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Placer County recognizes Mental Health Matters Month

May 04, 2017

May is Mental Health Matters Month, here in Placer County and across the nation. Half of us will experience a mental health challenge over the course of our lifetime. Here in Placer, residents report an average of 3.5 poor mental health days in a 30-day period. Yet research shows that many people — particularly young people — wait a long time to get help due to fears of being labeled or stigmatized. With support and appropriate treatment, people with mental health challenges can, and do, get better.

Mental Health Matters Month is an opportunity to spread awareness, remove stigma and show support for the importance of mental health issues.

Here are some ideas on how you might get involved:

Wear lime green

Did you know lime green is the national color of mental health awareness? It can help start conversations with people who do not know about the mental health movement. Put on a support ribbon or even a lime green neck tie. You can even decorate your workspace with lime green items or streamers. Small actions like these can help you start conversations, and let others know that you are a mental health advocate who supports raising awareness and reducing stigma about mental health challenges.

Start a conversation

An important way to reduce stigma around mental illness is to have open and honest conversations with your loved ones. Research states that it takes people six to eight years from the onset of symptoms to ask for help. By starting a conversation and providing support, your loved ones may be more likely to seek treatment sooner rather than later. Talking about mental health will help reduce the risk of consequences associated with untreated mental illness. The “Say This Not That” tipsheet from Each Mind Matters provides suggestions on how to create meaningful conversation. If you believe a loved one is at risk of suicide, visit suicideispreventable.org to learn about the warning signs and how you can help.

Practice self care

Taking momentary breaks throughout the day offers many benefits, and helps you care for your mental health and wellness. Here are a few ideas to help you restore your mental health, which also contributes to improved work performance and higher levels of satisfaction:

  • Get moving. Light exercise three days a week improves happiness and work productivity.
  • Go outside. Just 20 minutes of sunlight can help your mood, concentration and sleep.
  • Get together with friends or family. Studies suggest that social support networks help you deal with stress and may even help you live longer.
  • Play games. Keeping your mind active by doing things like playing new games can alleviate depression, especially as we get older.

Share your story

We’re inspired by each other’s stories! A big factor in reducing stigma around mental illness is speaking up about why it’s important to you or sharing your story to empower others. We encourage you to speak openly and honestly about mental health so that we can create supportive communities for anyone who needs help. You can take the Each Mind Matters pledge, or tell us why mental health matters to you by sharing your “lime green story.”

Placer County offers a variety of free mental health treatment options. Mental health services for adults can be accessed through our Adult System of Care at 888-886-5401. Our Children’s System of Care at 886-293-1940 helps meet the needs of children and youth.

You can find more mental health resources all year round at www.eachmindmatters.org.



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