How to Prioritize Mental Health

As we recognize May as National Mental Health Awareness Month, we want to emphasize the importance of mental health and its impact on someone’s overall well-being. Good mental health can help people lead fulfilling lives, maintain healthy relationships, and cope with the ups and downs of daily life. Mental health problems are common and affect millions of people worldwide, and we want to share ways on how people can find the help they need. 

First, let’s talk about helping the people around you. If you have a friend who is struggling with mental health issues, it is essential to provide them with support and understanding. One of the best ways to help someone struggling is by simply listening to them without judgment. While it may be a tough conversation, it is also important to encourage them to seek professional help, whether it be through therapy, medication, or other treatments. Some friends may be more willing to talk about it than others, and some may say they’re totally fine even if they may not be. The most important thing is to be there for them, ready to listen when they need you. A simple text asking how someone is doing, just showing that you’re thinking about them, can go a long way.

Now, let’s talk about how you can best help yourself. Asking for help can be extremely difficult, especially when it comes to mental health. However, it is important to recognize when you need support and to reach out when necessary. You can start by talking to someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, or mental health professional if you’re already in contact with one. It can be helpful to prepare ahead of time by writing down your thoughts and feelings or practicing what you want to say. Remember that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. There are also many community resources available regardless of where you live. Here are a few  great resources:

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHS) - 1-800-662-HELP (4357) 
  • Suicide Prevention Hotline: 988
  • Better Help - Online therapy
  • Washington specific - 24 hour Crisis Hotline

Changing the stigma surrounding mental health is crucial for improving mental health resources and outcomes. One way to do this is by educating yourself and others about mental health and its importance. You can also advocate for awareness by participating in campaigns or by sharing your own experiences with people around you. It’s important for people to remember that they are never alone.

Let's come together to change the way we talk about mental health. By doing so, we can make it easier for those in need to seek help without shame or fear. With our collective efforts, we can create a more compassionate and understanding society that supports the mental well-being of all individuals. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those who are struggling and promote a healthier, happier world for everyone.