What does mental health mean?
Mental health encompasses our psychological, emotional and social well-being. Meaning, it impacts how we feel, think and behave each day. Our mental health also contributes to our decision making process, how we cope with stress, and how we relate to others in our lives.
Mental health is essential to living a balanced life. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five Americans experience mental health issues which translates to more than 40 million adults a year. It’s important to remember that mental health is health; it is just as important as our physical health
Why is mental health important?
Emotional and mental health is important because it’s a vital part of your life and impacts your thoughts, behaviors and emotions. Being healthy emotionally can promote productivity and effectiveness in activities like work, school or caregiving. It plays an important part in the health of your relationships, and allows you to adapt to changes in your life and cope with adversity.
How can you improve your mental health?
Some steps you can take to improve your mental health include:
- Eating a balanced diet
- Taking breaks and time for yourself
- A good night’s sleep
- Opening up to others
When is a good time to reach out for help?
It is always a good time to take care of your emotional and mental health. Talking to a professional can help with your overall mental health wellbeing. There are many mental health and behavioral health therapists that specialize in many areas of behavioral health such as depression, anxiety, ptsd, mood behaviors, lgbtq+ and more.
What do do if your start to feel changes in your overall mental health
Issues related to mental health can impact different people in different ways. If you start to see changes in your overall happiness and relationships, there are always ways get the support you want.
Here are some ways you can get help:
- Connect with other individuals, friends and family – Reaching out and opening up to other people in your life can help provide emotional support.
- Learn more about mental health – There are many resources you can turn to for learning more about emotional health. Some examples include Psychology Today, National Institute of Mental Health, and Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
- Take a mental health assessment – An assessment can help determine if stress, anxiety or depression may be having an impact on your life. Doctor On Demand offers a free and private online mental health assessment that you can take at any time.
- Talk to a professional – If you start to feel like your emotional and mental health is starting to impact you, it may be time to reach out for extra support.
Doctor On Demand By Included Health
At Doctor On Demand by Included Health, we have licensed therapists and psychiatrists who specialize in anxiety, depression, grief and loss, and more. You may benefit from talking to someone outside of your close family and friends. We’re here when you’re ready, and available 24/7, everyday of the year, including holidays.
About the author
Dr. Glen Xiong attended college at UC Berkeley, medical school at UC Davis, and completed his residency at Duke University. He has more than 15 years of clinical experience with expertise in psychopharmacology, depression, anxiety, neuropsychiatry, and memory care. Dr. Xiong takes a collaborative approach to patient care, striving to improve the lives of patients through compassionate clinical care while promoting choice and autonomy. He grew up in San Francisco and continues to live in Northern California.