While many of us don’t think twice about exercising and taking care of our physical health, we regularly neglect our mental health. To be healthy and live an active, well-balanced life, we need to care for our mental health as much as we do our physical health. Because 1 in 5 adults in the United States experiences a mental health condition in a given year, we must pay attention to this issue. Mental health disorders can range from depression and anxiety disorders (the two most common mental health issues) to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI has designated May as Mental Health Awareness Month. Here at Westwind Recovery, we understand the importance of good mental health in keeping individuals happy and healthy.
Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental Health Awareness Month allows experts and organizations to reduce the stigma associated with mental health conditions and their treatment. Exposure to facts about mental health conditions and the number of people struggling with those conditions can give people the courage to look for help.
NAMI has begun a campaign over May called ‘You are Not Alone’ using the hashtag #NotAlone on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to raise awareness. In many areas of the country and the minds of many people, mental health issues still carry a stigma. However, more and more people struggle with wellbeing and positive mental health. Thus, by sharing stories of how individuals have experienced mental health issues like depression or anxiety, we can reduce the stigma and come to understand the extent and effects of mental health issues on all of us.
As individuals across many states are still experiencing limited movement and stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s vital to reach out and connect. When we come together, we can not only face our mental health issues but overcome them.
Encouraging Good Mental Health
How can both adults and children get in the habit of cultivating good mental health? There are several ways. But perhaps the best and most simple is to reach out to someone and share with them what you’re feeling. Parents, friends, loved ones, co-workers, and peers can do the following both for themselves and for others:
- Talk: The best way to remove the stigma around mental health issues is to talk openly about them. There’s no reason to hide or feel shame. Express what you’re feeling and when someone does so to you, listen with an open mind.
- Be a role model: You can show both children and adults that it’s okay to talk about mental health issues and one’s feelings by doing it yourself and showing how you take care of your wellbeing.
- Ask for help: While many people feel alone, nothing could be farther from the truth. Mental health professionals like those at Westwind Recovery are available to talk and, if you need it, offer you treatment and therapy.
- Connect: Even if you are under a stay-at-home order, you can reach out to others. Social media can be an excellent way to connect with others, as is video chat. Using the hashtag #NotAlone, you can read other people’s personal stories, educate yourself through infographics, and make a connection with others going through similar experiences.
At Westwind Recovery, we know the importance of positive mental health. When individuals come to us struggling with substance use disorder, there is frequently an underlying mental health issue involved. We address this through dual diagnosis treatment. It is a program that simultaneously works to heal the body from addiction and the mind from the mental health issues the individual is dealing with. When someone is in distress or pain from depression, anxiety, or trauma, it’s not uncommon to attempt to self-medicate through drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, this only makes the mental health issue worse. Also, it greatly increases the risk of the individual developing a dependency or addiction.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, whether drugs or alcohol, getting professional help is the best way to heal. Our compassionate and experienced staff can answer questions and address concerns. So contact us today at 855.340.8832 to see what we have to offer you.