Mental Health Awareness Day

Supporting each other is vital to creating the understanding world we need…

Portlock, Hawaii

Despite all of the negative ramifications of the coronavirus, one thing that I’m thankful for is the amount of awareness being raised surrounding mental health.

What Is Mental Health?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

One can experience difficulties with their mental health that would cause their thinking, mood, and behavior to be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health, including:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

For those who need it, help is available. Full recovery is possible!

Early Warning Signs

Not sure if you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health? Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign:

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling away from people and usual activities
  • Having low or no energy
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • Having unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
  • Yelling or fighting with family and friends
  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others
  • Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school

Learn more about specific mental health problems and where to find help.

Mental Wellness

Achieving and maintaining positive mental health allows people to realize their full potential, to cope with the stresses of life, to work productively, and to make meaningful contributions to their communities.

Ways to maintain mental wellness include: getting professional help when needed, connecting with others, staying positive, being physically active, helping others, getting good sleep, and developing coping skills.

Our individual wellbeing contributes to the health of our families and communities. It is up to us to support one another and to help those who are struggling.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 800-273-8255.

Mental wellness is especially important to me, as I have been on my healing journey for over five years. Through my experiences, I have learned that the best approach is one that is preventative, holistic, and accountable. Some of my favorite ways to care for my mental health are: going on a walk, enjoying the beauty of nature, and prayer.

How do you prioritize your mental wellness?

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