Mental health is a subject that has become increasingly important to discuss, which in some cases is easier said than done. To make these conversations more accessible, May has become known as Mental Health Awareness Month.
“Mental Health Awareness Month was started to, as it says, bring awareness to mental heath, break down stigma, break down some barriers,” explained Sanford Behavioral Health Marriage and Family Therapist Jonathan Friedt.
In a post-COVID world, mental health has become a topic that many have found easier to talk about, furthering the conversation of this difficult subject.
“Part of that is the recognition that the support system for individuals and families is so large, and that you need to have that,” said Friedt.
While the stigma surrounding mental health awareness has gone down in recent years, medical professionals are still facing hurdles they need to tackle, namely social media’s influence on mental health.
“We’re noticing increases in social isolation with kids and adults using social media apps and technology [as well as] increases in depression and anxiety.” said Friedt.
While these issues may be daunting to the community as a whole, the very spirit of Mental Health Awareness month is to provide essential resources to those who need it most.
“There are a number of resources in and outside of the community,” explained Friedt. “Therapy is a good way to go, a good resource to have. There are resources at school that are accessible to kids and families. You can find some way to, kind of, detox from social media or put some regulations on social media. Those are all really good resources to start looking at if you need that assistance or want that help.”
Sanford Behavioral Health will also be providing additional care to youth ages 8 to 15 with their new Youth Assertive Community Treatment program.
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