May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Its goal is to raise awareness about the importance of mental health. Nearly one in five Americans live with a mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Gyms play an important role in the mental health of their communities. According to the Move Your Mental Health Report by the John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation, “Physical health is clearly intertwined with mental health in a bidirectional fashion. Scientific evidence shows that changes in thinking patterns and behaviors affect neurological, endocrine and immune systems. Conversely, disruption in these biological systems negatively impacts mental health. In addition to medication, holistic approaches such as exercise and physical activity, nutrition, and mind-body practices such as yoga can improve mental health.”
With this in mind and in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the following is a roundup of resources to learn more about mental health and mental illness.
Move Your Mental Health Report
The Move Your Mental Health Report is based on a review of all published research between 1990 and 2020 reporting on how over 20 different forms of physical activity impact mental health outcomes. Read the full report here.
Employee Mental Health
According to Harvard Business Review, “91% of employees say burnout from workplace stress negatively impacts their quality of work. 42% of employees have left a job due to burnout. And 27 workdays per employee are lost each year because of sick days and low productivity caused by depression.”
Check out Harvard Business Reviews’ articles addressing employee mental health, including leading an exhausted workforce and beating burnout. Read it.
Looking for books on mental health-specific topics? Check out Healthline’s list of book recommendations for topics ranging from processing trauma to managing anxiety. View the list.
Is audio more your forte? Very Well Mind has a great list of podcasts that cover the topic of mental health. Personally, I recommend The Hilarious World of Depression.
Youth Mental Health
Arguably no group is experiencing a mental health crisis more than American youth.
According to the New York Times, “in 2019, 13% of adolescents reported having a major depressive episode, a 60% increase from 2007. Emergency room visits by children and adolescents in that period also rose sharply for anxiety, mood disorders and self-harm. And for people ages 10 to 24, suicide rates, stable from 2000 to 2007, leaped nearly 60% by 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Read the full article here, and think about ways your gym can serve youth in your communities through programs that promote socialization — with loneliness being a key factor contributing to the crisis.
Where to Get Help
If you are personally struggling to get help, mentalhealth.gov shares places to turn to, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Read it.