May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month 1

Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition, as 1 in 5 U.S. adults will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.

With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, we encourage people to take responsibility for the prevention of mental health issues during times of personal challenge and stress. Many mental health problems can be avoided by taking positive lifestyle choices in how we act and think.  It is best to do so before they manifest.

Get some extra Zzzzzz’s

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic. It has been estimated that between 50-70 million U.S. adults have sleep or wakefulness disorder which can affect daily functioning, such as driving, and overall mental health and long-term well-being.

In fact, we’re told that sleep is just as important as diet and exercise when it comes to living a healthy life. Lack of sleep has been linked to countless health problems including:

  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Type II diabetes
  • Weight gain
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Dementia


Go to for more info on how lack of sleep affects you.

Reduce Stress

When we are under chronic stress, it begins to negatively affect our physical and mental health. Our body’s stress response was not made to be constantly engaged. Many of us experience stress from multiple sources, including work; money, health, and relationship worries; and media overload.

With so many sources of stress, it is tough finding the time to relax and disengage. This is why stress is one of the biggest health problems facing us today.

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress increases the risk of developing health problems including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and a weakened immune system. Chronic stress also affects a person’s mental health. Many studies show a connection between stress and the development of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

According to the American Psychological Association’s latest stress survey, 66% of people experience physical symptoms and 63% experience psychological symptoms of stress.

This study provides significant insight into why chronic stress affects the brain and mental health, and how early intervention can help prevent the development of certain mental health problems.  For more info on how stress affects your mental health, go to .

This month, and maybe even going forward, consider the people you come into contact with throughout the course of your day; your family, neighbors, classmates, coworkers, and friends. What can you do to create a caring culture by being present, taking a moment, listening, and knowing what to look for, not just in others, but yourself? Practice good mental health by looking at others and yourself.

Be well,