Mind your mental health: April is Stress Awareness Month

Did you know 77% of Americans say stress affects their physical health? Three out of four doctor visits are for stress-related ailments. Studies have linked stress to heart disease, asthma, diabetes, obesity, gastrointestinal problems, depression and accelerated aging.

This health observance aims to educate Americans about the prevalence and seriousness of stress, while highlighting helpful coping strategies.

• Keep a journal to track stressors. Writing about what is generating your stress, then brainstorming for solutions, can empower you to reduce stress and anxiety.

• Meditate mindfully to minimize chaos. Take quiet time to yourself, sit comfortably and breathe deeply. Ground yourself in the present and try to clear your mind of extraneous worries.

• Get help through your program. If you believe stress is harming your health, but you’ve been avoiding taking action, visit your member website for helpful resources

Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States: 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol use disorder or dependence along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol concerns. It’s our job to help end the stigma surrounding alcohol use disorders and mental health by sharing resources and starting conversations. Throughout the month of April, we encourage family, friends, and loved ones to learn more about alcohol use disorder. Here are some important facts you should know:

• An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

• Long-term health risks of alcohol use include high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.

• Approximately 14.8 million people aged 12 or older had an alcohol use disorder.

• In 2018, 26.45% of people ages 18 or older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month.

Seek assistance through DONCEAP

Navy employees are busy juggling work and family and it is not unusual to encounter difficulties with stress, family, relationships, alcohol, work, or other issues which impact their quality of life. Help is available.

The Department of Navy Civilian Employee Assistance Program (DONCEAP) provides a wide range of free, confidential services to employees and their families. Access services 24/7 through the DONCEAP by phone at 1-844-DONCEAP (1-844-366-2327), TTY 1-800-635-2883, or https://magellanascend.com/.