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May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it’s time to emphasize the importance of prioritizing mental well-being. In this blog, we’ll delve into various crucial topics, from recognizing signs and symptoms of mental health issues and suicide prevention training to navigating conversations with loved ones about these concerns. Additionally, we’ll explore how Hanley Center’s Residential Mental Health Program can provide the support and resources needed for yourself or a loved one on their journey to wellness.

Prioritizing mental health care is crucial for overall well-being, as untreated mental health issues can disrupt personal, academic, and professional life, strain relationships, and lead to financial instability. Recognizing signs and symptoms is essential, given the prevalence of mental health conditions. Initiating conversations about mental health with empathy and openness is key, as is accessing support and resources like Hanley Center’s residential mental health program, which offers comprehensive treatment and holistic care for individuals and families.

Importance of Prioritizing Mental Health Care

Prioritizing mental health care is paramount for overall well-being. Neglecting mental health needs can have far-reaching consequences across various aspects of life. Unmanaged mental health issues can disrupt personal life, affecting one’s ability to cope with daily stressors and enjoy life to the fullest. In school or work settings, untreated mental health conditions may hinder academic or professional performance, leading to missed opportunities and career setbacks. Moreover, strained relationships often result from untreated mental health concerns, as communication breakdowns and emotional distress take their toll. Financial instability may also arise from medical expenses and decreased productivity. Thus, prioritizing mental health care is crucial for a balanced and fulfilling life.

Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Mental Health Problems

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “One in 5 American adults experienced a mental health condition in a given year, one in 6 young people have experienced a major depressive episode, and one in 20 Americans have lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.” Recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental health problems becomes critical to address the issues early and prevent worsening conditions. 

10 Signs And Symptoms Of Mental Health Problems

  • Changes in Appetite or Weight: Significant fluctuations in appetite or weight, either overeating or undereating
  • Difficulty Concentrating: Struggling to focus, make decisions, or complete tasks due to racing thoughts or mental fog
  • Fatigue or Lack of Energy: Feeling tired, lethargic, or lacking motivation despite adequate rest
  • Insomnia or Excessive Sleep: Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping too much
  • Irritability or Mood Swings: Having frequent mood swings, irritability, or outbursts of anger disproportionate to the situation
  • Loss of Interest: Losing interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, including hobbies, work, or socializing
  • Persistent Sadness: Feeling consistently down or experiencing prolonged periods of sadness unrelated to specific events
  • Physical Aches and Pains: Experiencing unexplained physical ailments such as headaches, stomachaches, or muscle tension
  • Social Withdrawal: Avoiding social interactions and isolating oneself from friends, family, or social activities
  • Suicidal Thoughts: Having persistent thoughts of death or suicide, expressing feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, or engaging in self-harming behaviors

QPR Suicide Prevention Training

In 2020, 12.2 million adults seriously considered suicide, 3.2 million planned suicide, and 1.2 million attempted suicide, highlighting that anyone can face a suicide crisis at some stage in their life. Hanley Foundation’s Zero Suicide Initiative addresses the rising suicide rates among youth aged 15-24 through education and awareness campaigns. The initiative focuses on training organizations to recognize warning signs and provide appropriate care, aiming to save lives and reverse this concerning trend through community-wide action. Additionally, our QPR Gatekeeper Training equips individuals with the skills to identify and respond to suicide crises effectively, using a model of “Question, Persuade, and Refer.”

If you or a loved one are in a crisis call or text 988 for free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Strategies for Initiating Conversations About Mental Health with Kids and Loved Ones

Unmet mental health needs can prompt important conversations with children or loved ones, whether it’s your mental health or that of someone in the family. SAMHSA offers valuable guidance on how to approach these discussions effectively. When discussing your own mental health issues with children and loved ones, it’s essential to approach the conversation with empathy and openness. Express your concerns and feelings honestly while also reassuring them that help is available and that mental health problems can be effectively treated. Ask questions, actively listen to their thoughts and concerns, and be responsive to their emotions. Remind them that you care about their well-being and offer practical support with everyday tasks. Additionally, include them in your plans and continue to invite them without pressure, even if they initially resist. Educate others about mental health to reduce stigma, and always treat those with mental health problems with respect, compassion, and empathy. If a loved one has unmet mental health needs, initiate the conversation by expressing your concern and offering support. Find out if they are receiving the care they need and connect them to resources if necessary, reinforcing that you are there to help them through their journey towards improved mental well-being.

Accessing Support and Resources at Hanley Center’s Residential Mental Health Program

At Hanley Center’s mental health program, we understand that residential treatment is often the crucial first step toward lasting healing. Our dedicated Case Managers assist in coordinating life details post-treatment. Partnering with renowned professionals, we tailor care plans encompassing intensive outpatient programs, individual therapy, and evidence-based therapies like DBT and CBT. Additionally, we offer trauma therapies, medication management, and neurofeedback. Our holistic approach focuses on personalized treatment, affirming diagnoses, and fostering total recovery. With ongoing family support, couples counseling, and self-care techniques, we aim to empower individuals for a successful transition back to their lives, families, and careers with renewed confidence and control.

Hanley Foundation is devoted to reshaping the narrative of addiction through prevention, advocacy, treatment, and recovery. For over three decades, our comprehensive prevention education programs have positively impacted Florida’s communities, making us the state’s largest prevention services provider. Proudly operating Hanley Center and Headwaters, our Palm Beach facilities offer private, confidential, and personalized addiction and mental health care, surrounded by a tranquil tropical setting promoting healing and recovery.