The third week of May each year is National Prevention Week. The theme for 2018 is “Action today. Healthier Tomorrow”. This theme is meant to increase awareness of the small positive steps to support mental health for yourself and your family that can contribute to creating healthier communities.
Here are a few ways to observe National Prevention Week:
- Educate yourself about the symptoms of mental health and substance use disorders. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a website chock full of information. Check it out here: https://www.samhsa.gov/
- Take care of yourself physically. Psychoactive substances, such as drugs and alcohol, your nutrition, and your sleep habits can affect your mood and your stress level.
- Try exercise. Multiple studies have shown that exercise boosts your mood.
- Grow your healthy coping skills “toolbox” to help you deal with life’s challenges. Try something you have never tried before to help yourself relax such as meditation or a massage.
- Help someone else. The sense of gratitude and wellbeing you can get from helping another person is hard to beat.
- Make time for humor. Watch a funny movie or read a silly meme collection online.
- Spend time with positive friends and family. Humans are social animals, we were not meant to go this alone.
- Ask for help if you need it. You can always reach out to your Primary Care team or Reliant’s Behavioral Health Department if you need assistance, but if you are in crisis please make sure you seek emergency treatment. Here are some information and support websites that may be of assistance as well:
- For suicide prevention: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
- For substance use and other mental health issues: https://helplinema.org/
Remember making even the smallest choice to do something positive for your mental health can have an impact on yourself and your family now and in the future.