Mental Health Month was created to raise awareness for mental health and how it affects children, adults, families, and communities. Established in 1949, Mental Health Month was meant to shed some light on the importance of mental health and wellness in the lives of Americans. This time is also meant to celebrate those who have recovered from mental illness. In the past 20 years various federal government departments, the health community, and the general public have all made the push to understand the prevention and treatment of mental health problems. This better understanding has significantly improved the outlook on the well-being of those struggling with their mental health.
What is Mental Health?
Our emotional, psychological, and social well-being are all enveloped under mental health. It also has a role in how we make choices, handle stressful situations, and the way we relate to other people. Mental health does not have an age limit; children through adults should all value their mental health. The state of your mental health can be caused by various factors that include biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry, and life experience, such as trauma and abuse. Struggling with mental health is not the end of the world, most people with mental health problems can get better and may eventually fully recover.
How to Support a Loved One Suffering from their Mental Health
While suffering from their mental health, your loved one may become someone you do not know and that can be scary for you. However, the last thing you should feel is powerless in helping them. There are quite a few ways to support them through this time and their recovery.
One thing that will always help is knowing what to look out for. This requires you to do some research about the types of mental illness that your loved one is suffering from and what the best form of recovery should look like. This will help you see when things are going good or bad. It could bring you closer to your loved one because it gives you an additional level of understanding of their situation.
Seeking help is another way to offer your support. Your loved one suffering from mental health issues may be too ill to be the best advocate for themselves. Therefore, you being able to help with scheduling their appointments and choosing the appropriate treatment for them will be a big help.
The final, and maybe most important, way to help your loved one is by being emotionally supportive. A lot of people that have mental health struggles may feel like they are the ones to blame for their illness. Even though we know it is not true, they may be hearing that from other people. Making sure your loved one knows they are not alone, and they should not feel ashamed will make a huge difference.
Here are a few resources that you may use or share with a loved one who is suffering from their mental health.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255); In Spanish 1-888-628-9454
- Crisis Text Line: Text “HELLO” to 741741
- Veterans Crisis Line: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 or text to 838255
- Disaster Distress Helpline: Call or text 1-800-985-5990
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