Mental Health

What is mental health?

According to MentalHealth.gov, “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.”

It’s important to maintain good mental health in order to help ourselves maintain healthy thinking, mood, and behavior. Issues with mental health can impact all three of these things.

 

What causes mental health problems?

There are many factors that may lead to mental health issues, including biological, psychological, and environmental factors. These may occur on their own or in combination with each other. Please note that just because you identify with one of these experiences does not mean that you will necessarily experience mental health issues. Here are a few things that may contribute to mental health issues:

  • Trauma. 
  • Abuse.
  • Brain chemistry.
  • Genetics.
  • Family history of mental health issues.
  • NOT
    • Personal weakness.
    • Character defect.

 

What are some signs of mental health problems?

There are multiple occurrences that may signify mental health issues. These may occur on their own or in combination with each other. Please note that just because you identify with one of these occurrences does not mean that you necessarily have mental health issues. Here are a few things that may be signs of mental health issues:

  • Change in eating habits.
    • Eating too much.
    • Eating too little.
  • Change in sleeping habits.
    • Sleeping too much.
    • Sleeping too little.
  • Avoiding people that you used to like to be around.
    • Social withdraw.
  • Avoiding activities that you used to like to do.
  • Little or no energy.
  • Experiencing aches and/or pains that have no root cause.
  • Smoking, drinking, and/or using drugs.
    • More than usual.
    • This can be a coping mechanism to mask how you’re truly feeling.
  • Emotional changes, including, but not limited to, feeling:
    • Helpless.
    • Hopeless.
    • Like nothing matters.
    • Numb.
    • Confused.
    • Forgetful.
    • On Edge.
    • Angry.
    • Upset.
    • Worried.
    • Scared.
    • Irritable.
    • Anxious.
  • Unusual yelling and/or fighting.
    • With family.
    • With friends.
  • Mood swings.
    • Severe.
    • Cause relationship problems.
  • Unwanted thoughts.
    • Can’t make them go away.
  • Unwanted memories.
    • Can’t make them go away.
  • Hearing voices that aren’t real.
  • Seeing things that aren’t there.
  • Believing things that are untrue.
  • Considering harming yourself.
  • Considering harming others.
  • Lacking ability to perform regular tasks, such as:
    • Working.
    • Taking care of your family.
    • Doing your school work.

 

Why should we take care of our mental health?

Taking care of our mental health allows us many benefits, which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Realizing and fulfilling our true potential.
  • Having healthier and more meaningful relationships.
  • Being happier.
  • Better coping with stress.
  • Being more productive.
    • At work.
    • At home.
    • In our communities.
  • Allowing us to greater contribute to society/in our neighborhoods/communities.

 

What are some tips for taking care of our mental health?

There are many things that we can do to help take care of our mental health, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Seeking help.
    • Consult a professional, if needed.
  • Connecting with other people.
    • Family.
    • Friends.
    • Church/Religion.
    • Support groups, both in-person and online.
  • Practicing positive thinking.
  • Exercising.
  • Practicing proper nutrition.
  • Drinking enough water.
  • Sleeping enough.
  • Avoiding tobacco.
  • Avoiding drugs.
  • Avoiding alcohol, especially excessive.
  • Volunteering/helping others.
  • Developing healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Building a good social circle.
  • Practicing self-care.
  • Meditating.
  • Relaxing.
  • Practicing mindfulness.

 

Who are some professionals who can help us take care of our mental health?

There are a variety of mental health professionals who are qualified to help us, depending on our specific needs. Mental health professionals include, but are not limited to:

  • Clinical Psychologists.
    • Doctoral degree in psychology.
    • Make diagnoses.
    • Provide individual and group therapy.
  • Licensed Professional Counselor.
    • Masters degree in psychology, counseling, etc.
    • Make diagnoses.
    • Provide individual and group therapy.
  • Psychiatrist.
    • Medical doctor.
    • Diagnose and treat mental and emotional illnesses.
    • Generally do not provide counseling services.

 

If you’re in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at 1-800-273-8255.

 

Do your own research! No Longer Silenced Movement encourages you to do your own research about topics of your interest in order to formulate your own educated opinion.