Real Talk: Mental Health By Jenny Lynne Stroup, Outreach Coordinator for the Cohen Clinic at VVSD
Mental Health Awareness Month Confession: It took me a long time to say these words out loud. To get past the façade of fine. I have an appointment today with both my psychiatrist and psychologist. One, to check on medication effectiveness and the other to talk about the thoughts in my head and how to appropriately manage, release, and make peace with them.
As life in a pandemic continues to challenge us and our coping skills, implementing good mental health practices is imperative. Good mental health practices may include: • Acknowledging that you are sad, stressed, scared, confused, or angry and then letting someone else know you are feeling this way.
I sought mental health help for anxiety and depression a few years ago, but when I moved to San Diego that level of care was not enough. I had to add more mental health appointments to my already-full schedule. It was so overwhelming, yet now it’s a weekly thing for me, and I can see the results-less time lying on my couch, less drowning my uncomfortableness in a tub of ice cream, more laughing, better sleeping.
• Slowing down feelings of anxiousness and overwhelm with deep breaths.
And I didn’t do it alone.
• Going to therapy and remembering that therapy is a progression. Each session offers an opportunity to change, heal, and grow.
I hate making phone calls, so I went to a friend’s house and sat at her table with a cup of coffee and made my calls while she held my hand and encouraged me. It is seriously ok to do it scared and with a friend--I did. I write these words not only as a confession, but also as an encouragement to anyone feeling like the pressure of life, especially during a pandemic, is sometimes a little too much. Help is available.
WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / OCTOBER 2020
• Focusing on what you can control, including maintaining self-care routines like eating well, exercising, and resting. • Setting realistic goals. • Spending time in the community.
These practices are part of the reason the first full week of October is designated as M ental Illness Awareness Week. The week is designed to promote education on mental illness, fight the stigma associated with mental illness, and provide support for those who are experiencing the signs and symptoms of mental illness.
Military Veterans Publication - Resources, Support, PTSD, Transition, Veterans, Active Military, Military Families