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Human Services Spotlights

Posted on: May 3, 2019

MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH MONTH!

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Mental Health

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. This can also impact your physical health. 


There are many factors that contribute to mental health instability including:

  1. Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  2. Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  3. Family history of mental health problems

Did You Know?

  • 1 in 5 (46.6 million) adults in the United States experience a mental health condition in a given year.
  • 1 in 25 (11.2 million) adults in the United States experience a serious mental illness in a given year.
  • Approximately 46.6 million adults in the United States face the reality of managing a mental illness every day.
  • Half of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24, but early intervention programs can help.
  • Up to 90% of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness as revealed by psychological autopsy. 46% of those who die by suicide have a diagnosed mental illness.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. With effective care, suicidal thoughts are treatable, and suicide is preventable.
  • Individuals with mental health conditions face an average 11-year delay between experiencing symptoms and starting treatment.
  • Common barriers to treatment include the cost of mental health care and insurance, prejudice and discrimination, and structural barriers like transportation.
  • Even though most people can experience relief from symptoms and support for their recovery in treatment, less than half of the adults in the United States get the help they need.

Stomp Out the Stigma!


People experiencing mental health conditions often face rejection, bullying and even discrimination. This can make their journey to recovery longer and more difficult. Stigma is when someone, or you yourself, views you in a negative way because you have a mental health condition. Some people describe stigma as shame that can be felt as a judgement from someone else or a feeling that is internal, something that confuses feeling bad with being bad. 


Factors that Contribute to Good Mental Health


A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can also help people recover from these conditions.

For those dealing with a chronic health condition and the people who care for them, it can be especially important to focus on mental health. When dealing with dueling diagnoses, focusing on both the physical and

mental health concerns can be daunting – but critically important in achieving overall wellness.

Humor, spirituality, recreation, animal companionship, and work-life balance are important for everyone, but may be of special importance to people also living with chronic health conditions and those who care for them.

Finding a reason to laugh, going for a walk, meditating, playing with a pet, or working from home once a week can go a long way in making you both physically and mentally healthy.

The company of animals – whether as pets or service animals – can have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life and ability to recover from illnesses. A pet can be a source of comfort and can help us to live

mentally healthier lives.

Sometimes life is far from funny but finding humor in a situation can lift moods with laughter and help people to better deal with and overcome difficult experiences.

Whether you go to church, meditate daily, or simply find time to enjoy that cup of tea each morning while checking in with yourself – it can be important to connect with your spiritual side in order to find that mind/body connection.

Living a healthy lifestyle may not be easy but can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes.

Finding the balance between work and play, the ups and downs of life, physical health and mental health, can help you on the path towards focusing both on mind and body.


Upcoming May Events 

May 8 – safeTALK @ The Pointe 9 a.m. to Noon

May 10 – Venango County Suicide Prevention Taskforce Meeting- all are welcome

May 13 and 14 – ASIST training

May 19 through 21 – NAMI conference in Harrisburg

May 23 – Children’s Activities in Justus Park in Oil City. The Pointe will be promoting Stomp out Stigma!





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