This past year presented so many different challenges and obstacles that tested our strength and resiliency. The global pandemic forced us to cope with situations we never even imagined, and a lot of us struggled with our mental health as a result. The good news is that there are tools and resources available that can support the well-being of individuals and communities.
Now, more than ever, we need to combat the stigma surrounding mental health concerns. That’s why this Mental Health Month Gagon Family Medicine is highlighting #Tools2Thrive – what individuals can do throughout their daily lives to prioritize mental health, build resiliency, and continue to cope with the obstacles of COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, many people who had never experienced mental health challenges found themselves struggling for the first time. During the month of May, we are focusing on different topics that can help process the events of the past year and the feelings that surround them, while also building up skills and supports that extend beyond COVID-19.
We know that the past year forced many to accept tough situations that they had little to no control over. If you found that it impacted your mental health, you aren’t alone. In fact, of the almost half a million individuals that took the anxiety screening at MHAscreening.org, 79% showed symptoms of moderate to severe anxiety. However, there are practical tools that can help improve your mental health. We are focused on managing anger and frustration, recognizing when trauma may be affecting your mental health, challenging negative thinking patterns, and making time to take care of yourself.
It’s important to remember that working on your mental health and finding tools that help you thrive takes time. Change won’t happen overnight. Instead, by focusing on small changes, you can move through the stressors of the past year and develop long-term strategies to support yourself on an ongoing basis. A great starting point for anyone who is ready to start prioritizing their mental health is to take a mental health screening at MHAscreening.org. It’s a quick, free, and confidential way for someone to assess their mental health and begin finding hope and healing.
Ultimately, during this month of May, Gagon Family Medicine wants to remind everyone that mental illnesses are real, and recovery is possible. By developing your own #Tools2Thrive, it is possible to find balance between life’s ups and downs and continue to cope with the challenges brought on by the pandemic.
For more information, visit www.mhanational.org/may.
Websites & Apps
Resources mentioned below come from MHA’s partners, supporters, and associate members.
Listing a reference below does not equal endorsement. Patients should use their own judgement or consult an expert if needed when using a specific resource.
Afsp.org: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Whether you have struggled with suicide yourself or have lost a loved one, know you are not alone. Hear about personal experiences from people in your local community whose lives have been impacted by suicide.
BetterHelp: BetterHelp is an online counseling platform that matches you with a licensed therapist who you can video call, live chat, or exchange messages with. Check out their article: What Is Radical Acceptance And How Can It Help Me? Learn How To Use Radical Acceptance To Your Advantage
Brightline: Brightline is the first comprehensive behavioral health solution designed to support kids, teens, and parents across a range of common family challenges.
ChoicesInRecovery.com: Support and information for people with Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective, and Bipolar Disorder and their caregivers, including Strategies for Success that can be used daily by people living with mental health conditions.
COVID-19: A wealth of articles, webinars, blogs, and podcasts about how to deal with the mental health struggles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic can be found at mhanational.org/covid19.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy Clinic at Rutgers University (DBT-RU): DBT-RU is a research and training clinic that provides comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) services to individuals in the community. Be sure to watch their Radical Acceptance video.
DRK Beauty: DRK Beauty is a well-being and mental health digital platform that helps womxn of color discover and craft their own unique well-being journey. We blend a powerful mix of community, content, programming, and services that speaks to the psychological, spiritual, and physical needs of our community, ultimately empowering them to blossom, all through a convenient app.
Equoo: Equoo is a game that teaches individuals psychological skills in a fun and captivating way to deal with emotional and mental stressors in a healthy and productive fashion.
Happify: Happify brings you effective tools and programs (via the web and an app) to help you take control of your feelings and thoughts using proven techniques developed by leading scientists and experts who’ve been studying evidence-based interventions in the fields of positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Check out their video, How to Defeat Negative Thinking.
IDONTMIND: IDONTMIND is a mental health awareness campaign and lifestyle brand working to get people talking about their minds and to generate positive messaging about mental health. Check out their online journal for articles on all things mental health.
Lyf: Lyf is a social media app where users share highly personal aspects of themselves without the fear of judgment. Lyf users receive support during some of their most grueling, challenging, confronting or even “embarrassing” stages of their lives from other people who have no preconceptions about their fellow Lyfers. Lyfers have the opportunity to connect with and chat to others on the same life paths or journeys; whether it’s a struggle or celebration, in Lyf, you aren’t alone.
Make Sure Your Friends Are Okay: Through merchandise and social media, Make Sure Your Are Okay is building a community of like-minded people who want to help us get the world talking.
National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN): NCTSN was created to raise the standard of care and increase access to services for children and families who experience or witness traumatic events. Be sure to check out their Pause, Reset, Nourish (PRN) to Promote Wellbeing handout.
notOK App: The notOK App® is a free app that takes the guesswork out of asking for help when you’re feeling vulnerable.
PositivePsychology.com: PositivePsychology.com is a science-based online resource of courses, techniques, tools, and tips to help you put positive psychology into practice. Be sure to check out their radical acceptance worksheets, including Focus on the Present for Radical Acceptance.
Postpartum Support International: The mission of Postpartum Support International is to promote awareness, prevention, and treatment of mental health issues related to childbearing in every country worldwide.
PsychHub: PsychHub is the world’s largest online platform for mental health education with revolutionary Learning Hubs to take you from knowledge learned to behavior changed.
PsychoSocial: PsychoSocial is a mental health multimedia business created by mental health professionals in a joint effort to raise mental health awareness and destigmatize mental illness. Check out their handout on Positive Affirmations.
Supportiv: Supportiv is a digital peer-to-peer support network that enables people to process, cope with, heal from, and problem solve mental health (anxiety, depression) + daily life struggles (loneliness, family pressure, parenting challenges, relationship conflicts, work stress) in safe, professionally moderated micro-community chats.
This is My Brave: This is My Brave is an organization that works to bring stories of mental illness and addiction out of the shadows and into the spotlight.
This Way Up: This Way Up provides online courses that teach practical, psychological skills designed to help you manage difficult emotions, tackle unhelpful thoughts, and gain control over symptoms of anxiety and depression. Be sure to check out their handout, Calming Your Emotions During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
wikiHow: wikiHow is an online community consisting of an extensive database of how-to guides. Check out their course, created in collaboration with MHA: Boost Your Well-Being: wikiHow’s Healthy Mind Masterclass.
YogaPose: YogaPose is the largest free digital library of yoga poses searchable by symptom. As a form of holistic healing, we are utilizing yoga as a form of alternative medicine to help or ease the symptoms of both mental and physical illnesses. Users are able to search the Yoga Pose database of comprehensive yoga poses based on the ailment they are experiencing. Each yoga pose profile features an easy-to- follow Yoga Pose video, medical information, and related flows.
Youper: Youper uses Artificial Intelligence to deliver evidence-based therapy techniques to support people’s mental health anytime and anywhere.