May is Mental Health Awareness month, and with the past year weighing heavily on a lot of people, it is important to make sure that you are taking care of your mental health. A mental health disorder is defined as a condition that affects the way you think, behave, or your emotions. It can negatively impact the way in which a person functions socially, their performance at work, or their relationship with their family. Unfortunately, the last year has upended many people’s lives. Loss of income or job stability, isolation, grief, and fear have triggered an unprecedented mental health crisis.
The CDC has reported that the number of people with mental health conditions has grown throughout the country. Currently, 4 out of 10 adults are struggling with their mental health compared to the previous statistics of 1 out of 10 adults prior to the Covid 19 pandemic. There have been reported increases in anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping and eating, and the use of substances and alcohol.
Mental health disorders should always be diagnosed and treated by a trained medical professional, but there are some activities that you can fit in to your day to help manage your mental health.
Universal Class is a website with online courses that are free to Heartland Cooperative patrons. Some classes that may be beneficial if you are currently struggling or would like more information on mental health are:
- Emotional Healing 101
- Healing Affirmations
- Anxiety Therapy 101
- Stress Management
- The Art of Breathing
- Understanding Addictions
- Social Anxiety 101
- Depression Management
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse 101
Lifestyle choices can play a vital role in mental wellbeing. Aside from exercise and nutrition classes offered through Universal Class, the library has other materials that may be able to assist you. Exercise DVDs and books from Yoga, dancing, boxing, weight training, martial arts, and pilates are available throughout the Heartland Cooperative. There are also a variety of diet plans and cookbooks to help with healthy choices. Books are also available on different mental health disorders for those that would like to learn more about specific conditions.
If you need help accessing online materials, your local library offers free wifi for everyone with a device capable of accessing the internet or computers with internet access for patrons with a library card. The Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the National Council for Behavioral Health websites offer detailed advice and tools for taking care of yourself and improving your well being, supporting others that are having a difficult time, and identifying symptoms of anxiety and depression.
It is important to contact your health care provider and follow your doctor’s instructions if you are struggling with your mental health. If you are currently facing a mental health crisis there are immediate resources to help.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline- 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for Deaf & Hard of Hearing- 1-800-799-4889
Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741