May is Mental Health Month
The month of May is recognized nationally as Mental Health awareness month. Some see mental health as the struggle of dealing with family, society, life’s challenges, physical and emotional trauma, as well as the politics surrounding employment, career changes and or the individuals we are tasked to interact with on a daily basis in life. Mental health by definition refers to a person’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. The impairment to conduct simple essential daily functions – how you think, feel, and/or act. Mental health is a challenge that has no barriers and can impact a person in every stage of life with no respect to age, gender, ethnicity, or social status. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC,
More than 1 in 5 adults in the United States live with a mental illness.
1 in 5 youth (ages 13-18) have/ or may be impacted by mental health.
Approximately 1 in 25 U.S. adults lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression.
There is no single factor that isolates Mental health and its triggers. Often members of the Black community are misdiagnosed or experience challenges accessing the care and treatment needed. There are times when individuals with mental illness may feel attacked, discriminated against or isolated, and as a result tend to suffer in silence. The discussion of mental illness in predominately minority communities can be challenging because of the negative perception towards individuals needing mental health care. Some view mental health conditions as a consequence of personal weakness. It’s important to know and understand when it’s time to seek professional guidance if you believe you may have some form of mental health challenges. Taking care of your mental health is crucial to a positive quality of life. The first step is identifying and acknowledging that you need help! Here is a list of things to be on the lookout for:
Feeling excessive worry or fear
Feeling sad or low
Confused thinking or problems concentrating or learning.
Extreme mood changes
Avoiding friends and social activities
Changes in eating habits: increased hunger or no appetite.
Abuse of substances: Drug or Alcohol
Thinking of harming oneself
If you believe you are experiencing a mental health episode, AT&T provides resources for employees to get the help and direction needed.