May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness and eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health.
More and more people are talking about the importance of mental health and seeing it for what it is: one important component of our overall health and well-being, just like our physical health.
For Mental Health Awareness Month this year, Mental Health America is encouraging individuals to look around and look within. From your neighborhood to your genetics, many factors come into play when it comes to mental health conditions. We encourage everyone to consider how the world around them affects their mental health.
Mental Health is Health
Our society focuses much more on physical health than mental health, but both are equally important. Our overall health is significantly affected by our environment: where we are born, live, learn, work, play, and congregate. While we often think of these environmental factors (sometimes called the “social determinants of health”) as relating largely to our physical health, it’s important to consider the effect of our environment on our mental health and well-being as well. Wherever you call “home,” it should give you feelings of comfort, support, and calmness. If not, there are things you can do to your space to help you be more productive, reach your goals, and improve your mental health.
In addition, brain health issues and disorders, rather being character flaws or personal weaknesses, often have biological and neurological basis and often can be successfully treated.
Pay Attention to Yourself
If you are concerned about your mental health, you are not alone, and help is available. It may be hard to talk about your concerns, but simply acknowledging to yourself that you’re struggling is a really big step.
Take time to ask yourself about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to see if this is part of a pattern that may be caused by a mental health condition. Here are some questions to get you started:
- Have things that used to feel easy started feeling difficult?
- Does the idea of doing daily tasks like making your bed now feel really, really hard?
- Have you lost interest in activities and hobbies you used to enjoy?
- Do you feel irritated, possibly to the point of lashing out at people you care about?
Linn County is Here to Help
Linn County is proud to be a Make it OK workplace where we make the mental health of our employees a priority. As a local government, Linn County has long made addressing the mental health of our residents one of our top priorities as well. During Mental Health Awareness Month, Linn County is joining our partners across the community, and many others across the country, to remind everyone it’s OK to not be OK.
If you are not OK, now is the time to look into resources for yourself or for anyone you know who may be struggling. Help is available in Linn County. And seeking this help is a sign of strength.
Remember, it is possible to find balance between life’s ups and downs and continue to cope with life’s challenges.
Follow Linn County and Linn County Public Health on social media as we share information to end the mental health stigma and to make resources available in our community.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, the Linn County Mental Health Access Center is open for walk-in hours seven days a week from 8 a.m.–10 p.m. You can also call the suicide and crisis lifeline at 988.