National Mental Wellness Month is a time to highlight the importance of integrating both emotional and physical health, become more mentally resilient, and encourage anyone who may need help improving their mental health to seek assistance.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five American adults–more than 14 million–experience mental illness over the course of a year. In addition, many individuals begin to feel more depressed and isolated as the holidays draw to the close and seasonal variations in mental health set in. When a mental health issue goes untreated, symptoms can worsen and interfere with all areas of life. Mental wellness is more than the absence of a mental illness, however. It includes psychological, emotional, and social well-being, and it impacts how we feel, think, act, and interact with others. The World Health Organization defines mental wellness as “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.”
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to take stock of your mental health and learn new ways to improve your overall well-being. The National Institute of Mental Health recommends self-care to improve physical health and mental health, including getting regular exercise, eating healthy meals, making sleep a priority, engaging in relaxing activities, focusing on positivity, and more.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or in crisis, help is available by calling or texting 988, or texting MHA to 741741 to connect with a trained Crisis Counselor from Crisis Text Line. Individuals who are in need of support, but not in crisis, can also reach out to a Warmline, offering a nationwide list of places to call just to talk to someone who understands what it’s like to struggle with mental health problems. A complete list of Warmlines is available online at MHANational.org/warmlines.