Did you know that 1 in 5 American adults experience a mental illness?
May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States. Mental illness is a condition of the brain that causes disturbances in mood, emotion, behavior, and energy. It is a serious issue that goes untreated for over half of the population affected. Studies show that over 50% of people who suffer from untreated mental illness are afraid to get help due to the stigma attached. The major goal of Mental Health Awareness Month is to decrease and ultimately end the stigma connected to mental health. This stigma creates a fear of embarrassment in people that others will think less of them because of their struggles. The stigma also creates an idea that you are alone in your struggles. In reality, statistics show that mental health is very common;
– 1 in 5 adults in America experience a mental illness.
– 1 in 25 adults in America live with a serious mental illness.
– ½ of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14, ¾ by the age of 24.
– Around 10.2 million adults have co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders.
The socially distanced lives people are living due to the Covid-19 pandemic has created a large increase in these statistics. Many activities and social outings that people rely on to bring them happiness have been taken away or altered. The pandemic is something that the world is experiencing together. We can all relate and be actively finding healthy ways to fill the voids Covid-19 has left us with. Listed below are some ways to combat mental illness while still practicing social distancing during the pandemic.
1. Eat Healthy – Fuel your body with healthy foods in order to keep yourself energized.
2. Daily Exercise – Work out at home, take walks, go for runs, join socially distanced workout classes.
3. Monitor Screen Time – Do not rely on social media or other technology to pass the time. Fill your days with activities that will better your mind and body.
4. Stay Connected – Join support groups either online or socially distanced in person.
5. Be Kind To Yourself – Do not get discouraged if you have a bad day. Tell yourself you will do better tomorrow and try again.
6. Go Outside – Increased light exposure can improve symptoms of depression. Open the curtains or get outside instead of staying in the dark or indoors.
7. Ask For Help – Reach out to others for support and encouragement.
8. Meditation – Intentional breathing exercises or the voluntary tensing and relaxing of muscle groups can improve symptoms of anxiety.
9. Keep a Gratitude Journal – Come up with small daily goals that you can accomplish and write down things that are going well for you / things you are grateful for.
10. Normalize Mental Health – You are not alone in your feelings and emotions. It is okay to feel bad.
Check out the resources below. The National Council For Behavioral Health https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/mental-health-month/ Mental Health Association in Delaware https://www.mhainde.org/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw4ImEBhDFARIsAGOTMj_asdYPV2wdYfgmcLH-3X0 -56cd3FInH83Hz-vqD3GEpw9Z2r9qcccaAj0KEALw_wcB Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health https://dhss.delaware.gov/dsamh/ Delaware Division of Public Health – Mental Health https://www.helpisherede.com/Get-Help/Mental-Health-Help Mental Health Hotlines https://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/immediate-help National Council For Behavioral Health. (2020, September 10). Mental Health Month 2020 – National Council for Behavioral Health. National Council. https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/mental-health-month/.
Blog Post by Kelsey Martin