According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mental health is an important part of overall health and well-being. It includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make healthy choices.
Mental health is important across the lifespan, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Starting from a young age, many schools incorporate social-emotional health and learning into their education. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. The identification and regulation of emotions support mental health. It is also important for children and their families to have access to mental health providers for early diagnosis and referral to appropriate services.
Mental health and physical health are connected and contribute to one’s overall health. For example, depression increases the risk for many types of physical health problems like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Similarly, the presence of chronic conditions can increase the risk for mental illness. It’s important to note that mental health and mental illness are not the same. A person can experience poor mental health and not be diagnosed with a mental illness (CDC, 2021).
Overall, there is much room for improvement in mental health among Beach Cities students and adults. They are feeling more stressed, sad, hopeless and disconnected from one another. These increased feelings of stress are associated with feeling anxious/worried, irritable and tired (BCHD Community Health Survey, 2021).
To view the data and read the full Community Health Report 2022 visit, www.bchd.org/healthreport.
2022-2025 Strategic Objectives
- Decrease anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation across the lifespan
- Decrease bullying across the lifespan
- Decrease isolation and loneliness across the lifespan
- Increase access to early intervention mental health services for youth
- Increase stress management across the lifespan to decrease stress
Objectives are included as examples of planning goals and are not meant to be an exhaustive list.