Mental Health Awareness Month
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Mental Health Awareness Month

"One small crack does not mean that you are broken, it means that you were put to the test and you didn't fall apart."

Linda Poindexter

Mental Health Awareness Month

Odyssey recognizes that mental well-being is a huge component of physical wellness. Our mission this month is to bring about awareness & normality to conversations around mental health from our community. Let's recognize the common symptoms and encourage the help needed without judgement or prejudice. Life's a tough journey, we are here for you and want to hear from you.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and mental health during this time is super important. Our mental health follows us all day everyday and when we do not feel good neither does our brain. We can overthink, feel sad, feel anxious, feel tired, want to cry, want to scream, want to give up, feel damaged, and so many other emotions and urges that can really affect the way we feel, think, and function. That is why trying to build a strong mental health mind is super important to be that best and happiest version of yourself you can possibly be.

What is mental health? According to "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 choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood." What does this all mean? Basically, how we feel and think affects our actions and choices. If I am stressed out, I am most likely to react angrily to things and people, which can be very negative in my life. It is not uncommon to have stress, but having negative mental health traits on a daily basis can really have a toll on your mood, to the point where one does not even feel like living, which is very sad.

Why is May Mental Health Awareness month? May was just chosen as a month to dedicate to raising awareness about the stigma of mental health and how to cope with mental health issues. NAMI, which stands for the National Alliance on Mental Health is a movement dedicated to fighting the stigma and offering support.

During this pandemic, I am sure we are seeing a rise in mental health issues and it is so important to be there for each other and understand that you are not alone not only during the pandemic crisis but with other issues one is facing. You are not the only one who is coping with a loss, feeling stressed from work, having anxious thoughts, lacking sleep; the list is endless. That is why we have to fight the stigma that someone who is facing mental health issues is not a burden but is someone who has to face an issue on their own on their own terms and needs support not because they are weak, but because it will help one feel not alone and feel unsupported. No one has it worse than others and we need to stop minimizing one's mental health issues and feelings as we react and face things different.

So what can we do to fight the stigma and help spread awareness about mental health? A few things and ideas include:

- Stop judging others for feeling depressed, anxious, stressed, etc. over something you think is silly. Try and show more empathy and understanding, as we all handle things differently. For example, someone may handle a loss better than others, so show empathy and be willing to listen without judgment.

- Show support and be supportive. Reach out to a crisis hotline, family member, a friend, etc. when you need to. Make sure it is someone you can trust.

- Look into volunteer opportunities to get insight into some issues people in society are facing. You may make their day.

- Self-care always. Take a nap, work out, eat healthy, make a craft - whatever you got to do to spark a little joy in your life.

Stay safe and happy mental health awareness month!

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