Have you checked on your mental health lately?

May 10, 2023 / Molina Healthcare

Have you checked on your mental health lately?

It is no secret that our mental health has been tested. Especially after the last few years. Our day-to-day life can also affect our mental health.

A quick self-check on your mental and emotional health can help you find issues you might want to talk to a doctor about. Or, it can let you know that you are doing okay.

The stigma around mental health is changing. And it is changing for the better. You do not have to pretend everything is “fine.” Sometimes, it might not be fine.

To help you better understand mental health, we need to talk about the common facts and myths.

Myth: Mental health issues cannot affect you.
Fact: Mental health issues can – and do – affect anyone. In 2020*, about:

  • 1 in 5 American adults had a mental health issue.
  • 1 in 6 young people have had a major depressive episode.
  • 1 in 20 Americans have lived with a serious mental illness. This can be schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression.

Suicide is the leading cause of death in the United States. Since 2020, suicide has been the reason for more than 45,979 American deaths. This is nearly double the number of lives lost to homicide.

Myth: Children do not have mental health issues.
Fact: Even very young children might show early mental health issues. They can be a result of biological and psychological interactions. They can also be the result other social factors.

At least half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a child turns 14 years old.

Only half of the children and adolescents with mental health issues will get the help they need. Early care can help a child before it affects their long-term development.

Myth: People with mental health issues are violent.
Fact: Most people with mental health issues are no more likely to be violent than anyone else.

Only 3-5% of violent acts are by people who have a serious mental illness. Someone with a serious mental illness is 10 times more likely to be the victim of a violent crime than the general population.

Myth: Therapy and self-help do not help. Why can’t you just take a pill?
Fact: Treatment for mental health can vary from person to person. It could include therapy or medicine. It can also be both. A lot of people do better when they have support.

Myth: I cannot help someone with a mental health issue.
Fact: Friends and family can help someone get the help they need. In 2020, only 20% of adults got any mental health help. That included 10% who got counseling or therapy.

Myth: You cannot prevent a mental health issue.
Fact: You can prevent mental, emotional and behavioral disorders by taking care of known risk factors. Not doing so can increase the chances of a mental health issues. Prevent mental health issues by spotting these risk factors:

  • Past trauma(s)
  • A family history of mental health issues
  • Stressful life events
  • Problems with drugs and alcohol

Read the rest of the myths and facts here.

Data from 2020 comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. *Newer data might be available.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to get help if you or someone you know is dealing with a crisis. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Dial 988, and you can talk to someone right away. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline also has a web chat or texting option.

Keep your mental health a priority this month and all year long! Better social-emotional health can lead to a better quality of life.

Category: Mental Health