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Talking about mental health isn’t easy, but it definitely matters. Here are five reasons why it’s important to talk about your mental health.

1. To Combat Mental Health Stigma

Mental illness still has a lot of stigma attached to it, despite the growing focus on mental health in recent years. The stigma surrounding mental health can prevent us from recognizing when we need to reach out for help.

For example, some of us might avoid talking about mental health problems if we’re worry about facing discrimination for it at work or being treated differently by our loved ones or community.

Talking openly about mental health issues, including mental illness, can help break down these barriers. Discussions help us understand just how common mental illness is, providing us with opportunities to correct misconceptions and feel better about asking for help.

2. To Understand You’re Not Alone

Mental health disorders are on the rise in the U.S. In fact, close to one in five adults in the U.S., or 46.6 million individuals, lived with mental illness in 2017.

While the number of mental health issues is increasing, this doesn’t necessarily mean that mental illness is starting to occur more often; being more open about mental health could help explain this increase.

If we talk more about mental health, it could mean more of us may seek treatment and be diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Keeping discussions going about mental health likely makes us feel comfortable enough to recognize when we need help.

3. To Encourage Care And Support

Although mental health disorders are increasing, not everyone seeks treatment for them; only 19.8 million out of 46.6 million adults living with mental illness in the U.S. received services to improve their mental health in 2017.

Talking about mental health in general encourages us to seek treatment, especially once we realize we’re not alone. Millions of adults live with mental health issues in the U.S, and the more we talk about it, the more likely we’ll feel comfortable seeking care and support.

4. To Lower The Risk Of Suicide

Suicide is among the leading causes of death in the U.S. In 2017, more than 47,000 people in the U.S. completed suicide, including too many young people. Among those between 10 and 34 years old, suicide was the second leading cause of fatalities.

Openly discussing mental health in society helps break down stigma surrounding mental illness while also reminds us that help is available and we’re not struggling alone.

Talking about mental health can encourage those having thoughts of suicide or dealing with severe mental illness to reach out to others for help.

5. To Maintain Good Mental Health

Mental illness isn’t the only aspect of mental health. Discussing mental health overall can help encourage us to maintain our mental well-being on a regular basis.

Discussions that include tips or information on how to boost or care for our mental health and well-being can benefit everyone, whether we struggle with occasional mental health issues or a severe mental health disorder.

Maintaining a sound mental well-being is an important part of staying healthy overall and enjoying an improved quality of life.

For some, this might mean getting help for an existing mental health disorder. For others, this might mean taking steps to better manage overall mental health through healthy living and stress reduction techniques like mindfulness or exercise.