Ending the stigma: Mental Health Awareness month | KAALTV.com

Ending the stigma: Mental Health Awareness month

Mackenzie Davis
Updated: May 05, 2021 06:19 PM
Created: May 05, 2021 06:07 PM

(ABC 6 News) - May is Mental Health Awareness month. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

"May being Mental Health Awareness month is probably as critical now as we've ever really seen,' Connie Bleile, behavioral health clinical therapist at MercyOne said.

The pandemic is affecting everybody on some level, but some more than others.

"Our lives have been really changed without our permission by the pandemic," Jennifer Wickham, a child & adolescent psychotherapist at Mayo Clinic Health System said.

For adults already struggling with mental health issues before the pandemic, the struggles are now magnified. Even for people with strong mental health in the past, this past year is leaving them struggling because of this unwanted change.

"Give ourselves a little gift of grace, we didn't get in this spot overnight and we're not going to get out of it overnight," Bleile said.

Our mental health can go unnoticed and it's important to know when to ask for help.

Bleile says when mental health issues start to interfere with your life, relationships, work or school and are not improving, those may be indications that it certainly could be time to talk to a provider.

That goes for both adults and children.

"Those adolescents that were actually able to return to their sense of normalcy in terms of going back to school, engaging in activities, seeing friends, they seem to have rebounded pretty well," Bleile said.

Mental health experts are also seeing more alcohol and drug use along with increased depression and anxiety across the board.

"Ask for help, reach out. That can be anywhere from a neighbor or a friend all the way up to a mental health professional," Wickham said.

Know that it's okay to not be okay, especially after the year we have all been through.

Bleile says talking is some of the best medicine.

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