July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
July was designated as Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to bring awareness to the unique struggles that minority groups face in regard to mental illness. Mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity. Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background. Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.
Children’s Mental Health
Mental health in childhood means reaching developmental and emotional milestones, learning healthy social skills, and coping when there are problems. Mentally healthy children have a positive quality of life and can function well at home, in school, and in their communities. Mental disorders among children are described as serious changes in the way children typically learn, behave, or handle their emotions, which cause distress and problems getting through the day.
What are the symptoms of childhood mental disorders?
Symptoms of mental disorders change over time as a child grows, and may include difficulties with how a child plays, learns, speaks, and acts or how the child handles their emotions. Symptoms often start in early childhood, although some disorders may develop during the teenage years. The diagnosis is often made in the school years and sometimes earlier.
Can childhood mental disorders be treated?
Childhood mental disorders can be treated and managed. There are many treatment options based on the best and most current medical evidence, so parents and doctors should work closely with everyone involved in the child’s treatment — teachers, coaches, therapists, and other family members. Taking advantage of all the resources available will help parents, health professionals, and educators guide the child towards success.
Adult Mental Health
A mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood. Such conditions may affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day. Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis.
What are the signs and symptoms of mental illness?
Each illness has its own symptoms, but common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include some of the following:
- 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
- Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
- Avoiding friends and social activities
- Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
- Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
- Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
Can mental illness be treated?
Many people diagnosed with mental illness achieve strength and recovery through participating in individual or group treatment. There are many different treatment options available. There is no treatment that works for everyone – individuals can chose the treatment, or combination of treatments, that works best.
For more information about El Centro’s behavioral health services or to schedule an appointment, please call (713)660-1880.