October is mental health awareness month, and our team is passionate about breaking the stigma that often comes with having a mental illness. Mental health issues take many different forms and affect everyone differently. Many feel the need to stay quiet and are embarrassed to talk to loved ones or friends out of fear of ridicule. Please know that you are not alone. In fact, one in five adults will experience some form of mental health issue this year.

Mental health issues are on the rise in the U.S. If you think you could be experiencing some form of mental illness, take a look at the list below, which outlines common indicators of a mental health condition. Knowing these common indicators can help you identify if a friend, family member or coworker is suffering.

Common indicators:

  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Feeling excessively sad or low
  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
  • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
  • Avoiding friends and social activities
  • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and short of energy
  • Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite

Visit NAMI.org for the full list.

If you’re looking for local resources, check out the following:

  • Little Orange Fish – Little Orange Fish is an amazing organization located right here in Huntsville, Ala. that is on a mission to bring awareness around mental health and provide resources to the community. Little Orange Fish also leads The Inner Defense Initiative which has begun organizing research to determine the link between an individual’s immune system and their resilience to psychological trauma. 
  • Solid Ground Counseling – Solid Ground Counseling was founded by Rachel Sullivan, a Madison, Ala. local. Rachel saw the need to change the stigma around mental health care as well as provide resources to her community. Solid Ground sets out to be a place of love and hope while facilitating emotional healing. 
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Huntsville – NAMI Huntsville is the North Alabama affiliate of National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI advocates for people and families living with mental illness to have access to resources, treatment, research and support in their area. Their mission is to improve the lives of families living with mental illness. 

While many Americans suffer from mental health issues, many ignore or are unaware of key indicators or resources that exist to help them. 

This month, take some time to learn more about mental health and how you can help yourself or a loved one living with a mental illness. Let’s all work together to break the stigma of mental health so we can make positive steps forward in overall wellbeing and self-nurturement. 

For more information about Mental Health Awareness Month, visit https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Mental-Health-Month 

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