Let’s make mental health normal to talk about

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Many Americans are affected by mental health. The past couple of years have brought attention to the topic for many to try and prioritize.

Krystal Lewis, M.D., at the National Institute of Mental Health, said 1 in 5 Americans are affected by mental health. However, she said many do not acknowledge mental health as an important aspect of general health.

“We focus on physical health the majority of the time,” said Lewis. “There are all these different assets of health, but their mental health in particular is quite important.”

Dr. Lewis also explained that over the past years people have experienced a significant amount of stress.

“No one is above a mental health situation,” said Bobby Carter, director of diversion programs at StarCare Specialty Health Systems.

“There’s always been a stigma for mental health. People feel that if they reach out for help that they’re going to be looked at as weak or they’re going to look crazy,” said Carter.

Carter said that there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Both officials said that it is ‘ok to not be ok.’

If you or someone you may know is struggling with mental health you can call the National Suicide Prevention Life Line at 1-800-TALK (8255) or visit their website.

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