|Health Topic of the Month|
Mental Health Month
Mental health is the combination of how we think, act, and feel. Staying mentally healthy is important for everyone, at every stage of life. Unfortunately, this can be a challenge, especially during tough times. Whatever our situation, we are all at risk of stress given the demands of daily life and the challenges it brings — at home, at work, and in life. The good news is that you can do so many things to improve and maintain your mental health. Mental Health America, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting well-being, identifies the following ten tools to improve mental health:
List adapted from Live Your Life Well, Mental Health America.
Sometimes, despite an individual's best effort, improving mental health may be difficult to do without getting extra help from a counselor or psychologist. Some individuals may experience mental illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mental illness refers to a group of disorders generally characterized by changes of mood, thought, and/or behavior. These changes typically interfere with a person's ability to function and feel satisfied in life. Examples of mental illness include clinical depression and anxiety disorders.
It's estimated that one in four Americans live with a diagnosable mental health condition every year. Chances are that you know someone who has gone through or is currently battling a mental health disorder. Perhaps you've struggled with one yourself. Or, maybe you are currently experiencing what you think are symptoms of a mental health disorder. Either way, it's safe to say that mental health disorders are common.
Here's the amazing news: 80% of mental health disorders can be treated with psychotherapy, medication or a combination of both. This makes mental health disorders very treatable. Individuals recover and lead full and productive lives all the time.
Unfortunately, too many people don't know where to go for help or don't feel comfortable asking for it. Almost half of individuals who live with a mental health condition will not seek help either because of stigma, lack of insurance coverage, or because they don't know where or how to get help.
If you are a USFHP member and think you may be having mental health difficulties, call Health Integrated (HI), USFHP's Behavioral Health Services partner. The toll-free number is 866-390-0933. Nurses are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. All calls are confidential. You can always speak with your primary care provider, too. She or he will be able to guide you to resources. With a little time, patience, and an open mind, overcoming mental illness and achieving positive mental health is possible!