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May is Mental Health Month

Mental Health Awareness Month was started 68 years ago by Mental Health America, to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone. This year’s theme is Risky Business and we encourage you to learn about behaviors and activities that could increase the risk of developing or worsening mental illnesses, or even be signs of mental health problems themselves.

When you or someone you love is dealing with a mental health concern, sometimes it can be overwhelming. It’s important to remember that mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being. Untreated mental illness can lead to physical problems such as high blood pressure, which can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke. The good news is, mental illnesses are common and treatable. People experience symptoms of mental illnesses differently. There are times when people engage in potentially dangerous behaviors to avoid or cover up symptoms of a potential mental health problem. Some people may isolate and withdraw from their typical social life and activities. Others may engage in activities such as compulsive sex, recreational drug use, obsessive internet use, excessive spending, or disordered exercise patterns. These can all be behaviors that can disrupt someone’s life, may worsen one’s mental health, and can potentially lead them down a difficult path.

“When we better understand the early signs and symptoms of mental illness, we can all be more prepared to help those in need,” said Emily Duch, Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Western Wisconsin Health. “Sometimes all it takes is a friend or family member to recognize that their loved one’s behavior has changed, and encourage them to get help. Our team here is dedicated to providing tools and resources for prevention and early identification, as well as providing effective treatment when necessary. If you, or someone you know, has concerns regarding your mental health, we can help.”

The Behavioral Health team at Western Wisconsin Health consists of experienced counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners that provide child, adolescent, individual, family, couples, and marital therapy and medication management services. Learn more at wwhealth.org or call our 24-hour appointment line at 715-684-1111 to schedule an appointment.

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