May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I often speak throughout New Hampshire with Former NH Supreme Court Justice, The Honorable John T. Broderick, Jr., on this topic as mental health is critically important to overall health. What does this have to do with dental health? Let’s think about it for a minute. Your smile shows the world who you are. Also, there is science behind this. Those who suffer with anxiety are more prone to oral health conditions such as canker sores, grinding your teeth while you sleep (bruxism), or dry mouth. https://www.deltadental.com/grinmag/us/en/ddpa/2017/wellness/oral-and-mental-health-connection.html
What’s more, if you are struggling with your mental health, this is often communicated through your smile. Judge Broderick and I often share the “Five Signs of Mental Distress,” originally created by the Campaign to Change Direction. These signs seem so simple when you think about them, but they are important to be aware of. If you are not feeling like yourself, withdrawn from normal activities, more easily agitated, not taking care of yourself, and feeling hopeless, or, if you notice that one of your friends or a loved one is exhibiting these behaviors, there is help available.
A number of mental health organizations throughout our state are offering events through the end of this month to highlight the importance of mental health and increase awareness. Learn more about how you can take control of your mental health and how you may be able to help others access help and services.
Lakes Region Mental Health Center https://www.lrmhc.org/lrmhc-recognizes-mental-health-awareness-month/
Riverbend Community Mental Health https://www.riverbendcmhc.org/celebrate-mental-health-may-and-every-day/
Campaign to Change Direction