If you were a fan of the show ‘Frasier’ in the 90s starring Kelsey Grammar, then you’ll probably remember that oft-told line from the show:
“This is Dr. Frasier Crane wishing you all good mental health.”
Each April, we recognize this month as ‘National Counseling Month’ across America. Though highlighted in April, it is a reminder that every day is good for practicing good mental health. The question, though, is: How are you doing today? If you’re like many Americans, mental health needs are on the rise. Consider the statistics below:
• “…mental health treatment increased from 19.2% in 2019 to 21.6% in 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in data….” USA Today” September 18th 2022
• “Among adults aged 18–44, the percentage who had received any mental health treatment increased from 2019 to 2021 across large and medium or small metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas.” Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, “1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year. 1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness. 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
As you can see, mental health needs are on the rise. Consider anxiety; it is the ‘most common mental health concern in the United States today. Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. https://www.peoplesense.com.au/resource-centre/anxiety
With all the external pressures of local, national, and world events and the internal forces of doubt and stress, many Americans feel unsure and unsettled about their path in their world. Consider this definition of anxiety “a mental condition characterized by excessive apprehensiveness about real or perceived threats, typically leading to avoidance behaviors and often to physical symptoms such as increased heart rate and muscle tension.” Oxford Languages https://languages.oup.com/google-dictionary-en/
Anxiety is tied to the unknown, future events that may feel like they will happen with uneasiness and apprehension; this feels very real for those experiencing them. The following statistic back this up:
• “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States. Over 40 million adults in the U.S. (19.1%) have an anxiety disorder. Meanwhile, approximately 7% of children aged 3-17 experience issues with anxiety each year. Most people develop symptoms before age 21”
But what can be done?
Here are some initial bits of help for anxiety according to what you can do:
1. Exercise and eating more healthy foods are good ways to start taking control of your life. A good walk in the sunshine can do wonders! Note: Always consult your doctor first and keep them current with present concerns and new changes in diet and exercise!
2. Exchange less television time with personal development books to help sharpen your life skills
3. If you are spiritual; consider more involvement in your faith community
4. Learn emotional skills such as better listening or conflict resolution skills.
5. Encourage healthy friendships and community in your free time.
These are simple primer suggestions. Yet, there IS even more good news! Did you know many caring mental health professionals are ready to help serve you or a family member? From life coaches, Employee Assistance Programs, chaplains, clergy, counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and many more, there is no limit to the help available to anyone in need.
Today is the best day to make a change. It can feel overwhelming initially, but so many have benefitted from talking to someone they know as a trusted and confidential mental health care leader.
To borrow from Dr. Frasier Crane, “Wishing you all good mental health!”
John Gibson, Marketplace Chaplains
Outreach Health Chaplaincy care has been a 4-decade long tradition to support the team beyond just a paycheck. Life happens, and chaplains for there for support, counseling, making hospital visits, or just a friend for conversation.
All services are voluntary, free, confidential, and available to all Outreach employees and their immediate family members.