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Mental health awareness has been entering the mainstream more and more over the last few years.  As a taboo subject in the past, people avoided talking about it or acknowledging that it exists.  However, awareness and education is increasing.  We can thank a lot of professional athletes for being vulnerable and exposing themselves to the world as prominent role models who battle with mental health on a daily basis.  Olympic athletes like Michael Phelps and Simon Biles have really brought the subject to the public.  

We Want To Do Our Part

We at Industrial Athletics want to do our part to help this movement.  Kaela Huston, a long time member and part of our coaching staff, battles mental health on a daily basis.  She has been promoted into the role of Mental Health Liaison at IA and will be sharing stories, facts, statistics, and education each month.  Our goal is to education on the topic. We want you to be able to identify those who battle with mental health, understand their needs, and provide patience and support.  

Here’s More from Coach Kaela on What is Mental Health: 

First, understand that mental health is an important aspect of our lives that is often overlooked as it may not be as easy to see. This is different than a physical illness. According to the World Health Organization, mental health is “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to contribute to his or her community”. Mental health is fundamental to our ability to think, emote, interact with each other, earn a living, and enjoy life. 

Mental Health is Important

Next, mental health is just as important as physical health. It affects how we think, feel, act, handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Unfortunately, poor mental health can cause people to think poorly of themselves, and that can be dangerous. This may cause them to act irrationally by harming themselves, or to act out, and cause harm to others. There are many factors that may contribute to mental health problems that include a person’s brain chemistry, genetics, trauma or abuse experiences, or a family history. Mental health problems are common, and people suffering should know they are not alone. 

Early Detection is Important

Early detection and intervention is important to living a fulfilling life. There are ways to aid mental health struggles by identifying early signs. Some early signs of a mental health problem include eating or sleeping too much or too little, pulling away from people and usual activities, having low or no energy, yelling or fighting with family and friends, and an inability to perform daily tasks. Therefore, spotting these, and other signs, is an important first step. It is nothing to be ashamed of and should not be something to hide. Many people deal with mental health problems and there are many ways to cope. It is completely possible for someone to live a happy and fulfilling life. Thus, realizing there is a problem, and finding the proper solution, are important to overcoming any mental health problems. 

Each month, I will be sharing more with you about mental health. I plan to cover its importance, and how to respond when someone you care about is suffering. Moreover, my goal is to educate society about mental health and to remove the stigma surrounding it and bring support to those suffering. It is not a sign of weakness, and you are not alone. If you have any questions about mental health or you would like me to cover a specific topic in the future, do not hesitate to reach out to me at