Mental Health Awareness Month

By Dr. Yadira Torres

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to advocate and engage in more conversations about the impact of mental health.

Mental health refers to our emotional and social well-being affecting all areas of ourselves, including our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Mental health plays a role in how we connect with others, make decisions, handle stress, and many other aspects of our daily living. Everyone has mental health, and it deserves as much attention as physical health.

What is a mental health condition?

A mental health condition refers to a group of symptoms that have been identified by mental health professionals as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Revised (DSM-V-TR) or the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Those with mental health conditions deal with changes in emotions, thinking, and/or behaviors.

Fast Facts:

Children who experience trauma are approximately 1.3 times more likely to develop a mental health condition than children who don’t experience trauma (Copeland, Shanahan, & Hinesley, 2018.)

21% of all U.S. adults live with a mental health condition (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2021.)

46% of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their life (Kessler, Berglund, Demler, et. Al., 2005.)

Warning signs for children, adolescents, and adults:

Changes in behavior (ex. Withdrawal, isolation, irritability, tantrums, problem behavior at school.)

Changes in appetite and/or sleeping patterns.

Poor academic or occupational functioning.

Difficulty concentrating or constant mental preoccupation.

Negative thoughts about self, others, and the world.

How do we maintain good mental health?

Life can become very fast-paced; therefore, creating positive habits is a great way to support our mental health.

  • The quality of food can impact our overall physical and mental health. Our gust is often referred to as “the second brain” and communicates to our brain; therefore, eating various foods plays into our mental health.
  • Exercise and staying active improve self-esteem, brain function, and sleep and decrease social withdrawal and stress.
  • Sleep plays a role in our mood, learning ability, and organ health.

What do to if you need help with your mental health?

  • Seek support from a mental health professional.
  • Mental health professionals can be therapists, licensed social workers, psychologists, mental health counselors, and psychiatrists.

If unsure, consult with your primary care provider and seek support.

Here at CFHC, we proudly provide medication management for individuals 12 and above and specialty mental health services for individuals six years old and above.