May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Reach Out If You’re Struggling
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Many people are feeling like stress or worry is their “new normal”. The long uncertainty of the pandemic has been a lot to handle. If you are feeling more anxious or depressed than usual, you are not alone.
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The disruption to our lives over the last few years, plus the threat of possibly getting a deadly virus, has led many people to have problems with anxiety and depression, says the American Psychological Association. If you think you may be having mental health issues beyond everyday stress and anxiety, ask yourself:
- Is this normal for me?
- Am I feeling this way day after day, week after week?
- Are others in my life expressing concerns about me?
There are many things you can’t control about COVID-19, like infection rates, if others wear masks or when it may end. However, you can control the steps you take to care for yourself. If you’re having a hard time with anxiety or depression, reach out to others. Maintaining personal connections is important, even if it can’t be in person. Be sure to talk to friends and family about how you’re feeling.
It’s also important to take time to do the things that usually help you relieve stress and anxiety. That may be spending more time outdoors, exercising, gardening, dancing or meditating; whatever helps you. Help can come in many forms. You can start by talking to your primary care doctor. Please use your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to explore the counseling or other care available to you through that program.
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You may also find mental health support through your city or state. Look for resources online, here are two good places to start:
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers a COVID-19 resource guide and facts about support groups.
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a treatment locator, 24-hour referral line and the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
If you have a diagnosed mental health condition or substance use disorder, be sure to reach out to your behavioral health provider. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Seek help if you’re struggling.
For more information on mental health assistance, visit here.
Brought to you by:
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- ComPsych Employee Assistance Program
- AFSCME Personal Support Program