Look Around, Look Within: Your Surroundings Impact Your Mental Health

May is Mental Health Month, a time to focus on raising awareness about the importance of mental health and the challenges many people face. This year, Mental Health America urges individuals to look around and look within, recognizing that our surroundings significantly affect our mental health and well-being. Many factors impact our mental health, from genetics to the neighborhood, and it’s essential to consider how our world affects us every day.

The social determinants of health (SDOH) influence our overall health and well-being, including our mental health. These determinants encompass everything from where we live, work, and learn to our economic stability and social connections. When these factors work in our favor, we’ll experience better mental well-being. But our mental health can suffer when the world seems to be working against us.

While many parts of our environment are beyond our control, there are steps we can take to change our space and protect our well-being. Mental Health America recommends securing safe and stable housing, creating a tidy and comfortable home environment, building bonds with our neighborhood and community, and connecting with nature.

Improving our surroundings can significantly impact our mental health, but it’s not always enough. If you’re still struggling with your mental health, you may be experiencing signs of a mental health condition. Taking a free, private screening at mhascreening.org is crucial to help you figure out what’s going on and determine the next steps.

Mental Health America’s 2023 Mental Health Month toolkit provides free, practical resources to help individuals learn more about how their environment impacts their mental health, suggestions for making changes to improve and maintain mental well-being, and how to seek help for mental health challenges.

Mental health is not just a topic for one month out of the year; it’s something we need to recognize every day. By looking around and looking within, we can take steps to improve our surroundings and protect our mental health and well-being. Let’s work together to promote mental health awareness and create positive change in our communities.

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