Mental Health Tips and Resources
Your mental health plays a key role in your well-being. How you feel affects how you make decisions, manage stress, and set and achieve the goals you have for your life. Millions of Americans face mental health conditions each year. It’s important to check in with yourself to see how you are doing, and to make mental wellness a priority just like you would your physical health. The article below has information about mental health, and Mental Health America (MHA) has tips and resources for how you can improve your mental health. Wherever you are on your journey, Arkansas Total Care wants to help you reach your health goals.
What is mental health?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also affects how we handle stress and relate to others. In many cases, it can affect how we make choices.
Though the terms are often confused, poor mental health and mental illness are not the same things. A person can have poor mental health and not be diagnosed with a mental illness. Likewise, a person diagnosed with a mental illness can have periods of physical, mental, and social well-being. It’s important to understand how you are doing mentally so that you can improve your health and learn strategies that can help you be well.
What is mental illness?
A mental illness has symptoms that affect your ability to function. It can affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, or behavior. In some cases, mental illnesses might occur every so often, and in others they may be ongoing over a longer period of time (also known as chronic). Mental illness might affect your ability to relate to others and function in daily life.
Disorders can vary in type and severity. Some examples of mental illnesses are:
- Anxiety disorders
- Eating disorders
- Addictive behaviors
Symptoms can include:
- Feeling sad or down
- Confusion or problems concentrating
- Extreme mood changes
- Withdrawal from friends and activities
- Trouble coping with daily problems or stress
- Alcohol or drug abuse
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) notes that one in five adults in the U.S. experience mental illness. It’s important to talk to your Primary Care Doctor (PCP) or a mental health specialist if you are struggling so they can work with you to create a care plan. Your Care Coordinator is also a helpful resource. Whether you have a mental illness or are struggling with poor mental health, please remember that you are not alone. Arkansas Total Care wants to work with you to reach your best health.
There are steps you can take to manage symptoms of poor mental health and improve how you feel. For more information and resources for dealing with symptoms, visit the MHA’s page on Staying Mentally Healthy. Remember to talk with your Care Coordinator or your PCP about any symptoms you notice. If you feel you are in a mental health crisis and would like free, confidential mental health support, you can call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. And if you need assistance, please reach out to us at 1-866-282-6280 (TTY: 711).