Wellfie Wednesday Tip #154: Tomorrow is World Mental Health Day!

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back!

Tomorrow is World Mental Health Day! This week is brought to you by Diana (@DianaKlatt). For this week’s #WellfieWednesday we’re gonna talk about the importance of tomorrow and ways you can either take time for yourself, be an advocate for increased mental healthcare, and/or be there for someone that may need a friend.

Last year I shared statistics for the United States and I’ll share them again below. But this year, I want to give suggestions or even just a place to start on how you can be there for yourself and for others.

Mental Health in the US:

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the US experience mental illness in a given year.

  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the US live with a serious mental illness.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 youths (13-18 years old) experience a severe mental disorder at some point during their lives.

  • Nearly 60% of adults and 50% of youths did not receive mental health services in the previous year.

These are not small numbers. Nor are these the true representation, it is likely that these are under-reported values due to the stigmas that exist around mental illnesses.

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More Statistics: Mental Health By The Numbers

Mental health is frequently overlooked because it is an unseen ailment. Yet, it is one of the most impactful, long term, chronic conditions that can persist and even lead to detrimental events when gone untreated. Untreated mental illnesses can lead to serious, chronic medical conditions. Psychological and physical ailments can be intertwined, many in the form of traumas or chronic pain. Mental illnesses and their associated physical ailments frequently affect people’s ability to focus on their work. This can impact society much more than we suspect: financial loss to mental illness costs the US roughly $193 billion each year. For comparison, the cost to decrease stigma and raise awareness is $0. 

So what can you do to help someone out?

Mental Health First Aid. This a program that teaches you how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. It typically take 8 hours and is in-depth. It is a government sponsored program and the training is free! Most of us know the signs of a heart attack and how to respond, but how many can tell when someone is having an anxiety or panic attack and how many of us know how to respond? As someone who works in the mental health space, I found taking this course was invaluable and shed light on some things I’d overlooked. It teaches you how to start conversations, what words and mannerisms to look for to make sure that the person is not a potential danger to themselves or others, and how to help them to next steps when applicable.

Listen. Many times we fall into the pattern of exchange with people where we listen and offer advice, however sometimes the best course of action is to purely listen! Letting someone fully talk through their thoughts and be heard and letting them know you hear them and acknowledge that maybe they are in an unfortunate situation and be extremely helpful. Sometimes they just need someone to hear them. However, if it sounds like they are potential threat to themselves or others, you should take the appropriate steps to make sure they are safe. (Re: MHFA training)

Self-care. In a time when we are constantly stimulated, it gets hard to pay attention or hear ourselves think. We are constantly on the go, constantly working on our day-to-day job or our side hustle, and we never shut off. This lends to overwork and can trigger other issues. If you haven’t taken time to relax and disconnect, I highly suggest you take a day off this weekend, or if you can’t spare a whole day, maybe half a day! Anything that can help you relax and collect your thoughts. You can also try to take time each morning or evening to focus on centering your thoughts and collecting yourself to declutter your mental space (ie. meditation).

Communities. Sometimes you feel like you’re alone and that you need people to talk to that understand you. There are many support groups out there and you can typically find them with a simple Google search for your area. There are also online communities that exist and that you can join and share in, as long as you feel comfortable and safe in the space they create. An example of an online community space is PhD Balance, a community for graduate students to discuss the stressors, anxiety, and depression that frequently come with the pursuit of higher academia (note: mental health issues are 6x more prevalent among graduate students than the general populations).

Big take away? Pay attention to the words people use and their actions. When treating patients, talking to friends, collaborating with colleagues, and interacting with strangers, remember that they could be silently suffering and lend a hand, take note of their actions, listen to the way they describe things, and make sure they feel comfortable if they decided to talk with you.

If you are thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).

Thank you for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures this week that demonstrate your active patriotism and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio, @Eric_in_AmERICa, @AaronPerezPT, @DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew


Wellfie Wednesday Tip #145: Mental Health Awareness Month

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! We’re back!! We apologize, but the Wellfie Crew ended up taking a little hiatus the last few weeks because life and other things sometimes get the best of us, and THAT’S OKAY! Which actually goes well with this week’s topic, brought to you by Diana (@DianaKlatt), on Mental Health.

Mental health and wellness are important for not only individual health but for society as a whole. So why then do we still have such drastic numbers around untreated mental health issues? Stigma.

One of the most important things is that we need to stop treating mental health illnesses as something that you can just “get over.” Do we refer to chronic diseases, such as diabetes, like this? (Maybe diabetes wasn’t the best example because this is also highly stigmatized.) People often feel isolated, shame, discrimination, and stereotypes about their mental illness, but we need to increase talking about these things and decrease the stigma. It is perfectly normal to experience anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Many people do not even recognize that they may have a mental illness that can be treated. Many societies and cultures teach and instill the concept of silently suffering. But there are ways to help these people and talking about mental illnesses and increasing awareness is just the start. It can be hard to seek help but the more someone realizes that they are not alone, the more likely they will feel comfortable seeking help.

So what can we do to help? We need to recognize that while discussing the complicated nature of mental health may be common for those working in health and wellness, that this is not the norm for most people. Many people find it difficult to discuss their mental health and how they are feeling in their professional and personal lives. We can help by discussing the normalcy more, by giving people the space to talk about how they’re feeling, and to lead by example. We cannot change the way society treats mental health alone, it is a team effort of helping those that live with mental health ailments know that they are not alone and to increase acceptance in society.


Check out how different people experience depression to see just how varied the experiences can be: https://www.blurtitout.org/2016/07/08/describing-depression-whove-never/


Here are some stats from a previous piece I wrote about mental health so you can see how common mental health illnesses are and how there is a severe lack of treatment:

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the US experience mental illness in a given year.

  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the US live with a serious mental illness.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 youths (13-18 years old) experience a severe mental disorder at some point during their lives.

  • Nearly 60% of adults and 50% of youths did not receive mental health services in the previous year.

Lets end the Stigma! Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #119: World Mental Health Day

Happy Wellfie Wednesday and Happy World Mental Health Day! Today’s piece is brought to you by Diana (@DianaKlatt).

There is a mental health crisis, that up until recently, was silently suffered by many.

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the US experience mental illness in a given year.

  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the US live with a serious mental illness.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 youths (13-18 years old) experience a severe mental disorder at some point during their lives.

  • Nearly 60% of adults and 50% of youths did not receive mental health services in the previous year.

    These are not small numbers. Nor are these the true representation, it is likely that these are under-reported values due to the stigmas that exist around mental illnesses.

More Statistics:  Mental Health By The Numbers

Mental health is frequently overlooked because it is an unseen ailment. Yet, it is one of the most impactful, long term, chronic conditions that can persist and even lead to detrimental events when gone untreated. A huge barrier to this is stigma. People often feel isolated, shame, discrimination, and stereotypes about their mental illness, but we need to increase talking about these things and decrease the stigma. It is perfectly normal to experience anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Many people do not even recognize that they may have a mental illness that can be treated. Many societies and cultures teach and instill the concept of silently suffering. But there are ways to help these people and talking about mental illnesses and increasing awareness is just the start. It can be hard to seek help but the more someone realizes that they are not alone, the more likely they will feel comfortable seeking help.

Untreated mental illnesses can lead to serious, chronic medical conditions. Psychological and physical ailments can be intertwined, many in the form of traumas or chronic pain. Mental illnesses and their associated physical ailments frequently affect people’s ability to focus on their work. This can impact society much more than we suspect: financial loss to mental illness costs the US roughly $193 billion each year. For comparison, the cost to decrease stigma and raise awareness is $0. So while treating patients, talking to friends, collaborating with colleagues, and interacting with strangers, remember that they could be silently suffering and lend a hand, take note of their actions, listen to the way they describe things, and make sure they feel comfortable if they decided to talk with you.


If you are thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).


Sidenote: In case those numbers did not shock you, there is another population that experience mental health issues at an alarming rate: graduate students and those in higher academia. There is a six times higher prevalence of mental health issues in this population. If you are in the world of academia and looking for a community and resources, check out www.thephdepression.com

Please know that mental health is extremely important and something that should be called about. Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-WW Crew