If you are struggling with your mental health, you are not alone. In fact, about one in five American adults experience mental health conditions each year.
“In recent years, we have collectively faced isolation, turmoil and unrest which has led to a growing number of Americans experiencing mental health symptoms,” said the Colorado Social Work Care Management team at Village Medical. “Though some people may be predisposed to depression, anxiety, or other conditions, we all struggle during challenging times and need support and access to care so we can thrive.”
Mental health is an incredibly important part of our overall health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depression may increase a person’s risk for getting many types of physical health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Whether it’s being a trusted listener or a touchpoint for coordinating specialists, your Village Medical primary care provider (PCP), social worker, and care team are in your corner.
Understanding Mental Health
Mental health is made up of our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It influences everything — from how we think, to how we feel, and how we act. It can also affect how we handle stress, how we relate to others, and whether we make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life and often changes over time.
You Are Not Alone
Millions of people in the U.S. are affected by mental health conditions each year, and more than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime. Many people struggle with mental health conditions, but the key to remember is that while it is a part of you, it does not define who you are.
Admitting to ourselves and others that we have a mental health condition makes us feel vulnerable and can be scary. It is also easy to assume we will be met with criticism or judgment from those around us, but the stereotype and fear of having a mental health condition has changed in recent years. Today, there are people and resources available to support you. Asking for help is no longer a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength.
Like many physical illnesses, mental health conditions are treatable, yet only half of adults received treatment in 2020. If therapy is accessible for you, be sure to seek it out. Through treatment, we can learn ways to make changes in our lives and cope with stressors so we can better manage the daily demands of life and improve our mental well-being.
If you or someone you know is in immediate distress or is thinking about hurting themselves, call the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline toll-free at 988. You also can text the Crisis Text Line (HOME to 741741) or use the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline website at Lifeline (988lifeline.org).
Prioritize Your Mental Health
An accurate diagnosis is often the first step in a mental health treatment plan. It’s not always easy to tell the difference between expected behaviors and signs of a mental health condition, but by talking with your PCP, you will be able to identify certain thoughts, behaviors and symptoms that may point to a specific diagnosis and obtain the treatment you need.
To keep yourself mentally well, it is important to make time for self-care and establish healthy boundaries throughout your life. This includes making sure you are getting enough sleep, eating right and exercising, connecting with others, and spending time outdoors. Doing one small thing to help yourself every day can go a long way to improving your mental health.
Choose Empowerment Over Shame
When it comes to mental health, we can fight the negative stigma that surrounds it by sharing our stories in safe spaces, providing support to friends and family who reach out to us for help, educating ourselves, and advocating for policies that support all people having access to mental health care.
It is unfortunate to see that those who struggle with their mental health are often blamed for their condition, despite it being out of their control. Through encouragement, compassion, and meaningful conversations, we can decrease the stigma around mental health, making it easier for those who need support to seek it.
It is okay to not be okay and your Village Medical care team is always there for you.
Your PCP, social worker and care manager will work together to support you if you are struggling with your mental health. They will help you work towards getting better and walk side-by-side with you on your path toward improved mental health.