SPREADING AWARENESS, REDUCING STIGMA, AND FINDING WAYS TO DECOMPRESS MAY IS NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH MONTH T his year marks 70 years of celebrating Mental Health Month. Since 1949, Mental Health America has joined many affiliates in an effort to reach all their after-school games and clubs. On Sundays, I volunteer to help out at church events, as well. While I love my busy schedule,
people nationwide. It’s all part of their commitment to end the stigma associated with mental health and spread awareness of symptoms and options for treatment. At Disability Help Center, we embrace Mental Health Month because we understand just how often mental illnesses can go undiagnosed — a systemic problem that seems reasonably correlated with our country’s high rates of suicide. The overarching theme for this year’s Mental Health Month is #4Mind4Body, which emphasizes education, outreach, peer advocacy, and support programs. Additionally, #4Mind4Body encourages people to explore other options that might aid them throughout the prescribed treatment program established by their doctor. These include animal companionship (both pets and support animals), spirituality, humor, work-life balance,
sometimes the responsibility of running a large household alongside the Disability Help Center gets to be too much. That’s why I aim to do yoga three times a week. In addition to the more obvious physical benefits yoga offers, like strength and flexibility, many psychologists believe that yoga can be an effective adjunctive treatment for several mental disorders. For example, researchers from the Boston University Medical Center found that yoga may be superior to other forms of exercise in reducing feelings of anxiety and stress. The parameters of their study involved a group of physically healthy individuals
While a mental health condition isn’t something that can be self-diagnosed or self-treated, it is important that every individual finds their
If the prospect of trying yoga doesn’t sound appealing, I completely understand. Still, I encourage you to honor Mental Health Month to help spread awareness about the prevalence of mental health conditions, reduce the stigma that is so well-ingrained in our societal fabric, and explore ways to participate in #4Mind4Body. Most importantly, if you or someone you know needs someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our advocates. We will stand by your side as we connect you with mental health counselors we know and trust. –Elizabeth Packard
own methods to deal with stress and decompress from a chaotic schedule.
practicing one-hour yoga sessions three times per week over a four-month period. The participants reported increased gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels, which lessened their chances of experiencing anxiety or developing a mood disorder. More studies are currently being conducted to determine whether or not yoga can serve as an effective supplemental therapy in treating schizophrenia and PTSD. But at the present moment, the added self-esteem, focus, and calming benefits are enough to give it a try.
recreation, and social connection. While a mental health condition isn’t something that can be self-diagnosed or self-treated, it is important that every individual finds their own methods to deal with stress and decompress from a chaotic schedule.
For example, in my life, yoga serves as a much-needed outlet. With kids in school and college, I rush to make it to
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