May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This year’s theme is Together for Mental Health, putting an emphasis on advocating and improving access to care. Mental health matters, and it’s important to raise awareness and fight the stigma. Your life can be affected by mental health in many ways, thus it’s important to take care of yourself and be there for others when they need encouragement.
DREAM works to positively impact the lives of youth in our community. One of our programs is mentoring at risk youth in which we provide a variety of ways to help youth and their families. Mentoring offers young people a number of benefits including giving them a friend who cares about them and their future, boosting their self-esteem, giving them encouragement, as well as professional resources.
There is no exact cause for mental illness, but anyone can experience it at any given time in their life. One in 25 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year. You are not alone, and there are many ways you can get help and get back to being yourself.
Mental health affects our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel, handle stress, and our decision-making abilities. Trauma, medical conditions, chemical imbalances in the brain, and abusing alcohol and drugs are all causes contributing to a mental illness.
It’s important to pay attention to signs such as low energy and motivation, losing the ability to feel emotions, feeling on edge, mood swings, and the inability to perform daily tasks. There are many more symptoms, and someone can have these symptoms but not have a mental illness. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and seeking care should never be avoided.
Fighting the stigma
Many people may be afraid to admit they have a mental health disorder, because unlike a broken bone, it’s not something you can see. When you have a physical injury, you don’t hesitate to seek medical attention and get medicine. Positive mental health can make you more productive and much happier.
Exercising, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep are some practices you can implement to maintain positive mental health. Sharing your story can encourage others and make you realize you’re not alone in your battles. Mental Health Awareness Month is a great time to start prioritizing your mental health.
Doing more by mentoring at risk youth
It is likely that someone you know is experiencing a mental illness in one way or another. A simple act of kindness to brighten someone’s day can go a long way. This month, we can start paying more attention to mental health. Not everyone may be able to afford therapy and medicine right off the bat, and that’s why we hope through raising awareness this month each year we can make mental health resources available to everyone.
Educating yourself on mental health and how it might be affecting yourself or those around you is a great start. The youth in our community deserve to be happy in life no matter what they’ve been through. DREAM is always looking for people to help in mentoring at risk youth. If you want to help make a difference, contact us today.