The Significance of Mental Health Awareness

green ribbon with mental health awareness month written next to it

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about mental health issues, reducing the stigma surrounding them, and providing support and assistance for individuals who may be struggling. It is critical to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health issues in loved ones as well as yourself. We must normalize discussions around mental health and provide resources and care, such as what we offer at Harmony Healthcare Long Island (HHLI).

The Mental Health Crisis

A recent poll stated that 90% of those asked believed that there is a mental health crisis in America, and sadly, they are correct. As per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) latest data, 1-4 adults have reported a mental illness, and 20% of adolescents aged 12-17 have had a major depressive episode. Even before the pandemic, mental health issues were on the rise, and then, with the isolation it caused, Americans reached new levels of crisis.

little girl sitting on  a couch with hands on face looking sad speaking to a therapist

How is Our Physical Health Impacted?

Mental health issues or illnesses can have a significant and detrimental impact on our physical health, such as:

  • Chronic Stress – This can include headaches, muscle tension, and digestive problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It can also weaken our immune system, making us more susceptible to illness.
  • Inflammation – Chronic inflammation throughout the body, is often associated with various physical health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
  • Sleep Disorders -Disrupted sleep patterns, leading to chronic sleep deprivation, can increase the risk of physical health problems like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
  • Immune System Suppression – A weakened immune system makes us more susceptible to various illnesses, infections, and chronic diseases.
  • Hormonal imbalances – Changes in cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormone levels can affect physical health.

It is worth noting that physical health problems can also have a significant impact on mental health. Chronic pain, illness, lack of sleep, and inflammation can all lead to depression and anxiety. Any injury or disease that lingers or prevents you from doing what you want can bring hopelessness and helplessness—another reason to make an appointment with your healthcare provider to address any health concerns as soon as they present themselves.

mother sitting side by side with young daughter comforting her

Knowing When You or Others May Need Help

If you notice someone you care about is struggling with their mental health, it’s essential to approach the situation with sensitivity and respect for the person’s feelings and boundaries. Be patient and understanding, and let the person know you care about their well-being.

HHLI Behavioral Health Services

Our behavioral health department offers various specialty healthcare services to our patients. Our trained professionals provide assistance and treatment to individuals and families through counseling and medication services for mental and behavioral health issues such as:

  • ADHD
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Substance Abuse

Mental Health Awareness: Providing a Path for Treatment

Through education and awareness campaigns, individuals can learn strategies to prioritize their mental well-being, practice self-care, and seek help when needed.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text 988 or chat at

CTA for requesting an appointment

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