May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, and now more than ever, is a chance to share resources and raise awareness about something on everyone’s minds — our mental well-being.
Data from the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that more than one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness (57.8 million in 2021). Exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, many people continue to experience varying degrees of anxiety, isolation, and uncertainty. In Maine, 270 lives were lost to suicide and 52,000 adults had thoughts of suicide in 2021. One in 6 U.S. youth aged 6–17 experience a mental health disorder each year. About 14,000 Mainers age 12–17 have depression. Behind each of these data points, there are people, families and communities who have been impacted.
With many of us having some degree of worry or anxiety, we may wonder, ‘When is the right time to reach out for help?’ There is no right or wrong time. The right moment will vary from individual to individual. If you feel that there is disruption in your life from your thoughts or actions, then please reach out for support. Or you may feel instinctively that it would help to talk to someone. There is never a wrong time to seek the support of a friend, family member, or caring professional. You do not need to muscle through on your own. Acknowledging these feelings and paying attention to some of the signs of anxiety and stress is a good place to start. There are ways to cope with these feelings, and professionals to whom you can talk. They will meet you where you are and help you discover some strategies to rebuild your sense to stability.
Maine has joined other states to launch the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, representing a significant step toward strengthening our state mental health crisis response systems. 988 responds 24/7 and will be the new three-digit number for call (multiple languages), text, or chat (English only) that connects people to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, where compassionate, accessible care and support are available for anyone experiencing mental health–related distress. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.
If it would help to talk to one of Spurwink’s trained professionals, you can contact us at The Spurwink Link at 1-888-889-3903 or email@example.com. You can also search for a clinician near you at providers.spurwink.org for telehealth or in-person services.