Mental Health Awareness
As mentioned before, over 80 percent of youth in foster care have mental health issues. However, mental health issues are in no way exclusive to foster youth. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Amidst the pandemic, we’ve seen significant increases in mental health and substance abuse. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 40 percent of adults reported struggling with mental health issues in 2020. One suggestion is to start with a self-care plan. Just like adults are told on planes to put on their oxygen masks first before assisting their children, you must take care of yourself before you can care for others. Take a few minutes to clarify what you are doing to take care of yourself, whom you can go to if you need to talk, and what resources you can or should access if needed. The CDC offers lots of free resources to support you and your family in maintaining mental health.