May is Mental Health Awareness Month
By Bryan Moffitt, Executive Director of Family Counseling Services
Mental health is an important component of our lives. Like physical health, it is important to participate in activities that keep your mental health in good shape. Mental health exists on a spectrum of wellness. One side of the spectrum is feeling mentally well and the other side of the spectrum is having a serious mental illness. People move along the spectrum at different times of their life. Getting to the side of the spectrum that includes serious mental illness can actually take a while to get to. Ignoring problems is usually how things can get much worse over time. Many mental health issues get better with exercise, counseling, medication, help finding resources, or a combination of all of these. The sooner the problems are addressed, the better.
Whether the issues are problems with sadness, relationships, addiction, or other problems, improvements can be made. Since mental health resources can be difficult to sort through, a counselor can sit down with you and talk about what is happening to help find resources needed to cope and get you back on the road to wellness. These counseling resources help build resiliency.
Ending the stigma around mental health
The stigma surrounding mental wellness is one that needs to dissolve because resources are available to help. Sitting down with a counselor is a really easy and confidential process, so you will not have other people knowing about your business. You sit down in a room and talk to another person that is trained to help you work things out the way you want them worked out, using the resources that you have and the belief system that you have. Clients say afterward that it is really helpful because you are not judged, and you get to talk to a neutral party.
Talking to another person in a confidential setting is a great way to improve your mental wellness. Counselors help with a wide range of issues, from very light to extremely heavy and in-between. It helps to know that you are not alone and that other community members care about you. Whether or not you are experiencing mental health issues, we can all be involved in ending the stigma around mental wellness. Mental Health Awareness Month is a great time to share resources and prioritize our own mental health and the mental health of others.
Outpatient mental health appointments are available on a sliding fee scale basis at Family Counseling Services (806-747-3488). Mental health crisis intervention is available by calling the StarCare Crisis Line (806-740-1414).