communities.

Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry

  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse

  • Family history of mental health problems

Mental health problems are common but help is available!  A few common ways that people can maintain positive mental health include getting professional help, connecting with others​, getting physically active, helping others, getting enough sleep, and develop coping skills.

  

People with mental health problems can get better and live more fulfilling and productive lives.

What is Mental Illness?

A mental illness is a condition that affects a person's thinking, feeling, behavior or mood. These conditions deeply impact day-to-day living and may also affect the ability to relate to others. If you have — or think you might have — a mental illness, the first thing you must know is that you are not alone. Mental health conditions are far more common than you think, mainly because people don’t like to, or are scared to, talk about them. However:

  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year

  • 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year

  • 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year

  • 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24

A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. Research suggests multiple, linking causes. Genetics, environment and lifestyle influence whether someone develops a mental health condition. A stressful job or home life makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events. Biochemical processes and circuits and basic brain structure may play a role, too.

None of this means that you’re broken or that you, or your family, did something “wrong.” Mental illness is no one’s fault. And for many people, recovery — including meaningful roles in social life, school and work — is possible, especially when you start treatment early and play a strong role in your own recovery!

What can I do in a mental health crisis?

If you are thinking about harming yourself or attempting suicide, tell someone who can help right away or dial 911 in an emergency.   You also can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1‑800‑273‑TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). Both services are free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are confidential. 

Contact social media outlets such as Facebook or Instagram directly if you are concerned about a friend’s social media updates, or dial 911 in an emergency.

Resources:

Want to learn more about mental health?  

Visit the following websites for more information!

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/

https://www.nami.org/

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/

https://www.psychiatry.org/

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