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Mental Health of America

©2010 Bob Foster
Nancy’s Corner: May is Mental Health Month
Mental Health Month

You probably already know that mental health is an important issue for me. But did you know that May is Mental Health Month? Your mental health is essential to your overall health and well-being.

 

Mental Health America (MHA) started Mental Health Month more than 60 years ago to raise awareness about mental wellness. I’ve been working closely with MHA of Los Angeles on mental health issues and last year they asked me to participate in their “One in Four” event, a collaboration with Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Long Beach/West Orange County and the Alpert Jewish Community Center.  Why was it called “One in Four”? Because one in four people will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives.  In fact, mental health issues are the leading cause of disability in the world.

One in Four

 

It’s quite possible you might know someone who needs encouragement to talk about his or her mental health. Organizations like MHA are an excellent resource to educate us on how to take care of our mental wellness. They outline steps to build and maintain well-being. MHA can help us achieve wellness through a balanced diet, regular exercise, enough sleep, a sense of self-worth, development of coping skills that promote resiliency, emotional awareness, and connections to family, friends and the community. During Mental Health Month, I hope you have a chance to read up on mental health – and MHA of Los Angeles is a great place to start.

 

Recently, I read a wonderful viewpoint from Julia Hess about her grandmother’s struggle with depression. For many years after her husband passed away, Julia’s grandmother kept her weekly visits to her psychiatrist under wraps. It was only after she passed that Julia’s family opened up about her illness and Julia came forward with her own 20 years of depression. Click here to read her story.

 

Thank goodness my grandchildren are familiar with the signs of depression because I have been so open about my mental wellness and my difficult times. It is vital for everyone to do their best to help alleviate the stigma associated with mental health. We learn from one another when we are open and share information just like how we talk about the best foods to eat to feel healthier and lose weight.

 

I encourage you to reach out and support each other during May Mental Health Month!

 

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