However You Feel,
It's OK to Talk About It!
The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community.” Just like we work hard to keep our bodies physically healthy, we need to ensure we maintain mental wellness too.
However, there is one problem – people don’t want to talk about their mental health! For many, that is due to the stigma that is tied to mental health conditions.
But, you know what?
It is Ok to Talk About It!
You Are Not Alone!
If you are struggling with your mental health, you are not alone. Here are some fast facts from The National Alliance on Mental Illness:
Whether you have a diagnosed mental health condition or if you just don’t feel well, and aren't sure why, there are resources and support available, both locally and nationally.
1 in 5
1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year.
1 in 20
1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
1 in 6
1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-14
Help is Always Available!
If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis, call or text 988 24/7.
¡Los servicios de texto y chat de 988 Lifeline ya están disponibles en español!
In Connecticut, you can also request youth mobile crisis services by calling 211. Servicios disponibles en español también.
Warning Signs and Symptoms
Thoughts and Feelings
Excessive worrying or fear
Feeling excessively sad or low
Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don't exist in objective reality)
Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (”lack of insight” or anosognosia)
Thinking about suicide
An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance
Avoiding friends and social activities
Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
Changes in sex drive
Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
Overuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)
Source: List from NAMI
Talking About Mental
Health Saves Lives!
Men are less likely to seek mental health treatment and they die by suicide nearly 4x more than women.
There are many reasons people don't talk about mental health, but stigma is one of the main factors. Stigma is defined as "a set of negative and unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something." When it comes to mental health, there are many beliefs that our society and certain cultures have that are untrue.
Did you know there are many risks associated with untreated mental health conditions including: unemployment, substance misuse, homelessness, incarceration, suicide, and poor quality of life?
MYTH: People with mental health conditions are violent.
FACT: People with serious mental illness are over 10 times more likely to be a victim of violence. Only 3%–5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness.
MYTH: People with mental health conditions can't have a normal life.
FACT: With proper treatment and support, people with mental health conditions can life fulfilling lives. They can have careers, families, and hobbies just like anyone else.
MYTH: Mental health conditions are a sign of weakness.
FACT: Mental health conditions are medical conditions like heart disease or diabetes. They are not character flaws or a sign of weakness or laziness. Seeking treatment takes strength and courage.
MYTH: Only a person with a diagnosed mental health condition needs to take care of their mental health.
FACT: Everyone needs to take care of their mental health! Doing so can prevent mental health conditions from developing or worsening.