Demolishing shame. Building power. Mabel's Voices

Mental Health Awareness Month

At Mabel Wadsworth Center, our interns are responsible for updating the bulletin board in our waiting room once a month. In case you haven’t had the chance to visit us recently, you can read about our bulletin board here.  This post is by our intern, Aiden Ciaffaglione, a student at the University of Maine.

What is Mental Health Awareness Month?

Mental Health Awareness Month was created in 1949 by Mental Health America. May was designated MHAM in order to bring light to the mental illness that people in our communities face, while also trying to break the stigma around mental health and it’s treatment.  Your mental health is extremely important not only for your daily performance, but also for your physical health.

Do you know the Stats around Mental Health?

  • 1 in 5 people will be impacted by mental illness in their lifetime
  • 60 million people in the U.S. alone are living with and reacting to mental illness daily
  • 50% of mental health conditions start at age 14, and 75% by 24
  • 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities

Ways You Can Better Your Mental Health This May & Everyday!

1. Reduce Your Daily Stress

Reducing your daily stress will allow your body to work at its fullest potential while avoiding long-term health problems. You can reduce your stress by scheduling breaks away from work to go on walks, spending time with those who make you feel affirmed and loved, getting enough sleep, and scheduling some alone time! The most important part about stress relief is understanding that saying no and taking time away for yourself is not selfish, it’s selfless and important for your physical and mental health.

2. Take Care of Your Bodies Needs

If your body cannot function physically, it will not be able to function mentally! It is incredibly important that you not only listen to what your mental health needs, but also the things that your body requires to function at its fullest potential. Some ways to do this include scheduling in your meal and snack times, keeping up with your physical and environmental hygiene, getting enough sleep and taking naps, not drinking a lot of caffeine or eating unhealthy foods, and taking your medications as required.

3. Reach out to a Mental Health Professional

Sometimes mental health can become overwhelming and talking it out with friends may not be enough. It is absolutely okay for you to reach out for professional help when you are struggling or just want someone to talk to! Mental Health professionals are great resources for understanding your mental health and reflecting on things you may not have noticed. Whether it be to let out stress, vent, or request a referral for medication, mental health professionals will be a huge help in preserving and improving your mental health. If you are looking for a mental health professional in the Bangor area, the Mabel Wadsworth Center now offers these services to their clients. If you are interested please call the center to book an appointment!

4. Treat Yourself

Life can get tough and you may find yourself overwhelmed with work or life in general; so it is incredibly important that you not only take care of your needs, but also treat yourself to a reward every once in a while. This might be you going out to dinner with friends, watching your guilty pleasure movie, or eating chocolate; the important part is that you show yourself some self-love and appreciate the effort you put into your daily schedule. If you don’t treat yourself, then who will!