FRANKFORT, Ky. — An estimated one in five, 20% of Americans, struggle with mental illness or other mental health issues. In conjunction with Mental Health Month, in May, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is joining behavioral health organizations around the state and nation to increase public knowledge and spur action to boost mental health and general wellness.
The Lane Report published a three-part look at behavioral health issues in 2018 and the business community’s increasing recognition of the need to provide access to care for employees:
“The Cost of Ignoring Mental Health” https://www.lanereport.com/102918/2018/07/the-cost-of-ignoring-mental-health/
“Meeting the Need for Behavioral Care” https://www.lanereport.com/103789/2018/07/meeting-the-need-for-behavioral-care/
“The Pain of Losing Employees” https://www.lanereport.com/104861/2018/08/health-care-the-pain-of-losing-employees/
The Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental, and Intellectual Disabilities (BHDID), within CHFS, encourages everyone to consider donating items to a community service organization this month. BHDID leadership say the donation drive’s mission is twofold: it serves a population in need and has mental health benefits for those who participate.
“We all know somebody dealing with mental health issues, whether it’s someone in our own family or at church, school, or work. Mental illness and mental health issues are more common than people recognize,” said BHDID Commissioner Wendy Morris. “Engaging in service projects is great for your well-being. We encourage all Kentuckians to look for service projects within their community, and to take time to acknowledge the importance of self-care and your mental health.”
Morris stressed self-care is a critical trauma-informed practice for professionals who work with and on behalf of individuals who have experienced trauma or who are in distress. A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can also help people recover from these conditions.
“It’s important that we take care of our own mental health. There are lots of things we can do – getting enough sleep, watching our diet, getting enough exercise,” Morris added. “All of these things can help keep our mental health intact.”
Mental Health Month was started 70 years ago by Mental Health America to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone. This year’s promotion builds on the already existing 4Mind4Body campaign and explores the topics of animal companionship, spirituality and religion, humor, work-life balance, and recreation and social connections.
For more information on May is Mental Health Month, visit https://www.nami.org/mentalhealthmonth.