Editorial: Mental Health Awareness Month 2021

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Over the last year, we have experienced fear and uncertainty, grief and trauma during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While there is great encouragement as more people get vaccinated and communities re-open, we must address another health crisis that is impacting millions of adults and children across the country.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mental health conditions like anxiety and depression have increased during the pandemic.

And the impacts will be felt for years to come — even after COVID-19 is behind us.

This May, for "Mental Health Awareness Month," it's especially important to raise awareness of mental health issues and how to erase the stigmas that so many experience.
Organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness - or NAMI - promote mental health education, support and community outreach.

Early detection and intervention for mental illness is key to improve long-term recovery.
Some of the symptoms include extremely high and low moods, excessive fear, worry or anxiety, social withdrawal and dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits, to name a few.

Don't suffer in silence. Help is available. Call the NAMI helpline at 800-950-NAMI, or text "NAMI" to 741741. If you're having suicidal thoughts call the national suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 for round-the-clock support.

Please reach out for help. You are not alone. We believe your mental health is every bit as important as your physical health.