Let’s talk openly about mental health, it matters to all of us

May 05, 2021 | by Mary Lou Mastro

Back in 1949, the U.S. established May as Mental Health Awareness Month to raise awareness of mental health as an essential part of overall health.

Now, more than 70 years later, mental illness remains a health condition many people would rather not acknowledge.

Good mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood to adolescence and through adulthood.

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make healthy choices.

Mental illness isn’t rare, and it’s important to talk openly about it. Here are some important facts to know:

  • Approximately one in five children and adolescents have a mental disorder.
  • One in five Americans will experience a mental illness in any given year.
  • About half of mental disorders appear before the age of 14.
  • Almost 800,000 people die by suicide worldwide every year. One person dies by suicide every 40 seconds. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in individuals age 15 to 29.
  • Depression is the number one cause of disability worldwide.
  • Last year approximately 60% of adults and 50% of children with a mental illness did not receive treatment.
  • Stigma (fear and shame), access, insight and awareness are reasons people do not receive treatment.
  • 70-90% of people who seek proper treatment for mental health disorders see a significant reduction in symptoms.
  • Help is available, treatment works.

Vital help and effective treatment are available in your own backyard. Linden Oaks Behavioral Health is a nationally recognized provider of inpatient and outpatient services, one of the largest providers of behavioral health services in the state, and one of the largest educators of Mental Health First Aid.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Linden Oaks continued to provide invaluable services to our hospital employees, patients and community partners. The Linden Oaks team was present throughout, supporting those on the front line of COVID-19 care and addressing the fear, isolation, depression and anxiety experienced by so many throughout this crisis.

Linden Oaks has also helped countless people overcome anxiety, depression, addiction and other issues—many that were exacerbated by the pandemic.

There is no shame in reaching out for help. Mental health care is as vital as primary care and emergency care. Treat your mental health the way you’d treat any other physical health condition.

How do you know whether you need mental health care? Start by talking with your primary care physician. They can share whether they think you would benefit from talking with a mental health professional.

Mental Health America offers a checklist of signs you or a loved one may want to speak to a mental health professional. If you’re experiencing any of these signs and you don’t have a primary care physician, you can reach out for help directly.

During Mental Health Awareness Month, take a few extra minutes to consider how you might enhance your own mental health. Learn more about symptoms of mental illness and healthy stress relief habits.

And if you or someone you love needs help, please reach out to Linden Oaks Behavioral Health.


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