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Mental Health Basics

Mental Health Awareness Month

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The term “mental health” has gained an immense amount of popularity and attention in recent years and is a hot topic in workplaces, schools, social media, and much more! 

Navigating this complex term can be overwhelming as it encompasses so many different areas of psychology: mental illnesses, psychological health, emotional well-being, and mental wellness. If you have had trouble navigating all this term encompasses, you are not alone! We are going to break down the basics of mental health and where to begin. 

What is Mental Health?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mental health “includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. 

It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices”. As we venture through life, our mental health ebbs and flows. While it can be stable and positive for periods of time, there are moments when it may fluctuate. 

These fluctuations are normal and can be related to both internal and external factors such as stress, medical conditions, and significant life events. 

What is a Mental Illness?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, mental illnesses are “health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behavior” that can be associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work, or family activities. 

Mental illnesses are experienced by many and should not be something to be ashamed of! Nearly 1 in 5 adults experience some sort of mental illness. 

These illnesses are treatable and most people will return to their normal daily lives after the right intervention.

What is Mental Health Screening?

A mental health screening is an exam of your emotional health to help diagnose if you have a mental disorder. 

Mental illnesses are more common than people think! They affect more than half of all Americans at some point in their lives. There are many types of mental disorders that can be tested during a mental health screening including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Your primary care provider may use a mental health screening to see if you need to go to a mental health provider. 

A mental health provider is a healthcare professional that specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health problems. This includes therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Check out our article Therapy 101 for more general information!

What is Therapy?

Therapy, also known as talk therapy and psychotherapy, is the process of meeting with a mental health professional to resolve problematic behaviors, beliefs, feelings, relationship issues, illnesses, and/or somatic responses (sensations in the body). 

Whether you are involved in individual, couple, group, or family therapy, your relationship with your therapist is confidential and goal-driven.

You can expect your therapist to be someone who supports you, listens attentively, models a healthy and positive relationship experience, gives you appropriate feedback, and follows ethical guidelines. Good therapy should be tailored to you and your experiences.

Take Action Today

At A Brighter Day Charity, we offer both short-term and long-term treatment available to you at no charge. Text “BRIGHTER” to 741-741 for free, 24/7, crisis support from trained counselors. If you are looking for consistent support, send us an email at to be connected to three months of complimentary therapy through BetterHelp.




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