Since 1949, May has been designated Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and is an integral part of our overall health, according to mentalhealth.gov. 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 and adolescence through adulthood.
When mental health is prioritized and supported, people can realize their full potential, cope with the stresses of life, work productively, and contribute to their communities. Part of maintaining our mental health and well-being is getting professional help when needed, connecting with others, developing coping skills, along with getting enough sleep and physical exercise.
Throughout the lifespan, mental health problems can affect your thinking, mood, and behaviors. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:
- Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
- Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
- Family history of mental health problems
In a community survey conducted by the Nashua DPHCS in 2020, it was found that as a result of COVID-19: 58.2% of survey participants reported experiencing an increase of feeling anxious, nervous, or on the edge; 50% reported experiencing an increase of news or social media related anxiety or stress; and 36.4% reported feeling down, depressed, or hopeless.
“There are early warning signs when people are experiencing mental health problems. We want our community to know that help is available and people can get better. Many people who face mental health problems are able to fully recover.” said Lisa Vasquez, City of Nashua DPHCS Behavioral Health Strategist. “It is because of this, that the City of Nashua Mayor’s Opioid Task Force is pleased to announce the adoption of the Change Direction Campaign in the Greater Nashua region.”
Beginning in May, we are kicking-off Mental Health Awareness Month with a marketing campaign to promote the national Change Direction: 5 Signs of Emotional Suffering movement. The goal of this campaign is to change the culture of mental health so that all of those in need receive the care and support they deserve. This campaign encourages everyone to pay attention to their emotional well-being, reminding us that it is just as important as our physical well-being. The Five Signs of Emotional Suffering and the Healthy Habits of Emotional Wellbeing graphics used in campaign materials provide a common language to identify when someone is suffering and how we can stay emotionally healthy.
If you or someone you live is experiencing a mental health crisis or needs support, call a mental health professional help is available. For more information about mental health providers in your area, contact your insurance company to get linked to a provider or call 2-1-1. You can also reach out to the Greater Nashua Mental Health Center at (603) 889-6147 or their 24/7 Emergency Line at 1 (800) 762-8191.
We encourage our community to let us know what you think of our Mental Health Campaign by following us on Facebook (@NashuaDPHCS), Twitter (@NashuaPHealth), and Instagram (@NashuaDPHCS), and sending us photos of our materials in town!