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Prioritizing Mental Wellbeing: May's Mental Health Awareness Month

Prioritizing Mental Wellbeing: May’s Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health is in our zeitgeist; depressive symptoms are second to none in the world’s leading causes of workplace disability. Cases of severe anxiety are rising, especially among young people. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare how close many of us are to experiencing panic attacks, problems with social anxiety, and difficulty balancing our physical and mental health requirements.

Meanwhile, the stigma surrounding mental healthcare persists. Even in high-income nations, where awareness around mental health problems tends to be better, only about half of those who need mental health treatment actively seek it out.

This May, on Mental Health Awareness Month, we encourage readers to take the first steps with their loved ones to address mental wellness at home and within the community.

We can start by promoting protective factors that help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression in each other, promoting mental resilience through our daily habits, and taking signs of a mental health issue seriously. Let’s learn more about prioritizing our mental well-being during this Mental Health Awareness Month.


Staying Aware of Your Mental Health

A mental health diagnosis can only be performed by a trained and accredited mental health professional. But recognizing behavioral, emotional, or even physical signs in a loved one can give you a clue that something might be wrong. What should you be looking out for?

Mental Health Symptoms Can be Behavioral

Behavioral signs of a mental health problem include sudden irritability, sadness, or withdrawal from social interactions, as well as agitation, restlessness, or difficulty concentrating. Other behavioral changes to watch out for include sudden changes to sleeping or eating patterns, such as insomnia or loss of appetite.

Changes in Mood Matter

We can’t always be happy, content, or stress-free. But expressions of overwhelming sadness, hopelessness, or despair should give us cause for concern. Keep an eye out for frequent mood swings, disproportionate emotional reactions to minor stressors, and feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or self-blame.

Mental Symptoms and Physical Symptoms

Mental health issues are often coupled with physical symptoms, often with no physical explanation. Aches and pains are the most common, especially headaches, stomachaches, or other unexplained physical complaints. Fatigue, low energy levels, or changes in physical appearance can also signify a mental burden.

Mental Wellbeing Can Affect Your Thinking

Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can affect your ability to concentrate, make decisions, or pay attention to details. Some mental health conditions include symptoms of intrusive or unwanted thoughts and ideas or, in worse cases, hallucinations and delusions.



Recognizing and Promoting Protective Factors

A protective factor for mental health problems is any aspect of an individual’s life or environment that helps reduce the likelihood of developing mental health issues or mitigates the negative impact of risk factors. Think of protective factors like precautions you and your loved ones can take to promote each other’s mental resilience, reduce the severity of mental health issues, and even help improve treatment outcomes.

We can work on protective factors at home and promote them within our families and communities by taking the time this month to try and implement some of these habits together:

A Focus on Interpersonal Support

Having supportive relationships with family, friends, or community members can provide emotional stability and a sense of belonging, fighting feelings of loneliness. This can mean being more positive about each other’s hobbies and achievements, but it can also mean encouraging someone who seems lonely to join your club or group.

Promoting Better Stress Management Techniques

We all have different ways of coping with a tough day. Some of those ways are more or less beneficial for our overall mental resilience. For example, finding time in the week for mild exercise can help reduce feelings of physical lethargy after a hard week and improve your long-term mood and health. Quitting smoking or drinking as a coping mechanism can also improve long-term mental health, even if the short-term side effects can be challenging to manage.

Prioritizing a Stable Environment and Consistent Schedule

Living in a safe, stable, and nurturing environment can promote mental well-being and reduce exposure to traumatic experiences, especially among children. Teens and kids benefit from schedules and routines that help them build healthy, self-sufficient habits. Adults can also benefit from implementing stricter routines to help improve their sleep cycles, cut out distractions, and help designate pockets of time for things like meditation and exercise, whether alone or in a group.

More vital Coping Skills and Resources Dedicated to Mental Wellbeing

Coping strategies and resources for mental health are essential tools for managing stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges. In addition to protective factors, consider taking the time this month to think about taking steps towards better physical and mental health through small, meaningful changes in diet (such as portion control, nutrient-dense foods, and sources of healthy fiber), moderate exercise, deep breathing or meditation, and social activities, such as finding groups or associations dedicated to a sport or hobby of your interest, and spending more time around people who have your interests in common.



At Amend Treatment, Mental Health Awareness is Key

We can’t address problems that don’t exist. Calling attention to mental health problems and the stigma around mental health treatment as a continuous blight on our families, communities, and our society at large is an essential first step toward meaningful change for ourselves and our loved ones.

When choosing a treatment plan for your loved ones, it’s essential to be confident in your choice. Amend Treatment specializes in providing residential, inpatient care for people who struggle with mental health challenges, from depression to anxiety and life-change-related mental health challenges.

We strive to inspire confidence through the expertise of our staff, our rigorous screening process for new admissions, and the various modalities we utilize to help treat people, including mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), ketamine-based treatments for depression and trauma, and more.

In times of uncertainty, prioritizing yours and your family’s wellbeing is key. This May, let’s take our first steps towards promoting mental awareness at home and within our communities by encouraging discussions on topics of mental health, encouraging seeking out treatment and therapy, and helping those loved ones who are least likely to help themselves.


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