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What's coming up in May

Next month I'm doing things a little differently because I feel that right now everyone needs to know this. I know what has been happening with my own mental health and I must assume I am not alone. I am especially concerned about children & adults caught in an abusive situation as their lives may be in danger. I need you to reach out to the ones who you know are in a dangerous place either by phone or video chat and give them what support you can. If you are able, remove them from the situation, if you are not at least let them know someone cares enough to keep in touch. I fear the deaths from domestic violence will be higher than the deaths from the pandemic.

Do You Know Your Tools2Thrive?

While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can
impact their mental health. The good news is there are practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental
health and increase resiliency - and there are ways that everyone can be supportive of friends, family, and co-workers
who are struggling with life’s challenges or mental health

This May is Mental Health Month and I am highlighting #Tools2Thrive - what individuals can do
daily to prioritize their mental health, build resiliency in the face of trauma and obstacles, support those who are
struggling, and work towards a path of recovery.

One of the easiest tools anyone can use is taking a mental health screen at when they need
answers. It’s a quick, free, and private way for people to assess their mental health and recognize signs of mental
health problems.

This May, we are also exploring topics that can help you build your own set of #Tools2Thrive - recognizing and
owning your feelings; finding the positive after loss; connecting with others; eliminating toxic influences; creating
healthy routines; and supporting others - all as ways to boost the mental health and general wellness of you and your
loved ones.

When it comes to your feelings, it can be easy to get caught up in your emotions as you’re feeling them. Most people
don’t think about what emotions they are dealing with but taking the time to really identify what you’re feeling can
help you to better cope with challenging situations. It’s ok to give yourself permission to feel. We also know that life
can throw us curveballs - and at some point in our lives we will all experience loss. It may be the end of a relationship,
being let go from a job, losing a home, or the death of a loved one. It is natural to go through a grieving process. By
looking for opportunity in adversity or finding ways to remember the good things about who or what we’ve lost, we
can help ourselves to recover mentally and emotionally.

It also is true that connections and the people around us can help our overall mental health – or hurt it. It’s important
to make connections with other people that help enrich our lives and get us through tough times, but it’s equally
important to recognize when certain people and situations in life can trigger us to feel bad or engage in destructive
behaviors. Identifying the toxic influences in our lives and taking steps to create a new life without them can improve
mental and physical health over time. And we know that work, paying bills, cleaning, getting enough sleep, and
taking care of children are just some of the things we do each day - and it is easy to be overwhelmed. By creating
routines, we can organize our days in such a way that taking care of tasks and ourselves becomes a pattern that
makes it easier to get things done without having to think hard about them.

For each of us, the tools we use to keep us mentally healthy will be unique. But I want everyone to know that mental illnesses are real, and recovery is possible. Finding what work for you may not be easy but can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes. By developing your own #Tools2Thrive, it is possible to find balance between work and play, the ups and downs of life, and physical health and mental health – and set yourself on the path to recovery.

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