May is Mental Health Month.
Since 1949, the month of May has been observed as Mental Health Month in the United States. Many national organizations such as NAMI, Mental Health America, and other affiliates spotlight Mental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and to stop the stigma associated with mental health disorders.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States. More than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetimes. 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.
Having poor mental health increases the risk of developing other chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, or cancer. So, it’s important to recognize the significant role that mental health plays in our physical and overall health.
Mental health during COVID-19
A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows the psychological toll the pandemic is taking on Americans.
According to the survey results published April 2, 45 percent of adults (53% of women and 37% of men) say the pandemic has affected their mental health, and 19 percent say it has had a “major impact.” The rates are slightly higher among women, Hispanic adults and black adults.
Lengthy periods of isolation and social distancing are leading to increased feelings of anxiety, depression and stress. Many people are overwhelmed by the fear of getting sick or coping with loved ones who’ve contracted the virus. Many people are burdened by job loss or the fear of unemployment. And because no one knows when life will return to normal, we’re all facing uncertainty that triggers stress and anxiety.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to look after our mental health. If you don’t have someone to talk to, be sure to reach out for help.
If you or a loved one is struggling with a mental health issue, here’s where you can turn.
Crisis Text Line
Text “HELLO” to 741741 for 24/7, anonymous, free crisis counseling.
Disaster Distress Helpline
1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746
American Psychiatric Association Foundation
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American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
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American Psychological Association
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