Mental Health America Blog https://staging.mhanational.org/ en How 2020 Showed Me The Meaning of Justice, Pride, and Connection https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/how-2020-showed-me-meaning-justice-pride-and-connection <span>How 2020 Showed Me The Meaning of Justice, Pride, and Connection</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/be%20kind.png" alt="Be Kind, Be Brave, Show Your Pride on a Beige Background" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 06/25/2020 - 17:39</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">June 25, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Juan Acosta, Youth Intern at <a href="https://bornthisway.foundation/">Born This Way Foundation</a> and member of Mental Health America’s <a href="https://mhanational.org/blog/cmhic-2019-6-student-leaders-transforming-mental-health-campus">Collegiate Mental Health Innovation Council</a></em></p> <p>As 2020 began, we didn’t expect for our lives to be altered in such a tremendous way. We all looked forward to birthdays, graduations, Pride month celebrations, and milestone events, but our vision for what we were going to try to achieve this year was challenged by our current time of uncertainty due to the pandemic. The impact of the pandemic has taken a toll on everyone’s emotional and mental health, and it’s important now more than ever that we look out for one another.</p> <p>The concept of looking out for one another is not a new one, but it can be difficult to truly grasp and execute. Showing up for others can be unifying and life-changing, and the Black Lives Matter movement presents us with an opportunity to hold proactive conversations and come together as a collective to support one another and stand up against injustice. The Black Lives Matter movement complements Pride month. I view Pride celebrations as a community speaking up against injustice and making themselves visible. Pride was built on Black queer riots, and leaders like Marsha P. Johnson.&nbsp; In a time where many people, including myself, are feeling more isolated and stressed than usual, we know that kindness and unity are appreciated now more than ever. We are all seeking support, understanding, and real and thoughtful conversations. We all want change, justice, and this Pride month we want to emphasize that Black Lives Matter.</p> <p>As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I must acknowledge that the safe spaces to have these conversations are extremely important to me. I am lucky and grateful to have a safe space both at home and online. However, a safe space at home is not the case for many other LGBTQ+ community members. LGBTQ+ people have a harder time finding kindness, especially in physical spaces in their own communities (Born This Way Foundation, 22, 2017).&nbsp; In fact, 74% of transgender young people surveyed have agreed with the statement, “I go online to find people to relate to because it’s hard for me to find people to relate to in my daily life.” For approximately 52% of the LGBTQ+ individuals surveyed, digital communities act as a source of comfort. This feeling of comfort is crucial, especially during these trying times, where many are being told to stay at home —&nbsp; a place that may not be physically, emotionally, or mentally safe — which is why ensuring that people have a positive, accepting, and encouraging online community is so important.</p> <p>As I reflect on my platform and what I see on the web, I often ask myself if what I am uploading will contribute positively to someone’s day. Doing so is my way to ensure that I am making my social media feed a safe space for all. Sharing resources for those who come across my feed is something that I’m now doing more often, and it is additionally an activity I am encouraging others to do as well.</p> <p>These uncertain times have left many of us with questions. We all want to know how we can support and be there for one another. Many of us have had numerous video calls every day. While others have opted for phone calls or texts to stay in touch with their loved ones. While those are all great ways to stay connected, when trying to support others, we have to dive deep and have proactive conversations. We must also ensure that we’re checking in with ourselves and our own mental health, and capacity is crucial. Being honest about how we are feeling and recognizing our experiences is extremely important. We cannot be there for others if we’re not taking care of ourselves.</p> <p>Lastly, using available resources is also very helpful. If you are struggling or need someone to talk to, I recommend using <a href="mhanational.org/warmlines">warm lines</a> and other telephone/text lines that might be able to provide you with the support you need and might be looking for.</p> <p><em>Juan Acosta is a Mental Health and LGBTQ+ advocate and national speaker.&nbsp; Born in Jalisco, MX, Juan has dedicated his life to the community and advocacy. He began doing community service at age 13 and raked up more than 200+ community service hours by age 15, receiving recognition from nonprofits and government agencies. Since then, Juan has collaborated with numerous organizations including Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation on their Channel Kindness Platform, California's Mental Health Services Oversight &amp; Accountability Commission, and Mental Health America. In addition, Juan drafted a historic LGBTQ+ proclamation for the city of Woodland CA, served as Assistant Director of the Queer Alliance Club at San Francisco State, where he graduated with a Bachelor's in Psychology. Juan is currently an Assistant Manager for the California Warm Line and Program Intern for Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation. He is also a contributor in Born This Way Foundation &amp; Lady Gaga's new book, "Channel Kindness."</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/covid19" hreflang="en">COVID19</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/lgbt-mental-health" hreflang="en">LGBT Mental Health</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17470&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="4ovV5FjypOVnTDaOOZHedL_y4qBChCXZ_iVe_4byAmk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 25 Jun 2020 21:39:17 +0000 JCheang 17470 at https://staging.mhanational.org https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/how-2020-showed-me-meaning-justice-pride-and-connection#comments Is It Time for a Staycation? The Answer May (Not) Surprise You https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/it-time-staycation-answer-may-not-surprise-you <span>Is It Time for a Staycation? The Answer May (Not) Surprise You</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/travel%20summer_0.jpg" alt="A wooden surface with a book open with glasses sitting on top, a candle, a camera, a hat, a striped cloth, jeans, and sunglasses lying about." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Tue, 06/23/2020 - 08:31</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">June 23, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Taylor Adams, Manager of Workplace Mental Health at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is easy to feel powerless and isolated. Our inability to chat with friends and family face-to-face, grab a happy hour bite to eat with coworkers, and have a one-on-one with your boss has strained our already-tenuous balance between “work” and “life.” Zoom is now the new “office drop-in.” Emails, blogs, and newsletters flood our inboxes like there’s no tomorrow. While videoconferencing and calls can be helpful tools to stay somewhat connected and informed, they tend to sap a ton of our emotional and mental energy – a commodity that is in short supply already due to the pandemic – leaving us extremely fatigued.</p> <p>This new dynamic we are all facing can exacerbate numerous mental health issues, including burnout. Burnout is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. Although burnout is specific to the workplace, people are facing stressful and traumatic events in their personal and professional lives that are being compounded by current circumstances, and thus, becoming increasingly difficult to manage.</p> <p>Similar to other mental health concerns, burnout does not go away on its own and needs a concentrated effort to help alleviate. It may not be your typical vacation, but a staycation can still help you stave off the effects of burnout, retake control of your daily rhythm, and reduce stress. For those who are working on the frontlines of COVID-19, it is especially important to find ways to care for yourself while caring for others. Here are a couple tips for when you plan your next staycation:</p> <ol> <li>Just like you don’t want to work where you sleep, you want a space where you can relax away from work. Clear your desk space, tuck away the laptop, hide your paperwork under plants -whatever you need to do to create a physical space that does not bring your attention back to work. This will hopefully kick that sense of urgency and frustration of feeling rushed when you’re thinking about that pending Zoom call at 9 in the morning and allow you to take a breath for once.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Many teleworking employees may have some extra time on their hands during this time, but still don’t feel that they have enough time to pursue their hobbies. Don’t let this stop you. Pull out the old resolutions list and start that first recipe, art project, or book. Start with one item and go at your own pace. There is no pressure or urgency when staycation “time” is your “time.” Many people agree that its difficult to focus even on simple, one-off tasks; however, stepping away from work can alleviate stress and allow you to enjoy activities that help you relax.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>While it may not be a trip to a tropical island or mountainside, a staycation should be fun as it is relaxing. Recreate the experience of a vacation away from home. <ul> <li>If you want to go to the beach, plan a tropical themed meal like a teriyaki chicken rice bowl, virgin pina colada, and coconut sorbet. Set the mood by playing ocean sounds on your phone or TV. Decorate your space with tropical plants, fruit, and decorations.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you want to go camping, pitch a tent or pillow fort in your living room. Roast marshmallows over the stovetop or warm in the microware for homemade s’mores. Project stars on your ceiling using your phone for a night of “sleeping under the stars.”<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you want to visit a new city, research the foods, museums, and monuments unique to that city. Decorate your windows with a picture of a city skyline. Cook or bake new recipes that locals swear are the best dishes in town. &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> </ul> </li> <li>Use your staycation to plan your next domestic or international trip when it does become safe to travel. This includes researching the state or country you would like to travel to, creating a realistic budget (or giving yourself unlimited funds!), choosing your ideal accommodations, learning common phrases in a new language, and making a list of regional foods to eat and monuments to visit.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you aren’t able to take a staycation, find ways to reclaim your time at work. Block off one to two days or even a full week on your calendar, if possible. This can help minimize the number of calls or meetings you attend with staff and outside contacts and give you time to brainstorm your next project and focus on the tasks at hand.</li> </ol> <p>If none the above appeal to you, then do whatever that inspires, empowers, and relaxes you. The most important thing is that you give back yourself some time that seems to disappear so quickly during these stressful times.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/covid19" hreflang="en">COVID19</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/workplace-wellness" hreflang="en">workplace wellness</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17460&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="2dBdWNS8zIVL1Xa9rf0UHChON7k3i5XQiGA9NqOMTIc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 23 Jun 2020 12:31:43 +0000 JCheang 17460 at https://staging.mhanational.org Guarding your Joy: Keeping your mental wellness high on your agenda https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/guarding-your-joy-keeping-your-mental-wellness-high-your-agenda <span>Guarding your Joy: Keeping your mental wellness high on your agenda </span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/light-nature-sky-sunset-33044.jpg" alt="Sunflower in the foreground of a sunset" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/22/2020 - 10:27</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">June 22, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Julio J. Fonseca, Senior Program Manager, <a href="https://www.aidsunited.org/">AIDS United </a></em></p> <p>I recently got an email from a colleague and friend who leads a national black social justice organization.&nbsp;</p> <p>He signed off with “I hope you are continuing to guard your joy.”&nbsp;</p> <p>That resonated with me. One, because someone leading a social justice movement in the midst of ongoing protests against police brutality and systemic oppression against his community would be checking on me; and two, because I wasn’t quite sure if I was.</p> <p>Prior to joining AIDS United, I was an employee of Mental Health America (MHA). I left MHA to try a completely different venture in June 2008. It is great to still have so many close times with MHA staff and alumni. The relationships we forged trudging through health care reform, working towards mental health parity, and battling mental health stigma have been some of the most important in my life. &nbsp;</p> <p>In the interest of shattering stigma by leading by example I have:</p> <ul> <li>been a lifelong warrior against my own depression;</li> <li>have been sober and in recovery from drugs and alcohol for 3 years, and;</li> <li>have been living with HIV since February of 2009.</li> </ul> <p>I am also a self-identified out, queer, cisgender, Latinx man. My mental health and wellness have become the parts of me in my life I have realized I need to nurture most. &nbsp;</p> <p>And yet, working in public health in the era of COVID-19, it has been quite a challenge striking a balance to ensure that my joy and mental health are being not only guarded but also nurtured.&nbsp; AIDS United took the precaution of going to complete remote status in March and will not re-open this year. This meant a pivot to remote work and additional pivots in public health to a COVID-19 response. Like many, adjusting to being at home for extended periods affected me. Oh, did I mention I live in a studio apartment? Zoom fatigue has been real. Recovery meetings all went virtual to Zoom as well, so that has been an adjustment. And then other things that may not seem huge have had an impact as well. My mom is older with underlying conditions and I have not seen her in person since the beginning of this year. I think my last hug with anyone was in early March. When I get stressed, I eat. Physical distancing (more commonly known as social distancing) can create isolation which is particularly difficult if you are like me and are dealing with ongoing recovery and depression.</p> <p>June is also LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Pride is typically an opportunity to gather as LGBTQ+ people to gather in person and celebrate our diversity. Pride activities this year have been cancelled, but the energy and support and allyship in support of Black Lives Matter has created opportunities to mobilize either in demonstrations or virtually, and have helped many of the LGBTQ+ community be more engaged in social justice and anti-racist efforts. Marsha P. Johnson, a black transgender woman, and Sylvia Rivera, a Latina transgender woman -both heroes and foremothers of the Stonewall uprising in 1969 - would no doubt be happy to see how many LGBTQ+ people have pivoted to uplift voices of black people during Pride Month this year.</p> <p>So how is all of this change managed so quickly in what feels like so much uncertainty? As I write this, I am having a good day. And I must acknowledge that I am working on how to have a positive day without feeling guilty when there seems to be an overabundance of suffering in the world. I would love to hear how people balance their energy to strive for this “less guilty” feeling.</p> <p>I have become very deliberate in how I guard my joy and try to protect my mental health. Here are some of my strategies:&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Routine:</strong> This may seem like a no brainer, but for me, I function better with a routine. It took about a month to standardize my day and there have been some starts and pauses, but I have also created a space for myself to realize “Hey, you’ve never lived through a global pandemic, so it’s ok to be learning in real time.”&nbsp; I still get up, put the coffee on, get a bike ride in (if I’ve slept through the night), grab a shower and meditate before I head to my desk.&nbsp; After a week in sweats, I realized, it made me feel better to put on clothes and get ready as if I were heading out into the world. Also, when work was done, then I changed in my typical evening clothes. Having a clear demarcation between the beginning and end of my workday has been great.</p> <p><strong>Exercise/Outdoor Activity:</strong> Exercise is good for mental wellness. And yet, it is so easy to use stay at home orders to go in the complete opposite direction. Trust me I know; I have been gaining and losing the same 5 pounds since March. After a period of time, more research showed that outdoor walks (social distanced with friends) and bike rides and other activity with risk reduction strategies like masks and/or gloves were good ways to help address the cabin fever we’ve all been experiencing.&nbsp; I personally feel comfortable going out earlier in the morning to get my bike rides in when the streets are empty and less people are on the sidewalk.</p> <p><strong>Social Media/Media limits:&nbsp;</strong>I have set up my phone to let me know when I have hit a certain amount of time on social media apps. It has been important for me to ensure that I am not constantly bombarded with information that can put me into a negative headspace and keep me there. And it is hard—we have more time on our hands and it is much easier to say to yourself, “Oh I’ll just read one more article,” to stave off boredom. &nbsp;There is also the balance of needing to stay informed. I have implemented a morning news break and typically that’s it. Otherwise you could literally sit and watch bad news all day long and that is not healthy.</p> <p><strong>Productive or Calming Hobbies:</strong> I have to say, I have read about 6 books since COVID-19 with zero guilt! When I’ve felt the temptation to spend too much time reading the news, I remember that I have a stack of books that are very helpful for me to focus on something completely different. Have you wanted to pick an old hobby back up? Have some adult coloring books that you want to revisit? What are the things that bring you joy that you could incorporate into your mental wellness arsenal?</p> <p><strong>Gratitude:</strong> For people that know me, it might seem odd to imagine me making lists of things that I am grateful for, but when times are tough and my brain wants to fog up, it’s a helpful way to change my thinking. I was bummed that because of COVID-19, in-person Pride Events were cancelled this year. I was also bummed that my annual beach vacation was also cancelled. Each time, I sat and wrote five things I was grateful for. Sometimes it’s the basics: “coffee, running water, a place to live,” but it’s always a helpful reframe towards the things in life that are going right.</p> <p><strong>Connection:</strong> The temptation has been for me to isolate. I am by nature a social introvert and there were a couple of weeks in the beginning of COVID-19 where I was in heaven. “You mean I don’t have to go do anything? Great!” At the same time, as someone with depression and anxiety who is in addiction recovery, being alone can be incredibly detrimental. So reaching out to friends, sending texts, asking people if they could talk on the phone or FaceTime has helped maintain connection in unanticipated ways with people who are at times very far away. It is not the same, but it’s also a good way to not feel so alone.</p> <p><strong>Vacations and downtime: </strong>Make sure you are using your health/wellness and vacation time if you need to. Those are part of your salary and benefits package so do not feel guilty for accessing your benefit. And if you do not feel comfortable traveling, staycations are a thing. I think that part of my summer vacation will be going through a closet which I have never had the time to do - until now. Oh, and I have about 7 more books to read and a few silly shows to binge watch too!</p> <p>The best thing I have done for myself during everything going on in these unprecedented times has been to ask myself every day “How are you feeling today?” What can you add to your to-do list that is achievable and that will set you up for feeling successful? And now thanks to a colleague - “Are you continuing to guard your joy?”&nbsp; - ensuring that every day I put my mental health at the top of my agenda has been a great place to start.</p> <p><em><a>For information on how we can Stop HIV Together, click </a><a href="https://www.cdc.gov/stophivtogether/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Factagainstaids%2Findex.html">here</a>.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/wellness" hreflang="en">wellness</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/covid19" hreflang="en">COVID19</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17458&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="I2waBQIp4TOclDtrBa63ZWNibNWiywHif3TuqeJ2RPk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 22 Jun 2020 14:27:36 +0000 JCheang 17458 at https://staging.mhanational.org 5 Tips to Stay Focused When You Have No Dedicated Workspace https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/5-tips-stay-focused-when-you-have-no-dedicated-workspace <span>5 Tips to Stay Focused When You Have No Dedicated Workspace</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/open%20calendar.jpg" alt="Open calendar" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/08/2020 - 17:08</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">June 15, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Taylor Adams, Manager of Workplace Mental Health at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>If you are not used to working remotely, the change in routine and workspace can hinder your productivity. As someone who worked from home once a week, switching to a fully remote work schedule was a bigger challenge than I anticipated.</p> <p>For context, I live in a 750 square foot one-bedroom apartment with my partner who is also working from home five days a week. We do not have a home office, but we do have enough room for a small desk where we pile unopened mail and the occasional dirty dish. My partner and I often alternate between working at the small desk and the kitchen table with a thin wall separating us.</p> <p>During “these unprecedented times” (can we all agree to stop using this phrase?), we have discovered new ways to distract ourselves at home. Is it time for another break? Should I finally open that mail? We sometimes spend 15 minutes or more wondering why our neighbor across the way never seems to leave her desk. How does she do it? And we are perfectly capable of getting distracted without the added challenges of having pets or children.</p> <p>I am so grateful that my job grants me the means to live in this apartment, but it can be difficult to stay focused when there is no dedicated workspace. If you are struggling to stay focused, here are five tips to help you feel productive while working from home:</p> <ol> <li><strong>Create a temporary workspace. </strong>If at all possible, designate a physical space in your home that will serve as your temporary home office, including an uncluttered flat surface and a comfortable (but not too comfortable) chair. This space should be separate from where you relax or sleep, so a couch or bed may not be the best options. Invest or ask your company to invest in the proper technology to do your job, including a laptop, monitor, mouse, etc.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Communicate over shared spaces. </strong>If you are sharing a small space with a family member or partner, communicate clearly and regularly about your schedules, calls, meetings, webinars, or any other activity that might impact the other person’s work. If you only have one desk, create a plan on who will work at the desk when. If you have calls at different times, coordinate where you will take calls. Communication, courtesy, and patience are key to sharing a workspace whether in the office or at home.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Prepare as if you were going into the office. </strong>A few of us have probably indulged in rolling out of bed and immediately starting work. Sure, it feels nice to have an extra hour of sleep but forgoing any type of routine might be setting you up for a far less productive day. Instead, wake up early to take a shower and get dressed. Eat your eggs and bacon. Take a 20 or 30-minute walk around the neighborhood to simulate your morning commute (but with more fresh air and less road rage). Do what works best for you. The important thing is to feel prepared to take on the day.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Stick to a schedule.</strong> You are probably familiar with the expression “take things day-by-day”, but for some, they may need to take things hour-by-hour, and that’s completely normal. Maintain a detailed to-do list for each day in one-hour increments. Be sure to incorporate lunch and breaks; they should be part of your priorities for the day, too. Finally, there is an excuse to purchase a fetching clearance calendar!<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Reward yourself when you complete a task. </strong>When you are finally settled into a workspace, prepared for the day, and ready to tackle your to-do list, reward yourself with something small for each task you complete. The reward can be a short break, time outside, a walk around the neighborhood, 5-minute YouTube video, a small piece of dark chocolate, a delicious healthy meal at the end of the workday, and definitely not a glass of wine when it’s only 2 PM. Actually, I would suggest not rewarding yourself with things that could develop into unhealthy habits like drinking excessively or eating greasy foods.</li> </ol> <p>Above all else, be kind to yourself. You do not have to hold yourself to the same standards you would be if you were in the office and, you know, not working during a pandemic. You are doing your best, and your best is enough right now.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/workplace-wellness" hreflang="en">workplace wellness</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/covid19" hreflang="en">COVID19</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17417&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="GwLj2WYalaooQGSkXk6mrKmcNeva0lpG9O8EvQu-iq4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 08 Jun 2020 21:08:18 +0000 JCheang 17417 at https://staging.mhanational.org Register Now: MHA Webinar to Address the Connection Between Mental Health & Chronic Pain https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/register-now-mha-webinar-address-connection-between-mental-health-chronic-pain <span>Register Now: MHA Webinar to Address the Connection Between Mental Health &amp; Chronic Pain </span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/Mental%20Health%20and%20Chronic%20Pain%20webinar.png" alt="Webinar promotional graphic" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 06/04/2020 - 09:33</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">June 10, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>Mental Health America to host June 17th webinar with HealthyWomen and NMQF on the unique connection between mental health and chronic pain conditions. </em></p> <p>The mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are as essential to address as the physical health effects. As the number of COVID-19 cases increases, so does the associated anxiety and stress. The health challenges presented to individuals with a mental health condition during COVID-19 are only exacerbated for those who are also living with chronic pain. But all too often, we don’t talk about mental health and chronic pain in the same conversations.</p> <p><strong>On June 17th, Mental Health America (MHA) will host an educational webinar, <em><a href="https://www.mhanational.org/get-involved/addressing-connection-between-mental-health-chronic-pain-improve-patient-outcomes">Addressing the Connection Between Mental Health &amp; Chronic Pain to Improve Patient Outcomes</a></em>, on the importance of creating an open dialogue and promoting resources to support those living with both a mental health condition and chronic pain.</strong></p> <p>Webinar attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the resources that are available to individuals who are seeking support, and how personal, professional, and policy measures can help better address the unique needs of individuals who are living with both a mental health condition and chronic pain.</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong><a href="https://www.mhanational.org/get-involved/addressing-connection-between-mental-health-chronic-pain-improve-patient-outcomes">Click Here to Register for the Webinar Today</a>.</strong></p> <p>During the webinar, MHA will unveil new data&nbsp;<a name="_Hlk41377156">on the unique connection between mental health and chronic pain conditions </a>and invite panelists to provide a clinical and health equity perspective on mental health and pain management.</p> <h4><em>Webinar: Addressing the Connection Between Mental Health &amp; Chronic Pain to Improve Patient Outcomes</em></h4> <ul> <li><strong>WHO</strong>: Mental Health America (MHA) and leading national patient and provider advocates <ul> <li><em><strong>Maddy Reinert, MPH</strong>, Mental Health America (MHA)</em></li> <li><em><strong>Monica Mallampalli, PhD, MSc.</strong>, HealthyWomen</em></li> <li><em><strong>Gary A. Puckrein, PhD</strong>, National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF)</em></li> </ul> </li> <li><strong>WHEN</strong>: Wednesday, June 17, 2020 | 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST</li> </ul> <p class="text-align-center"><strong><a href="https://www.mhanational.org/get-involved/addressing-connection-between-mental-health-chronic-pain-improve-patient-outcomes">REGISTER FOR THE EVENT NOW</a>.</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17414&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="ZRzUhfrcFQFomIkR0HpsJmdD8ahehx5otQZDBuXkKcE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 04 Jun 2020 13:33:53 +0000 JCheang 17414 at https://staging.mhanational.org How To Be An Ally in The Fight Against Racial Injustice and For Better Mental Health For All https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/how-be-ally-fight-against-racial-injustice-and-better-mental-health-all <span>How To Be An Ally in The Fight Against Racial Injustice and For Better Mental Health For All</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/fists.jpg" alt="A pink and blue fist coming together." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/08/2020 - 14:37</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">June 08, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Whitney Ball, Outreach and Marketing Manager at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>Recently, I’ve been thinking about how intertwined mental health advocacy is with other social justice issues, particularly those around race. As a white woman fighting for the mental health of all, I cannot say that I advocate for change to our mental health system without also fighting for racial justice. Hundreds of years of oppression have resulted in so much racial trauma for people of color. The blatant acts of violence against communities of color that get the media attention are not the only things that impact mental health, but also the daily microaggressions that leave a lasting impact. These experiences lead to trauma and the result in increased psychological issues, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for people of color.&nbsp; We can’t stand up and fight for those with mental illness, and mental health for all, without also taking time to address the racism in our world actively.</p> <p>Over the past few days, I’ve started to ask myself, how can I be a better ally to people of color in the fight against oppression and racism? It’s more than standing up when horrific acts of violence occur in our country. And it’s not about sitting on the sidelines until things are so bad that we are forced into action. Instead, white people, including myself, must make it our mission to break down the systems of oppression that we have benefited from regularly.</p> <p>As white people, we need to make this racial justice and broader social justice a part of our daily work and fight against white supremacy. Here are some steps we can take to be better white allies in the fight against racial injustice.</p> <p><strong>Do our work first</strong></p> <p>We cannot engage in the fight against racism and white supremacy without taking time to understand how systems of oppression have served to benefit our lives. It is not the job of people of color to educate white people on race and privilege issues. Instead, we must take time to do the work ourselves. Will it be easy? Absolutely not. These threads of oppression are so embedded into every system in our country that educating ourselves will require genuinely digging in and pulling back so many layers. It will also require us to remain open to what we are learning. A good starting point might include consuming media that helps open eyes to racism in daily life. Forbes shared <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/juliawuench/2020/06/02/first-listen-then-learn-anti-racism-resources-for-white-people/#ebb2b5516ee3">a list</a> of anti-racist resources for white people to use to educate themselves, including books for adults and children, podcasts, social media accounts, and movies. It’s a good starting point for anyone wanting to lift up the oppressed.</p> <p><strong>Listen to the voices of people of color</strong></p> <p>For us to truly engage in the fight against racial injustice, we must ensure that we listen to the voices of people of color and help amplify them to the broader community. We cannot engage in the practice of allyship and serve as a white accomplice to the fight against racism if we, the white people, are doing all the talking. To be an ally, we must listen to the leadership within marginalized communities and share their messages with other white people in our space. It’s not the job of people of color to continually shout their message in hopes of being heard. Instead, it’s our job as white people to ensure that we are inviting people of color into every space and actually listening to them when it comes to racial injustices. Whether it’s our work, our home, our government, or any other area, we must magnify the voices of the oppressed and marginalized. And then we, the white folks, must deeply listen.</p> <p><strong>Practice Humility</strong></p> <p>Let’s face it. We love to get that pat on the back when we do something right, including when we are fighting for social justice issues. But that’s not what this is all about. Engaging in the fight against racial injustice requires white people to practice humility because this isn’t about us, and we aren’t going to get it right every time. We must be willing to admit that we don’t know it all and that we have a long way to go on this journey of allyship. Sometimes this practice of humility will look like shutting up and listening to people of color. It will require us to fight the urges to become defensive when we are called out for racism. Instead, we must work to understand why our words and actions are problematic. Other times it might require us to apologize for not getting things right. The bottom line is that if we want to truly be in solidarity with people of color, we must be willing to admit when we’re wrong and recognize that we know very little, although we often believe we know it all.</p> <p>Racial justice is a mental health issue. We, as white allies, must participate in change and recognize the emotional impact of oppression. If our goal is mental wellness and the emotional well-being of everyone, then we must be willing to do the necessary work for racial equity. We can’t address one without the other. This isn’t a one and done thing or something we commit to when a grave act of violence occurs. White allies must actively show up every day and fight racism in all the systems in which we exist and continue to do so even when it’s not easy, or no one is watching. Our founder, Clifford Beers, dedicated his life to fighting mental illness in the open. When others told him he should remain quiet, he got louder and spoke out more. It is now our time to carry on his legacy and fight in the open for racial equity and mental wellness for all. Will you join us?</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/minority-mental-health" hreflang="en">minority mental health</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-110397" class="comment-wrapper comment js-comment by-anonymous clearfix"> <span class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1591711217"></span> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> </article> <p class="comment__author"><a rel="nofollow" href="https://christianewirtz.com" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Christiane Wirtz (not verified)</a></p> <p class="comment__time">Tue, 06/09/2020 - 03:28</p> <p class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/110397#comment-110397" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></p> </footer> <div class="comment__content"> <h3><a href="/comment/110397#comment-110397" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">I completely agree. It needs…</a></h3> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>I completely agree. It needs the inside and the outside strategy. Working on own leftovers of racist concepts helps as well as listening and being completely clear in the public.</p> </div> <nav><drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=110397&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="6cOP9GS_Eyyg3k9SHyt3sfivbdMxwFhrai4WgZSah9M"></drupal-render-placeholder></nav> </div> </article> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-110412" class="comment-wrapper comment js-comment by-anonymous clearfix"> <span class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1591711208"></span> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> </article> <p class="comment__author"><span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Gloria Lea-Gray (not verified)</span></p> <p class="comment__time">Tue, 06/09/2020 - 09:57</p> <p class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/110412#comment-110412" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></p> </footer> <div class="comment__content"> <h3><a href="/comment/110412#comment-110412" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Racism</a></h3> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>This such a timely message, as I just participated in Zoom meeting on yesterday chaired by our COO, whom is white. I felt as a black woman that I was being placated (which was very insulting), it were if she felt that she had to conduct this forum it affirm to be a part of the conversation(s) but really had nothing meaningful to say and/or did not how to truly approach the subject. For that reason it felt disingenuous. She had a set of ground rules as drive and eliminate conversations that came from the heart. I was thinking why should have tell “you” how to treat or feel about black people that is something that comes from the heart! You have expressed everything that I have been saying and thinking especially over the last several weeks...the current conversation that are had with and by white prime seem to me more about them than us!</p> </div> <nav><drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=110412&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="DOv3e62EabM_n7LYsoQpiEdZZ9pKwenoEb5pLz-r75A"></drupal-render-placeholder></nav> </div> </article> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-110764" class="comment-wrapper comment js-comment by-anonymous clearfix"> <span class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1592329435"></span> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> </article> <p class="comment__author"><span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Laurel James (not verified)</span></p> <p class="comment__time">Tue, 06/16/2020 - 12:55</p> <p class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/110764#comment-110764" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></p> </footer> <div class="comment__content"> <h3><a href="/comment/110764#comment-110764" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Start somewhere-reach out to a Black colleague</a></h3> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>In the past few weeks since the country erupted following the George Floyd incident, much has been said by White people and White led organizations about the work that White people and organizations must do to address systemic racism. Yes, there is much dismantling to be done. Even some of our organizations perpetuate the systemic inequities. In some cases, the majority of our clients are Black and Brown people being treated and served by White people who are unaware of the collective trauma that their clients are suffering from.<br /> Here is something simple that White people who work in the field can do: take a look at your circle of friends, professional colleagues, the people you go to lunch with, the people to whose offices you go to have a chat, the people to whom you say good morning, the people with whom you engage in meaningful conversations to get to know them better. Are there people who do not look like you, talk like you, dress like you in those circles? Are there immigrants? Start there.<br /> Sometimes in the quest to be politically correct, we come across as insensitive and uncaring, not engaging, not willing to learn about Black people&#039;s experiences.<br /> Call a Black person, a colleague, a Black service provider, a Black executive director. Find out how they&#039;re coping, how they&#039;re dealing with the racial/social. They may be suffering from vicarious or secondary trauma. Even mental health professionals may be in need of self care right now.<br /> Start with one small step. It may be uncomfortable, but start somewhere.</p> </div> <nav><drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=110764&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Gcjb3J1jPgLGx8sz0CoOCHsCNBbuUKFRe9eT_DgHf2Q"></drupal-render-placeholder></nav> </div> </article> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17416&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="Gj27nrDySqmcB2C8xM0jvFL9Uwmkoe0gujMu3EAR3CE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 08 Jun 2020 18:37:21 +0000 JCheang 17416 at https://staging.mhanational.org We will no longer tolerate injustice in America https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/we-will-no-longer-tolerate-injustice-america <span>We will no longer tolerate injustice in America</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/val%20blog_0.jpg" alt="How Will You Fight Injustice graphic image" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Fri, 06/05/2020 - 10:27</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">June 05, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="cc_cursor"><em>By Valerie Sterns, Vice President of Affiliate Services at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>I don't know about you, but I've had a lot on my mind lately. I am angry. I am sad, and I have so much rage because of the recent murder of George Floyd - not to mention the COVID-19 pandemic.&nbsp;</p> <p>I want to share my thoughts and learn about what others are doing to speak out against racial injustice in America because the death of George Floyd is yet another reminder. Though most people are dealing with COVID-19, black people and people of color are also dealing with racism, another pandemic that has plagued the black community for far too long.</p> <p>America is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, but I don't feel free, nor do I feel protected during these unprecedented times. I have two boys, and whenever they go out to the store, to meet a friend, etc., I worry and wonder what's going to happen to them because of their race. COVID-19 has added another layer of stress because we must take precautionary measures and wear a mask to protect ourselves and others. Some of us are reluctant to wear masks because we fear that we will be racially profiled by police, at least the corrupt ones.</p> <p>It is mentally and physically exhausting dealing with injustices — whether it's microaggressions, racism or bigotry. When you’re trying to manage these injustices, and stick to a daily routine, practicing self-care is often overlooked. But checking in with yourself mentally and physically can have a significant positive impact on your mental health.&nbsp;If you’re struggling, I encourage you to visit&nbsp;<a href="https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools" target="_blank">MHA Screening</a>&nbsp;and access screening tools and supports to help you cope.</p> <p>I am grateful to be working for Mental Health America (MHA), a national community-based organization founded on the cornerstone of social justice. MHA envisions a just, humane, and healthy society in which all people are accorded respect, dignity, and the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential free from stigma and prejudice. Read our recent statement&nbsp;<a href="https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/Eg5_C31px1S7NjAcgyo9D?domain=mhanational.org" target="_blank">When We Normalize Racism and Bigotry, We Do Violence to Our Mental Health</a>, denouncing the murder of George Floyd.</p> <p>I can't help but wonder, how many of you have written blogs, issued statements, written a Facebook or Instagram post, tweeted, or talked with a black friend, a person of color or someone that doesn't look like you about these injustices?</p> <p>My dad once told me that "growth happens outside of your comfort zone." So, I want you to be uncomfortable and start the conversation to learn what you can do to hold others accountable for their actions. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."</p> <p>America is supposed to be a country that believes in human rights, but when human rights are violated, we shouldn't just talk about it,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.obama.org/anguish-and-action/" target="_blank">we should take action</a>. Desmond Tutu said, "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."</p> <p>While you may feel limited in terms of what you can do to advocate for social justice reform, we can collectively rewrite the narrative.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.vote.org/" target="_blank">Let's cast our ballots on election day and make it known to elected officials that we will no longer tolerate injustice in America.</a></p> <p><strong>Resources</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.obama.org/anguish-and-action/">Anguish and Action - Obama Foundation</a></p> <p><a href="https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools">MHA Screening</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.vote.org/">Vote.or</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/minority-mental-health" hreflang="en">minority mental health</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17415&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="iWIEBTCR4-Rik4GW1PM8b7bmzlXTJ-G4U7Oa4OtMyDA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 05 Jun 2020 14:27:21 +0000 JCheang 17415 at https://staging.mhanational.org Secondary Trauma in the Time of COVID-19 https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/secondary-trauma-time-covid-19 <span>Secondary Trauma in the Time of COVID-19</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/engin-akyurt-KyQeXFjWZmw-unsplash.jpg" alt="Press Journalist" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Tue, 06/02/2020 - 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">June 04, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Bethany Jones</em></p> <p>Anyone can burn out, some do so like a roman candle – in a bright combustible way, while others burn out slowly – quietly, like a candle at a dinner party slowly dripping away while no one notices - until it extinguishes itself. While everyone can burn out, not everyone can get secondary trauma. Secondary trauma is different from its exhausted cousin burn out.&nbsp; Secondary trauma only affects a handful of professions: social workers, therapists, teachers, nurses, caregivers, teachers, ER doctors, law enforcement, and members of the media. We are the front line of trauma and exposed to it constantly, day in and day out – a sponge for the wounds of the world. And our exposure to the trauma and absorption of the trauma can eventually leave an indelible scar and lesions on our soul.</p> <p>Recently, <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-51236199">Fergal Keane</a>, recently the BBC’s Africa Editor, stepped down from his role as a result of PTSD. Jonathan Munro, the BBC’s head of newsgathering explained the diagnosis came because of “several decades of work in conflict zones around the world." In order to prevent secondary trauma from becoming the inheritance for our future peers and colleagues, we must pause and see how we can best address the situations ourselves.</p> <p>Nine or ten weeks ago we were susceptible to trauma and now even more so. The novel COVID-19 quickly went from being a headline to altering our reality. Now, more than ever we must address secondary trauma before our frontline responders are faced with a catastrophic mental health crisis. Our entire reality crumbled around us and changed. Routines we had come to rely and depend on were rapidly ripped out from underneath us. Overnight, the gale-force winds of change wiped away any resemblance of the routine we had come to cherish and rely upon.</p> <p>In the past few weeks, many of us have had to build a brand new routine while at the same time fight crowds, manage concerns of bringing the virus back to loved ones, handle quotidian stresses, and face enormous workloads. The already overstretched worker is now stretched beyond the breaking point. This new interruptive world - paired with isolation, loneliness, worries, anxiety, and the demands of both our jobs and everyday life - can compound and add up.</p> <p>There isn’t a mask or sanitizer you can order online; have it overnighted and then wow – you’re protected against secondary trauma. In order to protect ourselves, we must begin by identifying and implementing the necessary steps now.</p> <p>First, you need to identify that your resiliency is low, and your anxiety is high. Here are some ways to notice that you may be suffering from secondary trauma:</p> <ul> <li>You are startling easily;</li> <li>You are drinking more; and</li> <li>You are not sleeping well (sleeping more or sleeping less).</li> </ul> <p><strong>Some ways you can try to find resiliency:</strong></p> <p><strong>Decide when, how and which news you are going to consume.</strong> Everything you watch and listen to you invite in. You get to decide which news you want, when you want it and how you want to consume the news – or any other media.</p> <p><strong>Do something that sparks joy.</strong> No, not like Marie Kondo; find something that is not work-related - not a chore or job around the house - something you genuinely enjoy doing. Allow yourself the time and grace to simply enjoy an activity. You don’t need a side hustle or to always be “on” or “on the go.”</p> <p><strong>Avoid toxic productivity. </strong>Many people vowed to clean their home, start home improvement projects, garden, paint, or pick up a new craft or hobby. When the quarantine lifts and we enter the various reopening phases, remember that if you are a frontline worker or if you’ve been working through this pandemic – you weren’t afforded the time that others were. Don’t allow comparisons to steal your joy.</p> <p><strong>Get sleep. </strong>Get rest when you can. It not only helps us build a more resilient immune system, it also builds up emotional and mental health immunity. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Therapy.</strong> Many counseling centers are doing online counseling sessions. If you are worried about cost, many universities and counseling centers offer sliding scale. Also, if your employer offers insurance, this may be covered or help with the cost.</p> <p>Above all else, during this time and in the future – take care of yourself. Practicing self-care is like wearing a mask or taking your vitamins right now: imperative to keep your mental health in good condition. Self-care is as essential to the essential worker as essential workers have been in this pandemic.</p> <p>People talk about a glass being “half full” or “half empty” but rarely talk about the contents of the glass – if all you have in your glass is dirty water, then you can’t help anyone. Who wants to drink dirty water? By practicing self-care, you can clean your water - filter out the pollution of the soul – and then you can heal yourself and heal those around you.</p> <hr /> <p><em><strong>BETHANY JONES</strong> - began her career in television working as a researcher on Prison Break. She has since produced hours of TV for Oxygen, History, A&amp;E, CNN, Discovery, CBS and won best sports video of the year for Grantland, ESPN’s pop culture arm. During her career she has interviewed leading government officials, federal agents, United States Attorneys and law enforcement officers across the country. She has also interviewed people that were convicted as spies, arms dealers, murder, terrorism, other notorious crimes and system impacted individuals. &nbsp;In addition to her TV producing she is a host of the popular podcast, The Pros&amp;Cons which has half a million listens in 81 countries. Bethany holds an honors degree from the University of Wales, U.K. in English literature and French.&nbsp;</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/covid19" hreflang="en">COVID19</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-110223" class="comment-wrapper comment js-comment by-anonymous clearfix"> <span class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1591384032"></span> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> </article> <p class="comment__author"><span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="Melissa King Stansbery ">Melissa King S… (not verified)</span></p> <p class="comment__time">Thu, 06/04/2020 - 15:19</p> <p class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/110223#comment-110223" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></p> </footer> <div class="comment__content"> <h3><a href="/comment/110223#comment-110223" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Good advice.</a></h3> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Good advice.</p> </div> <nav><drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=110223&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="mDGl33rhsEJkLyG5-jIyxbpV0I5-aS_CTjEgL9A0cmQ"></drupal-render-placeholder></nav> </div> </article> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17410&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="LOmZEQjgRfn8dIs_Z9ILhszwHXzJz1Xy8cNG-e5EJIE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 02 Jun 2020 14:00:31 +0000 JCheang 17410 at https://staging.mhanational.org Reading the Rainbow of Mental Health https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/reading-rainbow-mental-health <span>Reading the Rainbow of Mental Health</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/A%20transfeminine%20student%20and%20masculine%20student%20laughing%20together%20in%20class.jpg" alt="A transfeminine student and masculine student laughing together in class" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/01/2020 - 12:37</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">June 03, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Madeline Halpern, Programs Analyst&nbsp;at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>Mental health and its struggles are deeply rooted in your personal experiences. Seeing someone go through something like your own experiences is validating and can empower you. Many people on the LGBTQ+ spectrum struggle to find themselves in both fiction and non-fiction books. One of the best ways to find this type of representation is by reading authors with a similar background to your own.</p> <p>To help jumpstart your summer reading list, here’s a list of books by authors who identify as LGBTQ+ and are primarily people of color, authors writing about mental health and substances misuse.</p> <ol> <li>A House Among the Trees by Julia Glass</li> <li>Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria E. Anzaldúa</li> <li>Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson</li> <li>Consensual Genocide by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha</li> <li>(Don’t) Call me Crazy by Kelly Jensen</li> <li>Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee</li> <li>Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai</li> <li>Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin</li> <li>Happiness, Like Water by Chinelo Okparanta</li> <li>Headcases: LGBTQ Writers &amp; Artists on Mental Health and Wellness by Stephanie Schroeder</li> <li>History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera</li> <li>How to Survive a Summer by Nick White</li> <li>Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay</li> <li>If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan</li> <li>Lilith's Brood by Octavia E. Butler</li> <li>Not Vanishing by Chrystos</li> <li>On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong</li> <li>Queer and Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Lives by Nia King</li> <li>Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love So Much More by Janet Mock</li> <li>Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand by Samuel R. Delany</li> <li>The Color Purple by Alice Walker</li> <li>The Recovering: Intoxication and its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison</li> <li>The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea by Yukio Mishima</li> <li>Untamed by Glennon Doyle</li> <li>When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore</li> </ol> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/lgbt-mental-health" hreflang="en">LGBT Mental Health</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17406&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="Jwm4vycCcpng9HC2yrv9hRfewGiYOfRM6-hi2BuNY5w"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 01 Jun 2020 16:37:45 +0000 JCheang 17406 at https://staging.mhanational.org 7 Tips for Keeping A Routine For Your Wellness https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/7-tips-keeping-routine-your-wellness <span>7 Tips for Keeping A Routine For Your Wellness</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-05/mixkit-person-cooking-on-a-stovetop-in-the-kitchen-11-desktop-wallpaper.png" alt="Illustrated man making food" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Tue, 05/26/2020 - 14:43</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">June 01, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Sydney Daniello, Programs Intern at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>Routines have a bad reputation of being dull, boring ruts we fall into over time. But a lot of routines can actually be really helpful for maintaining both our physical and mental wellbeing. And now that many of our normal routines have been disrupted, it’s become more important than ever to establish routines to keep us healthy, happy and - well - sane.</p> <p>I, for one have been having a tough time setting up and sticking to any routine other than waking up every morning and silently screaming into the void. So, I asked my coworkers here at MHA about what kinds of routines have been helpful to them for maintaining their wellbeing during these ~unprecedented times~</p> <p>Here’s a list of &nbsp;what they said (summarized, not all direct quotes):</p> <ol> <li><strong>Setting up a regular(ish) sleeping schedule and sticking to it! </strong>It’s so easy to push your usual schedule back later and later when you don’t feel a real need to get your day started at any particular time. But nearly everyone I talked to found that trying to stick to a regular sleep schedule helped them feel better and more productive during the day, and (bonus!) helps the days not blur together quite so much.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Creating a schedule that works for all the members of your household.</strong> This is not to say that everyone in your house needs to follow the same schedule, but rather that things like work, childcare, and household chores are all getting done, with the responsibilities shared fairly. I’ve been told this one’s a game changer for preventing burnout of the adults in the house.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Drinking water and eating regular meals</strong>. When you’re home all the time it’s really easy to eat constantly out of boredom, or conversely, to lose track of time and realize it’s 6 pm and you’ve had nothing to eat or drink all day other than coffee. But according to my coworkers, drinking water regularly is one of the easiest and best routines they’ve all incorporated into their quarantine lives (virtually every person I asked told me this). Another common routine that people found to be really helpful was making sure to eat at regular times (i.e. not skipping meals and then making up for it by eating shredded cheese out of the bag at 3am). Putting good things into your body can make a big difference in both your physical and mental wellbeing!<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Exercise!</strong> This is one that people talk about all the time and sounds really great in theory, but in practice may be a bit more unapproachable to some of us (me). But one of my coworkers reminded me that exercise can take a number of forms - it can be fun things like dancing in your kitchen or taking a walk with a (mask wearing!) friend, or it could even be practical like vigorously cleaning your house or doing yard work. Whatever it is, regularly setting aside a bit of time to release some energy is a great wellness routine to add into your day.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Cycling between hobbies.</strong> This simply boils down to filling your spare time with something that brings you joy. And I think an important reminder if you’re looking to take up this routine is that hobbies are just activities you like doing. You don’t have to have to be fantastic at them, and they don’t have to produce some masterpiece of a final product. The only requirement here is that you’re doing something simply because you enjoy doing it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Meditation or mindfulness practices.</strong> A lot of my coworkers told me they were either already practicing meditation/mindfulness or that they really wanted to start. These practices can have a number of benefits like anxiety reduction and sleep improvement, and they can be really simple and easy. You don’t have to sit cross legged on the floor chanting “om” for an hour to meditate. Just sitting in a quiet space practicing deep breathing for a few minutes a day is a great place to start.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Checking in on loved ones. </strong>This last routine suggestion is probably my favorite. Setting aside a bit of time each day or every few days (depending on your own energy level) to call a different loved one and check in on them not only helps to support those around you, but can also support your own mental health as well. Social connection and doing something nice for someone else, especially on a regular basis, is a great way to lift your own spirits and the spirits of those who are close to you.</li> </ol> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/wellness" hreflang="en">wellness</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/covid19" hreflang="en">COVID19</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17400&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="YHcaKTf4kLdDxc2mHL5xxx8T6VgJ3pJ2CC3EBtOEFuY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 26 May 2020 18:43:44 +0000 JCheang 17400 at https://staging.mhanational.org