October’s Mental Health Observances

Over the past few years, the way we discuss mental health on the whole has changed. There have been significant strides made to change the conversation, not just in the medical community but the larger world as well. Organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) and Stamp Out Stigma provide information about different conditions, their effects, ways to obtain help and ways to support others who may have various mental health or cognitive developmental challenges.

It is more widely acknowledged that taking care of your mental health is a vital part of overall health for all. A number of awareness campaigns have launched to assist with this; almost every month has a particular designation to raise awareness and October is no different. This month there are multiple celebrations and awareness across physical and mental health, we’re going to discuss two.

World Mental Health Day

The World Federation for Mental Health began to observe World Mental Health Day in 1992. October 10 was set aside to raise awareness around the world about mental health issues and mobilize global efforts to support mental health. The movement grew and in 1994 a theme was added to each year, with the first being “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World.”

For the 25-year celebration this year the theme is Mental Health in the Workplace. Much has been made about this topic lately in the United States as a number of people have shared their journeys on social media, and their posts have gone viral. One such example is that of Madalyn Parker; whose tweet was retweeted more than 16,000 times and favorited more than 45,000 times, when she posted her boss’s response email to her need for a mental health day. The story ran in publications from Mashable and Huffington Post to Business Insider. Ben Congleton’s, the CEO of the company, response showed that attitudes towards self care and mental health days have changed for some business leaders over the years.


ADHD Awareness

Another condition highlighted in the month of October is ADHD or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; which according to the DSM V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is defined as “a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.”

The DSM V lists a number of different criteria related to ADHD, if a child (under 16) exhibits any six of these symptoms for six months or more then they are at an inappropriate developmental level. For adolescents and older adults, 17 and older, only five symptoms must be present.

Often when we speak about ADHD, hyperactive young boys come to mind – but it’s more than that. ADHD doesn’t disappear after puberty. And though medications help, as people age there must be a conscious decision to face each day head on and with intention. More than 10 million adults are diagnosed with ADHD and many may not have adequate support. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), only half of diagnosed children receive psychological services, which may include behavior therapy.

This is why organizations such as CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) and NAMI work to bring awareness, so that everyone who wants help can have access to the care they need. In 2004, ADHD Awareness was limited to a one-day event, but now is reviewed for an entire month and continues to educate the public and bring support.

If you or a loved one needs help managing ADHD, both Holiner locations provide treatment. We are here to help diagnose and provide support,  please contact us today at either our Dallas or McKinney offices, or call 972-566-4591 (Dallas) or 469-742-0199 (McKinney).

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