Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness month, an opportunity to discuss openly about taking care of our minds as well as our bodies. It is essential that we take care of ourselves as well as other’s mental health if we can. We all have emotions, so let’s talk about them!

We do not need to have a mental health diagnosis in order to care about our mental health. There are so many situations in life that we can struggle with and need support on. Our minds did not come with a support manual for managing the stress of exams, family gatherings, or relationship problems. Some individuals want to work on sobriety, grief and loss, or self-confidence and body image struggles. Maybe you need help with working on specific goals like getting your dream job or learning to be a better communicator. These are all a part of our mental health, and there are many ways to address this.

Talk. Talk to your friends and family members about what you are working on. By talking about it you are more likely to reach your goals because you now have accountability and support. If you would rather not talk to your friends and family about it yet you could try talking to a therapist or a support line. Therapists can be a vital support for helping us learn new tools, and get through tough life events.

Medication. Talk to your doctor to see if medication is right for you to help manage your symptoms. Medication can help balance out the chemicals in our brain to put us in a better mindset to manage life’s situations.

Research. There are so many great materials on display right now in the library as well as online. Take control of your struggle and learn more about it. After all, knowledge is power. Check out this reading list for novels in our collection covering various mental health topics. Contact Information & Reference or the Community Resources Specialist if you are looking for materials or help in a particular subject matter.

Reach out. Talk to someone you know that is struggling. See what you can do to help support them. Did you know that the estimated median delay from when someone starts experiencing symptoms to when they start to get help is 10 years?! If we speak up to our neighbors, coworkers, children, family, and friends about mental health we could prevent school dropout, incarceration, hospitalization, unemployment, and even death. The National Alliance on Mental Health estimates that one in five individuals will be affected by mental health in their lifetime. That’s 20% of the people around you every day. Don’t be silent, speak up and speak out.

The library now has a social worker to help aid individuals in finding the right community resources for them. Reach out by stopping in or sending an email to libbyr@eauclaire.lib.wi.us.

If you have concerns about the mental health of yourself or someone you know please contact emergency services- 911, Northwest Connections for local crisis support at 888-552-6642, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, your primary healthcare provider, the NAMI helpline to find services or support 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or info@nami.org, NAMI’s crisis text line: Text NAMI to 741-741, or at your nearest emergency room. Learn the warning signs and take action. Everyone deserves a chance to be happy in their own mind.

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