May is Mental Health Month: Where to Start

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In a constantly evolving world, navigating the changes, both positive and negative, can feel overwhelming. While society is becoming increasingly open about mental health discussions, it can still be challenging to know where to begin prioritizing your mental health and wellbeing.

Awakenings Treatment Center understands these complexities and is here to support you on your journey towards mental health and wellness.

Mental Health Month 2024 – Where to Start

Your surroundings say a lot about your mental health. Take a moment to consider your surroundings. Do you feel safe? Do you have access to health care and grocery stores? Does your home support you, both physically and mentally?

Nearly 10 million American adults grapple with serious mental illnesses, such as anxiety, major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Alarmingly, half of these individuals experience onset symptoms as early as age 14.

This Mental Health Month, challenge yourself to look at your world and how different factors can affect your mental health.

What Happens if Mental Illness is Untreated?

Unfortunately, if mental illness is left untreated, it can lead to dire consequences. Approximately 10.2 million adults have co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders. 26 percent of homeless adults living in shelters live with a serious disorder. Additionally, 24 percent of state prisoners have a recent history of a mental illness.

The only way to break the cycle is to ensure that people are properly diagnosed and treated. Unfortunately, many people are left without dual diagnosis treatment because the signs of mental illness are not properly recognized and treated. As an example, nearly 60 percent of adults with mental illness do not receive treatment services in a single year.

How to Address Mental Illness

It’s clear that our nation has to do better to recognize the signs of mental illness and where to go for addiction treatment. Below are some of the best ways to address mental illness in yourself or a loved one.

  • Talk to a doctor.  It’s recommended to see your doctor if you’ve experienced changes in your thinking and feeling for the past few weeks or months.
  • Take a screening. You can find eight screening tools here. These screenings are the fastest and easiest way to learn if you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition.
  • Boost your mental health. Make it a priority by writing in a gratitude journal, working your strengths, being present and taking time to laugh. 
  • Practice good self-care. When living with mental illness, it’s extremely important to practice good self-care. Look over this list of resources that include connecting with others, staying positive, and helping others.
  • Know the risk factors and early warning signs. Some people think that mental illness won’t happen to them, but it does not discriminate. Learn the risk factors that could put you at greater risk, such as your genes, environment and lifestyle.

Mental health is an integral part of your wellbeing, because it affects the way you think, feel and act. If you are experiencing signs of mental illness, contact a doctor immediately or contact Awakenings Treatment Center