Mental Health America of the Heartland - February  2017 eNewsletter

I am sure you have seen many stores decked out in pink, red, and hearts with mountains of chocolate for sale which can only mean one thing: Valentine's Day is approaching.

Billboards, magazines, and commercials depicting beautiful, happy couples sharing extravagant dinners and exchanging gifts can create stress and anxiety.  People who are in relationships question what to get each other:  Will it be good enough? Am I spending enough money?  Those who don't have a partner can sometimes feel sad or alone. But  Valentine's Day can be the perfect opportunity to show appreciation for all of the people who are important to you and support you throughout the year - no romantic partner required.

Make the effort to spend time with your friends and family: take them out for a coffee, make them a gift, or even give them a quick phone call to let them know you are thinking of them. These small gestures cost very little, but can be incredibly rewarding and meaningful. Social interactions can have a significant influence on your mental health and psychological well-being. The relationships we develop not only boost our happiness and reduce stress but also drastically increase feelings of  self-worth

So reach out to someone this Valentine's Day by simply sharing part of your day with them. You will make them feel special and you may be surprised at how good you feel as well!

Presidents Day is
Monday, February 20
Did you know...

Abraham Lincoln had recurrent severe depression and spoke multiple times throughout his life about committing suicide.

"With Lincoln sadness did not just coexist with strength-- these qualities ran together. Just as death supports new life in a healthy ecosystem, Lincoln's self-negation fueled his peculiar confidence. His despair lay under a distinct hope; his overwhelming melancholy fed into a supple creative power, which allowed him not merely to see the truth of his circumstances but to express it in a stirring, meaningful way."  (The Atlantic)

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." - Abraham Lincoln

If you or someone you know is showing signs and symptoms of depression and/or having thoughts of suicide, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat online. Suicide is not inevitable for anyone. By starting the conversation, providing support, and directing help to those who need it, we can prevent suicides and save lives.

MHAH Information & Referral
Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm
Compassionate Ear Warmline
Open daily, 4pm-10pm

At Mental Health America, we believe that everyone at risk for mental illnesses and related disorders should receive early and effective interventions. Historically, communities of color experience unique and considerable challenges in accessing mental health services.

Stigma and judgment prevent many people from seeking treatment for their mental illnesses but are particularly prevalent in African American culture. Research indicates that African Americans believe that mild depression or anxiety would be considered "crazy" in their social circles. Furthermore, many believe that discussions about mental illness would not be appropriate even among family. African American men are particularly concerned about stigma.

Despite progress made over the years, racism continues to have an impact on the mental health of African Americans. Negative stereotypes and attitudes of rejection have decreased, but continue to occur with measurable, adverse consequences. Historical and contemporary instances of negative treatment have led to a mistrust of authorities, many of whom are not seen as having the best interests of African Americans in mind.

Because less than 2% of American Psychological Association members are African American, some may worry that mental health care practitioners are not culturally competent enough to treat their specific issues. This is compounded by the fact that some African American patients have reported experiencing racism and microaggression from therapists.

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More information/resources:

Want to learn more about MHAH? Attend a  Road to Hope  event!

We also have many educational presentations and opportunities for CEUs. Visit our website for a full list of upcoming events.

NOTE: MHAH offices will be closed on Monday, February 20th. This does not include the Compassionate Ear Warmline which is open 365 days a year from 4pm-10pm.

Murder at Mental Health Facility Exposes Gaps in Kansas System
The Hutchison News  (Jan 28)
Hays Post (Jan 24)
Kansas Public Radio  (Jan 25)
KCUR  (Jan 23)

January 10

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Mental Health America of the Heartland is dedicated to promoting the mental health of the community, and improving the quality of life of persons with mental illness, through advocacy, education and support.

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