Published on May 14, 2020

Support Available, Recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health is important to one’s overall health and wellbeing. One in five Americans will have a behavioral health concern over their lifetime, but many do not seek the care they need. In recognition of National Mental Health Awareness Month, MidMichigan Health reminds the community its staff is here for support throughout these uncertain times.

During this stay at home time, many may be facing anxiety, depression or frustration. It is important to recognize one’s emotions, accept the feelings without judgement, and then observe that the strong emotion will often subside.

“We know right now everyone is experiencing some emotion or grief over the loss of their normal life. It is unlikely that we will ever feel the same security we once did, even after this is a few years in our rear view mirror,” said Kathy Dollard, Psy.D., director of behavioral health at MidMichigan Health. “My hope is that because we are all dealing with our emotions/reaction, we will have more understanding and compassion for others. It could be something positive that comes from all of this.”

Self-care, as well as reaching out to friends and family can help those struggling with stress to better cope through difficult times.

“If you get stuck in a loop of negative emotion, change what you are doing and seek out a comforting or meaningful activity, reach out for support, or practice some self-kindness and self-care,” said Dollard.

Dollard offers additional tips for managing stress:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting and exhausting.
  • Take care of your body to take care of your mind.
    • Pause. Take deep breaths and notice how you feel
    • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, try new recipes from MidMichigan Health
    • Exercise regularly, stretch, meditate, and get plenty of sleep.
    • Get outside and enjoy nature.
    • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do activities you enjoy.
  • Set and accomplish a small but meaningful goal.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

MidMichigan Health’s Behavioral Health services remain open offering care through virtual visits and over the telephone. Those interested in learning more about these services may visit  midmichigan.org/mentalhealth.

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Looking Back: MidMichigan Health Highlights of 2019

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