May is Mental Health Month throughout the nation.
While it is at the top of LifeWorks NW’s priorities every day of the year, we appreciate having the community raise awareness about the work we do. As part of this awareness campaign, we’d like to share just a few things everyone should know.
What’s the difference between a mental health condition and poor mental health?
The latter happens when we have a hard day or week—whether we are struggling with issues related to work, family or friends. A mental health condition is diagnosed when you have significant changes in your feelings and thoughts which are negatively affecting your ability to do the things you normally do over a period of time.
It is important to know you are not alone.
- 21 percent of US adults have a mental health condition.
- 46 percent of Americans will have some mental illness during their lives, whether or not it is diagnosed.
I’ve heard about trauma-informed care; what is trauma?
It’s different for every person. It is based on experiences the individual finds extremely stressful, frightening or dangerous. It can be a one-time thing (like an accident) or long-term (like childhood abuse). Racism triggers trauma for many—in part why people with multi-cultural ancestry report the greatest percentage of mental health challenges.
What can you do to support your mental health?
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Eat healthy food.
- Stay active daily and engage in aerobic exercise regularly.
- Focus on avoiding situations or people who cause you stress as much as possible.
- Avoid excessive alcohol or drugs; they can be triggers for mental health issues.
- If you have anxiety or depression on an ongoing basis or are concerned about any aspect of your mental health, contact your local mental health provider, your primary care doctor or call 988 for help 24/7 anywhere in the US.
Together, we can create a healthier community for all.