May is Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month

05/5/14 James Winston

In observance of Mental Health Month, we will be providing information and resources that help raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of mental wellness for all individuals. To start, learn about the importance of mental health and how it impacts us.

Get the facts:

  •  Mental health is integral to our overall health. The mind and body are intricately connected; there can be “no health without mental health.”
  • When a person has “good” mental health, they deal better with what comes their way.
  • Poor mental health can significantly harm a person’s general health
  • Stress has a huge impact on our lives and can make even day-to-day life difficult. Research shows that stress is closely linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. It also shows that people who feel depressed or chronically stressed may have a greater risk of physical illnesses.
  • The good news is there are many healthy choices and steps that individuals can adopt to promote and strengthen mental health—and overall health and well-being.
  • A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems. It can also help people recover from these conditions.
  • Everyone can take steps to protect and strengthen their minds and bodies.
  • Living a healthy lifestyle may not be easy, but can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes.
  • If positive lifestyle changes aren’t helping a person’s mental health – they should seek help, and the MHA network is available to assist them in finding it. 

How does mental health impact us? 

  • Nearly 1-in-5 Americans over age 18 will experience a diagnosable mental health disorder in a given year1, and nearly half (46.4%) will experience a mental health disorder in their lifetime2.
  • Approximately 70% of Americans experience physical and non-physical symptoms of stress, but only 37% think they are doing very well at managing stress.3
  • More than 2/3 of American adults are either obese or overweight.4
  • One in six Americans over age 18 binge drink. Excessive drinking (binge drinking and heavy drinking) causes approximately 80,000 deaths each year.5
  • Nearly half (48%) of Americans report not getting enough sleep, with women feeling so more than men.6
  • While it is estimated that approximately half of US adults use supplements, only 23% of supplements used were recommended by a health care professional.7
  • Relationships and social connections are important. Low level of social interaction was found to have an impact on lifespan equivalent to smoking nearly a pack of cigarettes a day or being an alcoholic, and was twice as harmful as being obese.8
  • Half of American adults do not get the recommended amounts of aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise.9

Source: Mental Health of America, May is Mental Health Month Toolkit,

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