Since 1949, the United States have observed May as National Mental Health Month, bringing to light the epidemic that affects millions of Americans. Mental Health America, along with other organizations, dedicates the entire month to share information on how to achieve positive mental health, provide helpful resources, and to bring awareness to the topic of mental health.
What is Mental Health?
According to MentalHealth.gov, mental health encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social well-being; It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. It’s important to take steps to maintain mental wellness as well as take advantage of resources that are available to become educated on the signs and symptoms of mental illness.
Mental Health Statistics:
Today, mental illness affects all genders, ages, and races across the country:
- Mental illness can begin at a young age, half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three-quarters of mental help disorders begin before 24.
- Today, one in five adults experience mental illness in the United States.
- In a 2015 study by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention Data & Statistics Fata Injury Report, 9.8 million adults (18 and older) have had thoughts about trying to complete suicide. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
- According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 18.1% of U.S. adults have experienced an anxiety disorder.
Mental Health Month & Netsmart:
As the largest healthcare IT provider solely focused on integrating behavioral health and post-acute care with the rest of healthcare, Netsmart supports mental health efforts by providing Mental Health First Aid training to all of our associates, offering volunteer opportunities through our nonprofit EveryDayMatters, and by being a strong advocate on behalf of our clients and providers across the country.
Netsmart associates interact daily with clients from multiple communities we serve and here’s what they have to say about Mental Health Month:
“As a home health nurse, it is critical to assess homebound aging patients for depression. Identifying depression in patients and referring them for treatment is critical so that they can participate in their own care plan and learn to manage medical conditions and treatments. Depression screening as a standardized tool is now mandated during the admission process to certified home health. Acting on that screen and assisting patients to seek treatment for depression is critical to improving patient’s outcomes and ability for a patient to remain safely at home.” – Diane Mariotti, Solution Strategist.
“This May, in particular, it is exciting to see changes to reduce the stigma associated with managing mental wellness. I can now see a future where our social infrastructure supports mental health more completely!” – Chris Newman, General Manager, Private Practice.
“Mental health awareness is important in all the communities we serve at Netsmart! It’s imperative that we spend the month of May having positive conversations about how to reduce the stigma around mental health and hopefully give those with mental illness a platform to share their story.” – Jenny Houston Saylor, Solutions Marketing Manager.
Follow Netsmart on Twitter and use #MHM2017 to join in the conversation around Mental Health Month.