Learn to identify mental health concerns

Published 3:00 am Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being.  According to statistics, mental disorders, collectively, make mental illness the most prevalent health problem in America today.  Mental illnesses are more common than cancer, lung and heart disease combined.  But people experience symptoms of mental illnesses differently—and some engage in potentially risky behaviors to avoid or cover up symptoms of a potential mental health problem.

Sometimes people —e specially young people — that may struggle with mental health concerns develop habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or could be signs of mental health problems themselves.

Activities like recreational drug use, obsessive internet use, excessive spending may all be behaviors that can disrupt someone’s mental health and potentially lead them down a path towards a crisis.

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May is Mental Health Month; The Pike County Probate Office is raising awareness. The campaign hopes to educate and inform individuals dealing with mental health concerns to understand some behaviors and habits can be detrimental to recovery—or even mask a deeper issue—but they shouldn’t be ashamed to seek help.

Early detection and treatment of mental illnesses are extremely important.  The quicker a person suffering from a mental illness can receive treatment the better the chances are of protecting the brain from other harm.

Everyone needs to know mental illnesses are real, and recovery is always the goal. Even if you or someone you love are engaging in risky behavior, there is help. It’s important to understand early symptoms of mental illness and know when certain behaviors are potentially signs of something more.

We need to speak up early and educate people about mental illnesses.

By engaging in prevention and early identification, we can help reduce the burden of mental illness by identifying symptoms and early warning signs. For more information, visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may.

Wes Allen

Pike County Probate Judge