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July Health Article 2023

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

There are many stigmas regarding how one would handle signs of mental illness or exacerbation of a mental health related crisis in the black and brown communities.  The primary goal is to bring awareness to communities that signs of Mental illness can be seen in young people as well as adults.  The month of July was designated as Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to bring awareness to the unique struggles that minority groups face regarding 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, which can ultimately affect how a person can think, feel, and act. A person’s mental health can also help 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 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. It is important to pay attention to children to make sure that they can handle everyday stressors appropriately.


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.  Parents and guardians need to make sure that children can handle stressors appropriately as they age.


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

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. It is important to talk with your healthcare provider regarding your treatment plan.


What are the signs and symptoms of mental illness?

Each illness has its 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. No treatment works for everyone – individuals can choose the treatment, or combination of treatments, that work best.


Treatment options may vary from one person to another. Before you change or discontinue a treatment plan prescribed by a physician, please notify the treating physician. 


For more information about treatments for mental health or mental health related treatments in children and adults contact your healthcare provider. 




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