May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
One-in-five U.S. adults live with a mental illness (46.6 million in 2017).
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 choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood to adolescence to adulthood.
We all experience emotional ups and downs from time-to time in our lives. Mental health conditions go beyond these emotional reactions and become something longer lasting. They are medical conditions, not the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing.
With proper treatment, people can realize their full potential, cope with the stresses of life, work productively, and meaningfully contribute to the their community.
Without mental health, we cannot be fully healthy.