Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Mental and physical health are equally important components of overall health. For example, depression increases the risk for many types of physical health problems, particularly long-lasting conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States. More than 1 in 5 US adults live with a mental illness. Over 1 in 5 youth (ages 13-18) either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.
It’s important to remember that a person’s mental health can change over time, depending on many factors. There is no single cause for mental illness. A number of factors can contribute to risk for mental illness.*
There is also no single cure. The challenges we’ve designed may not work for everyone and should not be viewed as a solution. These challenges are meant to expand your toolbox by giving you the opportunity to practice methods that are known to have helped improve overall well-being in others. Keep in mind, improving your mental health not only benefits you, but also those you love and care about.