Have you checked in with yourself lately? May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and did you know that, per Mental Health America, 21% of all U.S. adults live with a mental health condition? With mental health entering more and more of our daily conversations, it’s critical that everyone has a solid foundation of knowledge about mental health.

That’s why for Mental Health Month this year, DHEC encourages everyone to check in with their mental health as well as utilize online resources to help manage their mental health. Your mental health is directly related to your physical health and vice versa!

So, how do your recognize when you need some support? Common signs of mental health concerns are:

  1. Isolation – You used to be really outgoing and positive, but lately, you want to spend most of your time home alone.
  2. Losing Interest – You aren’t as interested in things you used to like – food, music, hobbies, friends, work/school.
  3. Trouble Focusing – You can’t concentrate enough to follow conversations with friends.
  4. Short Temper – You’re easily irritated and keep lashing out at people you care about.

If you experience any combination of these, it’s time to ask yourself:

  1. How is my typical mood? How is my physical health? What are my typical energy levels?
  2. Am I getting enough sleep? Do I have a consistent sleep schedule?
  3. What external factors are contributing to my mood? Am I affected by the weather? How does the company I keep contribute to my wellbeing?
  4. What mental health resources are available to me?

Life can be challenging, but every day shouldn’t feel hard or out of your control. If it does, one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition is to take a mental health screening at mhascreening.org.

SC DAODAS and South Carolina Department of Mental Health also offer resources for coping with stress and staying on top of your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Call 1-844-SC-HOPES or visit sc-hopes.com to learn more.

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