BayCare wants you to be well, and wellness is more than just your physical health. It’s also about being “mentally well.”
Being “mentally well” is not “the absence of disease, illness or stress, but the presence of purpose in life, active involvement in satisfying work and play, joyful relationships, a healthy body and living environment and happiness”¹.
When you feel mentally well, it means you can understand how things or situations affect your ability to think or focus. You understand how you feel (your emotional state) and how you act (your behavior). When you are mentally well, you also recognize how your ability to think, feel and act affect your ability to:
- Do or carry out daily activities or chores
- Go to work and perform your work role
- Have or engage in satisfying relationships with family, friends or a significant other
Things That Impact Mental Wellness
It’s important to know there are many things that can impact your mental wellness and health:
- The Environment: The environments where you live, work, and play
- Your Financial Situation: Your current and future monetary needs or desires
- Your Work or Occupation: How you feel about your job or work role
- Physical Health: Physical activity, wellness or illness, the amount of sleep you get, and your diet
- Social relationships: Feeling connected to others
- Spiritual: Having a sense or feeling of purpose
Starting the Mental Wellness Conversation
Just as you talk to your doctor about physical symptoms you’re experiencing, it’s important to let your doctor know about how you’ve been feeling or any major changes that may be happening in your life.
Here are some tips to start the conversation with your doctor during you next checkup. Need a doctor? Let us help you find a doctor.
- Share any life changes with your doctor, and let him/her know how those life changes have affected how you feel. Life changes can be things big or small, such as changing jobs, moving, getting married or divorced, your reaction to current events, loss of a loved one and/or a relationship, etc.
- Discussing how you feel about things big and small can help you determine if how you feel is a cause for concern, especially if how you feel is affecting how you act.
- Tell your doctor if you are experiencing any feelings of fear, sadness, frustration, isolation, loneliness, anger or aggression.
When to Ask For Help
If you notice you or a loved one is having a hard time handling emotions, struggling to think or focus clearly, or experiencing a change in behavior or physical well-being, it may be time to reach out for additional help. Below is a list of some early warning signs and symptoms²:
- Excessive worrying or fear
- Feeling excessively sad or low
- Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
- Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
- Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
- Avoiding friends and social activities
- Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
- Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
- Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
- Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality
- Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
- Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes
- Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
- Sudden or drastic change in mood
For more information or a referral to a behavioral health practitioner, contact TampaBayBehavioralHealth@baycare.org. All information is confidential. If you need immediate assistance, please call 2-1-1 to reach the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay for free, confidential help or call 9-1-1.
¹ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2017). Wellness Overview. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/wellness
2 National Alliance on Mental Illness (2017). Know The Warning Signs. Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Know-the-Warning-Signs