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This May is Mental Health Month: Mind Your Health

Theme Recognizes Importance of Mental Health to Overall Health; Steps to Improve Well-Being

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mind Your Health—this year's theme for May is Mental Health Month—calls attention to the importance of mental health to overall health and wellness.

"We know that mental health is integral to overall health," said David. L. Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America. "People need to care for their mental health so they can respond to the stress of daily life and the challenges it presents.

"This Mental Health Month, we are encouraging everyone to learn about steps they can take to protect their mental health and balance both mind and body."

Mental Health America has developed a series of fact sheets available on its website (http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may) on steps anyone can take to improve their overall mental health and well-being and on how to get help when needed. These are:

  • Social Support: Getting and Staying Connected
  • Healthy Diet: Eating with Mental Health in Mind
  • Supplements: Weighing Benefits and Risks
  • Stress: Coping with Everyday Problems
  • Rest, Relaxation and Exercise
  • Alcohol Use and Abuse: What You Should Know
  • Finding Help: When to Get it and Where to Go

May is Mental Health Month was started 65 years ago by Mental Health America to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone.

"When a person has 'good' mental health, they deal better with what comes their way," Dr. Shern said. "By contrast, 'poor' mental health—such as feeling overwhelmed by stress —can make even day-to-day life difficult."

He said research shows that stress is closely linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. It also shows that people who feel depressed or chronically stressed may have a greater risk of physical illnesses.

"The good news is there are many healthy choices and steps that individuals can adopt to promote and strengthen mental health—and overall health and well-being."

Building social support, eating with your mental health in mind, and stress management are important steps that promote good mental health, Dr. Shern said.

"Just as Americans have learned there are things they can do to reduce their risk of heart disease and chronic illnesses, we want to help people learn what they can do both to protect their mental health in tough times and also to improve their mental well-being throughout their lives."

For more information on May is Mental Health Month, visit Mental Health America's website at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may

Mental Health America (www.mentalhealthamerica.net) is the nation's largest and oldest community-based network dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. With our 228 affiliates across the country, we touch the lives of millions—Advocating for changes in mental health and wellness policy; Educating the public & providing critical information; and delivering urgently needed mental health and wellness Programs and Services.

SOURCE Mental Health America

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