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Apr 20

May is Mental Health Month

When you or someone you love is dealing with a mental health concern, sometimes it’s a lot to handle.  It is important to remember that mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable.  Yet, people experience symptoms of mental illness differently, and some engage in potentially dangerous or risky behaviors to avoid or cover up symptoms of a mental health problem.

This year’s theme for mental health month is a call to educate ourselves and others about habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or could be signs of mental health problems themselves.  Activities like compulsive sex, recreational drug use, obsessive internet use, excessive spending, or disordered exercise patterns can all be behaviors that can disrupt someone’s mental health and potentially lead them down a path towards crisis.  To find out what activities and behaviors could be harmful, take the interactive quiz here.

“Prevention, early identification and intervention and integrated services work,” concluded Kathy Lerma, CEO of 7-county region, County Rural Offices of Social Services (CROSS).  “When we engage in prevention and early identification, we can help reduce the burden of mental illness by identifying symptoms and warning signs early — and providing effective treatment Before Stage 4.”

Counties involved in the CROSS region which manages local MHDD funding include Clarke, Decatur, Lucas, Marion, Monroe, Ringgold, and Wayne.  Locally, Ringgold County Public Health serves as the contact point for our county.  Call Becky Fletchall at 641-464-0691 for more information.

For more information on May is Mental Health Month, visit Mental Health America’s website.  Check out these fact sheets about the behaviors that could be signs of mental health problems: