May is Mental Health Awareness Month and we are excited! But just what is mental health? MentalHealth.gov defines it as  “…our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.” This means that mental health plays a large role in how we think and feel on a daily basis. That’s why it is so important to talk about it and why we are so excited to talk about it!

Whether it is you or someone you know, mental illness affects everyone. Mental health becomes a huge topic of conversation within the very line of work that we do also. Many times it is easy for caregivers to neglect their own mental health because they are so focused on those they are caring for. Conversely, mental illness can become co-existent with a disability that an individual is coping with.

May gives us the excellent opportunity to join the discussion surrounding mental health, but May shouldn’t be the only month we think about mental health. It is important to open up the conversation frequently and openly to give a voice to those who are silently coping with mental illness on their own.

Don’t hesitate to seek out help if you or someone you know is dealing with mental illness. Help is available in many forms including immediate assistance and education. Below are some useful resources!

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Family Resource Network Behavioral Services: www.FamilyResouceNetwork.org

Help with applying to Insurance through the Marketplace and NJ FamilyCare: 800-355-0271

PerformCare (New Jersey’s Children’s System of Care): 877-652-7624

News about individuals with disabilities and developmental disabilities. www.state.nj.us/humanservices

General information on mental health/illness: www.MentalHealth.gov

Programming and services centered around supporting those with mental illness: www.nami.org 

 

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