We often hear the clinical terms used by doctors and other professionals to identify the symptoms of mental illnesses…but if someone hasn’t gone through it, would they know how to recognize it?
So often, clinical terms don’t do justice to what life with a mental illness feels like. We know that two people with the same diagnosis can experience the same symptom and describe it in very different ways. Understanding the signs of a mental illness and identifying how it can feel can be confusing—and sometimes can contribute to ongoing silence or hesitation to get help.
It’s important for people to talk about how it feels to live with a mental illness. We know that mental illnesses are common and treatable, and help is available. But not everyone knows what to look for when they are going through those early stages, and many simply experience symptoms differently. We all need to speak up early, in real, relatable terms so that people do not feel isolated and alone.
May is recognized as Mental Health Month and sponsored by Mental Health America. This year’s theme: life with a mental illness is meant to help remove the shame and stigma of speaking out, so that more people can be comfortable seeking the help they need.
The Lincoln County Mental Health Coalition is raising awareness of the importance of speaking up about mental health, and asking individuals to share what life with a mental illness feels like by tagging social media posts with #mentalillnessfeelslike. Posting with this hashtag is a way to speak up, to share your point of view with people who may be struggling to explain what they are going through—and to help others figure out if they too are showing signs of a mental illness.
In observance of Mental Health Month, the Lincoln County Mental Health Coalition and Ministry Health Care are offering Mental Health First Aid Training to Lincoln County residents on May 19 at Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. Similar to “First Aid” and “CPR”, “Mental Health First Aid” teaches individuals how to help those experiencing mental health challenges or crises. Participants will gain knowledge of risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns and also learn strategies to help individuals in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Space is limited. Register by May 16. Contact Tara Schneider, RN (Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center) at 715-539-2249 for more information or to RSVP.
The Lincoln County Mental Health Coalition is a part of Healthy People Lincoln County, a collaborative that strives to promote partnerships within the community to improve health through advocacy, prevention and implementation of best practices.