let's talk mental health!

Sound the alarm! Sound the alarm!

May is Mental Health Awareness month and I am so glad that as a people we have decided to forward our thoughts towards highlighting a topic that is so taboo. For years, mental health has been something that has been swept under the rug. But guess what? We have the power to  lift up that old raggedy rug and clean up the mess.  Stigma has been the callous that has stopped many individuals from seeking the help that they need.   

So, what exactly is Mental Health? Mental Health is a person's condition in regards to their psychological, emotional, and social well-being. Did you know that 1 in 5 American will experience  mental illness, but don't be alarmed, there is help and hope! The first step is to seek HELP! Many people suffer in silence due to fear of stigma, which means that generally only half of the people affected by mental illness receive the help that is needed.  

There are various aspects of life that can lead a person to experience mental health issues, such as trauma, stress, genetics, death, etc. The most common mental health illnesses are Anxiety Disorders and Mood Disorders:   

*Anxiety  Disorders consist of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The individuals have difficulties with phobias.   

*Mood Disorder consists of Depression and Bipolar I and Bipolar II. These individual experience challenges with regulating their mood

So, what can you do to help? Tips for those experiencing mental health issues or has a loved one who may be experiencing mental health issues.

  1. The first step is to simply  talk about it. Normalize mental health, because guess what? It's normal.  You wouldn't stigmatize a cancer patient so why do it for someone who is experiencing mental health issues? The same love you would give to someone who is terminally ill, is the same love that is needed by someone who struggles with mental illness.  Celebrities such as Taraji P. Henson, Dwayne "The Rock "Johnson,  Demi Moore, Kendrick Lamar, and  Ryan Reynolds, to name a few all struggle with mental health and have been open and honest. The more we discuss it, the easier it will be to address it.
  2. Education, Education, Education! Need I say more. You can never receive enough credible education on mental health.  Below you will find credible resources.
  3. Seek a mental health provider, shop around and find someone who works for you. Therapists are not one size fits all. Find someone who fits your needs and will help you effectively receive the help that is needed.  Just like you would not go to a Podiatrist for your heart, make sure that if you want to process trauma, you are seeing a therapist that specializes in trauma.
  4. Advocacy is important within the community, church, school, etc.  Bring mental health into the unspoken realms, so that those who are affected in that particular circle can feel safe and comfortable.
  5. Stay on the course, a lot of times when things get tough we as people typically want to quit. I`ll be the first to tell you that therapy is hard work, but I promise you, if you do your work, the results will speak for themselves. Follow the instructions of the therapist that you have chosen and trust that they will help you on your journey. Go into therapy with a clear mind and rid yourself of any preconceived notions. Contrary to what you may think, therapy is nothing like how they portray it in the media, and if it is, run, and find a more suitable therapist.
  6. Lastly, self-care, take the time to celebrate you! Do something positive that will make you feel good. It is impossible to pour from an empty cup. Self-care can simply be taking a bubble bath, binge watching your favorite show, cooking, cleaning, spending time with loved ones, and the list goes on and on. If your mental health is intact, it gives you the ability to be spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy. Self-care can actually prevent a lot of mental health illness issues as the onset of mental illness is normally caused by stress.

I hope that this blog has helped in bringing awareness and normalcy to mental health, as well as given the readers something to think about as we continue to SOUND THE ALARM!


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The National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml

Mental Health. GOV https://www.mentalhealth.gov/

National Alliance of Mental Illness https://www.nami.org/Home

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration https://www.samhsa.gov/

Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/us