Mental Health Month
Look Around, Look Within: Your surroundings say a lot about your mental health.
May is recognized as Mental Health Month, a time to raise awareness and promote education about mental health. This year’s theme, set by Mental Health America, is “Look Around, Look Within,” emphasizing the importance of examining our world around us to improve our overall mental health and wellbeing. At Burrell Behavioral Health, we promote and celebrate Mental Health Month, and thank MHA for their longtime leadership in promoting mental health nationwide.
This month is an opportunity to educate ourselves and others about the importance of mental health. The first step in doing so is to challenge yourself to look at your world and how different factors can affect your mental health. Mental Health America notes that where a person is born, lives, learns, works, plays, and gathers, as well as their economic stability and social connections, are part of what is called “social determinants of health” (SDOH). The more these factors work in your favor means you are more likely to have better mental well-being. However, when it seems like the world is working against you, your mental health can suffer. Take a moment to consider your surroundings. Do you feel safe? Do you have access to health care and grocery stores? Does your home support you, both physically and mentally?
While many parts of your environment can be out of your control, there are steps you can take to change your space and protect your well-being.
• Work toward securing safe and stable housing: This can be challenging due to finances, age, and other reasons, but there are a few things you can try, such as reaching out to state/local agencies to secure housing, removing safety hazards in the home, or finding another space (such as a community center or friend’s home) where you can get the comfort you are missing at home.
•Focus on your home: Consider keeping your space tidy, sleep-friendly, and well-ventilated. Surround yourself with items that help you feel calm and positive.
•Create bonds with your neighborhood and community: Get to know the people living around you, join or start neighbors-helping-neighbors groups, and support local businesses to challenge gentrification.
•Connect with nature: Hike in a forest, sit in a city park, bring a plant inside, or keep the shades open to absorb natural light.
If you’re taking steps to improve your surroundings but are still struggling with your mental health, you may be experiencing signs of a mental health condition. Burrell Behavioral Health wants to support everyone on their journey to feeling better. If you are in a mental health crisis, please call 988.