Why is mental health important and how to maintain it
Mental health constitutes an important and essential part of health. Beyond the absences of diseases, it refers to the state of complete well-being and is determined by multiple factors that can be social, psychological, biological and personality.
Currently, the prevalence of mental health illness has increased and the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the number of cases, without measuring the true magnitude of the crisis caused by it. Hence the importance of learning more about mental health and how to preserve it.
May is the month that has been dedicated to mental health awareness, it promotes mental health education. Although sometimes it is very easy to determine whether or not a person suffers from mental disorders or illness, not in all cases it is so simple, so it is necessary to be aware of warning signs and take action if required.
When is a professional evaluation necessary?
While each condition has their own signs and symptoms, it is important to be aware of the following signs to determine if professional care is needed:
- Changes in eating habits.
- Alterations in sleep habits.
- Inability to cope with the problems of daily life.
- Feeling of disconnection from normal activities.
- Unusual thoughts.
- Stop sharing with people or situations you used to enjoy.
- Evidence of energy levels well below normal.
- Excessive anxiety.
- Prolonged feelings of sadness or apathy.
- Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming others.
- Abuse of psychoactive substances.
- Sudden mood changes.
- Anger or violent behavior.
It may be that some people who suffer from some type of mental disorder may be familiar with some of the signs mentioned above. However, having the support of professional staff is essential for the identification and treatment of mental health conditions.
How does a mental disorder affect?
When a person experiences noticeable alterations in their thought patterns, the way they regulate their feelings, and generally the way they behave it may be an indicator of presence of a mental health disorder or illness. Pay attention if you feel changes in your ability to:
- Maintain personal or family relationships.
- Moving in social environments.
- Perform in the work or school environment.
- Learn at a level according to your age and abilities.
Although many of people’s behaviors are subject to certain cultural or social norms, there are no defined standards for determining whether a behavior is normal or not. Therefore, it is important for each person to develop an awareness of what is normal according to their behaviors and background, which may require further attention and even professional evaluation.
How to take care of mental health?
Undoubtedly, mental health is essential for optimal health. Having control over emotions, thoughts and behaviors, together with the feeling of well-being with oneself and others is essential to face life in a better way. To protect your mental health, it is important to keep the following recommendations in mind:
- Avoid negativity.
- Improve your eating habits.
- Learn to manage your emotions.
- Do breathing exercises.
- Opt for activities that invite relaxation and tranquility.
- Spend time each day doing an activity that you enjoy.
- Get involved in social work.
- Build healthy relationships.
- Allocate time for physical activity.
It is therefore essential not to lose sight of the importance of mental health, to learn to identify and prevent signs of mental illness or disorders, and to seek professional help when necessary.
Ask for help
If you identify any alteration in your behaviors that causes you concern or worry, do not hesitate to seek help:
- Find helpful information on the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH).
- Access resources on treatment, medical coverage, educational materials, support groups and more at USAGov en Español
If you require immediate assistance, please contact the following lines:
- 911 for medical emergencies.
- 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) for suicide prevention.
- 1-800-985-5990 if you need support after a disaster or emergency.
- 1‑877‑SAMHSA7 (1‑877‑726‑4727) to obtain treatment referrals from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (SAMHSA)
The Yo Digo No Más Movement can also help you preserve your mental health. In our digital channels you can find tools to educate yourself about these issues. In addition, you can join our movement and contribute your knowledge to support victims of sexual abuse and prevent ‘this silent pandemic’.