How is your mental health these days? When was the last time you took a few minutes to check in with yourself. Or someone you care about?
We often brush mental health aside – and there are so many reasons for this, from stigma and fear to poor access and resources. Mental health problems are so common, 1 in 4 Americans has a diagnosable psychiatric illness such as depression, and as a set of medical conditions, they sap more from our families, communities and our country than any other illnesses.
I bet you know this. This last year something changed for me. As I’ve been speaking to groups around the country, people seem more ready to talk than ever. Let’s talk about suicide. Say the word. Let’s talk about depression and the stress we are all under. It is real. And silence makes it worse.
Working in mental health for the last 16 years, I have seen the effects of our silence. For my patients, nothing is worse than feeling alone, that their pain is a secret. You may know something about this, too. Human connection is powerful medicine.
What can you do today? If you are struggling, today is the day. Start by telling someone. Make a plan. Recovery is possible and it starts with one step.
Sometimes it is very hard to tell people we know best about our innermost struggles, that is totally normal, but don’t let this stand in your way.
American Psychiatric Association provides resources for patients and families.
NAMI and Mental Health America provide support groups and community around the US.
The JED Foundation‘s mission is to protect the emotional health of our youth and the Trevor Project specializes in assisting LGBTQ youth.
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 24/7, Free, and available to help with crisis interventions and questions. (Only 25% of callers are in Acute Suicidal Distress.)
1 in 4 Americans? The truth is that we all struggle to maintain mental wellness. It is a challenge of being human. How lives look on Facebook and Instagram doesn’t tell the whole story. Today, reach out to anyone you are concerned about, be more open to those around you…because we often don’t know the whole story until we show we can listen.
Please share this message with anyone who might benefit.
Thank you for your efforts to improve Mental Health Awareness.
Drew Ramsey, MD