Happy Wednesday everyone!

The month of May has been designated as National Mental Health Awareness month.  It’s a time to raise awareness of mental health issues quietly affecting millions of Americans, reduce the stigma surrounding behavioral health issues, and celebrate recovery!  The goal is to help acknowledge trauma and the impact it can have on our physical, emotional, and the mental well-being of not only ourselves, but our children, families and communities as well.

So much time and effort goes into our physical well-being.  But mental health is also paramount, yet somehow gets swept under the rug or put on the back burner!  But keep in mind, many companies offer well-being services to their employees and family members throughout the year.  Check with your work to see if they offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which offers confidential short term counseling and other resources at no charge!

Another great resource is to visit the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) website.  They have a variety of signature programs where people and communities can find help, hope and healing.  Click on the links below for more information:

NAMI Basics: A six-session education program for parents, caregivers and other family members who provide care for youth (ages 22 and younger) who are experiencing mental health symptoms

NAMI Family-to-Family: A free, eight-session educational program for family, significant others and friends of people with mental health conditions.

NAMI Family and Friends: A free 90-minute or four-hour seminar that informs people who have loved ones with a mental health condition how to best support them.

NAMI Homefront: A free, six-session program for families, caregivers and friends of military members and veterans with mental health conditions. Plus, find free online resources available 24/7.

NAMI In Our Own Voice: Free presentations that provide a personal perspective of mental health conditions, as leaders with lived experience talk openly about what it’s like to have a mental health condition.

NAMI Peer-to-Peer: A free, eight-session educational program for adults with mental health conditions who are looking to better understand themselves and their recovery.

NAMI Support Groups: NAMI support groups are peer-led and offer participants an opportunity to share their experiences and gain support from other attendees.

Need Immediate Help in A Crisis?

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline – Dial or text 988 if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or experiencing a mental health crisis and get connected to a trained crisis counselor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Crisis counselors listen empathetically and without judgment. Your crisis counselor will work to ensure that you feel safe and help identify options and information about mental health services in your area.

Here are some other ways to participate in Mental Health Awareness Month:

*  Connect with others: Spend time with people you care about, like friends, family, a support group, or counselor

*  Connect with your community:  Volunteer, take a class, attend a public event, or practice kindness with strangers

*  Light up green:  Encourage your community to light up their buildings and structures in green, the color for mental health awareness

*  Connect with yourself: Try activities like meditation, yoga, massage, reading, walking, journaling, or gardening for 20 minutes a day.  

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