BLOG: Just like physical health, mental health deserves your attention all year round

Categories: Blog, Featured News

man-woman park walkAfter StarkMHAR’s month long promotion for Mental Health Awareness, today I am reflecting on what people can do to remain aware and promote wellness and mental health throughout the upcoming year.

For 2014 the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported 42.5 million people experienced a mental illness–that is 18.2% of the total adult population in the US. The good news is success rates for mental illness treatment range from 60% for schizophrenia, 70% for depression, and 80% for Bipolar Disorder (NAMI). Treatment does work and people recover.

How do I convince you to work on your mental health as much as you do your physical health?  Numerous studies have shown a direct connection between and individual’s mental health and physical health. Think about the time people spend at the gym, running in 5K or bicycling. That is important to your physical well being. But how much time in the last week have you spent on promoting your mental wellness?

Mental health conditions are treatable.  Make sure you reach out to someone for help if you or a loved one needs treatment.  Educate yourself and demand that you are being given evidence-based treatment and the practioner is using treatment best-practices.  Also remember that treatment can entail traditional psychotherapy but also include peer support, recovery services and supported employment or acupuncture.

Reach out for help and do not wait another day to address your mental health needs. A simple step is to take the screening quiz located on our new website which is being launched on May 6, 2016. The site is designed to be easily accessible, user-friendly, and brimming with information and resources.

It is important to realize that mental health is critical to the overall wellness of each of us. Use today and take a step to increasing your overall mental health.  I am writing this after I have spent this morning walking on the Ohio-Erie Canal trail.  Beautiful scenery, wildlife, peaceful and quiet.  This is what helps my mental health.  What helps your mental health and wellness?

About John R. Aller

John R. Aller serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Stark County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR). He guides the administrative, clerical, fiscal and Heartland East Administrative Service Center (HEASC) of the organization. StarkMHAR, under his leadership, has been reorganized for delivery of a wide range of cutting-edge services to Stark County residents as well as its partner organizations. John has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, masters in community counseling and is currently enrolled at Kent State University in their Public Health PHD program with a concentration in Health Policy and Management. He is an active member in various state and local boards and committees and is a federal behavioral health reviewer. John is currently the chair of the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Managed Care Committee. John has been involved with building an array of organizational, clerical and workforce improvement initiatives. He, along with other ADAMH Board Directors in the region, have grown and expanded the Administrative Service Center department of StarkMHAR to be recognized as a leader of IT, Electronic Health Records (EHR) and technical support within the region and state. John resides in Green, Ohio with his wife, Loretta, and children, Kelsey and Sean.