Mental Health Comes First Over Everything

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Why Should Mental Health Come First?

Mental health affects how we think, feel, and act as we cope with life. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood and aging. The numbers globally are staggering; more than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime according to the CDC.

Although the terms are often used interchangeably, poor mental health and mental illness are not the same. A person can experience poor mental health and not be diagnosed with a mental illness. Likewise, a person diagnosed with a mental illness can experience periods of physical, mental, and social well-being.

What is the Most Commonly Reported Mental Illness?

For example, the National Alliance of Mental Health reports that one in five adults in America experiences a mental illness in their lifetime. Right now, nearly 10 million Americans are living with a serious mental disorder. The most common are anxiety disorders major depression and bipolar disorder.

What Causes Poor Mental Health?

There is no single cause for mental illness; a number of factors can contribute to risk for mental illness.

The most common mental health problems are: depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder,
and post-traumatic stress disorder. The following factors could potentially result in a period of poor mental health: childhood abuse, trauma, neglect, social isolation or loneliness; as well as, experiencing discrimination and stigma, including racism.

Some people may have more than one mental health problem, such as depression and anxiety.

If you neglect your mental health, it’s easy to neglect your physical health. Chronic stress has been linked to a higher risk of strokes, heart attacks, and obesity. While mental illness might be in your brain, it affects your entire body.

Why is Emotional Health Important?

Emotional and mental health are important because it’s a vital part of your life and impacts your thoughts, behaviors and emotions.

Emotionally healthy people still feel stress, anger, and sadness; yet can promote productivity and effectiveness in activities like work, school or caregiving. Emotional health is influenced by environmental factors, relationships, physical health, self awareness, and stress.

An emotionally healthy individual is not happy all the time. Being healthy emotionally means you’re aware of your emotions. You can deal with them, whether they’re positive or negative. In fact, someone who doesn’t seem to experience negative emotions may be repressing their emotions

Five characteristics of an emotionally healthy person are: self awareness, emotional agility, have strong coping skills, living with purpose, and managing their stress levels.

Where do I start to get Better Mental Health?

1. Being physically active. Exercise can reduce feelings of stress and depression and improve your mood.
2. Getting enough sleep. Sleep affects your mood.
3. Healthy eating. Good nutrition will help you feel better physically but could also improve your mood and decrease anxiety and stress.

One Cannot Pour From an Empty Glass

It is strongly encouraged you to nurture and prioritize your personal well-being. That way, if the opportunity comes to help and support someone else, you are ready. Remember that your mental health comes first; do what helps you relax and re-charge.

Become a Mental Health First Aider

Mental Health First Aid teaches people the signs and symptoms of common mental health challenges and substance use disorders and how to manage them through professional help and self-care.

Mental Health First Aid International (MHFA International) is the founding organization and global authority on Mental Health First Aid. They represent an international network of independent Licensed Providers working together to deliver practical mental health first aid training and education. Together we have over 50,000 Instructors and have delivered training to over 4 million people across 26 countries, who have joined our global movement of Mental Health First Aiders.

The MHFA Program has been adapted for use in those other countries and rigorous evaluations have contributed to its international uptake.

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