Monday, April 27, 2009

Tip of the Day: Use Mental Health Month to separate fact from fiction

While the current recession is hitting employees hard financially, it may be taking even a greater toll on their mental health. A 2008 survey from the American Psychological Association found that 80% of Americans say the economy is a significant source of stress. Among those surveyed, 49% said they felt nervous or anxious; 48% reported feeling depressed or sad.

May is Mental Health Month, an opportune time to educate workers about fact vs. fiction of behavioral health issues. Marie Apke, COO at Bensinger, DuPont & Associates, points out four common myths and facts about mental health:

Myth 1: Stress causes mental illness.
Fact: Stress may occasionally trigger an episode or cause symptoms such as anxiety or depression, but persistent symptoms appear to be biological in nature.

Myth 2: There’s no help for people with mental illness.
Fact: There are more treatments, strategies and support than ever before. In fact, 80% of individuals with depression can be treated successfully. Further, the majority of people with behavioral health disorders improve when they receive appropriate treatment.

Myth 3: Mental health problems are best treated by a primary care physician or a general practitioner.
Fact: Mental disorders should be taken as seriously as any potentially chronic and disabling medical condition. That is why diagnosable mental disorders are best treated by a trained mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other clinician specially trained to diagnose and treatment mental health problems.

Myth 4: Depression is just a normal part of life; everyone gets depressed when bad things happen.
Fact: Being sad or feeling blue is a normal part of life, and everyone feels this way from time to time. Depression, however, is not normal. Depression interferes with a person’s daily life and there are times they cannot function normally.

Click here for more information and tools about Mental Health Month.

1 comment:

Chato B. Stewart said...

Hi I’m Chato B. Stewart, over at site Mental Health Humor ( I’m publishing a new cartoon everyday for the entire month of May to celebrate Mental Health Month.

I wated to ask if you would be willing to help us and have some fun too. I’ve details how you can participate and/or support below:

May is Mental Health Month and we are going to hold our 2nd annual Cartoon-a-thon. This is when I try do draw one cartoon every day of the month. Our goal is to bring awareness to mental illness and to raise funds along with having fun too. The next stage of the Mental Health Humor Cartoons is the development and implementation of the Mental Health Humor project and funding free public presentations. Myself and a few other local volunteers will be heading this up to bring it to the public.

Yes, funding is always an issue so I’m asking if you can pledge a little something to the cartoon-a-thon.

Things you can do to help:

1. Visit our website every day to see the new cartoon (posting by 1:PM daily)
2. Sponsor us by pledging $5 or more. (Paypal or personal check)
3. Ask others if they would like to pledge by taking up an donation.
4. If you have a blog or website / or e-mail list, post or send the new daily cartoon to them.
5. Print out and share the cartoons in your office or with your doctor.
6. If your on Facebook or MySpace or an other social network share them there.
7. Do what ever you can to be a part of Mental Health Month.
Thanks for your help.