If there is a silver lining to the COVID 19 pandemic, it is the global awareness that it helped bring to mental health. During, and following lock downs, there was an unprecedented number of people experiencing feelings of anxiety and/or depression. Given that such a large portion of our population was experiencing these unwanted emotions, maybe it felt safer and more socially acceptable to discuss mental health concerns? ... Whatever the reason, it was a massive step forward for mental health awareness!
Several top stars, such as Selena Gomez, Kristin Bell, Ariana Grande, Serena Williams, Pete Davidson, Jim Carrey and more, have generously lent their voices and their own experiences with mental health struggles to help raise mental health awareness. All of these factors have played a role in reducing stigma and normalizing conversations about mental health. And, now that the conversation has started, it is important to understand commonly used – and misused - mental health terms and why they matter.
Mental health is a broad term that refers to the emotional and psychological well-being of an individual. It includes our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, as well as our ability to cope with stress, manage our emotions, and interact with others.
Mental health is important for everyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. It affects our ability to work, learn, and enjoy life. Good mental health can help us cope with stress, build strong relationships, and make healthy choices.
There are many different factors that can affect our mental health, including our genetics, environment, and life experiences. Some people may be more vulnerable to mental health problems than others. However, everyone has the potential to experience mental health challenges.
There are many things you can do to promote your mental health, including:
If you are struggling with your mental health, we encourage you to seek help. There are many different treatments available, including therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Treatment can help you manage your symptoms, improve your quality of life, and prevent future problems.
Mental health and mental illness are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Mental health is a broad term that refers to the overall well-being of a person's mind, while mental illness is a specific condition that can affect a person's mental health.
Mental illness is a common problem that can affect anyone at any age. It is a chronic condition that causes changes in a person's thinking, feeling, mood, or behavior. Mental illness can be mild or severe, and it can interfere with a person's ability to function in daily life.
There are many different types of mental illness, and each person experiences it differently.
Some common symptoms of mental illness include:
Here are the most common types of mental illness:
There are many factors that can contribute to mental illness, including:
Mental illness is not caused by a lack of willpower or a moral failing. It is a serious medical condition that can have a significant impact on a person's life.
There are many things you can do to help someone with mental illness, including:
If you are struggling with your own mental health, there are many resources available to help you. You can talk to your doctor, a mental health professional, or a trusted friend or family member. There are also many online resources available, which we will list below.
Remember that you are not alone. Mental illness is a common problem, and there are many people who can help you. With treatment, you can live a healthy and productive life.
High Country Behavioral Health provides mental health and addiction services in Western Wyoming and Eastern Idaho.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1.800.662.4357 is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
Wyoming-Based Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK
Idaho Suicide Prevention 208-398-4357