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Self-Care: Minding Your Mental Health

Beth Hess - Monday, May 08, 2017

While we celebrate children’s mental health during the first week of May, the entire month is devoted to mental health awareness — and that includes yours! 

Mental health disorders are common. National Institute for Mental Health data from 2016 estimates that 26% of American adults over the age of 18 experience some diagnosable mental disorder in any given year. Unfortunately, only about half of these individuals receive any mental health treatment. Yet we know that treatment is effective and that early intervention can prevent the development of more serious symptoms.

People don’t access mental health treatment for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they dismiss or minimize their issues, saying to themselves “my problems aren’t that bad.”  Others tell themselves that they should be able to handle things on their own without help.  They perceive seeking help as a sign of weakness. Many don’t want to share their personal details with a stranger. Finally, some may not know how to find help, or if they do, it is not readily available.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, we have included here a screening tool for anxiety (from Mental Health America). Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health problems, and they are eminently treatable. The screening tool will provide you with information and suggestions depending on your score. You may also opt to receive any of the following:
  • a phone number to get immediate support or guidance
  • additional information about mental health
  • referrals to local Mental Health America affiliates or other organizations that can help
  • worksheets or coping skills to use at home
  • an online, mobile program or app that can help you track or manage your symptoms
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