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Mental Health - How are you really doing? by Diana Serrano



An increased focus on mental health is relevant today as many lives have been drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A study conducted in June 2020 found that there have been increased adverse mental health conditions, along with increased substance use and suicidal ideation associated with the pandemic (Czeisler et al., 2020). Poor mental health in adolescence can lead to risk-taking behaviors, which have further consequences in their lives. Efforts should be made to prioritize mental health during these unprecedented times.


Insufficient attention to mental health can lead to poor physical health. Stress is a normal response by the body, but increased stress levels can negatively affect one's health for long periods of time. Stress can lead to unhealthy behaviors such as alcohol and cigarette smoking and other behaviors that cause high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. According to the American Heart Association, these factors contribute to the risk of heart disease. Chronic stress can also lead to stroke, mental illness, and insomnia.


It is necessary to promote our mental health, similar to the way people exercise to promote their physical health. Adopting healthy lifestyle practices is essential, such as eating healthily, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep at night. The amount of sleep may vary between age groups; for example, adults ages 18-60 need seven or more hours of sleep each night. It is important to identify the stressors in our lives and to develop healthy coping methods.


Some healthy coping methods include reaching out to family and friends and incorporating relaxation techniques into daily life, such as meditation and yoga. Along with these practices, one should have a healthy balance between work and responsibilities and self-care practices. Self-care practices are unique to each individual, but their purpose is to fuel wellness. Examples of self-care practices are reading, going on walks, hanging out with friends, and cooking.


There are various ways to manage the various stressors in our everyday lives. One useful technique for stressful situations is to reduce the stress at that very moment by using one's senses. An example of this can be listening to a certain song that relaxes you or even looking at your favorite picture of your dog. Reducing stress at that same moment prevents stress from building up inside you and burning out your body.


Mental health affects our daily lives, whether in our relationships, work, or school life. An increased focus on mental health is necessary for everyone. Listed below are various mental health resources. Always remember, you are not alone!


-Diana Serrano RN, BSN


Hotlines

Anxiety/Suicide/Depression/Any Crisis reason:

Crisis Text Line- Text HOME to 741741

Connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free,

24/7 support for any type of crisis via text message


Suicide:

LGBTQ Friendly Trevor Project

TrevorLifeline 866.488.7386

TrevorTEXT Text START to 678678

Suicide Prevention 310.391.1253

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800.273.8255


Other Concerns:

Drug Abuse Helpline 800.662.4357

Eating Disorders Information & Referral Line 800.931.2237



References:


Czeisler MÉ, Lane RI, Petrosky E, et al. Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic - United States, June 24-30, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020;69(32):1049-1057. Published 2020 Aug 14. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6932a1

“New WHO Guidelines on Promoting Mental Health among Adolescents.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 28 Sept. 2020, www.who.int/news/item/28-09-2020-new-who-guidelines-on-promoting-mental-health-among-adolescents.

“Stress Basics.” Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, www.heartandstroke.ca/healthy-living/reduce-stress/stress-basics.

“Stress and Heart Health.” Www.heart.org, www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/stress-and-heart-health.


Mental Health in the eyes of our Executive Director.


Jc talks about how COVID has affected his life and some suggestions on how to deal with the stress.


Exciting news supporting Mental Health in our clubhouse!!!

Our clubhouse is partnering with Counselors Partners of Los Angeles to provide mental health for our staff and later on to our club members!


We will start with group sessions by teams. The idea is that every team member will have the opportunity to talk to a counselor once a month.


Hopefully in March, we will begin counseling with our children and parents!!!


If you want to know more about this exciting news, please email us and we will be able to share with you any information.


Also, we want to thank all our donors who making this possible!

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