Mental Health is critical to our overall well-being but it’s often neglected. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to recognize the importance of our mental health. CCRC’s Family Well-Being team is providing some important mental health resources for children and families.
Did you know 1 in every 20 Americans is living with a serious mental health condition? But many don’t seek help because of stigma, culture, lack of resources, or just being too busy. When our mental health is neglected, that can have serious consequences on the rest of our well-being.
Mental health conditions do not care whether you are male, female, or non-binary. People of all gender identities can experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. These conditions may look different in men, who face societal stereotypes and stigmas about being “strong” and the saying, “boys don’t cry.” This stigma may make it more difficult for men to seek help. Here are resources for men. Meanwhile, studies show that women are more likely than men to experience mental health problems, with anxiety and depression disorders most prevalent. One possible explanation for this is that women take on multiple roles such as being mothers, educators, caregivers, head of households, and first-generation students, among many other roles. In order to focus on these many roles, women may set aside their mental health needs. It’s critical for women to acknowledge their health needs first and foremost because to effectively take care of others, you must first take care of yourselves. Check out these resources for women. The Trevor Project has resources for teen mental health.
Take a Break from Tech
Challenge yourself to take a break or limit your social media intake and reevaluate how you can create a calm, peaceful and joyous environment. According to The Center for Developmental Psychiatry, researchers found that spending just a couple of hours each week in green spaces is associated with higher ratings of health and wellbeing. Try customizing a plan to set media priorities based on family needs. This free, self-guided program from the Mayo Clinic helps reduce screen time. Use this free screen time chart to monitor goals. Make sure the media your children consume is appropriate for their age group by visiting this site.
The Mind Body Connection
Mental and physical health have a significant influence on each other. Our minds and bodies are connected; if you have problems with one, you’re likely to have problems with the other. Emotional stress can also cause us to be more vulnerable to physical illness, as emotional stress can lower our immunity and make it harder for the body to fight off illnesses. Research shows the healthier the lifestyle choices you can make, the more likely you are to experience higher life satisfaction and lower psychological distress. Some examples of healthy lifestyle changes include getting enough exercise, getting a good night’s sleep, eating healthy and taking time for yourself. Try these activities: focused breathing that allows you to inhale and exhale 3 to 5 deep breaths; taking a short walk outside; connecting to a positive memory by keeping a sentimental item nearby.
To support our busy lives, Telehealth provides patients with virtual therapy. This may be a good option for those who prefer flexibility in their appointments and sessions from the comfort of their own home. People who live far away from a provider’s office or those with children may benefit from telehealth.
Here are additional resources: