Avoiding the stigma of mental health, resources are available if you need help

If you or your loved one are experiencing any type of mental health issues, there are resources available for you. 

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five American adults experiences some form of mental illness in any given year. 

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:
- Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
- Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
- Family history of mental health problems
- Mental health problems are common but help is available. People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely.

Early Warning Signs

Not sure if you or someone you know is living with mental health problems? Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign of a problem:

- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from people and usual activities
- Having low or no energy
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters
- Having unexplained aches and pains
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Smoking, drinking or using drugs more than usual
- Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
- Yelling or fighting with family and friends
- Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
- Having persistent thoughts and memories you can't get out of your head
- Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school
- Learn more about specific mental health problems and where to find help.

Mental Health and Wellness

Positive mental health allows people to:

- Realize their full potential
- Cope with the stresses of life
- Work productively
- Make meaningful contributions to their communities
- Ways to maintain positive mental health include:
- Getting professional help if you need it
- Connecting with others
- Staying positive
- Getting physically active
- Helping others
- Getting enough sleep
- Developing coping skills

Resources available

There are numerous resources that you can reach out to if you are experiencing any type of mental illness.

You can reach out to the National Alliance on Mental Illness by visiting their website for assistance. 

You can also visit MentalHealth.gov for assistance. 

A local Houston resource you can reach out to is the Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD. They provide outpatient and comprehensive psychiatric emergency programs.

You can also reach out to their 24-hour crisis line by calling (713) 970-7000 and select option 1.

Know that you are not alone. Reach out for help if you are experiencing a mental health emergency.