M is for Mental Health

May is known for many things, but one of the most important is that it is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental Health Awareness has been observed in May in the United States since 1949 and was started by the Mental Health America organization. Despite the fact that it seems very buzzy right now, mental health is a very important part of everyone’s daily lives. Sadly, with war and sickness surrounding so many, having a healthy mind is getting more and more difficult for everyone.

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, according to mentalhealth.gov. In order to be healthy people, we need to have healthy minds and bodies. Doctors are constantly reminding us of ways to have healthy bodies (exercise, fruits, veggies), but what are ways to have a healthy mind?

Thankfully, there are some wonderful resources available to anyone who seeks them out, either for yourself or someone you know is struggling. Here are some resources to try:

  • MentalHealth.gov - provides information for recognizing symptoms in someone struggling with a mental health issue, resources for getting help, and also links to other places to seek out help.
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - this website has a whole section devoted to Mental Health Awareness Month. In recent years, the number of suicides continues to climb due to isolation, fear, depression, and other factors people have been forced to deal with during the pandemic. Not only does this website have stories from people who are working on their mental health struggles, but it also links to places to find help.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - NAMI fights stigma, provides support, educates the public and advocates for policies that support people with mental illness and their families. They provide information on dealing with mental health issues, ways to get involved, and share your story.

Resources that are more local to southeast Michigan include:

The Women’s Center of Southeast Michigan - The Women’s Center promotes self-determination for women and families by providing professional services that build confidence, strengthen connections, and create positive change.

Michigan Association for Suicide Prevention - Focuses on decreasing the number of suicides and attempts in Michigan, supporting those left behind, and reducing the stigma associated with mental illness and suicide.

Michigan Mental Health Networker - Directory of Michigan mental health agencies.

In a world filled with smartphones, there are some wonderful apps for mental health available on IOS and Google platforms. Be sure to give them a try. Many include journaling, meditations, quick feeling check ins, daily affirmations, and more. These apps include Stoic (IOS only), Daylio (IOS and Google), Reflectly (IOS and Google), I Am (IOS only), Minddoc (IOS and Google), Nuna (IOS and Google), and Sanvello (IOS and Google).

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