May is Mental Health Awareness month and has been recognized in the United States since 1949. This observation is meant to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illnesses, such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder, which affect about 18 percent of Americans. It is important for all of us to understand the realities of living with these conditions and to be aware of strategies for attaining mental health and wellness. Today, we hear from a local expert, Dr. Anthony DiFabio, President & CEO of Acenda Integrated Health and a Mullica Hill resident, as he speaks about making mental health a priority:
We all face hardships throughout our lives that can affect our mental well-being. Whether you are experiencing increased anxiety, stress, the loss of a loved one, or navigating challenges induced by a global pandemic, it’s important to recognize when to seek extra support. Each May, we recognize Mental Health Awareness Month in an effort to break the stigma surrounding mental health and help individuals identify ways to maintain positive mental health each and every day.
Each year, the support grows stronger for mental health awareness, yet we know that to continue the momentum of breaking down barriers, we must help increase awareness and gain an understanding of mental health issues in the communities we serve. Knowing that help is available can be very beneficial to feeling better and leading a productive life.
Here are 10 signs when additional mental health support could be helpful:
- 1. Difficulty coping with everyday events or situations.
- 2. Loss of motivation to complete routine tasks.
- 3. Increased or impulsive mood swings.
- 4. Extended periods of feeling sad or hopeless.
- 5. Excessive worrying or anxiety.
- 6. Struggling to move past troubling events.
- 7. Inability to concentrate.
- 8. Sudden changes in behavior or lack of desire in doing things you enjoy.
- 9. Thoughts of hurting yourself or others.
- 10. Turning to alcohol or drugs to mask your feelings or pain.
Any time is a good time to take control of your mental wellness. Support is available in a variety of forms, ranging from in-person and telehealth therapy to support groups, warmlines, self-care techniques, and even digital resources. Getting help for your mental health is nothing to be ashamed of! In fact, it can be the first step towards feeling better in everyday life.
For additional mental health guidance, visit Acenda’s Mental Health Resource Center (www.acendahealth.org/blog) to learn about the various aspects of mental health.
Thank you, Dr. DiFabio, for your insight and direction on this important issue. As a community, we appreciate the guidance to ensure we gain a better understanding of how we can be supportive when needed. – Mayor Louis Manzo