How are you doing today? How are you feeling? Is there anything you want to talk about? When is a good time to check in with you?
All good questions…especially in light of the past several years of stress and uncertainty.
Many of you know that I have been fortunate to work in the mental and behavioral health space for many years through Leander ISD, Williamson County and Cities Health District and Georgetown Behavioral Health Institute, Dallas Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, and Plum Creek Recovery Ranch, all part of the Signature Healthcare System.
You may not be aware of that…
- An estimated 26% of Americans ages 18and older — about 1 in 4 adults — suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.
- Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time.
- In particular, depressive illnesses tend to co-occur with substance abuse and anxiety disorders.
(according to John Hopkins Medicine)
I can speak to this as I grew up in a family that was impacted by mental and behavioral health conditions and because of the trauma I witnessed firsthand, it had an effect on me and still does today.
What I can say is that you are not alone. There are others out there who are trying to regulate their lives on a daily basis. There are also those out there that wrestle with the stigmas attached to mental and behavioral illnesses and social-emotional challenges. Seeking treatment can be affected for these people who feel the stigma.
Removing these barriers and challenges can be key to living a successful, productive life.
What can you do?
- Find a space to ask really good and meaningful questions about how others are doing and listen to their answers and love them. They don’t need solutions as much as they need to be heard and supported.
- Build your empathy muscles by being aware and being sensitive to other’s struggles.
- Add energy to relationships by being trust-worthy, honest, and caring and do not do things that takes energy away.
- Lastly, be aware of mental and behavioral health signs and symptoms so that you can recognize when someone you love or care for needs your assistance.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I hope you find time to build your knowledge, reach out to someone you love and care about, and advocate for the needs of those who are affected by mental and behavioral health conditions.
Let’s work together to solve this challenge
Learn more about mental and behavioral health and find the peace that is necessary for yourself and others to live a fulfilling life.