Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in the U.S. since 1949. Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. To learn more about the history of Mental Health Awareness Month and how its changing attitudes related to mental health, click here.
- National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (May 7)
- National Women’s Health Week (May 9-15)
- National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week (May 18-23)
Focus: Mental Health for Yourself
Mental health struggles are common, but 2020 was an especially trying year for many people. Along with the immediate physical health effects of COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic caused mental health issues for so many of us. Click here for the Covid-19 and Mental Health: A Growing Crisis report.
A person’s mental wellness can be negatively impacted by various factors and unfortunately, is often neglected. Mental Health Month 2021 is a good opportunity for people to take steps to make mental wellness more of a priority and take steps to work on improving their own mental health. With this comes self-care and perhaps a new perspective that allows us to be the helper, healer, and hero we have been looking for. After all, we are the ultimate experts on the needs of our own mind body and spirit.
A lot of people believe self-care is reading that book or taking a bubble bath, though they are helpful too. Consider that self-care is more than just ‘doing something’ to take care of yourself. Self-care is a mind-set, something that makes your heart smile, something that you are passionate about, being mindful and present with how you are feeling in the moment. Self-care is keeping tabs on your inner being and understanding how you feel inside to promote that sense of well-being, an internal wisdom of our own self-healing.
Some ways you can support our own mental health include:
- Consistently scheduling and taking time in your day to relax, destress, or change environments and following through with this, not neglecting this due to other demands
- Analyzing and breaking down unhealthy, negative thoughts and thinking patterns; giving yourself grace where you need it most
- Practicing gratitude and focusing on the positive; finding the silver lining
- Spending time outdoors
- Prioritizing skills and activities that evoke joy or passion
- Developing healthy habits (regular exercise, eating healthy, and a good sleep routine)
- Getting professional mental health care, if needed
Join Healthy Child Care Colorado to learn more about Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, a free and voluntary support program for parents and early child care providers caring for children ages six and under who desire extra support to foster the social-emotional development and mental health of the children in their care.
We will provide an overview of what early childhood mental health consultation is and the many benefits that result from working with a consultant. You will leave with a clear understanding of the various types of services offered and information on how to find a consultant and submit a referral.
Date: May 25th
Someone You Love Might Be Struggling
Although your mental health may be fine, someone you love might be struggling. 2020 has been a tough year for many and someone you care about might be battling with poor mental health without you even realizing it. Mental Health Month is a good opportunity to check in on your loved ones and encourage them to get help if they need it. Listen to this article from the New York Times to determine if you think someone might be “languishing.” Perhaps take a Mental Health Test using an on-line screening to determine if one is experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition or explore some of the additional tools listed. Additionally, you can click here to connect with a professional.
- Call or Text the CU Anschutz Well-Being Support Line (303-724-2500)
- YOU ARE NOT ALONE Awareness Events Guide, National Alliance on Mental Illness
- Mental Health Matters Toolkit, Each Mind Matters, CA
- Stay active while working from home using FitOn – FREE!
- 24–Hour Movement Guidelines: An integration of physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep
- Back to Basics: Mother Nature’s Magic Pill
- Back to Basics: The Recipe for Reducing Stress and Boosting Health
By Robin Levy, MA & Sierra Hansen, M.Ed. IMH-E® Infant Family Specialist