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It is Okay to Not be Okay - Mental Health Awareness month



From a worldwide study in 2017, “ ...this study estimates that 792 million people lived with a mental health disorder. This is slightly more than one in ten people globally (10.7%),” (OurWorldinData.Org 2017). Mental illness, and mental health disorders, are much more common than people may even realize. As a society, we should be collectively working to end the stigma around individuals struggling with mental health. We can do this by talking openly, and without judgment, about mental health. By creating this conversation, we are furthering the idea of the topic being normalized. Additionally, we can continue to educate ourselves and others, be conscious of our own language and empower individuals struggling with their own mental health.


Types of Mental Health Issues

There is a very large variety of diagnosable mental health issues that include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Panic disorder

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

  • Phobias

  • Depression

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Other mood disorders

  • Eating disorders (such as anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, etc)

  • Personality disorders

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia

( list courtesy of https://medlineplus.gov/mentaldisorders.html )

How Can You Help Others?

Most importantly, there needs to be an open conversation about mental health; let the person know that they are not alone in their struggles. It is important to be completely judgment-free, and ask what you can do as an individual to help. Sometimes it is just as simple as sitting down and listening that can really make a person feel better, but if not, give advice only if warranted. There are many outside factors that can affect a person’s mental health, so it may be beneficial to go about identifying those factors to see how you could possibly help lessen some of those burdens.


Treatment

Oftentimes, mental health struggles can get too intense to deal with on your own, and there is absolutely no shame in receiving treatment. Whether it be through therapy, support groups, inpatient and outpatient facilities, or medication, there is an option out there for you no matter what. For urgent matters, there are also hotlines you may contact for immediate help. You should never be ashamed of admitting you need help; all you need is to get to be the best version of yourself


Resources


Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 1-800-273-TALK

Crisis Text Line: Text “HELLO” to 741741

Health Resources and Services Administration: “The HRSA works to improve access to health care. The HRSA website has information on finding affordable healthcare, including health centers that offer care on a sliding fee scale”

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): “CMS has information on its website about benefits and eligibility for mental health programs and how to enroll.”

Additionally, there are many many more resources at the click of a finger all over the internet!


https://www.nami.org/blogs/nami-blog/october-2017/9-ways-to-fight-mental-health-stigma

https://ourworldindata.org/mental-health

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/supporting-someone-mental-health-problem

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/find-help/index.shtml


Research Coordinator - Kelsey Sticher

Illustrations - Shaina Rahman

Graphics - Hafsa Gaballa


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