When it comes to mental health, so many of us may be suffering silently because we don’t want to be considered a “nuisance”, or perhaps we don’t think our feelings are a big enough deal. Labels can create a stigma around certain things like mental health, and we at Recess believe that the more we talk about it the less alone we will feel. Struggling with a mental illness is extremely common.

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According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “mental illnesses are common in the United States – nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness (52.9 million in 2020).”

There are two different forms of mental illness:

AMI is defined as a mental, behavioral or emotional disorder. The degree of AMI can vary ranging from no impairment to mild, moderate, and even severe impairment in some cases.  

SMI is defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder that results in a serious functional impairment. This typically interferes with and/or limits major life activities daily.

Justine Carino is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and the founder of Carino Counseling, and she breaks down the signs to look out for when someone you know may be experiencing mental health struggles.

Signs someone may be struggling with their mental health:

Some other signs to consider include suicidal thinking, altered sex drive, extreme feelings of guilt, and detachment from reality.

There is always a way to help especially if you notice any of these telling signs. Carino offers the following ways to be active and a good support system.

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Ways to help them:

Most importantly, know your limits when helping someone in need. Don’t feel you need to solve the problem; the best thing you can do is listen and encourage them to seek help from a professional. Below are a list of resources.

SAMHSA: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

Good Therapy: https://www.goodtherapy.org/find-therapist.html

Mental Health First Aid: https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/mental-health-resources/