Kentucky- April 10, 2019—When you or someone you love is dealing with a mental health concern, sometimes it’s a lot to handle. It’s important to remember that mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable.
May is Mental Health Month was started 70 years ago by Mental Health America of Kentucky’s national organization, Mental Health America, to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone. Last year, Mental Health Month materials were seen and used by over 30 million people, with more than 16,000 entities downloading MHA’s tool kit.
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. For those dealing with a chronic health condition and the people who care for them, it can be especially important to focus on mental health.
That is why in 2019 we are expanding upon last year’s theme of 4Mind4Body and taking it to the next level, as we explore the topics of animal companionship, spirituality and religion, humor, work-life balance, and recreation and social connections as ways to boost mental health and general wellness.
During May, MHA will also look at how these topics may be especially beneficial to people who are living with chronic physical illnesses as we ramp up to MHA’s 2019 Annual Conference – Dueling Diagnoses: Mental Health and Chronic Conditions in Children and Adults, June 13-15 in Washington, D.C. where MHA will be discussing the impact and intersection of chronic conditions and mental health.
“It is important to really look at your overall health, both physically and mentally, to achieve wellness,” said Marcie Timmerman, Executive Director of Mental Health America of Kentucky. “Finding a reason to laugh, going for a walk with a friend, meditating, playing with a pet, or working from home once a week can go a long way in making you both physically and mentally healthy – it’s all about finding the right balance to benefit both the mind and body.”
MHA has developed a series of fact sheets (available at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may) to help people understand how their lifestyle affects their health. “We know that living a healthy lifestyle is not always easy, but it can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes,” concluded Ms. Timmerman. “Finding the balance between work and play, the ups and downs of life, physical health and mental health, can help you on the path towards focusing both 4Mind4Body.”