May 2022 Featured Image - Word Game Tiles Spelling Out Mental Health MattersSince 1949, May has been recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month, with the goal of raising awareness of those living with mental or behavioral health issues. About half of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition sometime in their life, with symptoms starting by age 24 for the majority of people.

After two years of living in a pandemic, many realize how stress, isolation and uncertainty can take a toll on one’s well-being. Still, people hesitate to seek help or even talk about it with their loved ones. Stigma surrounding mental health continues to cause those affected to delay seeking treatment. The average delay between symptom onset and treatment is 11 years, meaning a lot of people spend months or years facing mental health challenges before getting a diagnosis. It is never too early to seek treatment for your mental health. Intervening effectively during early stages can save lives and is critically important for people living with mental health conditions.

You can observe Mental Health Awareness Month by taking care of yourself and your loved ones. Check on your friends and family, support and courage them and provide an ear to listen. Talk openly about mental health with your peers. Ask your employer how they are supporting mental health in the workplace.

If you live with mental illness, you may be struggling to find treatment, manage your medication, and cope with life’s challenges effectively. You are not alone, help is available, mental health conditions are treatable, and you can take practical steps to recover your life. By working closely with your health care provider, you can learn about the supports available to you and start on your recovery journey.

Independence Health & Therapy in Woodstock offers a full range of behavioral health services that provide clients the ability to work one-on-one with a mental health professional in their preferred setting. This program serves individuals with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other mental health diagnosis.