As it says on the welcome page of the National Alliance on Mental Illness St. Tammany websiteopens a new window, "There is no health without mental health."
What is mental health? According to MentalHealth.govopens a new window, "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."
How prevalent is mental illness in the United States? Click hereopens a new window to see "Mental Health Facts in America" from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Throughout 2019, we will be discussing Mental Health Awareness in these blog posts. Our hope is to present resources that can help those of us who are experiencing a mental health concern. We also hope to help the friends, families, and colleagues of people who have a mental illness better understand what mental health is.
Even though most of us personally know at least one person who has been diagnosed with a mental illness, the concept of mental illness can still be baffling to those who have never experienced it firsthand. It is our hope that by discussing mental health and sharing resources about mental illness, we can reduce the stigma associated with having a mental illness and promote mental health awareness.
We're librarians, not mental healthcare professionals. We're advocates for those who need support fighting their mental illness. We're also people who have fought and are still fighting mental illness. We are striving to encourage those who want or need to seek help about a mental illness.
If you need to talk to someone, there are people who want to help. “The National Suicide Prevention Lifelineopens a new window is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” Call 1-800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741, or chat onlineopens a new window.
Check back later this month for the next blog post in this year's Mental Health Awareness series, in which we'll discuss Depression.
Please note: this blog post is not meant to take the place of advice from a mental healthcare professional.