Healthy and Slim

Perfect Body

Activities Planned to Help Protect America’s Mental Health

America’s mental health has reached a crisis, and with the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Month, efforts to raise the conscience of Americans are taking place nationwide.

The Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security partnered with the Office of the D.C. Auditor to evaluate the data available to quantify the impacts of COVID-19 on mental health across the District of Columbia.

In the study released on April 23, researchers identified more than 50 datasets related to behavioral health care service needs, supply, and demand at the local, regional, and national levels. 

Experts also found a notable increase in mental health diagnoses during the COVID-19 pandemic in D.C. 

The researchers concluded that investments in behavioral health data systems could lay the foundation for early solid warning systems to identify crises and target responses across all levels of the behavioral system.

“Given the wide range of patient needs, care providers, and services offered, layered analysis and interventions are needed to understand ongoing and emergent needs related to behavioral health in the District,” the researchers determined.

“Accordingly, stakeholders involved in response need access to timely, publicly available data to inform these efforts.”

 Meanwhile, experts note that mental health challenges like eating disorders have also increased.

According to a recent JAMA report, “a common misconception is that eating disorders affect a specific type of person: the media’s portrayals are not always accurate.”

In the United States, the organization said eating disorders already affect 28.8 million people, and those aged 12 through 25 comprise 95% of cases. 

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) reported that eating disorders are severe mental and physical illnesses affecting “all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.”

These disorders have the second-highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders, surpassed only by opioid use disorder, NEDA officials stated. 

“Twenty million women and 10 million men in the United States will struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lives,” said Sarah Chase, VP of Communications for NEDA.

“Moreover, a recent report in JAMA found that 22% of children and adolescents worldwide, or one-fourth of young people, showed disordered eating.” 

According to Chase, NEDA’s website has seen an 89% increase in traffic this year, and millions of Americans use the organization’s resources each month. 

She said 81% of those visiting their site are new information seekers. 

“We continue to offer vital resources and screening tools for people who think they may have an eating disorder and want more information,” Chase stated.

Further, Chase noted that, in 2023, NEDA volunteers would appear in more than 50 communities across the United States, bringing hope and building strength. 

“We’re here to ensure everyone has access to the support they deserve. Our strength comes from the experience and knowledge of our volunteers,” she said.

Activists noted that Mental Health Awareness Month has received recognition since 1949, with advocates and practitioners across the country working to spread awareness.

Mental health screenings and other activities that support healthy lifestyles are planned throughout the month.

Also, advocates have continued efforts to reach more people with suicide prevention information and interventions nationwide.

This year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will celebrate with its “More Than Enough” campaign.

 Throughout the month, NAMI invites all to share with the organization on social media thoughts on why individuals are “more than enough” by tagging @NAMICommunicate and using the hashtag #MoreThanEnough.

“It’s an opportunity for all of us to come together and remember the inherent value we each hold — no matter our diagnosis, appearance, socioeconomic status, background, or ability,” NAMI officials said in a release.

“We want every person out there to know that if all you did was wake up today, that’s more than enough. No matter what, you are inherently worthy of more than enough life, love, and healing. Showing up just as you are, for yourself and the people around you, is more than enough.”

Click here for 29 ways to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month.

Related Posts