Per Mental Health America, “Since 1949, Mental Health America and our affiliates across the country have led the observance of May is Mental Health Month by reaching millions of people through the media, local events and screenings …. While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health.”
As Mental Health Month draws to a close, it serves as a time to reflect on the month itself and why it is important.
Per the Gazette, “As the national suicide rate was surging by about 30 percent over two decades, Iowa was one of 25 states to see an even higher increase. Iowa’s 2014-16 rate of 16 suicide deaths per 100,000 population — up more than 35 percent from 11.8 in 1999 — was 31st in the nation.”
While suicide is the deadliest outcome of a damaged psyche, but it is not the only one.
It is important to remember that mental health is not just a singular facet of life that you can compartmentalize and focus on when convenient. Your mental health will affect everything from your interpersonal relationships to your personal life goals.
The best method for a healthy progression forward with your mental health is to routinely visit with an accredited therapist. That is not to say, however, that you cannot better yourself outside of your therapist’s office. There are several techniques one can perform, and hone, to center one’s self during times of distress or psychological fatigue.
For Mental Health Month 2020, Mental Health America released a “practical toolkit” that they feel, “everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency regardless of the situations they are dealing with.”
The journey towards mental health, as with everything that is important to do, seems daunting at first. We get used to a routine, even when that routine is toxic to our wellbeing. But, much as with everything that is important to do, it all begins with that simple first step. One change in your life can lead to another, then another, until before you know it, you look back and see just how much progress you made.
As doctor J. Anthony White says, “You don’t have to be perfect, just be better than yesterday.”