The Harris Center Blog

Mental Health Awareness Month
Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to emphasize the importance of mental health. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness. The Harris Center offers a variety of resources, including a 24-hour crisis line for those in need of support. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression or other mental health issues is crucial; it can be the initial step toward seeking help and ensuring appropriate treatment for oneself or loved ones.

"It's crucial for individuals to seek help for their mental health because our emotional well-being is intricately connected to our overall health. Just as we wouldn't hesitate to seek treatment for a physical ailment, addressing mental health concerns is equally important. By seeking help, we can better understand and manage our mental health, leading to improved overall well-being and a better quality of life,” said Dr. Dionne Hill, Practice Manager at the Southwest Adult Clinic with The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD.

Symptoms of mental health issues can vary widely but often include changes in mood, such as persistent sadness, irritability, or mood swings. Individuals may also experience changes in behavior, such as withdrawing from social activities, changes in sleep patterns, or engaging in risky behaviors. Physical symptoms can also manifest, such as changes in appetite, unexplained aches and pains, or low energy levels. 

Sometimes these changes may be difficult for us to recognize on our own so it’s important to listen to our loved ones if they share concerns.

"Often, our loved ones can recognize signs of depression in us before we're even aware of it ourselves. Their observations and support can be invaluable in helping us acknowledge and address our mental health challenges,” said Hill. “It's a powerful reminder of the importance of staying connected, knowing community resources and being open to the insights of those who care about us."

If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health issue, it's important not to wait to seek help. Professional support can provide an accurate diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan, including therapy, medication, or both, tailored to your specific needs. Effective treatment can alleviate symptoms such as anxiety, depression, or mood swings, improving your quality of life and overall well-being.

“You've got one body and one mind; you get one. That's exactly how I see it. Since you only get one, you've got to take care of it. Make sure you're looking after yourself. The Harris Center is here for you. As the mental health authority in Harris County, we're here to support you," said Dr. Hill.

The Harris Center is a vital support system for families in Harris County, offering a 24/7 crisis hotline (713-970-7000) for immediate assistance. Their team of licensed professional counselors provide compassionate care, ensuring everyone in Harris County has access to the support they need, regardless of their financial situation.

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