Very few people go through life without any chronic health challenges. Cancer, heart disease, chronic pain, diabetes, mental illnesses, and more touch every family at some point.
And often mental illnesses and other chronic conditions co-occur. People with cancer often have depression; people with schizophrenia often have diabetes; and people with chronic pain often have both physical and behavioral health challenges.
We know that the underlying environment – the “social determinants” of health – plays a role in the development of both physical and mental health conditions.
And what we also know is that some common tools and strategies – such as animal companionship, humor, spirituality, work-life balance, and recreation and social networking – lead to improvements in both physical and mental health.
This year, Mental Health America has chosen to expand on our 4Mind4Body Mental Health Month theme with a variety of new tools and materials specifically designed for people living with chronic conditions and the people who care for them.