In the year since COVID-19 upended daily life, mental health struggles have skyrocketed. Often, the hardest action we can take on our mental health journey is the very first one: reaching out for the first time to a friend, walking into the first support group meeting, finding a therapist or calling a support line. It is time we all take care of our emotional wellbeing in the same way we tend to our physical health, before we reach a moment of crisis.
Mental Health Action Day
Mental Health Action Day will take place on May 20, during Mental Health Awareness Month, to drive the culture of mental health from awareness to action. We must take action now to meet the needs of our communities and identify opportunities to build long-term resilience. Action looks different for everyone, and Mental Health Action Day will encourage people to do what feels right for them. If you have concerns about your or someone else's mental health, please contact a medical professional or call 1-800-273-TALK(8255) for a free, confidential conversation. As part of Mental Health Action Day, ABC7 will hold a town hall on May 20 to put a spotlight on mental health action.
Cultivating Meaning & Joy by Fostering Connections
Social support means having individuals to turn to in times of need or crisis to give you a broader focus, positive self-image and other benefits. Social support improves physical and mental health, enhances quality of life, and can provide a buffer against the adverse effects of stress and adverse life events.
Peer support: https://www.mentalhealthsf.org/peer-support-services/
Managing Illness Support Group: https://www.beyondmybattle.org/support-groups
Volunteer website: https://www.laworks.com/opportunity-calendar
Self-compassion includes remembering you are human (which means remembering that all humans suffer and are imperfect), accepting yourself at the present moment, and appreciating yourself not for your productivity, skill or beauty, but for your inherent worth.
Self-Compassion Exercises: https://self-compassion.org/category/exercises/
Fear and anxiety are associated with many mental health conditions. About 20% of adults in the United States experience symptoms of an anxiety disorder during any given year, and women tend to have these symptoms more often than men.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:
Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation App: https://www.calm.com/
Living with Uncertainty: https://www.socialworker.com/feature-articles/field-placement/living-with-uncertainty/
Child Anxiety: https://carescenter.ucla.edu/
Mindful Gratitude & Savoring
Mindfulness means the practice of maintaining complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions or experiences in the present moment without judgment. You can also use specific mindfulness techniques to intentionally add positive thoughts to your inner voice. This might increase the positive effects of mindfulness. Two examples are savoring and gratitude practices. Savoring and gratitude practices are associated with improved psychological well-being including increased life satisfaction, mood, happiness and positive emotions.
Gratitude Journal Apps:
The information and links above were provided by UCLA Health.
The Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA is among the leading centers in the world for comprehensive patient care, research and education in the fields of mental health, developmental disabilities and neurology. The Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital's vision is to serve the health care needs of the community, its patients and their families through excellence in research, education and the delivery of neuropsychiatric and behavioral health services.
CalHOPE delivers crisis support for communities impacted by a national disaster. CalHOPE builds community resiliency and helps people recover from disasters through free outreach, crisis counseling, and support services.
Pacific Clinics supports individuals and families in over 50 locations across Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties. With free, low-cost and sliding scale fee services for children, youth, transitional age youth, adults, and older adults, they are here for Southern Californians at every stage of life. They pride themselves on delivering innovative community-based, culturally and linguistically appropriate programs, and their highly trained staff members are reflective of the communities they serve.
San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center
The San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center, Inc. is dedicated to improving the mental health of individuals and families within the Greater San Fernando Valley community. This is achieved by providing effective and culturally sensitive therapeutic services based on each consumer's individualized needs, strengths and choices. Programs serve infants, toddlers, children, adolescents and transition age youth diagnosed with serious emotional disorders, in addition to adults and older adults diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness. The Center is committed to treating all consumers with dignity and enhancing their quality of life.
NAMI Westside LA
NAMI Westside Los Angeles offers free education programs along with support, guidance, and hope for the growing number of Angelenos affected by mental health conditions.
Department of Mental Health Services for all CA Counties
The Mental Health Plan (MHP) in each county is responsible for providing or arranging for the provision of Specialty Mental Health Services (SMHS) to Medi-Cal beneficiaries in their county. SMHS means the impact of the beneficiary's condition is severe enough for him/her to require the services of a specialist as opposed to a generalist in the field of mental health.
The WHY WE RISE campaign is an ongoing project of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, serving the 10 million people of L.A. County with education and prevention programs and providing mental health-related services to over 250,000 people each year, offering connection, hope, recovery and wellbeing. The WE RISE events are calls to action, asking you to join a movement to break through barriers and defy old assumptions about mental health and the many related social conditions that compound problems and hurt our communities.
The Trevor Project
Access information preventing suicide and Trevor's unique resources for LGBTQ youth.
National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) is the nation's public-private partnership for suicide prevention. The Action Alliance works with more than 250 national partners to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Current priority areas include: transforming health systems, transforming communities, and changing the conversation.
NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI works to educate, advocate, listen and lead to improve the lives of people with mental illness and their loved ones.
Child Mind Institute
The Child Mind Institute is an independent, national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. Our teams work every day to deliver the highest standards of care, advance the science of the developing brain and empower parents, professionals and policymakers to support children when and where they need it most.
Seize the Awkward
Having a conversation about mental health might be uncomfortable, but it can make all the difference. Check out these tools - from conversation guides to tips -that can help you help those in need.
The Jed Foundation
Transitioning into adulthood can bring big changes and intense challenges. The Jed Foundation (JED) empowers teens and young adults with the skills and support to grow into healthy, thriving adults.