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Mental Health Awareness Month: B4Stage4

Brad Lamm, CIP

mental health awarenessStatistics show that many of us start down the road of addiction when we begin to self-medicate undiagnosed anxiety or mental health disorders with drugs, alcohol or food. This May, Mental Health America (MHA) is sponsoring Mental Health Awareness Month, with the goal of bringing awareness to mental illness before the most critical point in the disease process.

This year’s theme for Mental Health Month – B4Stage4 – focuses on early identification, prevention, and intervention of all mental illnesses, from depression and anxiety to mood disorders and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. “We want to help change the conversation and get the country talking about addressing mental health before stage 4,” says Paul Gionfriddo, president, and CEO of MHA. “When we talk about cancer, heart disease or diabetes, we don’t wait years to treat them. We start way before stage 4. We begin with prevention and chart a course of action to reverse the symptoms. Our message and the theme around Mental Health Month is that we need to do the same for people with mental illnesses.”

When you or someone close to you start to experience the early warning signs of mental illness, knowing what the risk factors and symptoms are will help to catch them early. Often times, family and friends are the first to support a person through these
early stages. Like other health conditions, we need to address the symptoms early, identify the underlying illness, and plan an appropriate course of action on a path towards overall health.

Check out MentalHealthAmerica.net to access a variety of tips and tools to help you or a family member or friend learn the warning signs and take action.

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