By the Numbers: It’s Time to Take a Mental Break

woman with headache

May 26, 2022

Clinical Contributors to this story:

Each May, Mental Health Awareness Month is recognized across the globe. This year, take time to remember that your mental health is essential to your overall health.

The term mental illness refers to all mental disorders—this includes a variety of conditions such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders and many more. Mental illness can impact your emotional state, thought process or behaviors. 

The Numbers on Mental Health

  • 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience mental illness
  • 1 in 20 adults in the United States experience serious mental illness
  • 1 in 6 youth between the ages of 6 and 17 experience a mental health disorder each year
  • In the United States, 46.4 percent of people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime
  • 57% have experienced COVID-19-related mental health adversity or trauma

The A-B-Cs of 4-7-8  

Breathing exercises are simple ways to relax and clear your mental space. One breathing exercise to try is the 4-7-8 technique.

  • Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for a count of 4.
  • Hold your breath for a count of 7.
  • Exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound for a count of 8.

Make Time for You

Engaging in puzzles and games of all kinds can support mental health by:

  • Producing dopamine, which is responsible for improving concentration, motivation and optimism
  • Promoting relaxation and reducing stress
  • Practicing mindfulness 
  • Building social bonds, when games are played with others

Next Steps & Resources:


The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.

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