By: Toccara Mallard, Volunteer Coordinator
FIVE WAYS YOU CAN MAKE AN IMPACT THIS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH
It’s time to spring into action this Mental Health Awareness Month! This critical public education campaign was launched in 1949 by Mental Health America to increase awareness of mental health issues and share resources. Throughout the month of May at Families First (and really, every month), we are striving to make it everyone’s passion to support individuals and families during life’s challenges and changes!
Below are five ways YOU can make an impact this Mental Health Awareness Month.
1. Practice Self-care
“You can’t pour from an empty glass”; One of the best ways you can contribute to improved mental health, better relationships, and healthier communities is to make sure you are meeting your own needs. Ways to practice self-care include:
• Build a self-care routine
• Practice mindful breathing
• See a counselor. Families First is committed to making our services flexible, affordable and helpful. Fees are based on each family’s unique ability to pay. We also have services available in Spanish. Call 317-634-6341 to inquire about our counseling services.
Families First was founded in 1835 solely on the strength of “Friendly Neighbors” aka volunteers. We would like to welcome more volunteers into our family, especially to help with our Suicide/Crisis Text and Hotline. No prior experience is necessary. All you need to do is care and we can teach you the rest. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Tocarra Mallard for more information on this and other volunteer opportunities.
3. Speak Up Online
Take part in conversations about important topics in mental health this month. It’s very common for organizations to organize conversations or share information via social media. Use or look for the following hashtags to follow along:
4. Pay attention to Your Physical Health
From food to exercise to sleep, dive into the elements that make up personal wellness. This May, challenge yourself to make small changes - both mentally and physically - to create huge gains for your overall health. Take a walk each day- OR better yet, take walks with a pet! Animal Companionship can have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life and ability to recover from illnesses. A pet can be a source of comfort and can help us to live mentally healthier lives.
5. Know How to Support Someone
About 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime. Know where you would go for help if someone you care about were to experience a crisis. Here are a few resources you can keep on hand:
• Share this information about the Families First Crisis and Suicide Intervention Services
• Request a training on several mental health topics including Domestic Violence and Youth Mental Health First Aid
• Know how to help someone who may need therapy