UA CARES: MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH
In today’s overworked, frenzied society, stress is inexorable. We place value on status, physical health, and the amount of zero’s in our bank account, but we forget about something equally important: Mental Health.
Stress and its actuality have become a normative aspect of society. It’s something that lies ever so present in everyone’s lives, but dormant enough to be ignored until the wrong moment.
Mental illness took a very close friend of mine at a young age. Nobody knew the extent of his suffering until it was too late. I had never placed any credence in the fragility of mental health until that moment. We never asked, “How are you doing?”, and he never reached out to us.
Reach out to your loved ones. “How are you doing?” can have a greater impact than you think.
Self-care is equally as important as listening and looking out for your loved ones. Always remember to dedicate time to your own sanity with therapeutic activities. Mindfulness, relaxation, and communication are essential to your personal mental health.
- Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.
- Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.
- Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common causes of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18–44.
- Over one-third (37%) of students with a mental health condition age 14–21 and older are served by special education drop out—the highest dropout rate of any disability group.
- More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition.
How can you help?
- Read about it. Inform yourself about mental illness and suicide.
- Talk about it. Talk to loved ones, friends, those close to you. Ask them how they are doing.
- Volunteer in your community – donate your time to others. Acts of kindness can boost your own mental health.
- Wear green and recognize the green ribbon.
- Always listen.