May 7, 2022 (Repost from Colleen Merlo, LMSW, CEO of the Association for Mental Health and Wellness)
Back To Basics: Practical Mental Health Information
The pandemic has been a catalyst for increased discussion about mental health, and we need to make sure this trend continues. In the past, when people thought about mental health the topic took a myopic view that focused on illness. While mental illnesses are common, widespread, and can affect anyone (around half of people in the U.S. will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their life), this view left many people overlooking mental health and wellness.
Increasingly, individuals, families, schools, businesses, and government are taking a broader view and recognizing that mental health is an important component of your overall health and well-being, just like your physical health. But mental health conditions, resources, and conversations can still feel complicated and out of reach.
An important first step is to learn common warning signs for mental health conditions or crises and specific factors that can lead to mental health conditions or even crises. Having a widespread understanding of the topic can help you be more informed if you, or someone you know, is experiencing a such a condition or crisis.
Each mental illness is different, though some have overlapping symptoms. There are, however, some warning signs like changes in sleep or eating patterns, experiencing and feeling fatigued, feeling hopeless, fighting more with friends and family, withdrawing, and thinking about or talking about suicide.
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Colleen Merlo, LMSW, is Chief Executive Officer of the Association for Mental Health and Wellness.