Six good reasons for mental health awareness this May

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. The organization Mental Health America states on their website that May became know as Mental Health Awareness Month in 1949 “to raise awareness of mental health conditions and mental wellness for all.” Compeer at Far West Center in Westlake would like to give you six good reasons why you should gain awareness of your own mental health:

1. GOOD HEALTH: Your brain is an organ and brain health is vital for all other parts of the body. It is important that your brain receive correct amounts of nutrients, hydration, circulation, exercise and rest. Your brain is the “command center” and processes all incoming sensory stimuli and all the outgoing reaction and decisions. Neurotransmitters – natural brain chemicals – operate brain function and need to maintain a healthy balance. 

2. LOVED ONES: Your brain health, along with your overall health, is very important to your loved ones. Your family and friends want you to feel good physically and emotionally. A healthy brain helps you make good decisions and to communicate in a constructive manner. Better brain wellness will lead to better relationships.

3. PROBLEM SOLVING: Any type of job requires skill at problem solving. Education is based on problem-solving techniques. Owning a vehicle and/or owning a home presents many types of problems that need solutions. If you are a parent or caregiver you assist others with their problems while balancing your own. Simply put, brain wellness makes problem solving easier.

4. GOAL SETTING: Goal setting can range from writing your daily “to do” list to making a career change. Most of us set goals in various areas of our lives like physical exercise, constructive work and helping others. The human brain has a natural need to expand, learn and grow. Our brain’s goal setting ability is like our internal GPS to take us in our desired direction in life.

5. COPING WITH STRESSORS: In every life stress will fall! Some stress is a natural by-product of trying to do something. Unfortunately much of our stressors come uninvited. When we encounter stress we need to be prepared with coping techniques. A favorite quote of mine about coping with stress comes from a wall plaque I once saw that read: “We cannot change the wind but we can change the direction of our sails.” Try this the next time you feel stressed – start listing your stressors and joining a coping technique to each one.

6. AGING WELL: Each time I complain about aging, my boss says, “It’s better than the alternative!” I agree and see how the quality of my future is directly based on the wellness of my brain. Current research demonstrates how the cognitive, thinking part, of the brain needs continued exercise to stay strong. Research also shows that your brain’s emotional wellness will assist you in maintaining better physical health! My aging goal is to be like my 94-year old grandmother Alice that continues to do her own grocery shopping, plays cards with friends weekly and remembers all family birthdays!   

Take some time this May to take care of your own brain health. If you find yourself needing help with brain wellness please do not hesitate to seek assistance  Far West Center can help you find mental health services and resources, call us at 440-835-6212. 

Denise Ayres

The Compeer Program has been serving adults that are managing mental illness from our Far West Center office fo almost 21 years!

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 10:16 AM, 05.01.2012