Mental Health 101

Better mental health is for everyone.

Mental health describes our emotional, psychological, and social well being. It affects how we think, feel and act, how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Your brain is an organ, and is affected by diet, exercise, sleep, environment, body chemistry, medications and treatments, just like the rest of your body.

The difference of course is that it controls the rest of the body, and your actions — which is why improving your mental health can have profound effects on everything else in your life.

Seeking and accepting help is a sign of strength.

In a culture that values self-reliance, it takes courage to speak up and ask for help. If someone you know has shown that strength, let them know you admire their efforts.

Likewise, if you think you might need help, be proud of taking charge and going out to get it. The reward for your courage will be a healthier life.

Don’t worry that you might be diagnosed with a mental health disorder. A diagnosis is just the first step in treatment, the first step toward improved health.

A mental health disorder is not a character flaw.

If you or someone you know is diagnosed with a mental health disorder, be aware that it’s caused by biological and/or environmental factors and is a natural phenomenon.

You should also know that disorders are treatable, and usually respond well to treatment. For instance, the depression recovery rate is at 80% today.

Be part of a better mental health future.

Working toward your optimal state of mental wellness means you can best realize your potential. It also means you can best contribute to your family, friends, co-workers, community and country.

This is why better mental health is not just good for each of us individually — it’s good for all of us as a society.

What you do makes a difference. Talk openly and positively about mental health. Offer help if you think it might be needed. Share mental health resources. Practice mental wellness. Be part of a better mental health future.

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