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May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

National Mental Health Awareness Month was first launched in the late 1940s. In the decades following there has been a shift in attitude towards mental health, with a growing acceptance of mental health issues as treatable and support for people with them.

Organizations like National Alliance of Mental Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) work on getting out the word on how others can help and support people with mental illness.

A mental illness can happen at any point in a person’s life. In fact, the Institute of Medicine cites researchers supported by the National Institute of Mental Health and others who have found that half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and three-quarters by age 24. The study also reveals that an untreated mental disorder can lead to a more severe, more difficult to treat illness, and to the development of co-occurring mental illnesses.

There are many different kinds of mental illnesses. The more commonly known ones are depression, anxiety, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Symptoms of depression include difficulty with concentration, fatigue or even insomnia, feelings of helplessness or that you are worthless, and loss of interest in your normal activities. Depression in children may appear as:

  • Depressed or irritable mood
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Change in grades, getting into trouble at school, or refusing to go to school
  • Change in eating habits
  • Feeling angry or irritable
  • Mood swings
  • Feeling worthless or restless
  • Frequent sadness or crying
  • Withdrawing from friends and activities
  • Loss of energy
  • Low self-esteem
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Other mental health disorders that are commonly known or discussed are Schizophrenia and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. PTSD can be experienced by anyone after a traumatic event, such as military personnel upon return from active duty.

You don’t have to deal with mental illness on your own. Talk with a professional counselor or psychiatrist about your options which can include counseling, and/or medication.

Local Resources
CCH Behavioral Health Services provides professional mental health and substance abuse services to the community. To learn more, please call 307.688.5000 or visit www.cchwyo.org/BHS.

The CCMG Kid Clinic provides mental health counseling services to children in the Campbell County School District. The Kid Clinic is a school-based pediatric clinic for Campbell County students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and their siblings over the age of 2. The Kid Clinic is a collaborative effort between Campbell County Health and Campbell County School District. For more information, call 307.688.8700 or visit www.cchwyo.org/kidclinic.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger because of thoughts of suicide

Call 911 NOW

If you need someone to talk with about your suicidal feelings, please do not hesitate to call one of the following suicide prevention lines:

1-800-273-TALK (8255)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline