What is mental health and why is it important for you?
Mental health is a way of thinking that affects your thoughts and actions. It helps determine how you handle stress and relate to others. It is important at every life stage, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Mental health is just as important as your physical health because poor mental health that is not looked after can lead to some chronic health conditions over time.
Can mental health change over time?
Your mental health can change over time and can depend on the resources available to you. An example of this could be an individual who is experiencing economic hardship. As a result of their situation, they can experience poor mental health.
What are some of the causes of a mental illness?
Some of the causes could be related to biological or genetic factors such as chemical imbalances in the brain. Some other causes could be early childhood traumas such as abuse, sexual assault or witnessing violence. Other factors that can lead to mental illnesses can be the excessive use of alcohol or drugs or feelings of prolonged isolation.
What is a stigma and how does it relate to mental illness?
A “stigma” is a set of negative and unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something. Stigma can arise from a lack of understanding or inaccurate information about mental illness. As a society, we have made strides towards trying to reduce the negative view of those with mental illness, however there is always more work that can be done.
How does one challenge mental health stigma?
The best way for you to prevent stigma is by speaking openly about mental health. Educating yourself on the mental illness and getting informed can help reduce stigma. Showing compassion to your family or friends who are suffering also helps. For many mental health disorders, therapy and psychiatry have proven to be effective in reducing stigma and achieving well-being.
Reach out to our intake coordinator at 609-987-8100 and dial 4 to inquire about speaking to a licensed therapist.
Elana Silverberg, MSW, Clinical Social Work Intern