1 in 6 youths and 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness each year. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 34.
It's important, especially in such isolating and uncertain times, for everyone to become knowledgeable about mental health. While mental Illness is prevalent and on the rise--- so is resiliency and recovery.
This May, let us remember the many ways in which we can positively impact and improve the mental health and resiliency of ourselves and others:
1) Check in with yourself
Consider taking a mental health screen at mhascreening.org. It’s a quick, free, and private way to assess your mental health and recognize signs of mental health problems.
2) Seek professional help if you are struggling mentally or emotionally
You can get the support and care you need to recover. Almost all mental health problems can be treated or at least significantly lessened in their severity. If you are unsure where to find help, speak to your primary care provider or use these resources to find help for yourself or others. CLICK HERE.
3) Build healthy habits into your daily routine
Good nutrition, physical activity, sufficient sleep and stress management practices all positively support mental wellness-- while poor self-care habits can exacerbate mental illness symptoms.
4) Avoid substance abuse
Self-medicating is a self-defeating coping mechanism. Not only does it harm your physical health, it can also elongate and worsen the symptoms of mental health conditions.
5) Practice gratitude for the positives in your life
Expressing gratitude does not mean denying the negativity or darkness you feel, but it does help us identify some points of light that simultaneously exist. This small shift in perception has been scientifically proven to change brain chemistry and counteract the negative thought patterns that are the hallmark of depression and the symptoms of other mental health conditions.
6) Form or embrace supportive social connections
Studies show individuals with strong, supportive relationships exhibit more resiliency characteristics and experience quicker recovery times. If you don’t have a strong social network, consider joining a local support group.
7) Support others who are struggling
One of the best ways to support individuals suffering from mental illness is to become educated. Misconceptions and judgment can cause harm. A large body of evidence has shown that educating family members, caregivers and friends as well as involving them in the treatment process often leads to a reduction in symptoms, treatment days, and relapse—possibly as a result of more positive and supportive environments.
8) Make a pledge to help end the stigma of mental illness
Stigmas shame individuals into silence and often prevent them from seeking help. When each of us seeks to raise awareness regarding the prevalence and negative effects of stigmas, we actively support empathy, empowerment, and the advocacy for nonbiased language, behaviors and treatment protocols. Learn more and take the pledge HERE.
Corrigan, P. W., & Kleinlein, P. (2005). The Impact of Mental Illness Stigma. On the Stigma of Mental Illness: Practical Strategies for Research and Social Change., 11–44. doi: 10.1037/10887-001
Hendryx, M., Green, C. A., & Perrin, N. A. (2008). Social Support, Activities, and Recovery from Serious Mental Illness: STARS Study Findings. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 36(3), 320–329. doi: 10.1007/s11414-008-9151-1
Steele, W., Kuban, C., & Raider, M. C. (n.d.). Connections, continuity, dignity, opportunities model: Follow-up of children who completed the I Feel Better Now! Trauma intervention program: What allowed some children to do better than other children exposed to the same or similar traumatic events. PsycEXTRA Dataset. doi: 10.1037/e550942013-001
These materials are provided to you by Blythedale Children’s Hospital and Kohl’s
Eat Well, Be Well Nutrition Outreach Program.
For more tips and information, please visit www.blythedale.org/kohls.
Blythedale Children's Hospital, through the generosity of Kohl’s Department Stores, is proud to offer Blythedale and Kohl's Eat Well, Be Well, an innovative outreach program designed to bring health and nutrition education to schools throughout Westchester and Putnam counties. Through this program, Blythedale staff members teach healthy eating habits to children by providing curricula, training and educational tools to school districts throughout the area. The program provides general nutrition guidelines to students, parents and school faculty. Blythedale Children's Hospital offers experts in nutrition and health-education to speak with local parenting groups, PTAs and school personnel.
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