Achieving Balanced Mental Health in our Communities
Louisville, Ky. – May 16, 2019 – Experts at Serenity HealthCARE, a division of Signature HealthCARE, discuss the importance of mental health for Mental Health Month. The month of May is dedicated to raising awareness about mental health conditions not only in our communities we serve but also the importance of good mental health in our Care Partners.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in every five people, there is one person who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses.
How does it feel to live with a mental illness? Many have stated that mental illness makes them feel like they are losing control of themselves; that it takes over their emotions. It feels like you are trapped and unable to move forward in your life. It is forcing yourself to be someone else because of the stigma associated with the illness. It’s a constant battle with yourself to just keep pushing forward for something better. It’s admitting that you are not strong like others, but you try to be normal.
According to the World Health Organization (2017), over 20% of adults aged 60 and over suffer from a mental or neurological disorder. The most common mental and neurological disorders in this age group are dementia and depression. Anxiety disorders affect 3.8% of the older population, substance use problems affect almost 1%, and around a quarter of deaths from self-harm are among people aged 60 or above. Substance abuse problems among older people are often overlooked or misdiagnosed. Psychiatric illness in SNFs is becoming the norm, rather than the exception.
To manage mental illnesses, we must talk about what they feel like, and then act on that information. It means giving voice to feelings and fears, and to hopes and dreams. It means empowering people as agents of their own recovery. And it means changing the trajectories of our own lives for the better, and helping those we love change theirs.
“For our Care Partners, it is important to really look at your overall health, both physically and mentally, to achieve wellness,” said Dr. Jeff Beaty, COO of Serenity HealthCARE. “Finding a reason to laugh, going for a walk with a friend, meditating, playing with a pet, or working from home once a week can go a long way in making you both physically and mentally healthy – it’s all about finding the right balance to benefit both the mind, body, and spirit.”