CENTERS’ PIECE: May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. During this month Centers is encouraging everyone to take an overall look at how they are doing emotionally, psychologically, and socially.

The World Health Organization recognizes that mental health is an integral and essential component of health and states: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.  Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

Specific ways Centers works to promote mental health include:

• Encourages early childhood interventions

• Provides support to individuals and families

• Supports the socio-economic empowerment of women

• Provides social support for elderly populations

• Provides support for vulnerable populations

• Provides mental health promotional activities to a variety of schools/ groups

• Provides mental health interventions in the work place

• Promotes the rights, opportunities and care of individuals with mental health disorders

All mental health professionals continue to work against social and self-stigmas related to mental health. As long as people do not understand and do not feel comfortable talking about what it means to struggle to maintain good mental health there will be a disconnect. A 2015 study “Stress, Stigma and Access Loom Large for Millennials” found that millennials grew up in during a time when mental health was being more openly discussed and defined. The outcome of the study indicated that 7 out of 10 millennials would feel comfortable talking to a counselor but only 5 out of 10 would tell people they had done so. Definitely a move in the right direction.

During this awareness month we recommend that you:

• Educate yourself – take the time to understand what you’re going through

• Get treatment – treat a mental illness the same way you would treat a physical one

• Don’t let an illness define you – your illness is a part of who you are, not who you are entirely

Taking time to learn more about mental health and how to end the stigma surrounding it can really make a difference. For more information or to schedule a consult contact Centers at 432-570-1084 in Midland or 432-580-7006 in Odessa.