May is National Mental Health Month
May is National Mental Health Month
By Krystal Draughn, LCSW
You may or may not know that the month of May is National Mental Health Month. This is the month to learn more about mental health, how you can participate in activities throughout the U.S. to educate yourself about your own mental health needs. If you have been affected by a mental health issue, whether your own or a friend or family member, you already know the importance of educating others.
Most people do want to be helpful but sometimes they just don’t realize how to do that. For instance, if you know a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you may understand that these children hear a lot of critical and corrective feedback. Many parents have said that they had no idea their child had this diagnosis until they were actually tested.
Many kids are labeled “behavior problems” or “bad kids” and this greatly affects their self-esteem in the long run. I can’t tell you how many children have said that they just need to hear something they are doing right once in a while. These kids need a great deal of positive and encouraging feedback to help try to balance out the negative feedback they often hear.
If you have been depressed, you may have felt alone and hopeless only to reach out to a friend or family member that says something like: “Just pull yourself out of it.” This only adds to the shame that you can’t do that. While it is somewhat true and helpful, it doesn’t help the person feel understood. Therefore, the feeling of loneliness and hopelessness is only increased by such a comment.
Mental health can be really scary to most of us. We have seen television programming and movies that can sometimes intensify this fear and further create stigma about mental illness. The truth is that most of us are affected in some way.
Just as no two people are alike, mental health issues appear differently in different people. What is true for one person is not true for another. Mental health issues are also on a continuum. Some people have mild symptoms, some moderate and some severe. In addition, to genetics playing a big role in mental health, life experiences are also important. Bad things happen to good people every day and many times this is not within our control or something we choose for ourselves.
I hope this month we can try to be more compassionate with one another, really listen to one another and encourage one another.
Hattiesburg Clinic Psychology & Counseling is a great resource for getting help with mental health issues, whether it is for yourself or a loved one. We offer individual, couples and family therapy for people of all ages. We also provide psychological evaluations, career testing and bariatric evaluations. Please call (601) 261-1650 to schedule an appointment for an assessment.
Our mental health is connected to our physical health and, if left untreated, can cause severe health problems and disabilities.
To learn more about mental health, click here to visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Other mental health resources:
Information on this page should be utilized as a guide, not as medical advice. If you feel you need to speak with someone regarding counseling or mental health, please contact Psychology & Counseling to make an appointment.
At Psychology & Counseling, we offer counseling and mental health assessments. Following diagnosis, we work with you to determine the best course of treatment and counseling for you. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (601) 261-1650.