May: Mental Health Awareness Month
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Stress is normal and part of life, but too much unchecked stress can lead to physical and mental health challenges that must be addressed.
Life can be overwhelming sometimes, and stress is a normal part of life. Too much unchecked stress can lead to physical and mental health challenges that must be addressed.
Changes in feelings, thoughts, body, behavior and human connection that last for more than two weeks can indicate that you or someone you know may need help. Watch for these common signs of mental health distress:
- Mood swings
- Low energy
- Very worried, sad, afraid, or down
- Trouble focusing or remembering things
- Thoughts about suicide
- Thoughts that are mixed up
- Unexplained headaches, stomach aches, or aches and pains that keep coming back
- Changes in sleeping or eating
- Escalating use of alcohol and drugs
- Poor personal care, including not bathing, not cleaning one’s living space, or skipping important appointments
- Avoiding friends, family, and social activities
The 988 lifeline, a nationwide network of 200 crisis call centers, offers more hope to individuals dealing with distress. It functions through the hotline formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and aims to strengthen and transform crisis services across the country. It is operated through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
While 988 is essential to intervening in crises, Extension’s Mental Health First Aid training provides individuals with the skills to identify, understand, and respond to mental health challenges and crises.
Extension offers both Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid training. Both courses teach the 5-step ALGEE action plan for how to assist adults and youth in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Learn more about these trainings and how to participate on our website.
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.
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