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Governor Ricketts addresses mental health awareness

Governor Pete Ricketts speaks at the podium during Thursday's press briefing.
Governor Pete Ricketts speaks at the podium during Thursday's press briefing.(KSNB)
Published: May. 20, 2020 at 1:25 PM CDT
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Wednesday afternoon, Governor Pete Ricketts signed a proclaimation declaring May Mental Health Awareness and Child Mental Health Awareness Month. Experts say 20 percent of adults may have had behavioral issues during their lifetime.

"We've all been feeling the impacts of this. Americans are saying in surveys their mental health is being impacted by the pandemic," added Ricketts.

We're told 1 in 5 Nebraskans experience mental health issues and you shouldn't be afraid to ask for help.

"We want to normalize the conversation about mental health and about mental illness," said Sheri Dawson. Director of the Division of Behavioral Health in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Experts say being aware of symptoms of someone being in distress could help save a life. There are several signs to pay attention to.

1. Withdrawal...a change in behavior and interactions.

2. Agitation...how you're experiencing your moods, are you more angry or irritable?

3. Hopelessness... can't get out of what you're experiencing?

4. Change in routine...do you want to sleep all day, not get dressed and ready?

5. Personality... are you not experiencing the joys of usual life? All those signs are important to watch for.

They say to take at least 15 minutes to yourself everyday for self care, whether it's in prayer, meditation, a walk. They say to take time for your mental health.

If you need help or are thinking about suicide you can call 1-888-866-8660. You can also text and the line is available in Spanish.