May Is Mental Health Awareness Month
It’s no secret that the last couple of years facing a pandemic and hearing about multiple violent events throughout the world have taken a toll on a lot of people. Social media has been a great tool to break the stigma that exists with talking about mental health. Younger generations are becoming more aware of the importance of taking care of their mental health. However, talking about mental health might still feel complicated for others, and that’s okay; everyone’s journey to healing is different and we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others. Healing is not linear.
When we talk about health in general, it’s important to understand that we need to take care of our mental health the same way that we take care of our physical health. Just like we go to our primary care doctor when we feel something going on in our bodies, we have to do regular checkups of our minds, thoughts, feelings, and actions so we can feel balanced in all areas of our lives.
Nurture Your Mental Health
Are there common warning signs for mental health conditions? When is a good time to start caring for our mental health? Are there any factors that can lead to a mental health condition?
All of these questions could be frequent when we are learning about mental health topics for the first time. That’s why the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center serves as a hub for victims of crime to identify what type of resources are available for them and directs them to the best match for them and their particular needs.
Our mental health is important at every stage of life, from our childhood to our adulthood. We’re constantly growing, learning, and evolving, which means that something that used to trigger us before couldn’t do so anymore and vice versa. Our mental health is directly related to a lot of factors that can change through our lives. Since our mental health can change over time, we need to continue checking in and working on it.
Similar to working out or eating healthy, maintaining a healthy mental health is an ongoing practice. Imagine that our thoughts are similar to plants. In order for them to grow, we have to care for, nurture, and heal them. If we nurture our positive thoughts, we’ll realize that the positivity in our lives is growing strong, just like a plant. However, it’s important to remember that the thoughts that will grow are the ones we focus our energies on.
It’s Okay to Not Be Okay
Society and the media tend to focus much more on physical health than mental health, but both are equally important. If you’re concerned about your mental health, or if you’re not feeling like yourself, remember that first of all, it’s okay to not be okay, and that you’re not alone. Help is out there and recovery is possible.
If you’re going through a tough time, remember that you can contact the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center to get support and guidance about the multiple resources available. Feel free to call 702-455-2433 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Resiliency Center has a number of free, online events this month focused on unique ways to care for your mental health, which are open to all who qualify for its services. For example, you can learn to strengthen your mind-body connection with a Trauma Recovery Yoga class focusing on visualization, breath, meditation, and movement on May 15. You can also practice music therapy techniques that can be used on a daily basis to help support your mental health on May 26 (no musical experience required). You can learn more about these and other scheduled events, including weekly support groups and integrative services, at VegasStrongRC.org/calendar.
If you’re having suicidal thoughts, worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 across the United States. You can call 1-800-273-8255. Beginning on July 16 this year, Nevada will also activate the new 988 crisis line for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. You’ll be hearing more about this new, expanded crisis response system in the months to come.