Mental Health Awareness Month

Dr. Jose E. Igoa, Medical Director
DHR Health Behavioral Hospital 

May is Mental Health Awareness month, and it is an opportunity to discuss mental illness and the stigma that continues to surround mental health disorders.  Mental illness can affect individuals of any age, race, or income level.  Each year, 1 in 5 adults in the United States experiences a mental health disorder. One of the most prevalent mental health disorders is major depressive disorder (MDD), which may include symptoms of feeling down or hopeless, lacking energy, feeling less motivated, losing interest in previously enjoyed hobbies and activities, having difficulty concentrating, and experiencing changes in sleep and in appetite.   Another common mental health disorder is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which can include symptoms of anxiety such as nervousness or restlessness, difficulty controlling worry, a sense of impending doom, difficulty concentrating and/or sleeping, and stomach distress. Symptoms of mental health disorders can affect a person’s ability to fully engage in daily life and enjoy time with family, friends, work, school, and hobbies. 

Life experiences and biological factors can contribute to mental health disorders; however, mental illness may be present without any identified triggers present.  Mental illness effects go beyond the individual struggling with the mental health disorder; families, friends, co-workers, and others in the community may also be affected. Treatment often recommended for mental health disorders can include medication management and counseling services, though treatment is individualized, and your healthcare provider can recommend options for you. Mental health resources are available in our community, including services for inpatient behavioral health care, psychiatric services, psychological services, and counseling services.   

We can all help bring awareness to mental health issues by supporting mental health awareness events, openly speaking about mental health issues, and showing compassion toward those struggling with mental illness. If you or a loved one would like more information about services provided for mental health, please contact DHR Health Behavioral Hospital at (956) 362-4357 or visit and