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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May 4th 2022

The Month of May has been recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month since the 1940’s.  CareSouth Carolina recognizes the importance of coming together to raise awareness with our patients, within our communities, and within our organization.  

Mental Health Awareness is about destigmatizing mental health issues, providing education and support to those in need, increasing access to treatment and advocating for better health care.  Millions of Americans face the reality of mental illness every year.  According to The National Alliance on Mental Health 2020 data,
1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34

Many people struggle on a daily basis with mental illness.  Due to the stigma associated with mental illness in our society, these individuals do not seek treatment.  Mental illness does not discriminate; it can affect anyone regardless of your age, gender, geography, income, social status, race/ethnicity, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, background or other aspect of cultural identity.  It comes in many forms from mild anxiety that can be treated by learning daily coping skills or severe depression that requires medication management.  

“Mental Illness is nothing to be ashamed of!  It is a medical condition, just like heart disease and diabetes.  Mental health conditions are treatable and improvement is possible,” CareSouth Carolina Director of Behavioral Health Amy Cook said. “CareSouth Carolina strives to treat the “whole person”.  We treat the patients’ physical, mental, and social health TOGETHER.  Practicing Integrated Health Care allows for our medical and behavioral providers to collaborate care and enhance the health and wellbeing of all our patients.” 

How do we raise Awareness?
Recognizing symptoms of mental illness:
➢    Feeling sad or down.
➢    Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate.
➢    Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt.
➢    Extreme mood changes of highs and lows.
➢    Withdrawal from friends and activities.
Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping
How to reduce the Stigma and seek Help!

·    Get treatment. You may be reluctant to admit you need treatment. Don't let the fear of being labeled with a mental illness prevent you from seeking help. Treatment can provide relief by identifying what's wrong and reducing symptoms that interfere with your work and personal life.

·    Don't let stigma create self-doubt and shame. Stigma doesn't just come from others. You may mistakenly believe that your condition is a sign of personal weakness or that you should be able to control it without help. Seeking counseling, educating yourself about your condition and connecting with others who have mental illness can help you gain self-esteem and overcome destructive self-judgment.

·    Don't isolate yourself. If you have a mental illness, you may be reluctant to tell anyone about it. Your family, friends, or members of your community can offer you support if they know about your mental illness. Reach out to people you trust for the compassion, support and understanding you need.

·    Join a support group. Some local and national groups, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), offer local programs and internet resources that help reduce stigma by educating people who have mental illness, their families and the general population.

CareSouth Carolina offers behavioral health counseling at all of its medical offices, providing both individual and family counseling. CareSouth Carolina’s counselors are professionally-trained clinical social workers and counselors who specialize in providing immediate and long–term assistance to individuals who are having problems with depression, anxiety, substance dependency, as well as many other needs.
To make an appointment with any of CareSouth Carolina’s Behavioral Health Providers, please call (843) 332-3422.

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