May 22, 2020
Mental Health Awareness Month - Together We are Strong
Since 1949, May has been observed as Mental Health Awareness Month. As we begin to rotate our lives back to normal, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we have adapted to many changes in the way we live our everyday lives. We’ve discovered new ways to connect with our families, friends, and communities. Our mentality is a pillar of stability in our lives, one that has a significant effect on our overall well-being. Understanding the importance of mental health is crucial.
The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) encourages everyone to engage in an open, honest dialogue with their friends and loved ones, to demonstrate compassion and kindness, and to practice self-care.
We must take time to connect with those who are isolated and show them support. The recent state of isolation may be more than what some people are accustom to. By connecting, even from a distance, together we can lift one another and save lives.
Supporting Each Other
- Connect with others by actively listening.
- Remember, in all instances, not to compare their feelings or experiences to others.
- Reassure others that you are here for them. Extend a friendly gesture and ask what they need from you, and refrain from judgement.
- Connecting with more than words can also be a comfort. Offer to join them in activities like walking the dog, going to the grocery store, or attending doctor appointments. These small acts of kindness can help them feel a sense of accomplishment and lift their spirits.
- Know when more serious help is needed. Don’t be afraid to encourage others to seek help from a mental health professional, and offer to help to find a provider if needed.
Please remember, physical distancing doesn’t mean that we can’t connect. It’s incredibly significant, especially during this time, to reach out and stay linked to others. We can be there for each other and provide mutual support while still practicing safe physical distancing. Take a little extra time to engage in activities that you are passionate about. This can help to build an uplifting sense of happiness and focus on what makes us feel joy.
"Remember to let yourself, and others, be real - even if it is messy,” said Judy Rooney, MSW, LCSW, at Tri-State Clearwater Behavioral Health. “Have real conversations, and make room for hope and gratitude each day. Reach out to others, and let others help you; we are meant to be in connection."
If you or someone you know is seeking mental health assistance, do not hesitate to contact those you feel safe with and trust. Our Behavioral Health Clinic and Behavioral Health Services are always available for further professional assistance. Learn more by visiting our clinics at; http://tristatehospital.org/medical-clinics/behavioral-health-clinic and http://tristatehospital.org/page/clearwater-medical-clinic-behavioral-health.
Let’s make our mental health a priority. We're here for you, and together we are strong.
*Information provided by the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention and Mental Health America