In a given year 1 in 5 people in the U.S. will experience a mental health issue. This is a normal part of being a human in our world. Are you feeling anxious or depressed? Do you find yourself relying on alcohol or other substances to cope with or recover from stress? Do you find yourself getting angry to a degree that scares yourself or others? Do you experience panicky feelings in your body that seem to come out of nowhere? These are signs of a potential mental health issue. You do not need to struggle with these things alone.
Give yourself a mental health gift. Just as we maintain our physical wellness with a yearly health screen, and our dental wellness with cleanings twice a year, I recommend a yearly assessment with a mental health counselor. They can assess how you are coping with stress, suggest strategies for managing anger, and review the health of your relationships with your partner, children, and friends. A counselor can screen for depression and anxiety, and for any concerning use of alcohol or substances. They can also offer wellness strategies to strengthen your social, emotional, and spiritual health---all important aspects of your overall mental health. They can also confirm where you are doing well in managing your mental health--and who wouldn't love to hear that?!
You are worth investing in your mental health. You can find resources at mentalhealth.gov and nami.org (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Consider setting up the notOK app to connect you to help asap. If you have suicidal thoughts call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (also serves Veterans who are in crisis). Utilize any EAP or behavioral health insurance benefits you may have.