Heartbeat : Mental Health Awareness Month

LUBBOCK, TX - May is Mental Health Awareness month. 

"Mental health is much more common than many people realize," Dr. Smith said. "About one in five adults live with a mental illness in the United States."

Dr. Smith is the director of the Horizon Clinic and a licensed psychologist at Covenant.

Dr. Smith said it is also important to take care of your mental health because it is tied into so many other things.

"When we experience mental health, it can also bring on physical illness, there's a close connection, so by attending to our mental health, we can also improve our improve our physical health and our spiritual well-being, and our overall well-being," she said.

There are also some signs and symptoms to look for and know about.

"One of the key things I think about it is is there a change in your current behavior," Dr. Smith said. "If you're sleeping more than you normally do, or if you're avoiding people more than what you normally do, so you're isolating a lot more, or maybe that one glass of wine that you've been drinking at dinner to calm down has turned into a bottle of wine or more than that."

There are some places you can go for help. Dr. Smith said there are some websites you can check like the National Alliance on Mental Illness or Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

"Talk with your primary care physician can be helpful, so we often encourage doing that annual check up, you can have a discussion about mental health there," Dr. Smith said. "A lot of places of employment will have employee assistance program where you can reach out for assistance there, or your place of worship may have something."

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