May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health is an incredibly important part of overall health. It includes our psychological, emotional, and social well being. How we deal with stress, the way we relate to others, and the choices we make are all part of our mental health. When people experience mental health challenges, their thinking, mood, and behavior are affected.

There are many factors that play a part in a person’s mental health.  Experiencing abuse or other traumatic events, a family history of mental health problems, and biological factors all contribute to mental health and well being

Millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. The truth is 1 in 5 American adults have experienced a mental health issue. 1 in 6 young people experience a mental health condition every year, and only half of them receive treatment.  1 in 20 American adults experience a serious mental illness every year and less than two-thirds of them receive treatment. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 10-34. In 2020, the number of lives lost to suicide was nearly double the number of lives lost to homicide in the United States. Mental health affects everyone either directly or indirectly through family, friends or coworkers.

The good news is that mental health challenges are treatable and recovery is very possible. The vast majority of people who live with mental health issues live productive, satisfying, happy lives. Early intervention of mental health challenges cannot be underestimated. Getting help as soon as possible makes a big difference and a better outcome. There are some great resources below that provide direction and information about talking to and supporting someone struggling with mental health problems. If you or someone you know are experiencing a mental health challenge, get help immediately.