May is Mental Health Month

This month is National Mental Health Month, when the health care community links arms to shine a spotlight on one of the biggest health issues facing our society. At Annum, we’re taking a moment to recognize this month alongside our colleagues, as well as bring awareness to the relationship between alcohol and mental health.

How common is mental illness?

Problems with mental health are very common according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with an estimated 50 percent of Americans diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime. And, in a given year, nearly one in five (19 percent) U.S. adults experience some form of mental illness, one in 24 (4.1 percent) has a serious mental illness, and one in 12 (8.5 percent) has a substance use disorder (APA).

How does mental health relate to drinking?

Heavy drinking can coexist, contribute to, or result from several psychiatric conditions. Those commonly associated with alcohol use disorder include but are not limited to: anxiety, bipolar disorder (or manic depression), and depression. In small quantities, alcohol can feel energizing, but as you increase your intake, alcohol becomes a depressant and it interferes with sleep. That’s why heavy drinking can make underlying depression worse.

Is there a way to screen for mental illness?

This month is focused on helping people better understand how they can care for their mental health. If interested, you can start by taking a free screening assessment from Mental Health America. It just takes a couple of minutes and can provide a basis for a follow-up conversation with your trusted health care provider.

Thanks for joining us in observing Mental Health Month! I hope you can enjoy a little peace of mind know that you’ve taken action to stay in control of your health.