Physical Health Impacts Mental Health

Mental Health Month was started 69 years ago by Mental Health America to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone. This May, the focus is on how a healthy lifestyle may help prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems. It can also help people recover from these conditions.

“It is important to really look at your overall health, both physically and mentally, to achieve wellness,” said Debra Robertson, RN, CCM, Program Director for Ringgold County Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions program. “Getting the appropriate amount of exercise, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep and reducing stress – it’s all about finding the right balance to benefit both the mind and body.” So much of what we do physically impacts us mentally. This year’s theme for May is Mental Health Month – Fitness #4Mind4Body – it is acall to pay attention to both your physical health and your mental health, which can help achieve overall wellness and set you on a path to recovery.

Mental health is important for all ages, and for Debra Robertson, it’s a critical message to get out to both adults and teens. Senior Life Solutions is an intensive outpatient group therapy program, is designed to meet the needs of adults over the age of 65 struggling with depression and anxiety often related to aging. Family members, physicians, or other health professionals can refer individuals to the program. At the other end of the spectrum, Robertson is personally part of a task force to address the mental health related issues that are facing teens in the
county. Law enforcement, students and faculty, the ministerial association, community agencies, public health and the hospital are all represented on the

Suicide Prevention Awareness Task Force
Through the efforts of the students, school, and support of the task force, area youth will have an avenue to express their concerns pertaining to bullying, sex, drugs etc. With the right support in place, it will evolve to be the resource teens need. A Mental Health Aid eight-hour training course is being offered in the community to help teach people what to do when their loved one is facing a mental illness. With the entire community coming together, Robertson hopes to bring awareness to the importance of mental health and break down the stigma allowing for people of all
ages, whether they are 15 or 65, to get the treatment they need.

For more information on the task force, the training course, or Senior Life Solutions, contact Deb Robertson at 641-464-4468. For more information on Mental Health Month, visit Mental Health America’s website at