Mental Health Awareness Month
InSight Telepsychiatry is joining the nationwide effort to increase awareness about the importance of mental health in May for Mental Health Awareness Month. InSight’s 2018 theme is “Mental Health Starts With Us: Mental Health Care for Mental Health Professionals.” InSight is providing resources, strategies and information to highlight how despite the knowledge mental health care professionals have about mental health care, it is not always a priority in their own lives.
The Importance of Mental Health Care
One in six individuals live with a mental illness. In 2016 it was estimated that approximately 44.7 million American adults are affected by a mental, behavioral or emotional disorder (NIMH). Despite how common mental health concerns are to society, mental wellness is not widely prioritized:
• In 2016, 19.2 million—less than half—of those 44.7 million adults with mild, moderate or severe mental illness received mental health treatment (NIMH)
• Serious or major mental illness costs the nation at least $193 billion in lost earnings, according to an NIMH study.
Why Does Mental Wellness Matter for Mental Health Care Professionals?
Not prioritizing mental health can lead to hospitalization, lost productivity at work and absenteeism (NIMH study). Mental health care professionals are just as likely to have mental disorders as other individuals. It may be even more important for them to take care of their mental wellness, as they are expected to provide the care those living with mental health conditions need.
Lack of mental wellness practices can also lead to burnout among physicians, nurses and other mental health care professionals, which is associated with increased depression, anxiety, sleep problems and impaired memory (National Institutes of Health):
• 67% of mental health workers may be experiencing high levels of burnout
• Individuals with mild burnout were at 3.3 times more risk of having major depressive disorder
• Individuals with severe burnout were 15 times more likely to have major depressive disorder
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