Bee Heard: May is Mental Health month

Photo Credit: Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum

Do you know your Tools2Thrive?

Everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. The good news is there are practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency – and there are ways that everyone can be supportive of friends, family, and co-workers who are struggling with life’s challenges or their mental health.

Since May is Mental Health Month, the Southern Ute Health Center’s Behavioral Health Program is highlighting #Tools2Thrive – what individuals can do daily to prioritize their mental health, build resiliency in the face of trauma and obstacles, support those who are struggling, and work towards a path of recovery.

Taking a mental health screen can be helpful. The site is a quick, free, and private way for people to learn about their mental health and recognize signs of mental health problems. A screening is not a diagnosis, but it can be a helpful tool for starting a conversation with your doctor or with a trusted individual about your mental health.

This May, we are encouraging everyone to build their own set of #Tools2Thrive – recognizing and owning your feelings; finding the positive after loss; connecting with others; eliminating toxic influences; creating healthy routines; and supporting others – all as ways to boost the mental health and general wellness of you and your loved ones.

When it comes to your feelings, it can be easy to get caught up in your emotions as you’re feeling them. Most people don’t think about what emotions they are dealing with but taking the time to really identify what you’re feeling can help you to better cope with challenging situations. It’s ok to give yourself permission to feel. We also know that life can throw us curveballs – and at some point, we will all experience loss. It may be the end of a relationship, being let go from a job, losing a home, or the death of a loved one. It is natural to go through a grieving process. By looking for opportunity in adversity or finding ways to remember the good things about who or what we’ve lost, we can help ourselves to recover mentally and emotionally.

It also is true that connections and the people around us can help our overall mental health – or hurt it. It’s important to make connections with other people that help enrich our lives and get us through tough times, but it’s equally important to recognize when certain people and situations in life can trigger us to feel bad or engage in destructive behaviors. Identifying the toxic influences in our lives and taking steps to create a new life without them can improve mental and physical health over time. And we know that work, paying bills, cleaning, getting enough sleep, and taking care of children are just some of the things we do each day – and it is easy to be overwhelmed. By creating routines, we can organize our days in such a way that taking care of tasks and ourselves becomes a pattern that makes it easier to get things done without having to think hard about them.

It’s important to remember mental illnesses are not only common but are treatable and recovery is possible. For each of us, the tools we use to keep ourselves mentally healthy will be unique. There is a wide range of treatment options ranging from talk therapy to medication to peer support to traditional healing. By developing your own #Tools2Thrive, it is possible to find balance between work and play, the ups and downs of life, and physical health and mental health – and set yourself on the path to recovery.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact the Behavioral Health Department at 970-563-4581 and ask for Mary Trujillo Young, Jennifer GoodTracks, or Ryan Sullivan. We are here to help! Additional resource available 24/7 is the Axis Health Crisis Line 970-247-5245 and Colorado Statewide Crisis Line: 844-493-8255.

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