Mental Health Matters
Mental health matters. Often, we focus more on physical illness than we do mental, but the truth is they are equally important. When someone feels anxious, chronically depressed, or obsessive, there might be a chance that they need assistance. The month of May is National Mental Health month and at Cascade Health Alliance, we want to make sure our local community knows that we are here to help.
So, what does this mean? It means that we are working to remove the stigma from those affected by mental health issues. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, one in five Americans experiences mental health disorders. Millions of Americans experience mental illness, so you are not alone. If you or someone you know struggles with grief, deep feelings of loneliness, or unworthiness, it is important to seek help. The good news is that there is help, and you don’t have to go through it by yourself.
“Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.”
Speak up. Stay active. Reach out.
Understandably, some people may feel embarrassed or ashamed to admit they need assistance, but having a mental illness is not a sign of weakness. Just like one would go to the doctor for help with a sprained ankle or broken bone, we should all feel safe to seek counseling when we don’t feel healthy emotionally. We are currently in turbulent times with a lot of questions about what the future looks like. One thing is for sure, however, and that is help is available. If the stress of COVID-19 has caused you anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, or any other kind of trauma, you should ask for help. Getting early care can make the difference between short and long-term suffering.
Mental illness can turn into physical illness if it is not treated early. For example, feeling sweats and chills, or having trouble sleeping could be symptoms of untreated mental illness. Even muscle tension and skin issues can signal that you’ve had mental illness for a while. To reduce or get rid of mental distress symptoms, you should seek help from a medical professional. You can also call the National Disaster Distress Helpline (1-800-985-5990). Things that you can do at home include:
- Creating a routine that makes you feel good and celebrates small wins
- Reach out to family and friends using virtual hangouts
- Meet new people online who can support you living a healthy life
COVID-19 has inundated emergency rooms, but if you or someone you know is in a crisis, call 911 for help. There may be options that don’t physically involve going to an emergency department. What’s most important is that you know that support is available. You don’t have to navigate mental illness alone. Seek help.