Canaan, CT – This May, Mountainside treatment center celebrates Mental Health Month. Mountainside provides hope and recovery resources to those struggling with mental illness, reminding communities in Connecticut and beyond that a healthy mind is fundamental to overall wellness.
This year’s Mental Health Month theme, #4Mind4Body, recognizes how a healthy lifestyle supports mental well-being and prevents the onset of mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Mountainside has long held that combining wellness practices with evidence-based clinical therapies can effectively heal people in mind, body, and spirit.
“The overlap between physical and mental health isn’t always recognized, but many lifestyle choices that strengthen the body also benefit the mind,” says Carolee Paruta, Regional Director of Outpatient Services at Mountainside. “A healthy diet and regular exercise can boost concentration, mood, and energy levels, for example. Bonding with peers, laughing, meditating, and simply remembering to have fun can have an equally powerful impact on mental well-being.”
The significance of drawing public attention to mental health cannot be overstated. Mental health disorders are the primary cause of disability and illness across the globe, and the National Institute of Mental Health (NAMI) estimates that one out of every five American adults struggle with mental illness. Aside from mental health disorders, poor mental health can lead to sleep problems, weakened immune system, substance use disorders, and chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
“Society is beginning to realize how essential it is to respond to mental health concerns the same way they would address physical injuries: by meeting with a professional who can guide them through the healing process,” says Paruta. “By developing a support system and finding what brings them joy, people can achieve balanced mental health and inspire others to do the same.”