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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Published in Mental Health, Media Releases Author: CentraCare

This year marks the 70th anniversary of celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month. Since 1949, the goal has been to increase public awareness of mental health conditions and break down the silence and stigma that can be so isolating to those experiencing these symptoms. Continuing this conversation is important because one in five youth and adults in America experience mental illness. However, 60 percent of adults and 50 percent of youth with mental illness did not receive mental health services in the last year.

Mental illness is treatable and recovery is possible. To combat stigma and encourage mental health treatment, you can focus on talking openly about mental health and support others in seeking professional help. Provide support to those in your life who may be struggling with mental health conditions in the same manner you would if they had a physical illness: call to check in, make a meal, offer to watch their children or send an encouraging card.

It has been shown that engagement in a community can help with the recovery journey. Treat your physical and mental health equally. So much of what you do physically can impact you mentally. Constant stress increases your risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease, but it also can increase your risk for anxiety and depression. Focusing on a healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as chronic health conditions. Join the conversation and educate yourself further about mental health by exploring resources on National Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health America websites.

Thoughts of suicide? Get help now

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1 for Veterans). Minnesota’s suicide prevention and mental health crisis texting services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People who text “MN” to 741741 will be connected to the Crisis Text Line. This service handles 50,000 text messages per month connecting people from across the United States to local resources in their communities.