When it comes to treating health problems, individuals prefer to focus on things like blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels. While physical health is vital, mental health awareness is often disregarded. This negligence frequently results in missed opportunities for proper treatment. In 2020, a study by NIMH reported that one in five U.S. adults suffered from a mental illness (52.9 million).
Mental health services, whether involving medication or behavioral therapy, save lives and help people learn how to cope with mental illness. Mental health and keeping a clear and proactive mind are vital to your day-to-day life. Continue reading to learn why it is so important to raise mental health awareness and make it a priority.
The Commonality of Mental Illness
Mental illness affects millions every year. Whether you are personally suffering or have a loved one who is, mental health awareness is important to everyone. With the pandemic, the number of people suffering from a mental illness skyrocketed. However, mental health concerns were on the rise even before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Between 2017-2018 there was an increase of 1.5 million people who reported experiencing mental health issues (and these are only the reported cases). Many people who are living with a mental illness keep quiet because of societal stigmas and the accessibility of treatment. This is exactly why mental health awareness is so important.
Poor Mental Health Harms Physical Health
Although the mind and body are frequently seen as separate, mental and physical health are inextricably linked. Your physical health and mental health can have both negative and positive effects on the body. This is why it is so important to fuel your body and mind with positive and healthy things, keeping your physical and mental health in check.
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses that affects millions all over the world. Mental illness, like depression, has been linked to the increased risk of serious physical illnesses; including diabetes and heart disease. Furthermore, mental illness is a major risk factor for shorter life expectancy. For example, the average American lives 78.6 years, while someone suffering from a severe mental illness can live as little as 49 years.
People are Becoming More Isolated
As a result of society’s negative stigma toward mental health, people with severe illnesses like schizophrenia or anxiety disorders can easily become lonely and reclusive. Raising mental health awareness helps break the stigma and the once secluded community can become connected to a network that can offer support and treatment options.
When mental health issues are openly discussed, this creates a safe and open space for those struggling with mental health issues to talk about their experiences. Thus, leading to a greater public understanding.
Access to Treatment is Vital
Although the number of individuals suffering from a mental illness is extremely large and continuing to rise, not everyone has equal access to treatment and services. Treatment centers and services have a negative stigma that can deter people from speaking out about their issues. However, by promoting mental health awareness the stigma can begin to break. Those living with mental illness can receive the help they need and not feel like they are a disappointment or a burden.
Help Is Available
Help is always available and only a phone call away. The Harm Reduction Center in South Florida is a private healthcare facility that offers mental health services to the community. HARC offers both inpatient and outpatient levels of care with highly individualized treatment plans for every client’s needs. Let’s continue to break the stigma and continue raising mental health awareness in every community. Contact us today for more information.