By: Lizette Smith, Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist – Director of Clinical Programs; Keystone Program Manager
This month, we want to focus on the importance of mental health to our overall health.
Everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. Add to that the impact of the COVID pandemic. Many people who had never experienced mental health challenges found themselves struggling during this past year.
We are joining with the national organization: Mental Health America (MHA) to promote mental health awareness.
It is guided by the “Before Stage 4” (B4Stage4) philosophy. That is, mental health conditions should be treated long before they reach stages of extreme distress. Like other disorders, it is critical to address symptoms early and plan a course of action towards overall health. Turning to friends, family, a trusted co-worker, and to mental health professionals when struggling with challenges are signs of strength, not weakness.
During this month of May, we at Keystone won’t give you specific interventions or tell anyone what should be done in individual situations. But we will offer resources that share information and resources that point to places to go to build skills and supports. We’ll also highlight some of MHA’s Mental Health Month toolkit “Tools 2 Thrive”.
Over one hundred years ago, MHA founder Clifford Beers decided he was not going to let shame, stigma, deniers, and naysayers dampen this mental health movement. Instead, he said “I must fight in the open”.
So, during this month of May, please share the message that mental disorders and challenges are real, and that recovery is possible. Promote balance in life by developing your own “Tools to Thrive”. Let us all increase mental health awareness, live a healthy lifestyle and prioritize mental health for all.