4 Ways to Observe Mental Health Awareness Month - Dr. Amanda Aster-McKenna - Psy.D in Montclair, NJ
May is Mental Health Awareness Month!
Happy May! As some of you may know, May is a month dedicated to acknowledging our own Mental Health in an effort to spread the word that our mental health is something we should all care about, not something to be stigmatized for. Mental health awareness this month is represented by a green ribbon.
4 Ways to Observe Mental Health Awareness Month:
1. Take care of yourself!
We are all human beings and vulnerable to pain and suffering, so when your own mental health acts up, ask for help.
2. Take care of your loved ones.
Stay in touch with friends and family. Offer support when they are in need.
3. Talk about mental health.
One of the very best ways to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month is to engage in micro and macro acts that decrease the stigma and share with others that mental illness is real, treatment is available, and recovery is possible! The more we talk about it, the more normalized it will become.
4. Go out in nature.
Spending time in nature is linked to many positive mental health outcomes including improved focus, lower stress levels, and a sense of connection to yourself, community and purpose.
Mental Health Resources
Below are 24/7 Mental Health Resources should you or a loved one need help offered by Mental Health America:
1. MHA Screening: Online screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine if you’re experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Our screens are free, confidential, and scientifically validated.
2. 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free, and confidential support to people in distress – you don’t need to be suicidal to reach out. Call 1-800-273-8255 to be connected with a crisis counselor. Crisis counselors who speak Spanish are available at 1-888-628-9454.
3. 988 Textline: When you text 988, you will complete a short survey letting the crisis counselor know a little about your situation. You will be connected with a trained crisis counselor in a crisis center who will answer the text, provide support, and share resources if needed.
4. Crisis Text Line: If you prefer texting to talking on the phone, text MHA to 741-741 to be connected with a crisis counselor who will help you get through your emotions.
5. Warmlines: Warmlines are staffed by trained peers who have been through their own mental health struggles and know what it’s like to need someone to talk to. Visit here for more information on warmlines.
Improve Your Mental Health in 31 Days
Here you will find a calendar for the month of May dedicated to 31 ways to make the world around you work for your mental health, provided by Mental Health of America (click to view full image):
How willing are you to engage in one small act a day during the month of May to honor Mental Health Awareness Month, and take a stance to end the stigma and increase conversation that we are all human beings who experience pain and suffering? This is not something to be embarrassed or ashamed of, but rather, something to be normalized and shared in a compassionate and empathetic way!
As an aside from this month’s important content, in my line and work with a passion for mental health, I love connecting with others to bring resources and support to our community. If you are interested in collaborating content, please feel free to email me at DrAmandaAster@gmail.com. Thanks!
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*Peace, Love, & Fierce Acceptance*
Dr. Amanda Aster-McKenna, Psy.D.
NJ Licensed Psychologist #5888, Private Practice, Montclair, NJ
Adjunct Professor, Kean University, Department of Advanced Studies in Psychology
Manager, New York City Chapter of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science
Board Member, Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris