For example, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) report that 25% of all Americans have a diagnosable mental health disorder in any given year. Ongoing and chronic stress not only impacts our psychological functioning and mental health but also negatively impacts our physical health and well being too including contributing to cardiovascular disease and a weakened immune system. The body, mind, and spirit all interact in a complex biopsychosocial way that we often don't pay close enough attention to. Interventions also typically involve biological, psychological, and social strategies as well. You don't simply just "take a pill" and everything is better. Research tells us that life and treatment is more complicated than that.
May is Mental Health Month and we really do need to pay close attention to this topic since mental health issues impact all of us....and I really do mean all of us.
Additionally, there still exists much discrimination and prejudice about mental health issues. For example, recent research published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior (Vol. 41, No. 2) reported that 68% of Americans don't want someone with a mental illness marrying into their family and 58% don't want people with mental illness in their workplaces. But the truth is that you already have someone in your personal and professional life with a mental health diagnosis....I'll guarantee it! Plus, the reality is that at some point in all of our lives we all likely meet the diagnostic criteria for a mental illness. The big three include anxiety, depression, and addictions. And if these and other disorders don't impact us individually then they sure do when they impact our family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and so forth. You just can't avoid it. Sure, certain disorders like bipolar illness, schizophrenia, and substance abuse tend to get a lot of press but there are many others that impact people and you never hear much about them.