May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Hooray!
Mental health is defined as “a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.” Our mental health is ever changing and evolving throughout our lives, just as our physical health does. Mental Health Awareness Month started back in 1949 as a way to bring attention to the importance of mental health, and to celebrate people dealing with their own mental health issues to find balance in their lives. Now in 2020 we have a bunch of awesome resources for people to learn about mental health, different types of mental health issues, and find resources to best care for our mental wellbeing.
Over 450 million people across the world are living with a mental illness, and even more people have experienced bouts of mental health challenges throughout their lives, or perhaps have a mental illness that is undiagnosed. Mental health issues are common and a part of life. Anxiety and depression are most common, and even people without a diagnosed mental illness will experience these feelings at some point. It’s best to seek professional help when you feel that your mental health is affecting your life. Professional help can look like going to a therapist, seeing a psychologist to get a prescription to help you manage your symptoms, or finding support groups to attend. It’s also important to note you can see a therapist as a way to maintain your mental health and process life events. You don’t have to wait until you’re struggling to start therapy.
You can find a therapist through your primary care doctor, or you can use resources such as Psychology Today to find therapists in your area. There are other mental health resources readily available to us as well because of the Internet!
Youtube channels for mental health are great to gain an understanding of mental health issues and help us understand our feelings. One of my favorites is licensed therapist Kati Morton who makes videos on mental health every week. Online therapy resources such as Better Help, Theralink, and Talk Space also make therapy accessible and inexpensive for people that need it. For a little dose of mental health resources, Instagram can be good too. I wouldn’t recommend replacing seeing an in person therapist for following therapists on Instagram or Youtube, but following some good therapy accounts can serve as good reminders for us throughout the day. My favorites are The Holistic Psychologist, Sit With Sharon, Dr. Jenn Hardy, and Lisa Olivera Therapy.
As I mentioned, these resources are no replacement for actual therapy or a consultation from your doctor, they are just great resources to help normalize talking about mental health and give you some food for thought throughout your day.
When it comes to mental health, it’s a lifelong journey. It’s normal to experience challenges with your mental health, it’s normal to feel really great and on top of your mental health as well. It’s important to share your feelings, talk openly about your mental health issues, and seek professional help when needed.
If you or someone you know is really struggling with their mental health, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website or call 1-800-273-8255.