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by Stephanie Basey, Ph.D., Center Research Assistant, and Kedrick Williams, DHA, MPH, Center Senior Field Representative

Mental health is an essential part of our overall well-being. Just like physical health, it can be impacted by various factors, including genetics, life experiences, and environmental factors. However, it’s important to remember that mental health challenges can be invisible and that there is no one-size-fits-all way they look or feel. Mental health challenges are incredibly common, affecting people of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences. Yet, despite their prevalence, many individuals feel uncomfortable discussing mental health or providing support to those who may be struggling. This is where Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) becomes important.

It’s impossible to look at someone and know if they are experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis. Even people close to us, like our friends, family members, and neighbors, may be experiencing mental health challenges and we are unaware. Statistics show that mental health challenges are widespread and affect millions worldwide. The National Alliance on Mental Health reports that more than 1.4 million adults in Georgia have a mental health condition. This includes anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and many others. Mental health challenges can be triggered by various factors, including stress, trauma, loss, and major life changes, and they can impact anyone, regardless of their background or circumstances.

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