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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

For whatever reason, mental health and discussing it continues to be almost a taboo topic which is strange because millions of Americans are impacted by it each and every day. To put it in perspective, 43.8 million or, one in five struggles with mental illness.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) this year’s message, “You are not Alone” will be amplified.

Through the pandemic, mental health has become possibly one of the most important aspects of a person that needs not to be neglected. Isolation, social distancing, lack of in-person gatherings and lack of physical contact have taken a serious toll on many.

“Now more than ever, we need to find ways to stay connected with our community,” NAMI said. “No one should feel alone or without the information, support and help they need.”

Mental health is defined as a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being. The stigma associated with mental health impacts many, including those who do not struggle with mental illness.

“There are so many misconceptions about what mental illness is and what it means to live with a mental health condition,” NAMI said. “Mental illness is not the result of a person’s weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illness is not a mark of disgrace but stigma views it as such.“

“Stigma is a big problem for people with mental health conditions. It affects people’s well-being, prevents them from seeking treatment and damages self-esteem,” NAMI said. Because of stigma, many people with mental health conditions do not feel comfortable talking about what they are experiencing, and some don’t seek treatment at all, leading to more serious issues. Mental health is vital and although many tend to think of the most serious conditions related, here is a shortlist of mental illnesses you or someone you know deal with.

  • Depression,
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Mood disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • A specific phobia and more.

In America, anxiety disorders are the number one mental illness in the nation. Approximately 40 million adults suffer from anxiety. A highly treatable condition: however, only 36.9 percent impacted receive treatment. The second most prevalent is depression followed by bipolar disorder.

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Lauren Siebert
Lauren Siebert
Lauren is a an award-winning journalist who decided after 10 years of newspaper experience to venture out. Hallmark Times was born.
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