Have you heard the phrase mind-body connection?
It means that emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and behavioral factors can directly affect our health.
Mental health is important to our overall well-being. It affects our family and interpersonal relationships and our ability to live a full and productive life. People of all ages who have untreated mental health disorders are at high risk for many unhealthy and unsafe behaviors, including alcohol or drug abuse, as well as at risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
And, having a chronic disease can intensify the symptoms of mental health disorders.
To put it simply, good feelings can have positive effects on the body.
Did You Know?
- It is estimated that only about 17% of U.S. adults are considered to be in a state of optimal mental health
- Approximately 20% of U.S. children and adolescents are affected by mental health disorders during their lifetime. Often, symptoms of anxiety disorders emerge by age 6, behavior disorders by age 11, mood disorders by age 13, and substance use disorders by age 15
- Almost 15% of women who recently gave birth reported symptoms of postpartum depression
- People with serious mental illness (SMI) die, on average, 25 years earlier than the general population.
While scientists are still researching this mind-body connection, many studies have already shown that negative feelings like stress, depression and anxiety cause a spike in the hormone cortisol, which in turn suppresses the immune system.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are several indicators of mental health, including:
- Emotional well-being: feeling satisfied in your life, happiness, cheerfulness, peacefulness
- Psychological well-being: self-acceptance, personal growth including openness to new experiences, optimism, hopefulness, purpose in life, control of one’s environment, spirituality, self-direction, and positive relationships
- Social well-being: social acceptance, beliefs in the potential of people and society as a whole, personal self-worth and usefulness to society, sense of community.
- Helpline Center - The Helpline Center in Sioux Falls serves thousands of people every year by connecting individuals to resources and support. Simply call 2-1-1.
- Alzheimer’s Association
- American Psychiatric Association
- American Psychological Association
- American Public Health Association
- Anxiety Disorders Association of America
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (En Español)
- National Institute on Aging – Alzheimer’s Disease Education & Referral Center
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) - Behavioral Health Treatment Locator