Mental health impacts all of us. Whether you have a psychiatric disorder or not, chances are, you know someone who struggles with it. Did you know that 1 in 5 adults require mental health services each year?

The month of October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month, which works to educate on the need for depression awareness and for accessible and affordable mental health screenings. October 10th was also World Mental Health Day. It is an annual date with the purpose of raising awareness and support for mental wellbeing and is a day that all of us can be a part of, regardless of how close our relation is to it.

Mental health and its services have a stigma behind them.

Thankfully, social media has begun to breakdown these barriers by shining a light on how common psychiatric disorders are and how it is not something to be ashamed of. It takes all of us to end this stigma.

There are many ways that we can support someone who experiences a disturbance within their mental wellbeing. Support from friends and family is a key part of helping. Here are 3 ways that you can support someone in your life who has been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder:

  • Change your adjectives. People are not bipolar. They have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. People are not OCD. They have been diagnosed with OCD. People are not ADHD. They have been diagnosed with ADHD. These are psychiatric disorders. They are not adjectives nor are they sentence enhancers.
  • Validate feelings. If someone is struggling and tells you what they are feeling, do not ignore them. Instead, validate that what they are feeling is real. Validation is often the turning point for someone to seek help.
  • Listen. Above all, listening to someone speak about their mental wellbeing is one of the most important things that you can do. Listening can encourage hope and let someone know they are not alone.

National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month and World Mental Health Day remind us that help and support is out there. Now, more than ever before, taking care of your mental wellbeing has become more important. It will take all of us to make the world happy and healthy.

If you are not in crisis, but are looking for support, learn more about the Psychiatry/Mental Health Services at Windom Area Health by clicking here, or call 507-831-0670 to set up an appointment.

By Jenn Pipitone, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC

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