“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
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
Change in eating habits
Feeling nervous or anxious
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