Mental Health Awareness Month: A Guide To Caring For Yourself and Those Around You

Mental Health Awareness Month: A Guide To Caring For Yourself and Those Around You

Nearly one in five adults in the United States lives with some form of mental illness (National Institute of Mental Health – NAMI). May – National Mental Health Awareness Month – is dedicated to providing the public with educational and support resources they can use to better understand mental illness, find support or seek help. ThinkTV and CET, your local PBS stations, understand that mental health is a key part of an your day-to-day life and we wanted to take a deeper dive into mental health awareness:

So what exactly is a mental illness? 

A mental illness is defined as a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling, behavior or mood (NAMI). These conditions impact a person’s daily life and may also affect an individual’s ability to be able to relate to and connect with others. However, many mental illnesses can be managed with proper treatment and care. 

What types of mental illnesses are the most common in the U.S.? 

Most Americans who suffer from a mental illness have an anxiety disorder. NAMI estimates that 19 percent of all adults in the United States with a mental illness have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are broad but include general anxiety disorder, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). 

Here are some resources from Rewire and The Next Avenue to help educate you on anxiety disorders and also some of the ways to treat them: 

When Should You Seek Help for Anxiety?
Do You Have Existential Anxiety?
7 Ways to Manage Anxiety in Uncertain Times
Why It’s Important to Treat PTSD at Any Age
‘Not Defined By Trauma’: How 3 Women Cope With PTSD
What It’s Really Like to Live With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Black Anxiety: How to Talk to Your Therapist About Racism
How to Stop Fear from Controlling You

Depression is the second most common mental health issue in the United States – about 8 percent of adults in the United States who have mental illness suffer from depression. Depression is characterized by a persistent sad or “empty” mood, a feeling of hopelessness or pessimism, a loss of interest in hobbies or activities and/or an overall decreased amount of energy according to the NIMH.

Here are some resources from Rewire and The Next Avenue to help you better understand depression and how to spot in in yourself or in others: 

When Should You Worry About Suicidal Thoughts?
Chronic Shame and Depression: A Vicious Cycle
The Lesser-Known Symptoms of Depression
How Men and Women Experience Depression Differently
Spotting Major Depression in the Grieving
Yes, You Can Get Seasonal Depression in the Summer

Whether you or a loved one are suffering from an anxiety disorder, depression or one of the other many kinds of mental illnesses, you are not alone. 

Here is a collection of resources from Rewire and The Next Avenue on what you can do to support your own mental health as well as the mental health of others around you: 

Self-Care Resources:

Take Some Time for Your Mental Health Today
The Value of Self-Care and How to Start a Routine
How to Overcome the Barriers to Self-Care
What You Do to Reduce Loneliness
7 Mental Health Podcasts to Listen to Right Now
Professionals Recommend These Mental Health Apps
5 Ways to Squeeze Self-Care into Your Office Workday
Psychotherapy at Home: Telehealth Makes it Possible
How Yoga Helps People Recover from Trauma

Resources to Help You Help Others: 

How to Help a Friend Who Is Feeling Suicidal — Without Calling 911
How to Support Older Adults With Serious Mental Illness
Be a Mental Health Ally and Talk Respectfully About Suicide
Is it ‘The Blues’ or Depression?
How to Help Someone Experiencing PTSD
How to Support a Partner Struggling With Depression
How to Be a Friend to Someone Who Is Lonely