The Importance of Mental Health
October marks an important month in the world of mental health. Mental Illness Awareness Week was October 4-10, and World Mental Health Day was October 10th. Statistically speaking, 2020 has been a trying year in terms of mental health. COVID-19, social unrest, and economic uncertainty are among the leading causes behind increased rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. As we continue through October, we need to talk about the importance of keeping up with your mental health, as well as the methods available for you to do so.
The Importance of Caring For Your Mental Health
Part of the issue with mental health is that, while things are improving, there is still very much a culture of soldiering on through these struggles. However, this tends to make issues more troublesome rather than making them go away. Here are some key reasons why mental health should be a subject of focus.
Personal health: The body isn’t designed to be in a constant stress state, which many anxiety issues can cause. Studies are showing that prolonged mental health issues can contribute to physical health issues. This can be direct or indirect, like a person in a depressive state having a poor diet or refusing to exercise.
Issues growing: In some cases, mental health issues like anxiety and depression ebb and flow. In others, though, they may build and build. Your goal should be to attend to the issue before it causes a major incident like a breakdown.
Quality of life issues: Untreated mental health issues can impact many aspects of your life, from your relationships with loved ones to your performance at work or enjoyment of hobbies. The sooner you attend to these issues, the faster you can get back to a semblance of normalcy.
Resources for Mental Health Support
Many people dealing with mental health issues for the first time don’t know where to begin. Here are some of the main options to look at when seeking support:
Therapists: Part of the issue with mental health compared to issues is there isn’t a single concrete treatment plan for every person. We all have our unique traits and backstory that contribute to our mental state. This is why seeing a therapist is an ideal way to start getting mental health support. These professionals will specifically listen to your concerns and provide you a path to better mental health. This can include introducing some new mental health practices or potentially looking into medication if you are a good candidate.
State/Local Resources: While using therapy is a great starting point for anyone with mental health concerns, depending on your insurance coverage, it may be prohibitively expensive. However, there are some options with state organizations and even local community centers to get mental health services.
For example, MHMRTarrant provides Tarrant County in Texas with quality mental health services, partnering with public and private organizations. People who meet specific requirements financially and mental health issues can get the support they need. This is an invaluable resource for people with acute issues like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, but who don’t have the money to pay for the care they need on their own.
School Resources: College students are in a unique situation right now in terms of mental health concerns. This should be a time to open themselves up for new experience and lay the foundations of a new career path. However, COVID-19 and other current events are casting a specter on a lot of things here. Yet, all colleges have mental health counseling available for students. Most primary schools/high schools have some services available as well for younger people.
Mental health is always important to focus on, not just to improve your quality of life, but because science shows that it is more linked to physical health than we may have thought. 2020 has proven to be a challenging year for people from all walks of life, which means that even people who may not have focused on mental health much may need support. As a result, the best thing for people to do is understand what resources are available to them. Looking for a mental health resource for the first time can be difficult, but it’s well worth the effort to help during this uncertain time.