Wellness Notes – May is Mental Health Month


 “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”  Psalm  34:4

May is Mental Health Month.  We look at MIND-body-spirit wellness for our overall health, thus it is very important to look at mental health issues and concerns.   There have been so many concerns in the past year about awareness of mental health issues, it is important for each us to look inward  and around us to identify and advocate for Mental health follow-up and treatment. Mental Health America www.mentalhealthamerica.net has adopted a program focused on  “Live Your Life Well” .  They offer a brochure “Are You Feeling Stressed Out”  and great information on the above website.  Each of us may identify symptoms of mental health concerns and make an effort to work with these issues as we would our physical symptoms. Some common mental health conditions that may lead to distress and ‘dis-ease’ are Stress, Depression, Panic Disorders, Mood Disorders, Bipolar Disease, and stress of caring for a loved one or aging parent.   Do we know how to recognize cause for concern?

What Are the Signs of Depression?

Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood

Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or sleeping more than usual

Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain

Loss of pleasure and interest in once-enjoyable activities

Restlessness, irritability

Difficulty concentrating at work or at school, or difficulty remembering things or making decisions

Fatigue or loss of energy

Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless

Thoughts of suicide or death

Are you experiencing the signs of stress?

Feeling angry, irritable or easily frustrated

Feeling overwhelmed

Change in eating habits

Problems concentrating

Feeling nervous or anxious

Trouble sleeping

Problems with memory

Feeling burned out from work

Feeling that you can’t overcome difficulties in your life

Having trouble functioning in your job or personal life

Ways of STAYING WELL when you have a mental health condition are as follows:

Connect with others;  Advocate for yourself; Get care you need (regular check ups & medication monitoring); Plan your sleep schedule; Manage stress; Exercise (at least 30 min. 3x weekly); Do something you enjoy ( at least 30 min. 3xwk);  Eat a well balanced meal plan–heavy on veggies & fruit; Get help with Smoking or Substance Abuse; and Know your community resources for help.


Alice Stephenson BSN,RN,CDE, Parish Nurse Consultant

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