Mental Health Awareness Month

By: Nohemi Vallejo

May is the month that gives mental health an opportunity to raise awareness. While most people live life day by day not thinking of how they sit with themselves emotionally or mentally. Mental health awareness isn’t just about illnesses, it’s also about how people take care of themselves.  Positive mental health allows people to realize their full potential, cope with the stress of life, and work productively. Of course, some days get a little rough, but there are many different ways to try to maintain a positive mind. Connecting with others, getting physically active, helping others, getting enough sleep, developing coping skills, and getting professional help if you need it. According to Mental health first aid, in the United States, almost half of adults (46.4 percent) will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. Five percent of adults (18 or older) experience a mental illness in any one year, equivalent to 43.8 million people. The most common mental illness is depression. Globally, depression impacts an estimated 300 million people. Some early warning signs of any illness can include:

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling away from people and usual activities
  • Having low or no energy
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • Having unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
  • Yelling or fighting with family and friends
  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others
  • Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school

It’s perfectly normal to feel sadness or anger, but when it becomes too much to handle, it’s okay to seek help. There are many different programs to help you online or at local mental health organizations. Students, you can reach out to a teacher, counselor, or administrator, or even a friend or parent if you need to seek help for your mental health.


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