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May is Mental Health Month

Dr. Beth B. Williams • May 3, 2017 at 10:00 AM

May, Mental Health Month was started 68 years ago by Mental Health America, to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone.

When you or someone you love is dealing with a mental health concern, sometimes it’s a lot to handle. It’s important to remember that mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. People experience symptoms of mental illnesses differently. Some engage in potentially dangerous or risky behaviors to avoid or cover up symptoms of a potential mental health problem.

This year’s theme for this year’s Mental Health Month is “Risky business.”

This is a call to educate ourselves and others about behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or could be signs of mental health problems themselves. Activities like compulsive sex, recreational drug use, obsessive internet use, or excessive spending can all be behaviors that can disrupt someone’s mental health and potentially lead them down a path towards crisis.

Use the hashtag #riskybusiness so others can be aware if their behaviors are something to examine and consider. Posting with this hashtag is a way to speak up, to educate without judgment, and to share your point of view or story with people who may be suffering—and help others figure out if they too are showing signs of a mental illness.

It is important to understand early symptoms of mental illness and know when certain behaviors are potentially signs of something more. We need to speak up early and educate people about risky behavior and its connection to mental illness—and do so in a compassionate, judgement-free way. NAMI of Huron County is hosting a WALK for Mental Health and Wellness at 11AM this Saturday May 6 th at the Norwalk Reservoir to support their goals of education, advocacy and support. We encourage you to attend as we are strongest together.

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