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County Events

Mental Health Awareness Month

Event date: 5/1/2023 12:00 AM - 5/31/2023 11:30 PM Export event

988 suicide and crisis hotline flyer

What is mental health?

  • Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.
  • It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.
  • Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
  • Although the terms are often used interchangeably, poor mental health and mental illness are not the same.
  • A person can experience poor mental health and not be diagnosed with a mental illness. Likewise, a person diagnosed with a mental illness can experience periods of physical, mental, and social well-being.

Why is mental health important for overall health?

  • Mental and physical health are equally important components of overall health.
  • For example, depression increases the risk for many types of physical health problems, particularly long-lasting conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
  • Similarly, the presence of chronic conditions can increase the risk for mental illness.

Can your mental health change over time?

  • Yes, it’s important to remember that a person’s mental health can change over time, depending on many factors.
  • When the demands placed on a person exceed their resources and coping abilities, their mental health could be impacted.
  • For example, if someone is working long hours, caring for a relative, or experiencing economic hardship, they may experience poor mental health.

How common are mental illnesses?

Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States.

  • More than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.
  • 1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.
  • 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.

What causes mental illness?

There is no single cause for mental illness. A number of factors can contribute to risk for mental illness, such as

  • Early adverse life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse (for example, child abuse, sexual assault, witnessing violence, etc.)
  • Experiences related to other ongoing (chronic) medical conditions, such as cancer or diabetes
  • Biological factors or chemical imbalances in the brain
  • Use of alcohol or drugs
  • Having feelings of loneliness or isolation

Categories: Minority Health

Suffolk County Government

H. Lee Dennison Bldg

100 Veterans Memorial Hwy
P.O. Box 6100
Hauppauge, NY 11788

Riverhead County Center

County Road 51
Riverhead, NY 11901