Month of May is Mental Health Month

Mental Health (Credit: Flickr)
Mental Health (Credit: Flickr)

This past year presented so many different challenges and obstacles that tested our strength and resiliency. The global pandemic forced us to cope with situations we never even imagined, and a lot of us struggled with our mental health as a result. The good news is that there are tools and resources available that can support the well-being of individuals and communities.

Now, more than ever, we need to combat the stigma surrounding mental health concerns. That’s why this Mental Health Month, Mental Health Association in Indian River County is highlighting #Tools2Thrive – what individuals can do throughout their daily lives to prioritize mental health, build resiliency, and continue to cope with the obstacles of COVID-19.

Throughout the pandemic, many people who had never experienced mental health challenges found themselves struggling for the first time. During the month of May, we are focusing on different topics that can help process the events of the past year and the feelings that surround them, while also building up skills and supports that extend beyond COVID-19.

We know that the past year forced many to accept tough situations that they had little to no control over. If you found that it impacted your mental health, you aren’t alone. In fact, of the almost half a million individuals that took the anxiety screening on Mental Health America’s website, 79% showed symptoms of moderate to severe anxiety. However, there are practical tools that can help improve your mental health. We are focused on managing anger and frustration, recognizing when trauma may be affecting your mental health, challenging negative thinking patterns, and making time to take care of yourself.

It’s important to remember that working on your mental health and finding tools that help you thrive takes time. Change won’t happen overnight. Instead, by focusing on small changes, you can move through the stressors of the past year and develop long-term strategies to support yourself on an ongoing basis.

A great starting point for anyone who is ready to start prioritizing their mental health is to take a mental health screening at the Mental Health Association in Indian River County. It’s a quick, free, and confidential way for someone to assess their mental health and begin finding hope and healing. You can also walk-in to the MHA’s Walk-In & Counseling Center located at 820 37th Place in Vero Beach for an immediate mental health screening, no appointment necessary and free of charge for Indian River County residents.

Ultimately, during this month of May, Mental Health Association in Indian River County wants to remind everyone that mental health issues are real, and recovery is possible. By developing your own #Tools2Thrive, it is possible to find balance between life’s ups and downs and continue to cope with the challenges brought on by the pandemic. ​

To help get the word out, the MHA has partnered with Felt Studios and a local artist named Tyon ‘T-Lyon’ Davis to bring a novel new kind of concert to the community. The May 22nd virtual event will feature live music and break out candid discussions on mental illness and ways to cope. T-Lyon’s music often centers around struggles with mental illness. A song entitled “Power” specifically tackles the issue of suicide. The lyrics skillfully create a hopeful, if gritty, narrative about staying positive while dealing with overbearing struggles in life. This approach to thinking about mental struggles fits hand-in-hand with the MHA’s mission to remove barriers to accessing mental health care, which includes the impulse to resist talking openly about it. Make sure to follow the MHA on social media @mhaindianriver for updates on this groundbreaking event!

The MHA is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing immediate, affordable access to mental health care for local residents.  For more information on the Mental Health Association’s Walk-In Center, call 772-569-9788 or visit the website of the Mental Health Association in Indian River County

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