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How to know when to seek help: common signs, symptoms, and risk factors of mental health

Davis County Hospital & Clinic’s Senior Life Solutions Program Focuses on Common Signs of Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Davis County Hospital & Clinics’ (DCHC) Senior Life Solutions program raises awareness about the signs, symptoms, and risk factors regarding mental health and how to know when to seek help. Over the past couple of years, mental health has moved to the forefront for many. An increasing number of folks are beginning to see it for what it is: a vital component of your overall health and well-being, just as important as your physical health. At the same time, mental health conditions, resources, and conversations can still feel complicated and out of reach.

Many people are learning about mental health topics for the first time. Having a widespread understanding of the topic can help you be more informed if you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health condition or crisis.

Around half of the people in the U.S. will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their life. This understanding can help us to be more empathetic to the mental health of our families, friends, and community members.

There are signs and symptoms to be aware of and specific factors that can lead to mental health conditions or crises. What resources are out there – and how do I know if they’re right for me?

By becoming acquainted with the common signs of mental health issues, we can be more prepared, confident, and less afraid of where to start when addressing our mental health.

“Understanding the signs and symptoms of a mental health condition is the first step to a happier, healthier life.” says DCHC Senior Life Solutions Director, Rhonda Roberts, RN. “Understanding that mental health conditions are common and treatable is the next. We must keep working to break down the stigma against mental health to ensure people receive the help they need.”

There’s often no single cause for a mental health condition. Instead, many possible risk factors can influence how likely a person is to experience a mental health condition or how severe the symptoms may be. Some risk factors for mental health conditions include “trauma,” which can be a one-time event or ongoing. And “environment or social determinants” impact health and quality of life (i.e., financial stability and health care access); genetics; brain chemistry; and habits/lifestyle, such as a lack of sleep.

Everyone should have the support needed to thrive. Communities that have experienced oppression, historically or presently, face a more profound mental health burden because of the impact of trauma, injustice, and harm.

Of course, understanding the risk factors for a mental health condition can be more problematic when it’s your mental health. It’s hard to see the changes. Take time to ask yourself about any changes in your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to see if this is part of a pattern caused by a situation affecting the health of your mind. Here some questions to get you started:

  • Have things that used to feel easy started feeling difficult?
  • Does the idea of doing daily tasks like making your bed now feel really, really hard?
  • Have you lost interest in activities and hobbies you once enjoyed?
  • Do you feel irritated, possibly to the point of lashing out at those close to you?

Our society focuses much more on physical health than mental health, but both are equally important. If you are concerned about your mental health, several options are available. You are not alone – help is out there, and recovery is possible.

It may be hard to talk about your concerns, but simply acknowledging that you’re struggling is a huge step.

You may not need this information today, yet understanding the basics of mental health will mean you will be more prepared if you ever need it. Go to mhanational.org/may to learn more.

Senior Life Solutions is Davis County Hospital & Clinics’ program, designed to meet the unique needs of individuals typically 65 and older experiencing depression and/or anxiety related to life changes that are often associated with aging. If you or someone you know is struggling with a recent heart-related diagnosis or a decline in emotional health, our program wants you to know we are here to help. Whether through our program, or another service, our team works to identify and address the emotional needs of those in our community and provide support.

If you need more information, education, or would like to discuss support, please call 641-664-3851 or visit www.DCHC.org/services/senior-life-solutions.

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Logo Senior Life Solutions

Senior Life Solutions Joining National Campaign for Mental Health

Davis County Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions Program JOINING National Campaign to Raise Awareness during Mental Health Month

Bloomfield, IA –   When you or someone you love is dealing with a mental health concern, sometimes it’s a lot to handle. It’s important to remember that mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable.

May is Mental Health Month was started 70 years ago by national organization, Mental Health America (MHA).  Davis County Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions program is joining this year’s national campaign to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone.

A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can also help people recover from these conditions. For those dealing with a chronic health condition and the people who care for them, it can be especially important to focus on mental health. That is why in 2019 we are expanding upon last year’s theme of 4Mind4Body and taking it to the next level, as we explore the topics of animal companionship, humor, work-life balance, and recreation and social connections as ways to boost mental health and general wellness.

“It is important to really look at your overall health, both physically and mentally, to achieve wellness,” said Kayla Miller, RN BSN Program Director of Senior Life Solutions. “Finding a reason to laugh, going for a walk with a friend, meditating, playing with a pet, or working from home once a week can go a long way in making you both physically and mentally healthy – it’s all about finding the right balance to benefit both the mind and body.”

MHA has developed a series of fact sheets (available at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may) to help people understand how their lifestyle affects their health.

“We know that living a healthy lifestyle is not always easy, but it can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes,” concluded Miller. “Finding the balance between work and play, the ups and downs of life, physical health and mental health, can help you on the path towards focusing both 4Mind4Body.”

Davis County Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions program is an intensive outpatient group therapy program designed to meet the unique needs of older adults suffering from symptoms of anxiety and depression often related to aging. For more information, call the Davis County Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions program at 641-664-3851.

For more information on May is Mental Health Month, visit MHA’s website at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may.

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ABOUT SENIOR LIFE SOLUTIONS

Founded in 2003, Psychiatric Medical Care (PMC) operates inpatient and outpatient programs located in rural communities across the country.  Founder and Chief Medical Officer, James A. Greene, M.D., a geriatric psychiatrist, was born and raised in a rural community, which today hosts a rural hospital.  He developed PMC with the sole mission to improve the quality of life of older adults living in rural communities.  PMC, which operates the Senior Life Solutions outpatient program, is one of the largest geriatric mental health management companies within rural hospitals across the United States.