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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Posted at 5:38 PM, May 03, 2023

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a great time to focus on your well-being.

It’s hard to imagine people looking down on you for joining a gym, getting help from a trainer, or taking a fitness class.

Is it different if you get help from a therapist or if you join a support group for mental health?

Doug Thomas, community health director with Intermountain Health says the answer may have to do with your generation.

“If you ask kids today and young adults, they speak about their mental health, a lot like the gym," said Thomas.

Kids and young adults are far more likely to see mental health as an aspect of health in general - focused on aspects of ourselves that make us human.

“Am I connected to my friends like I used to be or nature, my higher power, other things and really seeing that those connections, along with coping skills can really help us manage our mental health," said Thomas.

A survey from the American Psychiactric Association showed 6 in 10 Millennials were comfortable talking about their mental health at work.

“Talking about going to the therapist or taking medication to help you is a lot more common. And I think as older adults, we have to get more comfortable with it. And talking to our kids and other people about it as well, because they're ready for those conversations and want to make sure they're healthy mentally,” said Thomas.

3 in 10 Baby Boomers find such conversations comfortable.

People may think, why do I get so angry? Why do I get so closed off? Why do I react in this way? Those are really good questions, and they're questions worth exploring when it comes to our mental health.

"All of us have maladaptive behaviors that we grow up and learn and use to cope with life, right? And then, going through life, we learn how to deal with those things in a more pro-social, more healthy way, internally or externally,” said Thomas.

If you or a loved one are in need of mental health resources but don't know where to start, the free myStrength app is a great resource.

If you want to speak to someone directly, you can call the Intermountain Health Behavioral Health Navigation Line at 833-442-2211. The hotline is a new service provided by Intermountain and designed to help anyone in the community find the resources that they need.

For more information, visit intermountainhealthcare.org/behavioralhealth.