May is Mental Health Awareness month, a time to remember that your mental health is essential to your overall health and well-being, and to reinforce that mental illnesses are common and treatable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States:
- More than 50 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.
- 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in any given year.
- 1 in 5 children will or have had a seriously debilitating mental illness at some point during their life.
- 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.
This past year has been particularly challenging as the global pandemic forced us to cope with situations we never could have imagined, and many have struggled with our mental health as a result. Fortunately, there are readily available tools and resources that can support individuals in hardship and those who care about them.
Remember that if you or someone you care about needs help coping with life’s challenges, you are not alone. Mental illnesses are real, and recovery is possible. Good mental health offers a feeling of well-being and inner strength. It helps you enjoy life and cope with challenges. Now more than ever, we need to combat the stigma surrounding mental health concerns.
Your Employee Assistance Program Can Help
It is just as important to care for your mental health as it is to take care of your physical health. Your Component Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help you bolster your coping skills, and is a good first call for any questions or concerns you might have about your mental health or the mental health of someone you care about.
Your EAP provides you and your eligible household members with free and confidential support for a wide array of personal challenges. To learn more about common mental illnesses, including symptoms, warning signs, and links for resources, visit MentalHealth.gov. EAP assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information, contact your Component EAP, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.