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In 2022, Know Your Health

Mental health is the state of our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we handle stress and our relationships. While mental health conditions can affect anyone from any background, our backgrounds can affect how we react to those issues.

For example, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health says that African Americans are 10 percent more likely to experience serious psychological distress due to other social determinants of health. Suicide is also the third leading cause of death for individuals age 15 through 24. However, there is reluctance in the community to discuss mental health issues and seek treatment due to the shame and stigma associated. As a result of the lack of discussion, many go as far as to believe that mental health conditions are personal weaknesses.

Information about mental health is in short supply in the community, so it can be difficult for African Americans to recognize the signs and symptoms. This means they may underestimate the effects, and not know where or how to get help when it is needed.

To seek support, start with a primary care provider. All visits are strictly confidential, and an annual wellness visit is covered by most insurance. During your visit, you may discuss any physical symptoms you may be having that could be related to your mental health, any important screenings and health goals. Your provider will be able to give referrals and next steps you need to treat your body and mind to be your best self. Take time to find a provider you are comfortable with.

To locate a primary care location or provider near you, visit NortonHealthcare.com/PrimaryCare or call (502) 629-1234. To find a primary care provider for your child (18 and under), visit NortonChildrens.com or call (502) 629-KIDS.

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