May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which makes it the perfect time to explore common myths around this once taboo topic.
Take a look at these common misconceptions about a topic that affects us all.
Myth: Only people with conditions like anxiety or depression have impaired mental health.
Fact: The term “mental health” isn’t synonymous with mental health conditions. It simply refers to a person’s ability to think, feel and behave in appropriate ways. Just like physical health, mental health can be impaired even if a person doesn’t have a diagnosed or prolonged condition. Circumstances like stress or grief and physical conditions like lack of sleep can cause impaired mental health. Any time a person notices their ability to think, feel or behave is “off” or unusual, they may be experiencing impaired mental health.
Myth: Mental health issues are uncommon among adults.
Fact: Nearly one in five adults or 46.6 million people live with some kind of mental health issue. The term “mental health” includes many different conditions that range in severity. Some people experience mental health issues over the course of their entire life, and others only experience periods of mental health issues that can occur once or intermittently.
Myth: Taking medication is a lifelong commitment.
Fact: For many mental health conditions, medication is a component of treatment. The length of time a person is treated with medication for a mental health condition is highly individual. Some people may remain on medication long term while others may come off medication when directed by a doctor. Research proves that treatment is most successful when medication is combined with counseling or psychotherapy.
Myth: Lifestyle doesn’t impact mental health.
Fact: Some of the factors that impact physical health also impact mental health. Good nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate sleep contribute significantly to optimum mental health. Other factors like strong interpersonal relationships, spirituality and animal companionship can also positively impact a person’s mental health.
Myth: It’s obvious when someone has impaired mental health.
Fact: Most mental health conditions do not present physical symptoms regardless of their severity, and many people who experience prolonged mental health conditions are adept at hiding or masking the effects. Even though a person may not “seem” like they are experiencing a mental health condition or impaired mental health, it does not mean their mental health is optimal.
All Mohawk employees and their family members have access to mental health resources through Employee Assistance (EA). EA is available at no cost and is completely confidential. EA resources are designed to help you and your family members successfully manage life’s challenges. For more information or to see what resources and services are available, visit mycigna.com (employer ID: Mohawk) or call 855-566-4295. You can also get more information at mymohawkbenefits.com.