May is mental health awareness month, and one thing the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma is hoping to do this month is encourage people to seek treatment.
We are now starting to transition out of what was a tough time for a lot of people. The pandemic caused a lot of people to face isolation, increased substance abuse, and revealed an increased need for mental health awareness and resources.
"We have to rely on support systems and actually reach out if we feel overwhelmed. It is actually ok and normal to sometimes feel overwhelmed or exhausted during this pandemic or even after," said Terri White, CEO of Mental Health Association Oklahoma.
One in every four adults is expected to struggle with mental health or substance abuse in some form so this topic is important to a lot of Oklahomans.
The Mental Health Association of Oklahoma said just like when the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin correctly and someone is diagnosed with diabetes, mental illness is similar; it is just a different organ. It is the brain.
"The amazing thing is that with treatment, just like diabetes, people with mental illness absolutely can and do recover. Brains recover and just like with any disease people with mental illness can and do recover," said White.
Treatment options may look different for everyone. Some people may need short-term treatment, long-term treatment or a lifetime of treatment.
The Mental Health Association of Oklahoma said that having a healthy brain is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.
Some people may need options such as talking therapy, medication, or peer support services. The association said just like other diseases, the longer things untreated, the worse they can get.
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Click here to learn more about the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma.
If you or anyone you know is considering self-harm, please consider the resources below:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a hotline for individuals in crisis or for those looking to help someone else. To speak with a certified listener, call 1-800-273-8255.
The Veterans Crisis Line and Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1) connect veterans and service members in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text.
Crisis Text Line is a texting service for emotional crisis support. To speak with a trained listener, text HELLO to 741741. It is free, available 24/7, and confidential.