An interview with Emma Quinn, ShareHouse’s Business Development Manager, on Mental Health Awareness Month.
- What is Mental Health Awareness Month?
Mental Health Awareness Month is celebrated every May. It was started in 1949 by Mental Health America. We celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month to raise awareness regarding mental health and to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.
- What is the importance of observing Mental Health Awareness Month?
It’s important that we observe Mental Health Awareness Month to remind people that everyone has mental health so everyone should care about mental health. Talking openly about mental illness and mental health treatment helps reduce the stigma in seeking help. When people feel less ashamed to seek help, they are more likely to engage in services before it becomes a crisis situation.
- In what ways does ShareHouse address mental health?
At ShareHouse we are experts in providing care for co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. Our mental health clinic is led by Dr. Erica Hoff. We provide Mental Health Diagnostic Assessments, Individual therapy, Psychological Testing, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training with specialized care for Depression, Anxiety, Mood Disorder, Trauma, and Borderline Personality Disorder.
- What should people know who are interested in utilizing mental health services at ShareHouse?
Along with offering care for co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders, ShareHouse offers standalone outpatient mental health services. You do not need to be receiving substance use disorder services to access our mental health providers. You can schedule a mental health assessment by calling our outpatient clinic 701-373-8666. We offer individual therapy and medication management. Our clinicians are committed to helping you live the life you want by helping you build the skills you need to navigate life on your terms.
- How can people bring attention to Mental Health Awareness Month?
The best way to bring attention to Mental Health Awareness Month is to start talking openly and honestly about mental health. 1 in 5 adults will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable with others, we are breaking the stigma that everyone must be strong 100% of the time. People that seek help often stay quiet about it due to the fear of being judged. As a society we need to start reframing how we think about getting help for mental health. People never judge someone with cancer getting cancer treatment, why is mental health treatment any different? Mental health is health and the more people that we have talking about it the less shame and stigma there is surrounding it.
- What does Mental Health Awareness Month mean to you?
Mental Health Awareness Month is very personal for me. With a family history of mental illness, losing family members to suicide, and struggling with a serious mental illness myself. There was once a point in my life that I felt lost and hopeless, I was unable to see a light at the end of the tunnel. After attending therapy and finding the right combination of medications, I now live a life that I could only ever dream of. I want others to know that it’s possible for them as well. I used to be ashamed of my mental health diagnosis but now I can see all the wonderful things that it has brought to my life. Mental Health Awareness Month allows me to talk openly about my mental health journey and share hope with others.
- What are some ways people can improve their overall mental health?
There are a lot of small things that people can do every day to improve their mental health such as getting outside for a walk, taking a shower, or having a conversation with a loved one. One skill that I have worked on over the years that has changed my perspective on life is living a life of gratitude. This was not always an easy skill for me, especially when I was experiencing a depressive episode. On good days I may be grateful for something big in my life such as the way my baby smiles at me after waking up and on my bad days I might just be grateful for a day with blue skies or that the snow is finally melting in Fargo. Finding something to be grateful for every day reminds our brain to look for the good things in our life. The more we practice it the easier it gets. I remind myself often that “It’s not happy people that are grateful. It’s grateful people that are happy.”