We can't let the media and press take all of the attention for mental health. Let's address mental health as a school, a family, and be there for each other.
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects our every day and how we handle everything — stress, choices, our mood, our behavior, how we feel and act, how we think and perceive activities and events. Our mental health is important for our entire lives.
There are many factors that contribute to mental health problems including our brain chemistry and genetic makeup, or life experiences such as trauma and abuse, and our family history.
Some early signs of mental health issues or problems include, feeling helpless or hopeless, unexplained aches and pains, eating or sleeping too much or too little, pulling away from friends and family and usual activities, little or no energy, smoking, drinking or using drugs more than usual, increased fighting with family or friends, inability to perform normal everyday tasks such as taking care of your kids or going to school or work, severe mood swings, unusually confused, angry, worried, or upset, thinking of harming yourself or others, and hearing voices or believing things that are not true.
Please know that these problems are common, but there are many options for help, including getting professional help when you need it, staying connected with friends, family and co-workers, staying positive, getting or remaining physically active, getting enough sleep and eating well, working with your hands such as woodwork or knitting, helping others and developing coping skills.
Hang in there. We just may have Spring soon and can get outside and enjoy all of nature's rebirth.
Jayne Dwyer-Reff, RN,