Wednesday, April 17, 2024

January is recognized as National Mental Wellness month


January has been designated as National Mental Wellness Month, so that the public can become aware and recognize the importance of mental health.

Mental illness refers to behavioral, emotional, and psychological disorders ranging from mild to severe. Those who suffer from mild symptoms might not struggle to function socially, personally, or professionally.

Scott Knight with The Jason Foundation stated that “good mental health can positively affect a person’s physical health. Being in a good mental state can keep you healthy and help prevent significant health conditions.”

Knight also stated that “Mental health conditions can also make dealing with a chronic disease more difficult. The mortality rate from cancer and heart disease is higher among people with depression or other mental health conditions.”

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) released the following information and statistics about mental illness:

One in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year.

One in six U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year.

One in five U.S. adults experience mental illness each year.

Half of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34.

Taking care of a person’s mental health can help to control or combat some of the physical health problems directly linked to mental health conditions. Some of the most common mental health conditions are PTSD, depression, panic disorders, and eating disorders. People who suffer from these conditions can be at a higher risk of suicide than those who do not.

Despite the fact that millions of Americans are diagnosed with some form of mental illness, only a small portion receive proper treatment. Often, when a mental health disorder goes untreated, symptoms can worsen and interfere with all areas of life.

The Global Wellness Institute defines mental wellness as “an internal resource that helps us think, feel, connect, and function.” The institute goes on to say that doing things that make you happy and feel good will increase your mental wellness, thus increasing your mental health.

Some activities that may improve mental wellness include physical activities, artistic activities, volunteering, enjoying time with friends and family, eating good food, and completing personal goals. Also, getting enough sleep, developing a positive attitude, and laughing can improve mental wellness.

Each January, Mental Wellness Month is dedicated to breaking the stigma often associated with mental illness and bringing awareness toward good mental wellbeing.