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North Dakota Health and Human services (HHS) recognizes May as Mental Health Awareness Month. HHS is highlighting the importance of mental health and sharing resources that can help North Dakotans improve their overall health and well-being. 

The more we talk about mental health together, the more normalized these conversations become – ultimately empowering people to seek the help they need. 

Approximately one in four North Dakota adults aged 18 and older have experienced mental illness in the past year (National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2021-2022). More than one in three North Dakota high school students report feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for more than two weeks in a row in the past year (ND Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2021).

The HHS Behavioral Health Division offers some strategies and action steps that all North Dakotans can take to support their mental well-being:

  • Practice gratitude: Think about what you’re thankful for – like supportive family and friends, a safe home or even a beautiful day. Or find something to celebrate, like a recent accomplishment. Consciously practicing gratitude may reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Volunteer: Participating in community organizations and finding opportunities to help others can provide a positive boost and sense of purpose.
  • Engage in random acts of kindness: Buy a cup of coffee for the person in line behind you, hold the door open for a stranger or make food for a neighbor or colleague. There are many small acts that can brighten someone else’s day.
  • Practice mindfulness: Take a few minutes to meditate, take a yoga class or do some breathing exercises to promote relaxation and reduce stress.
  • Seek Help: Whether it is for yourself of someone else, seek help. Recovery is possible.

Strong mental health plays a vital role in our vision to become the healthiest state and supports the HHS strategic priority of advancing strong, stable, health families and communities.

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

North Dakotans can call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org/chat if they are having thoughts of suicide, a mental health or substance use crisis, emotional distress or if they have concerns for a loved one who may need crisis support. Calls and chats are answered 24-hours a day/seven days a week, including weekends and holidays. Learn more at hhs.nd.gov/988.

Mental Health Program Directory

Last fall, HHS launched a Mental Health Program Directory to better connect North Dakotans to mental health services. The directory lists mental health programs by location, population served, type of mental health specialty and treatment and interventions options. People can also search for programs that are either in-person or offered by telehealth. Learn more at hhs.nd.gov/behavioral-health/directory.

Additional Treatment Options

The agency’s eight regional human service centers offer community-based behavioral health treatment services, walk-in assessments, crisis services and referrals services. To find services and recovery support visit hhs.nd.gov/behavioral-health/find-services.

The Behavioral Health Division is responsible for reviewing and identifying service needs and activities in the state's behavioral health system to ensure health and safety, access to services and quality services. For more information, visit hhs.nd.gov/behavioral-health.

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