The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month in America.
One of the main messages that the National Alliance on Mental Health champions, particularly throughout the pandemic, is “you are not alone.” While this past year felt overwhelming and isolating to many, it is important to remember that it is sometimes “okay to not be okay” and more, there are always things you can do and steps you can take to be “more okay.”
Getting help is a courageous act that acknowledges the human parts of yourself that might require some extra support or tools for managing through a challenging situation in life, or with a loved one.
One of the few silver linings of the pandemic is that mental health or behavioral health platforms proliferated online. Michael Phelps helped destigmatize and propel behavioral health forward by serving as a brand ambassador for Talkspace and stating that “therapy helped changed my life and it can help you.” BetterHelp also offers access to “affordable, private counseling online,” and ThriveWorks offers a hybrid approach of online/offline access to support. (Obligatory disclaimer: this is neither an endorsement or a clinical recommendation for any of these platforms or their providers but merely a survey of a few recommended sites.)
On a personal note, my most relevant Hack for Mental Health Awareness Month is from Hacks for the New World: How to Live and Work in the Age of Sheltering at Home and Beyond, Hack #12: (Still) Do one thing for yourself DAILY.
We, women in particular, need to remember to put our own oxygen mask on first in order to have the emotional sustenance to take care of so many others throughout our days, personally and professionally. For me, that translates into working out daily. For others, that means taking time to meditate, journal, take a walk with their dog, coffee alone on the porch, whatever is needed to “reset” oneself from the day before, and shore up for the day ahead.
For someone in crisis, the NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.– 8 p.m. EST @ 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), text “NAMI” to 741741 for 24/7, confidential, free crisis counseling, or for more information, email email@example.com.