May you Be Happy
May you Be Safe
May you Be Free From Suffering
May you Live With Ease
The word “May” is filled with possibility. Perhaps that’s why Mental Health Awareness Month occurs in May, so that we can be open to seeing what people are struggling with and, more importantly, we can also see hope and possibility for a better day. If you have not been affected by the stress and anxiety of the past year, perhaps you know someone who has been. It’s all around us – increased rates in depression, anxiety and substance abuse across a range of age groups, socio-economic levels and genders. Financial hardships have exacerbated health challenges, and vice-versa. Social isolation, which has only heightened during the pandemic, can be crippling to seniors craving the touch and connection with a loved one, but it has also affected teens who need the comfort of their peers and employees who miss interacting with their co-workers.
So what do we do with where we are now? First things first, if you need help please don’t be afraid to ask for it. If you or someone you know is considering harming themselves, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Let’s all work to break down the stigma of asking for help. Let’s let go of the notion of perfection. Therapy can give you the tools to help yourself, but it can be a long road. That’s where friends, family and neighbors play a role. When the network of people who care help lift up someone in need, it gives them the opportunity to focus on the issues they have and not on the seemingly endless list of things to do. There are many options for mental health help, such as online therapy and in person sessions, so check with your insurance provider to see what is covered or search for free services in your area.
We hope you see May as a new month to envision a brighter future. Though the power of positivity doesn’t cure all mental health challenges, committing to one step at a time or one breath at a time may give you the space you need to start on a healthier path. Try a free meditation app. Enjoy a little bit of sunshine on your face. Cook a delicious meal. Or simply breathe. We wish you peaceful thoughts and peaceful days.