Life is tough, and sometimes it may be hard to express and/or understand how you are feeling. Maybe you are stressed? Over-whelmed? Have so much to do, you can’t prioritize?
Sometimes you just have to ask yourself – “Hey, Are U OK?”
If the answer is NO…..There are plenty of options for help and support. You don’t have to feel isolated or struggle alone.
Call or text 988 anytime for help during a mental health, substance use, or suicidal crisis.
Did you know?
49.5% of adolescents ages 13-18 live with a mental disorder. Of those individuals, 1 in 5 (22%) experience severe impairment. (Nat’l Institute of Mental Health)
50% of all mental illnesses begin by age 14, and 75% by the mid-20’s. (Archives of General Psychology)
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for youth age15-19. (Nat’l Center for Health Statistics)
For more data on mental health visit www.nami.org/mhstats
What is Mental Health?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood, and something that impacts everyone. Mental health determines our ability to relate to others, perform day-to-day tasks and responsibilities, and enjoy favorite people and activities in our lives.
What is Mental Health is NOT?
Something to “get over”
Something to fear
The most important thing to remember is that “You Are Not Alone.”
Youth Mental Health First Aid teaches adults how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among adolescents between the ages of 12-18. For more information on Youth MHFA or to register for upcoming trainings, please contact Erica Skoutas, MHFA Project Director at email@example.com
A Self-check of Your Mental Health
Ask yourself the following ten questions: take your time, be honest, and don’t be hard on yourself.
How are you feeling today, really? Physically and mentally.
What’s taking up most of your headspace right now?
What was your last full meal, and have you been drinking enough water?
How have you been sleeping?
What have you been doing for exercise?
What did you do today that made you feel good?
What’s something you can do today that would be good for you?
What’s something you’re looking forward to in the next few days?
What’s something we can do together this week, even if we’re apart?
What are you grateful for right now?
This self-assessment tool was created by Mental Health America, to learn more visit https://screening.mhanational.org/content/just-checking-friends
Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health
Self-care is a common way to take care of your mental health, as well as your physical and emotional health. The World Health Organization defines self-care as: “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
Some examples are:
Dance a little. Turn up the volume at work or home and dance to your favorite tunes – no judgment.
Drink more water. Perhaps the easiest self-care activity to try this year.
Exercise more often. You don’t have to enlist for a marathon or hit the CrossFit arena to make this happen. Any form of exercise will count; even thirty minutes of walking will do.
Drink some tea. Beyond being antioxidative and highly beneficial for our health, tea is another way to ramp up our water intake.
Paint your nails. Yes, self-care is also painting your nails and giving yourself a face mask.
Sleep more. We take sleep for granted. This year do your best to sleep at least seven hours a night and improve your sleeping habits.
Go outside. A few minutes outdoors can bring your stress levels down.
Eat something you love. An instant way to pick your mood up is by eating something you enjoy.
Have a morning routine. What we do when we wake up can impact the rest of our day.
Call a friend. Self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate or too thoughtful. Sometimes, calling a friend is all you need to care for your social self.
While these are great for some self-care doesn’t look the same for everyone. Healthline, a health and wellness website, has a great resource for creating your own self-care checklist so that it is specific and actionable for you, learn more at https://www.healthline.com/health/self-care-checklist
If you or someone you know needs more professional help Bridges is able to offer mental health care and treatment for the whole family, children and adults. As the state-designated Local Mental Health Authority for Milford, Orange and West Haven, Bridges offers recovery-focused services to support individuals; learn more www.bridgesct.org/
Psychology Today offers a searchable database of local clinicians, learn more at https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/ct/milford