Meridian, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and fellow mental health providers recognize May as “Mental Health Awareness Month.”
Each May, mental health providers, professionals, and advocates around the nation come together to raise awareness for mental health. This year, we are sharing mental health “Fast Facts” provided by Mental Health America (MHA).
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on mental health for people of all ages. In 2020, we saw a more than 500% increase in Telehealth services and an 11% increase in overall services provided. Compared to the year prior, we are also seeing more people utilizing multiple services. Now more than ever, reducing the stigma around mental health struggles is critical, because that stigma often prevents individuals from seeking much-needed help.
“So many of us get caught up in the daily grind of wake up, go to work, eat, sleep, and repeat,” said Meridian Case Management Supervisor, David Kranson, MA, LMHC, CAP. “This can lead to irritability, anxiety, low moods, and burnout.”
Research shows that 1 in 5 people will experience mental illness during their lifetime. When they do, we want to make sure they have the knowledge, resources, and practical tools to work on improving their mental health, no matter what their stage in life.
“It is so important that we live and not merely exist,” continued Kranson. “Taking care of yourself daily by making time for exercise, family, music, art, and/or other healthy outlets will ignite your brain’s happy chemicals! There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. Love yourself and what you invest in.”
We often talk about “self-care” and “me time” in place of calling it what it is—taking time for your mental health. Let us all use this month to learn, advocate, and grow together as a community. In addition to providing “Fast Facts,” we are sharing MHA’s toolkit, complete with fact sheets, worksheets, and a mental health assessment tool.
Meridian Behavioral Healthcare is the community provider for mental health and substance use disorders for people in Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Suwannee, and Union counties. In addition to traditional outpatient and inpatient care, our Telehealth services enable us to provide the counties we service and beyond with instant access to mental health care online 24/7.