Mental Health Awareness Month 2022

Partners | <b>Florida Cancer Specialists</b>

By advocating for mental health services and providing education, those at Florida Cancer Specialists can assist patients and each other in improving well-being and quality of life.

Mental Health Awareness Month takes place the month May and recognizes the importance of caring for our mental health. It is a way to acknowledge and show support to those impacted by mental illness. Being able to talk about mental health is beneficial for our overall well-being and connects us to helpers and resources that can guide us through difficult times. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), millions of Americans are experiencing mental illness. Their message of “Together for Mental Health” reminds us of the need to come together as families, communities, and nationally to support each other in addressing mental health needs. Here at Florida Cancer Specialists, we see the impact that cancer and disease can have on a person’s mental health and ability to function and thrive. By advocating for mental health services and providing education, we can assist patients and each other in improving well-being and quality of life.

Our Behavioral Health Therapists at FCS offer these comments to raise awareness of mental health:

“Mental Health Awareness is an opportunity to start a conversation about emotional health and take away the stigma associated with mental illness.” – Karen Dillon-Franzen, MSW, LCSW

“Many people think mental health issues are not common and happen to someone else. Mental illness is widespread with an estimated 44 million Americans suffering from some form of mental disorder in any given year. The person with mental illness and their family members may not feel prepared to cope with this. There has traditionally been stigma tied to mental illness which may lead persons and family members to feel isolated and alone with their journey, often struggling to find answers and help. It is difficult enough to feel confused about what is happening and what to do about it. Many may also feel vulnerable to the judgement and opinion of others which makes talking about mental health and seeking help more difficult. If you think you or someone you know may be struggling mentally or emotionally, it is important to remember there is hope and help.” – Diane Larson, MSW, LCSW

“Mental Health Awareness Month reminds us to take care of our mental health as much as our physical health. We can learn that asking for help is a sign of strength, and can be encouraged to talk, listen and take action. Talking about mental health concerns reduces stigma, promotes treatment, and helps healing.” – Karen Ridley, MSW, LCSW

“Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. Anxiety is both a mental and physical state of negative expectation. Mentally it is characterized by increased arousal and apprehension tortured into distressing worry, and physically by unpleasant activation of multiple body systems—all to facilitate response to an unknown danger, whether real or imagined.” – Leah Sandridge, MSW, LCSW

“Mental health can and does affect our physical health. Just as physical health can affect how we feel mentally, as well as affecting our actions and relationship with others. It is important to maintain some balance between mental and physical health. The FCS team is here to help with both your physical and mental health.” – Stephen Voigt, MSW, LCSW