Why Mental Health Matters

Clinical Expertise

May 17, 2021

Medical Reviewer: Jennifer Quartano PT, DPT
Last Updated: April 30, 2021

We have been through some trying times lately to say the least. Pandemics, social isolation, economic hardships, and fear of the unknown to name a few—so many things that affect us deeply. All of this on top of an already-stressful world environment. Never before has a population been so plugged in with access to technology in our hand literally every moment and a skewed view of what life should look like thanks to social media and popular stars showing us a perception of happiness and contentment. In addition, other life stressors such as relationships, finances, traumatic events, and changes in life roles haven’t gone away.

Any one of these things may start to affect our mental health, but the combination of all of them and the prolonged stress of the current environment certainly sets us up for mental health crises. Unfortunately, we know things like substance use and domestic violence have been increasing throughout 2020. It’s really sad that many times these unseen issues are perceived as taboo to bring up. You can’t ignore someone whose arm is falling off, but we can certainly hide our emotional cliff we might be dangling from. Did you know that in any given year 1 out of every 5 people will experience mental health symptoms. That’s 20% of us! It’s time we let these secrets out!

If you’re someone struggling with mental health concerns—things like depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, substance use, or other symptoms, speak up! We weren’t meant to do this life thing alone, and it is absolutely normal to be having mental challenges. Did you also know the average person waits 10 years to get help for mental health problems. 10 years!! Imagine how much life you could miss out on because you didn’t seek the help you needed?!?!

At Brooks, we recognize the importance of mental health for our patients, families, and employees alike. We are working to change this stigma and change lives through the offering of many resources. One of those is Mental Health First Aid classes. This program is designed to teach individuals without a mental health (or even healthcare) background how to recognize and help support an individual who might be having mental health challenges. Mental Health First Aiders are people living and working in our community who have an interest in and passion for helping breakdown the stigma and access to care issues within mental health.

Much like CPR classes, Mental Health First Aiders learn a plan to assess individuals who they interact with for mental health challenges and support them in finding the right resources for their needs now. The class addresses early mental health challenges, more severe symptoms, and crises. In addition, the program teaches self-care skills important for all of us! If this sounds interesting to you, sign up for one of our upcoming classes today. We look forward to having you on our team to change the stigma and make a difference in our community!

Medical Reviewer

Jennifer Quartano PT, DPT

Pediatric Residency Coordinator, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatrics, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurology
Dr. Quartano has been with Brooks Rehabilitation for over 14 years. In that time, she has worked in a variety of settings seeing the impact of trauma and wellness on physical, mental, and emotional health. She has been teaching Mental Health First Aid for the last 4 years as a way to share the knowledge, reduce stigma, and cast a greater net of reach for mental health in the Northeast Florida are.
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