Raising Mental Health Awareness in May

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Mental health has become a public health issue. Increasingly, individuals all over the world continue to suffer from one or more form of depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders. These conditions are debilitating and often consume your daily existence by affecting your relationship with your family, productivity and earning power. For instance, in 2010, it was estimated that depression accounted for a total economic burden of over $200 billion dollars.

Furthermore, depression increases the risk for many other pathological conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and cognitive disorders. The purpose of this article is to create awareness of mental health by giving you helpful tips and guides that will protect your mental health. This article also aims to destigmatize mental illness by letting you understand that mental health issues should be treated in the same manner as physical concerns. It is time to take action and prevent mental health issues from occurring.

Here are helpful tips to help protect your mental health

Engage in open and honest communication

To maintain your sanity, you have to surround yourself around those who will bring positivity into your life. This means maintaining a support system that includes individuals that will keep your mind healthy and avoidance of toxic and unproductive relationships. This does not mean deliberate isolation or disconnecting with other individuals. Seek out activities where you can meet new people, such as a club, class or support group. This process involves fostering a social support system of friends and family that can help you reduce mental health problems. Initiating an open, honest communication and a healthy approach to accepting criticisms with grace and appreciation will be particularly beneficial in helping you prevent mental health problems.

Help Others and Get Creative

True happiness comes from within and also from the smiles you put in other people’s faces. In this month of May, volunteer your precious time and energy to help other people. You will feel good knowing that someone became better through you. Furthermore, take out the time to improve your creativity. This usually involves learning something new. The feeling of being able to do something new is particularly satisfying and have a great positive effect in satisfying the reward system (that is, the mesolimbic dopamine pathway) in your brain.

Set Realistic Goals

While it is good to be ambitious but it is also important to always set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound). While the feeling of achievement after accomplishing certain life goals can give you a sense of control and fulfillment over your life, however, big and unrealistic goals can be damaging to your mental health.

Get Serious About Laughter and Avoid Alcohol and Hard Drugs

To keep a healthy mental health, it is important to keep alcohol use at a minimum. The opinion that alcohol use helps depression is only a misconception. It has only a temporary effect on elevating your mood and later depressing you even more. You also have to understand that laughter is the best medicine.  Laughter can improve one’s quality of life mentally, socially, emotionally and physically.

Conclusion

You can impact mental health awareness in your community. It is easier than you think. Here are helpful tips to help you impact mental health awareness

  1. Talk about mental health and educate yourself about mental illness and suicide.
  2. Talk to loved ones and others about how they are feeling. Also, share your story with others openly and honestly.
  3. Volunteer with local mental health awareness organizations.
  4. Share educational information and materials about mental health awareness and prevention tips.