Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mental Health Month 2011

By Diane Forrest


Today, Monday, May 23 - we are highlighting Mental Health.   I was a bit overwhelmed when asked to write this, I was thinking about Mental Illness... and all the pages of stuff I could write about. However Mental Illness and Mental Health are not the same. Mental health is how people think, act and cope with life and the stressors and challenges that are part of the human experience. The state of one's mental health can influence the ways in which they look at themselves, their life and others around them. It also strongly influences an individual's potential for achieving their goals and is an important tool in obtaining and maintaining a feeling of wellbeing.

Did you know that 1 in 4 adults struggle with a treatable mental health condition each year?  They could be family members, friends, veterans, or colleagues quietly struggling with depression, ADHD, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, or some other mental health issue.

If not dealt with properly, the stresses of everyday life can build up to a point that drains your ability to rest, have energy, be productive, concentrate, have relationships, and enjoy life.

Some ways to promote good mental health include:

  • Address coping skills such as:
  • Stress management techniques (i.e. yoga, breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation)
  • Mindfulness, (i.e. "living in the moment")
  • Lifestyle behaviors (i.e. physical activity, writing, having a support network)
  • Setting realistic goals, evaluating different lifestyle choices and techniques that help both body and mind to improve mental health wellness
  • Help individuals find support groups and wellness events in their local communities
There are many stressors in the world today. Things like the economy, wars, the cost of gas, the problems with employment, kids. It's hard to relax with all we have to worry about. It is important to take time out for yourself. Soak in a tub, take a walk, pet your dog or cat, stop and smell the flowers. Watch a funny movie.

Take slow deep breaths and just relax.....After all, tomorrow IS another day!


Top 10 Tools

  1. Connect with others
  2. Stay positive
  3. Get physically active
  4. Help others
  5. Get enough sleep
  6. Create joy and satisfaction
  7. Eat Well
  8. Take care of your spirit
  9. Deal better with hard times
  10. Get professional help if you need it


Mental Health Month: 3 Ways to Advocate for Mental Health

  1. Get Social – spread the word about mental health.
  2. Be Supportive – Look for mental health support groups in your area.
  3. Raise Money – Donating to local or national mental health in your area.

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