Each May, those that struggle with mental health issues and their loved ones hope to bring awareness to mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month. Whether they have just finished at a dual diagnosis treatment center or are years post-recovery, mental health awareness becomes a critical mission for many that have dealt with mental health disorders. But what is mental health, and why is it important to bring attention to it? Find out by calling the Willows at Red Oak today at 855.773.0614.
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health involves a person’s cognitive wellness. When it is good, it leads to productive activities, fulfilling relationships, and access to effective coping skills when things get tough. It is essential to a person’s well-being, ability to hold a job, and family dynamics. However, mental health can affect a person without it being in their control, leading to mental illness. Mental illness and mental health disorders are characterized by a change in thinking, mood, or behavior associated with impaired functioning or distress. These changes can lead to pain, disability, and even death when left untreated.
Mental disorders are one of the most common causes of disability. For the many Americans who struggle with mental health issues, the burden is one of the highest of all diseases. That’s because mental health and physical health are closely connected. When mental health is affected, it can impact a person’s ability to maintain their physical health.
For example, when a person is depressed, they may not want to exercise, even if it does help them feel better. Physical health issues can also impact a person’s mental health. Furthermore, not surprisingly, mental health can also go hand-in-hand with addiction. When someone is dealing with physical or mental pain, they may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope.
How Dual Diagnosis and Mental Health Relate
Those who use drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism might find themselves with a dual diagnosis when deciding to get help. A dual diagnosis treats those that suffer from both addiction and a mental health disorder. For example, a person abusing alcohol could have depression, or a person suffering from anorexia could also be addicted to cocaine. If both conditions are not addressed equally, the chance for relapse is higher. Getting to the root of the problem can be difficult. It’s not always easy to figure out which came first. Regardless, treating both at the same time can bring about benefits that serve the person in both recoveries.
The Importance of Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental Health Awareness Month is important for many reasons. Because millions of Americans live with mental illness every day, the month of May has been set aside since 1949 to help raise awareness. From fighting the stigma, educating the public, providing support, and bringing about change that will support people with mental illness and their families, it continues to be an important way to advocate for those that live with mental health issues.
In 2021, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will focus on their message of ‘You Are Not Alone.’ With this message, they hope to shed light on what living with a dual diagnosis or mental illness alone is like. This lets those that suffer know that they are not alone. Things like learning to connect in safe ways, prioritizing getting help for mental health issues, and realizing that it’s okay to struggle are all top priorities for 2021’s Mental Health Awareness Month. We hope everyone can soon have access to a judgment-free way to get help. Then, they can live full lives. Mental Health Awareness Month brings the conversation to the table that might not otherwise happen.
Getting Help at The Willows at Red Oak
If you or a loved one are struggling with a mental health illness, The Willows at Red Oak can help. As a women’s only treatment center, we focus on the unique needs that women face. We have trained clinicians on hand to offer a high level of care. We offer a range of dual diagnosis treatment options, including:
- Depression treatment
- Anxiety treatment
- Disordered eating treatment
- Bipolar disorder treatment
- PTSD treatment
To learn more about our treatment programs, call us at 855.773.0614 or visit us online.