Lincoln –On Sunday, October 10, World Mental Health Awareness Day, Nebraskans have the opportunity to focus on one of the most important determinants of overall health: mental health.
World Mental Health Awareness Day is widely celebrate around the world. The event represents a global commitment to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.
Being mentally healthy includes coping with life, engagement with your family, friends, neighbors, place of work, place of worship, community and making the most of your dreams and goals. Everyone’s journey is different.
Everyone has times when we feel down or stressed, maybe even afraid or anxious. Most of the time those feelings will pass, but sometimes – and this can happen to anyone – they persist and can be more serious. Unfortunately, many times people feel alone and feel uncomfortable talking about their mental health or mental health challenges.
“Mental health is just as important as good physical health,” said Sheri Dawson, director of the Division of Behavioral Health at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “On the 10th, please help raise mental health awareness. Ask someone how they are doing or feeling. Ask what your church or community or organization or place of work can do to raise awareness of mental health to ensure people living with mental illness or temporary challenges don’t feel alone. You be the one to champion the conversation and decrease the stigma experienced by so many. Help spread the word that you are comfortable with having a conversation and reassure your friends and family that there is help, hope and healing. Rethink mental health and mental illness.”
Ways to champion your own mental health, courtesy of Mental Health America:
Track gratitude and achievement with a journal. Include 3 things you were grateful for and 3 things you were able to accomplish each day.
Work your strengths. Do something you’re good at to build self-confidence, then tackle a tougher task.
Keep it cool for a good night’s sleep. The optimal temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Show some love to someone in your life. Close, quality, relationships are key for a happy, healthy life.
Boost brainpower by treating yourself to a couple pieces of dark chocolate every few days. The flavanoids, caffeine, and theobromine in chocolate are thought to work together to improve alertness and mental skills.
Take time to laugh. Hang out with a funny friend, watch a comedy or check out cute videos online. Laughter helps reduce anxiety.
Go off the grid. Leave your smart phone at home for a day and disconnect from constant emails, alerts, and other interruptions. Spend time doing something fun with someone face-to-face.
Has something been bothering you? Let it all out…on paper. Writing about upsetting experiences can reduce symptoms of depression.
Practice forgiveness – even if it’s just forgiving that person who cut you off during your commute. People who forgive have better mental health and report being more satisfied with their lives.
Do something with friends and family – have a cookout, go to a park, or play a game. People are 12 times more likely to feel happy on days that they spend 6-7 hours with friends and family.
Need to talk or get immediate help in a crisis?
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 para Español.
Nebraska Family Helpline, (888) 866-8660. They can engage Crisis Response Teams
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Rural Response Hotline, (800) 464-0258
Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (oprime dos para Español), or text TalkWithUs for English or llámanos para español to 66746.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)