May has been recognized in America as National Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949, making this the 73rd year our nation has observed the month and helped shine a light into what can be a dark subject for many who struggle with mental health issues. This month helps us all recognize that mental health is wealth and we should always feel comfortable getting help when we need it by seeking out mental health treatment.
Contributing to Mental Health Awareness Month
Handel Behavioral Health is proud to announce that we have donated over $1,000 to sponsor “Bay Cove’s Big Night”, a charity event hosted by Bay Cove Human Services. This organization, based in Boston, Massachusetts, provides services to those suffering from mental illness, substance abuse, developmental disabilities and more. We at Handel Behavioral Health are humbled to be a part of such a noble cause and to have this opportunity to give back to the community. This month is a perfect opportunity to contribute to our community in order to spread mental health awareness and encourage treatment and recovery.
At times, we all experience certain levels of depression or anxiety or any other number of mental health issues. We also know that our friends, families, and all of those around us will go through struggles in their life. Mental Health Awareness Month gives us all an opportunity to come together and have these important discussions around our mental health. We use this month as a time for reflection of our own health and that of others as well as a time for preparation to improve our mental health in the future and improve how we discuss and deal with these difficult problems.
It’s often easy to put aside our own stress or battles to focus on work, relationships, or generally more uplifting parts of our lives. But when we put off our needs for too long, the problems only get worse and make it more difficult to treat our mental health later on. Moreover, it makes it more difficult to enjoy the things we love, it affects our relationships, and it hinders our ability to succeed professionally or personally.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month 2022, we at Handel Behavioral Health want to help shine a brighter light into this dark subject to help guide anyone who may be struggling to find their way on the journey to mental health recovery and help remind everyone that there are many ways to treat mental health and most importantly, you are never alone.
Mental Health Statistics in 2022
As we said, when you struggle with mental health or any of the many afflictions associated with it, you are not alone in your fight. Though depression, anxiety, and even grief of a loss can make us think we are dealing with these struggles by ourselves, there are always plenty of people you can turn to that will help get you back on track, such as the many experienced mental health therapists, psychiatrists, and counselors in Massachusetts.
Beyond the treatment we seek, it’s also important to remember that there are millions of people that deal with or have dealt with the same problems we are going through. Because of that, the path to recovery is a shared one and we have a map to guide us.
Here are some statistics to help remind us all of how mental illness affects Americans every day.
- Nearly 20% of adults in the United States (about 50 million people) are currently experiencing mental illness.
- About 5% (over 12 million people) battle extreme or severe mental illness.
- Over 7% of Americans have been reported as having a substance use disorder last year.
- More than 4.5% (over 11 million people) have had serious thoughts of suicide, and this number is increasing.
- About 15% of adolescents ages 12-17 (nearly 4 million) experienced a Major Depressive Episode in the past year.
Though there are many more important statistics to understand, the point is clear. Our society needs to put higher emphasis on mental illness and treatment. Being aware of these numbers is the first step in the right direction. Next, we have to open up a deeper discussion around them and then take action to solve this epidemic.
COVID and Mental Health
It’s impossible to discuss mental health in 2022 without discussing the many ways Coronavirus has affected the mental health of our society. The uncertainty around it, lockdowns, not seeing our loved ones, losing jobs, experiencing loss and dealing with the trauma of our friends and family becoming sick have all caused great stress in our lives and society.
The pandemic became a dangerously strong catalyst for mental illness over the last few years. It caused us all to feel isolated, helpless, lost and confused.
The constant worry and unclearness of it all caused serious stress across the globe. Some people had to deal with the deaths of loved ones, others were not able to work and even became unemployed in many circumstances. Financial struggles are already a major factor in mental illness, but not knowing whether you would have a job the next day makes this all the more difficult and worrisome.
Experiencing any of these troubles is a reason to seek mental health treatment. From grief and loss counseling to counseling for anxiety and depression, to any type of psychiatry and therapy, Handel Behavioral Health offers many different treatment types and can help you or your loved ones begin to feel better again.
How to Participate in Mental Health Awareness Month in 2022
- Reflect on and improve your own mental health
Taking care of yourself is the best you can begin to observe and celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month. Use this month as an opportunity to reflect on how you’re feeling and what might be affecting that. Maybe it’s time to cut out some bad habits, maybe it’s time to pick up some new good habits, more likely it’s a little bit of both. This is your chance to take a mental inventory of everything going on in your life and find ways to improve yourself for the long term.
- Help those around you and be kind
Reaching out a helping hand to those we love, and even those we don’t know, is always a great way to show people that we care about them and that we are here to help them in their struggles, no matter how large or small. Even small gestures can go a long way in helping improve someone’s mental health.
- Spread awareness and talk about mental health
The most important things we can do are helping ourselves heal and helping others heal. Beyond that, we can open up discussions about mental illness and treatment. This helps show people in need that they have support and visibility. Sometimes that’s all someone needs to take the next step of seeking treatment.
Contact Handel Behavioral Health Today
Observing Mental Health Awareness Month is a great tradition in our country but it isn’t as important as seeking mental health treatment when we need it or someone we know needs it. Handel Behavioral Health has many experienced counselors, therapists, and psychiatrists in Massachusetts that are ready to guide you through your journey and achieve mental health recovery one step at a time. Reach out to one of our psychologists today and find out more about how we can help!