GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - April is National Stress Awareness Month, and the numbers said Mississippians are some of the most stressed out people in America.
According to WalletHub.com, Mississippi is the fifth most stressed out state according to their research. They based it on health, money, work and family.
Maegan Willis has a lot going on these days. She’s moving, and she’s also planning a wedding, which are two things that could cause major stress.
“It’s just been very stressful,” Willis said. “I was crying last night because my parents were at church and my friend and his friend were talking to me. Everything’s fine now because they counseled me last night.”
While Maegan’s good for now, many others are struggling with stress. That’s why she and others are here at the Mental Health Association of South Mississippi. They talk, share and cope.
One-third of Americans are living with extreme stress and nearly 48% of Americans believe that their stress has increased over the past five years, according to data from the American Psychological Association.
Executive Director Kay Denault sees and hears those struggles every day, and said their website contains online self exams people can use, if they think too much stress is becoming a bigger mental health issue.
“On our website we have the screenings which people can take for free, which don’t diagnose you, but gives you an idea of maybe you need to see someone or maybe it’s not too serious,” Denault said. “People are taking the test more, which tells me that people are starting to feel that and they’re starting to recognize some things.”
Denault said recognizing the issues is key to dealing with stress.
As for Meagan Willis, she has her own ways of coping. She either shops, does laundry, or watches Netflix.
We’re told the Mental Health Association’s Annual “Don’t Worry Be Happy” fundraiser is set to happen this July in person. However, last year’s event happened virtually.
If you’d like to take the online stress screening test, click here.