Did you know that suicide is the second-leading cause of death for young people ages 10-17, or that depression causes more lost workdays and impairment than arthritis, asthma, back pain, or diabetes?
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, the most widely recognized mental health awareness movement in the world. Started by Mental Health America in 1949, the purpose of this observance is to help raise awareness and educate the public about mental health disease, advocate for its policies, and fight stigma to support people with mental illness and their families.
According to MHA, an estimated 18 percent (or 44 million) of American adults ages 18 years or older suffer from mental illness in any given year. The health organization also states that nearly 1 in 5 American adults will have a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year and that 46 percent of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition sometime in their lifetime, half of which will develop conditions by the age of 14. Of the most common mental illnesses affecting American adults today, MHA states that anxiety disorders affect 31.6 percent (or 43 million) while depression affects 7 percent (or 17 million).
In response to the world pandemic, MHA kicked off its “Tools 2 Thrive” theme this month. To help us keep our mental health in check, they've launched a set of practical tools for strengthening our mental health and resilience during this dark time. In this toolkit, they provide valuable information for navigating the challenges and uncertainty we are experiencing today. Their list of topics include:
As part of this initiative, they have also launched their #MillionInMay campaign, whose goal is to get one million mental health screens for their online screening program. On Mhascreening.org, you can find nine verified mental health screens that offer a quick, free, and private way to help you assess and recognize any signs of a mental health problem before you experience a crisis.
Now is as good a time as any to focus on your mental health. As the saying goes, "A strong body builds a strong mind," but the opposite is true as well. The state of your mental health can affect every aspect of your life because the decisions you make impact everything from your physical health and relationships to the amount of money you can earn and your ability to move forward after this crisis has passed. Therefore, achieving optimal mental health is the key not only for surviving this chapter of your life but also for thriving and starting the next.
If you can optimize your mental health during this time, you will be able to handle anything. By making your mental health a priority, you can make decisions that benefit your life today and create a solid foundation for your life tomorrow.
Live, Love and Lead with Aloha.