Mental Health Crisis
You are not alone. You don’t need to have a psychiatric diagnosis to be affected by your mental health. Mental and emotional health is a huge part of overall health and should be a priority for everyone.
It’s easy to feel alone in your worry or sadness or panic, but the reality is that many people struggle in similar ways. Here are a few statistics to put this into perspective:
- 1 in 5 US adults experience mental illness each year
- 1 in 20 US adults experience serious mental illness each year
- 1 in 6 US youth experience a mental health disorder each year
- 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14. 75% begins by age 24
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in US adults, followed by depression. If you are struggling, there are a lot of places to reach out for help—from friends, family, healthcare professionals, support groups, or help lines (you can call the National Alliance on Mental Illness at 800-950-6264).
To address the continuing seriousness of mental health issues in the United States, the FCC was tasked with the development of the 988 system as a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. Roughly 170 regional crisis centers will answer calls to 988 twenty four hours a day. The hotline goes live on July 16, 2022.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline was established in 2005 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. That hotline has fielded over 10 million phone calls during the past 16 years. One out of four of those calls were from individuals in suicidal distress.
Clearly mental health needs to be a priority every day of every year. There continues to be a social stigma about reaching out when in a mental health crisis. This is despite creation of a mental health awareness month, the next slated for May 2022. We just had mental health day on October 10, 2021. Yet the stigma continues. In fact, the numbers above more than likely are low.
If you are sincerely concerned about mental health in this country, make sure your involvement is not just a voiced well intention. If you choose to be helpful, make sure you follow through and actually be helpful. This is a national, if not world wide crisis made worse during almost two years of hearing Covid this and Covid that nonstop.
Here are some strategies for involvement with mental health in your inner circle and beyond.
⏳ Have an open discussion about mental health with those in your life. Ask people how
they really are and probe past the “fine” answer. Check in with those important to you. And make sure to take inventory of your own mental health status.
⏳ Perform the little gestures of kindness that can make a huge impact on someone who is having a dark time period. Call rather than text. Take a friend for coffee. Check in frequently and check in often. Send a message or comment to people you know personally rather than just “liking” a post on social media. You never know when someone needs you.
⏳ If someone opens up, keep your mouth closed and really listen to what they are saying. Don’t offer advice, just listen. They have even studied doctors who should know better, and found they interrupt their patients on average within 5 seconds of asking a question. They are so rushed to figure out what pill or treatment to offer that they can miss the real issues at hand. Most believe that people with suicidal ideation will offer clues. That may be true, but many successful suicides seem very happy and content, shocking those around them when go through with their self-demise. Perhaps they have made their decision and see a way out of their discomfort. Try to understand and learn from what those around you are saying before it becomes too late.
⏳ If you tell people you’ll be there for them no matter what, make sure you mean that. Don’t tell people around you “if there’s anything you need” if you’re not willing to provide anything they need. Don’t ignore calls from your loved ones. If someone is struggling or grieving, do something for them rather than saying something that is merely designed to make you feel better about yourself by offering to help.
⏳ And remember a very true but underappreciated quote. Be kind always. You never know what someone else is going through.
If you are looking for natural and supportive options to support your emotional health and mood, we can help with naturopathic and functional medicine. I have a network of coaches, counselors, physicians, nurses and other professionals available to me. The first step is to reach out and ask for help. Email me at email@example.com if you need one, some or all these options.
#Together4MH #MIAW #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthcrisis #suicideprevention #functionalmedicine #askdrtreacy #healthwithoutrisk
National Alliance on Mental Illness [link]