Understanding Mental Health Today and How VITAL WorkLife Can Help

Posted on May 10, 2021 by Marsha Molinari, MSW, LICSW

Mental Health quoteThe month of May has been recognized as Mental Health Month every year since 1949.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 people live with a diagnosable mental illness each year. And 1 in 7 children or teenagers have this illness as well. Every day, approximately 123 Americans die by suicide.

An individual’s mental health impacts every part of their life including their work, relationships and well being. It may be surprising to know that there are more than 300 different conditions that are identified as mental illness.

Unfortunately, there continues to be stigma attached to mental illness, causing discussions around this topic to be kept secret or even nonexistent. That’s why hundreds of organizations are focused on providing information to raise awareness on this important issue.

The following information is meant to help bring awareness to what has become an epidemic in our country and educate you about how your VITAL WorkLife Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help.

What are some of the factors that contribute to mental illness?

  • Life experiences, such as stress or having a history of childhood abuse
  • Chemical imbalances in the brain
  • Having a traumatic brain injury
  • An exposure to viruses or toxic chemicals during pregnancy
  • Family history and genes

Common warning signs of mental illness

  • Days or weeks of extreme sadness or lowness
  • Problems with concentrating and/or focus
  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Mood changes including feelings of depression, euphoria, anxiety or uncontrollable highs
  • Increased irritability or anger
  • Isolating and/or withdrawing from friends and social activities
  • Changes in sleep habits or feeling unusually fatigued
  • Changes in eating habits -weight gain or weight loss
  • Difficulty perceiving what is real
  • Physical ailments that do not have an obvious cause
  • Extreme self-consciousness
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-injurious behaviors

Getting Help

Help is only a phone call or message away and there’s no stigma when you use your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) resources because it’s confidential. We owe it to ourselves and to the ones we love to get help. Reach out to your VITAL WorkLife EAP to ensure that you and your loved one is getting the help that you/they deserve.

As part of your EAP, you have access to in-the-moment behavioral health support (phone counseling) and face-to-face or virtual counseling that can help you navigate whatever challenges, experiences or stressors you are going through. Your counseling benefit is available on a per incident basis, which you means you can access it now, and again in the future for another issue.

Contact us at 800.383.1908, through your VITAL WorkLife App or send a message to us here.

Your EAP includes a wealth of information to support your mental health and well being and is available at no cost to you or your family members. You do not need to be alone in this.

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