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May is Mental Health Awareness Month



Health is wealth, especially when dealing with mental well-being. Growing up, kids are taught that if they are hurt physically in any area, to seek help. The same should go for anyone's mental health.


Lt. Nicholas Grant, the embedded clinical psychologist for Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, expressed his thoughts on mental health.


"Mental and physical health are interconnected. Mental health is a core component of overall health. A holistic perspective is important to understand the relationship between these variables and allows individuals to deal with their cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being head-on," said Grant.


When left untreated, mental health can have a negative toll and negatively affect an individual's success, happiness, and safety. Therefore, the negative stigma around mental health must be fought by understanding, providing support, and educating members and families on the importance of asking for help.


Despite how it may seem, Mental Health Awareness Month is a celebration of mental health. The purpose is to raise awareness of the struggles people face and commemorate their recovery and progress. Mental health is essential for an overall productive and happy life. However, the military has a significant stigma against seeking assistance due to the fear of being treated or perceived differently.


"Military specific stigma of mental health has a lot to do with a concern of change to one's duty status, including potential determination around fitness and suitability for duty, as well asanas how this might impact access to resources that come with being on active duty. Folks may minimize symptoms due to these concerns. We must be thoughtful in the wayhowway how way how we communicate around mental health and the importance of help seekinghelpseeking help-seeking," said Grant.


Due to the stigmas surrounding the topic and the lack of knowledge of resources, only 38 to 45% of people showed interest in receiving help, according to BMC Public Health.


Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic affected patients' physical health, but it has also played a role in their mental health. With the significant increase in mental illness associated with the pandemic, society was forced to have those tough conversations about the negative implications of poor mental well-being. As a result, awareness has spread, and support has increased.


Mental health has a direct impact on a person's quality of life. If neglected, other aspects of one's life can deteriorate. To get the most out of life, one must take care of oneself deeper. It would be a disservice to overlook the struggles preventing someone from performing at their full potential. Society's mindset changes every day as the outlook on mental illness is becoming more accepted.


"The more we can normalize mental health as a core component of holistic health and well-being and change how we talk about mental health, the more we will see a societal change in how mental health is viewed," emphasized Grant.


Check up on friends and family, and most importantly, give yourself the support you deserve.

For more advice, check out the following resources:


· Makalapa Medical Center: 1-808-473-1880

· 15th Medical Group: 1-808-448-6000


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