Published on May 20, 2019

May is Mental Health Month

PELLA, Iowa—May is Mental Health Month and Pella Regional Health Center wants to remind the public that mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable.

One in five adults experiences mental illness problems every year, and 50% of chronic mental illness begins by age 14. Although many people today understand that mental illness is a medical condition, individuals and families affected by mental illness are still often subjected to stigma and discrimination.

“Mental health awareness is important because we often have a tendency to suppress, deny, and attempt to cope in ways that can cause us further problems down the road,” said Charles Ingle, MA, mental health counselor at Pella Regional Health Center. “We are reluctant to admit we are struggling because we don’t want to appear weak to ourselves or others. In reality, it takes more courage to acknowledge that we need help.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of mental illness can save lives and help people recognize issues earlier. “One of the toughest things about emotional and mental health problems is that the very common symptom is isolation or loneliness,” said Ingle. “If no one notices due to the withdrawing from people and interaction, the person’s pain can grow deeper and deeper increasing the risk for them giving up the hope of feeling better.”

According to Ingle, other signs of mental illness include:

  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Loss of motivation and energy
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Loss of enjoyment from things you have enjoyed previously
  • Episodes of intense anxiety
  • Avoidance of situations due to fear
  • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Overly emotional
  • Suicidal thoughts

“If you recognize these symptoms in yourself, it is important to know there is hope of feeling better and you can get out of that place where you feel stuck mentally if you seek help, said Ingle. “Talk to a friend, a mental health professional, or start with your family physician. If you notice someone else having struggles, lovingly express to them your concern and offer to go with them to find some help and get them started.”

For more information on mental health, or to schedule an appointment with our mental health counselor, call Pella Regional’s Medical Clinic in Prairie City at 515-994-2617 ext. 4060.