Words of Encouragement
from Rhonda Abrams, Bereavement Coordinator
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This month is set aside to educate people on the importance of assessing your mental health, fighting stigma attached to mental health illness, and advocating for policies to better support people with mental health challenges or illness.
Grief and mental health go hand in hand. Grief significantly affects your mental health and shows up in ways that you might not have imagined. If unaddressed or unresolved, it can damage your ability to re-engage in life and function productively with meaningful relationships. In order to find new meaning and purpose after loss, we need to take the necessary time to acknowledge our losses, no matter how small, and work our way through our emotions and feelings.
The first step in taking charge of your grief and mental health is to acknowledge that you deserve time and attention for self-care. The next step is to learn about the “normal” grief process and assess areas where you may need continued healing. We’ve all been through a very tough year and have experienced a multitude of complex changes and transitions. Part of our identity is tied to those losses so it is imperative that we make time to validate what we have lost and reach out for help if we feel “stuck” in any areas.
Unfortunately, in our society today, mental health issues are often associated with a stigma or negative attitude that can prevent a person from reaching out for help. It is important to know that reaching out for help is a sign of strength, not a weakness. With the articles in this month’s bulletin, I hope to draw attention to the importance of healthy self-care and understanding the feelings going on inside you, with a network of positive support by your side. Remember, regular self-care assessments and healthy coping skills are actions you should incorporate in your life every day. Good mental health requires a daily practice of lifelong nurturing