Updated: Apr 24, 2021
April is National Counseling Awareness Month, and so I thought it would be a good idea to take this time to talk a little about mental health and the benefits of seeking treatment for whatever issues you may be facing.
When we talk about mental health, we are talking about our emotional, psychological and social well-being. Our mental health not only affects how we feel but also how we think and behave as well as handle stress and make decisions.
Mental Health Statistics
Just how common are mental illnesses in the United States? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
More than 50% of American adults will be diagnosed with a mental illness at some point in their life.
In any given year, one in five people in this country will experience a mental illness.
Children are not immune to mental health challenges; in fact, one in five will experience a serious mental illness at some point.
Causes of Mental Illness
While there is no single cause of mental illness, some common factors are believed to contribute to the risk of developing mental health issues. These include:
Trauma or a history of abuse.
Stress-related to ongoing chronic diseases such as cancer or heart disease.
Chemical imbalances such as hormonal imbalances.
Use of drugs and alcohol.
Feeling lonely and/or isolated.
Therapy Can Help
Living with a mental illness can be incredibly painful. This is why National Counseling Awareness Month was started to help those in need recognize people and available resources. A professionally trained therapist can help you uncover the cause of your mental illness and offer tools and coping mechanisms to turn your life around.
To find a therapist near you, you can use this directory, which lists therapists by state and specialty. Remember that many therapists are now offering sessions over the internet, so it may be best to pick someone you feel more comfortable with instead of being geographically close.