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Why Mental Health Awareness?

In 2021, reported mental illnesses in adults hit 22.8%. That is about 1 in 5 adults. This means, on average, 14.1 million people a year are struggling with their mental health. May is Mental Health Awareness month, and as a healthcare business, RepuCare regards mental health just as highly!

So, what exactly is mental illness?

According to the DSM-5, “mental disorder is a syndrome characterized by clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotion regulation, or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or developmental processes underlying mental functioning.” A mental illness is a physical illness of the brain, that can cause disturbances in thinking, behavior, energy, or emotion that makes it difficult to cope with ordinary everyday life.

Why is Mental Health Awareness so important?

Each year, approximately 44 million American adults will experience a serious mental health condition. Less than half will seek treatment due to stigma and discrimination. Although the lens of mental health has improved over the past years, studies show that stigma is still a powerful stereotype. Lack of awareness or education can cause negative stigmas attached to getting help. Stigmas not only affect the number of individuals seeking treatment, but they can also diminish the resource options for those looking for help.

What are some things we can do to work on breaking the stigma?

  1. Show respect and acceptance. This removes the barrier of embarrassment in mental illness and can show people that even with mental illness, we are all still human. Showing respect can show individuals that a mental disorder is an illness of the brain, that can be worked on, just like any physical disorder.

  2. Advocating for your circle. Help ensure that your circle has the same rights and opportunities as other members despite what they may be struggling with. Don’t single someone out due to their diagnosis. The most important thing for those struggling with mental health, is to make them not feel separated from the group.

  3. Learn more about mental health. This allows us to provide support to those affected in our communities.

The more we know and understand about mental illness, the better we can start to normalize seeking treatment.

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