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Mental Health is Health. Make it a Priority!

Saturday, May 21, 2022

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mother Teresa notes in a quote we can all do something to alleviate the problem.With so much strife in the world and stress in daily life, maintaining good mental health can at times seem difficult, if not impossible. However, the mind-body connection is inextricable, and when you aren’t taking care of your mental health, your overall health suffers. During National Mental Health Awareness Month, NewBridge Services encourages you to make small changes in your daily routine that can help you manage stress levels and increase energy, improving your overall well-being.

These daily strategies can help you cope:

  • Accept that you cannot control everything and set priorities
  • Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones
  • Take short timeouts to inhale deeply and exhale slowly
  • Reach out to a friend or family member daily
  • Move your body and get your blood flowing
  • Choose healthy meals and snacks most of the time
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine
  • Establish a regular sleep routine of 7-9 hours a night
  • Relax the half hour before you head to bed
  • Try meditation, yoga or other relaxation techniques
  • Practice gratitude by writing or thinking about the positives in your life
  • Get professional help if stress and anxiety persist

How to Recognize Mental Illness

Mental illnesses can affect thinking, mood and behavior. They include: anxiety disorders like phobias; mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorder; behavioral disorders like ADHD; personality disorders, psychotic disorders like schizophrenia; and trauma- and stress-related disorders. The severity of mental illness can be reduced through early intervention. Warning signs of mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, include:

  • Anger, irritability or aggressiveness
  • Noticeable changes in mood, energy level, or appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Difficulty concentrating, feeling restless, or on edge
  • Increased worry or feeling stressed
  • A need for alcohol or drugs
  • Sadness or hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling flat or having trouble feeling positive emotions
  • Engaging in high-risk activities
  • Ongoing headaches, digestive issues, or pain
  • Obsessive thinking or compulsive behavior
  • Thoughts or behaviors that interfere with work, family, or social life
  • Unusual thinking or behaviors that concern other people

Key findings from Mental Health America’s 2022 report showed that even prior to the pandemic, about 1 in 5 Americans experienced mental illness. Over half of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment.

Among youth, nearly 11% have severe major depression, and 15% have experienced a major depressive episode. More than 60% of youth with major depression have received no mental health treatment.

Demand Parity

Collectively, we need to demand that mental health receive the same attention as physical health. About 11% of Americans with mental illness are uninsured, according to Mental Health America.

New Jersey has the lowest prevalence of mental health disorders and substance abuse, Mental Health America reported. However, the state falls in the middle of the rankings for access to mental health treatment, which considers access to treatment and quality and cost of insurance among other factors.

NewBridge Services’ licensed clinicians are available in-person or through telehealth sessions. Call (973) 316-9333 or sent a note to to schedule an appointment. (NewBridge accepts most insurances.)


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