National Women’s Health Week is a celebration that starts every year with Mother’s Day and ends on May 16th and serves as a reminder of the importance of making physical and mental health a priority. It’s the perfect time to talk about the need for checking, monitoring, and putting in practice preventive measurements especially when suffering chronicle and serious conditions such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. But oftentimes, people ignore their mental health conditions, not only because of the stigma of it but because many times these illness can go unnoticed for quite some time. In 2020, focusing on mental health is even more important considering the stress and restrains that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon all of us.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mental Health America (MHA) registered an increase in anxiety levels with a “19% increase in screening for clinical anxiety in the first weeks of February and a 12% increase in the first two weeks of March.” To help in the approach of the outbreak, MHS created, among other things, a Mental Health Information for Disease Outbreak hub, which provides information to help battle this issues.
In early 2020, MHA released its annual report on mental health revealing instructive information about the state of health in the U.S. The report indicates that more than 10.3 million adults have serious suicidal thoughts and more than 10 million of those adults have an unmet need for mental health treatments. Also, an alarming result of this report is that youth mental health worsened from 2012-2017 with over two million teenagers (between 12-17) suffering from Major Depressive Episode (MDE) with severe impairment. Depression in youth often co-exists with other disorders such as substance use, substance abuse, anxiety, and disorderly behavior.
According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of 10 women in the United States reported experiencing an episode of major depression last year. Meanwhile, Postpartum depression, which is a type of depression that happens after having a baby, occurs in about one in 8 women. Depression is a treatable condition and most people show improvements when getting treatment, that’s why it’s imperative to seek help. Click this link to access the resources offered by the CDC.
Some of the steps that the CDC recommends when looking for a healthy living include:
- Visit your doctor and schedule preventive screenings
- Get active
- Eat healthy
- Manage stress
- Get enough sleep
- Avoid smoking
This National Women’s Health Week put time aside to monitor your physical and mental health conditions by scheduling regular appointments with your doctors, which you can do virtually while things stabilize a little bit more nationwide. Also, don’t hesitate to look for help, whether from your circle of family and friends or from the public and private organizations that make tools available. The office of Women’s Health also invites you to share the steps you’re taking for good health at every age and to use their social media and promotional tools, including #NWHW and #FindYourHealth in all your posts.