May is mental health awareness month

NAMI logo

Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, NAMI and the rest of the country are raising awareness of mental health. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.

In 2018, NAMI will promote the theme of CureStigma throughout all awareness events, including Mental Health Month.

Why this cause is important: One in five Americans is affected by mental health conditions. Stigma is toxic to their mental health because it creates an environment of shame, fear and silence that prevents many people from seeking help and treatment. The perception of mental illness won’t change unless we act to change it.

Campaign manifesto — There’s a virus spreading across America. It harms the one in five Americans affected by mental health conditions. It shames them into silence. It prevents them from seeking help. And in some cases, it takes lives. What virus are we talking about? It’s stigma. Stigma against people with mental health conditions. But there’s good news. Stigma is 100 percent curable. Compassion, empathy and understanding are the antidote. Your voice can spread the cure. Join NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. 

CureStigma

Together we can #CureStigma.

Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. So much of what we do physically impacts us mentally — it’s important to pay attention to both your physical health and your mental health, which can help you achieve overall wellness and set you on a path to recovery.

MentalHealthAwareness

NAMI, Recovery Zone along with Mental Health America are raising awareness about the connection between physical health and mental health, through the theme Fitness #4Mind4Body. The campaign is meant to educate and inform individuals about how eating healthy foods, gut health, managing stress, exercising, and getting enough sleep can go a long way in making you healthy all around. A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems.

It can also play a big role in helping people recover from these conditions. Taking good care of your body is part of a before Stage Four approach to mental health. Getting the appropriate amount of exercise can help control weight, improve mental health, and help you live longer and healthier. Recent research is also connecting your nutrition and gut health with your mental health. Sleep also plays a critical role in all aspects of our life and overall health. Getting a good night’s sleep is important to having enough physical and mental energy to take on daily responsibilities. And we all know that stress can have a huge impact on all aspects of our health, so it’s important to take time to focus on stress- reducing activities like meditation or yoga.

NAMI and Recovery Zone want everyone to know that mental illnesses are real, and recovery is always the goal.

Living a healthy lifestyle may not be easy, but by looking at your overall health every day — both physically and mentally — you can go a long way in ensuring that you focus on your Fitness #4Mind4Body.

A mental health checkup list

• Grouchiness

• Sleeping more or less

• Difficulty being around people

• Eating more or less

• Cannot relax

• Substance abuse

• Racing thoughts

• Anxiety

• Depression

• Inability to concentrate

• Loss of balance in life

• Feelings of being overwhelmed

• Hearing or seeing things which others do not

As part of Mental Health Month, NAMI and Recovery Zone will be holding their 19th Annual Mental Illness Awareness Walk and Fundraiser Event Saturdaym May 26,at the West Liberty Lions Park. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. There will be T-shirts ($15 donation), music, door prizes, food, fun and a balloon launch.

For more information, contact Pete Floyd, (937) 750- 1702, Ross Cunningham, (937) 508-5099 or Kathy Zeller, (937) 407-4547.

For general information about NAMI and Recovery Zone, we can visit NAMI.org and The Recovery Zone at www.recoveryzonelcc.org.

Pete Floyd is president of NAMI of Logan and Champaign Counties.