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For National Mental Health Awareness Week October 3 – 7, we’ve collected some of our previous posts from the Swedish blog to help you learn more about mental illness, its relationship to our overall health, and where to find help when struggling.
One in five adults and one in six children experience mental illness each year. Many of them don’t get the help they need.
Mental health encompasses our psychological, social, and emotional health. It plays a role in every aspect of our lives.
For many physical ailments, you wouldn’t hesitate to get care to address the issue. Break a leg? Get an X-ray, a cast, and maybe some crutches. Toothache? Call the dentist. A mild case of the flu or a fall cold? Drink plenty of fluids and get some extra rest. But it isn’t always easy to figure out what kind of care you might need when facing mental health challenges.
Mental health includes our psychological, social, and emotional well-being. It plays a role in every aspect of our lives, including how we feel, think, act and cope with life’s ups and downs. And yet, its centrality to our overall wellbeing is often underestimated and moreover, the realities of mental illness are commonly misunderstood.
Mental disorders are fairly common, according to statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):
- One in five adults experiences mental illness every year.
- One in 20 adults experiences serious mental illness every year.
- One in six children and adolescents aged 6 – 17 experience a mental health disorder yearly.
- Half of all lifetime mental illness starts by age 14.
Mental Illness Awareness Week takes place the first week of October every year. Participants around the country work to raise awareness and provide support for mental illness. We’ve put together a list of resources related to mental health issues. Here’s what some of the experts have to share.
Mental health awareness and education
It’s difficult to overestimate the impact mental health has on our quality of life. It affects how well we function in nearly everything we do, including work, school, recreation, and family life. The saying, “knowledge is power,” may be an old cliché, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Learning about mental health arms you with the tools you need to navigate life’s inevitable challenges.
Do you know the warning signs that indicate a mental health challenge has become more than you can handle alone? Or the different medications that may offer some relief? Can you find and access available resources? Here are some links to get you the answers you need:
National issues and mental health
Gun violence, COVID-19, climate change, the economy, and other nightly-news issues can all play a role in our mental health. And that, in turn, plays a role in how well we cope with those issues overall. Studies show watching the daily news can have a negative effect on our mental health. Environmental struggles have an impact on all aspects of our health as well. And there’s been no shortage of volatile topics in the last couple of years.
Help is available when it seems like the outside world is more than you can handle alone. Learn what you can do to improve your mental health and improve your ability to cope with issues beyond your control.
Youth mental health
It’s easy to look at childhood with rose-colored glasses. Yet, for many children and adolescents, that stage of their lives is fraught with anxiety, depression, and behavior problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mental disorders affect millions of children aged 3 – 17. Early diagnosis and support can make a lifelong difference in their quality of life.
Childhood and adolescence present their own unique challenges to our mental health. And the behaviors and coping mechanisms we develop can last a lifetime. Learn more about youth mental health and how to build a strong mental health foundation.
According to NAMI, suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth aged 10 – 14 and the third leading cause of death in people aged 15 – 24. It is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States. And roughly 90% of people who die by suicide may have experienced mental health issues.
Although the statistics can be frightening, life-saving support is available. These blogs have important information that can help you or a loved one find the help and resources you need:
Counseling and support
Recognizing you have a problem is the first step in getting the assistance you need. Talk to your physician or a health care professional if you experience:
- Changes in your eating or sleeping habits
- Withdrawal from people and experiences you previously enjoyed.
- Low energy and feelings of listlessness or malaise
- Severe mood swings
- Feelings of helplessness, despair, or hopelessness
- Inability to perform daily tasks
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Life can feel overwhelming at times. And mental health issues often feel difficult – if not impossible – to manage. But there’s education and assistance available that can make a difference in your quality of life. Learn about counseling and other available mental health resources with these helpful resources.
Learn more and find a provider
Swedish Virtual Care connects you face-to-face with a nurse practitioner who can review your symptoms, provide instruction, and follow up as needed. If you need to find a provider, you can use our provider directory.
Join our Patient and Family Advisory Council.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.
About the AuthorMore Content by Swedish Behavioral Health Team