Today marks the first day of May, which is nationally recognized as Mental Health Month.
There are a lot of aspects to mental health and it’s important during this time to learn about illnesses and how to take care of your own health.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there are two definitions of mental illness, any mental illness and serious mental illness. Any mental illness is a mental, behavioral or emotional disorder while serious mental illness is any disorder “resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.”
According to NIMH, about one in five adults in America lived with any mental illnessin 2017. Among the 46.6 million adults with mental illnesses, about 19.8 million received mental health services in 2016, according to NIMH.
Mood disorders are the third most common cause of hospitalization for Americans age 18 to 44, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Individuals with serious mental illness have an increased risk for chronic medical conditions.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and more than 90 percent of people who commit suicide showed symptoms of a mental health condition, according to NAMI.
If you or someone you know is struggling with serious mental illness or is considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Mental health is a topic that needs to be taken into serious consideration for everyone.
According to NAMI, there are many ways for you to take charge of your mental health. The first part is to understand how stress affects your body and to identify ways events or situations make you feel physical stress.
Protect your physical health, exercise daily, eat healthy, get enough sleep, avoid alcohol and drugs and practice relaxation exercises, according to NAMI.
Make sure to take care of yourself.
NAMI also suggests avoiding feeling guilty, noticing the positive moments of your day no matter how small and staying connected to friends and family even if it is only seeing them once a month.
Take care of your mental health and look out for others this month if you haven’t started already.