A Mental Health Moment
By Bernadette Joy Graham, MA, LPC, NCC, CCHt, Licensed Mental Health Therapist
The Truth Contributor
Happy November dear readers! Last month I wrote about readers taking a mental health 90-day challenge raising questions and concerns on how to get started with your own mental health.
We now have roughly 60 days until 2021 comes to a close but in the midst of those days comes issues with holiday blues that can weigh heavily on one’s emotions, thoughts and actions that can adversely affect our mental health. For example, many of us have lost loved one’s over the past year or years of many and the holidays often bring about memories shared with those we’ve lost.
If you had the opportunity and interest to begin this challenge, I commend you greatly for taking care of yourself. Some noted steps were to begin the conversation with yourself such as “how do I feel, am I angry, anxious, hopeless, or even depressed?” Followed by how to begin to address those issues by seeking professional help or at least reaching out to a trusted friend, family member or colleague.
Healthcare, and lack thereof, features a huge disparity as well as having the ability to share your weaknesses. Open enrollment is still ongoing if you do not have health insurance through an employer. Jobs and family services is a great start in obtaining insurance.
If you have not started this challenge, I greatly encourage you to take a first step. That first step is to acknowledge that your mental health is an immense part of your overall health. You can be fit, in shape and have optimal physical well-being but if you lack the ability to regulate your emotions, appropriately function in social, work and relationship areas, running five miles a day will not fix those issues.
A few tips for the month of November and this on-going challenge. Veterans day is November 11, while to some it’s just another day, but my fellow veterans take it a bit more serious due to their service experience. If you are a veteran or have a family member who is a veteran and find this time to be a trigger that can exaggerate feelings and emotions of self-harm or harm to others reach out to the veteran’s crisis line (800-273-8255) or text (838255) or link up with the Toledo Outpatient clinic (419-259-2000) The clinic is located at 1200 S Detroit Ave in Toledo, lastly the Lucas County Veterans Services can be reached at 419-213-6090 and can assist with many needs as housing, food, legal, burial and benefits.
Thanksgiving Day this year is Thursday November 25. Most of us look forward to spending time with our families and friends and of course great meals but can be very difficult to celebrate if family members are no longer with us. Memories can be wonderful when the experience was wonderful. Life is ever changing as can be our memories.
If you are unable to continue a tradition of this celebrated holiday as in the past, create new traditions. This will create new memories yet allow you to always appreciate the past. We all know change can be excruciating and even anxiety provoking but unfortunately life will not stop for any of us. Change will happen whether we want it to or not but we all have the ability to create the change we prefer to the best of our ability.
A challenge is meant to prove to ourselves that we can do something different. The outcome of that challenge is up to us. Be well, be healthy and be honest with yourself. Get your mind right and start by challenging yourself to becoming the best you closing out 2021.
Note: If you are interested in participating in a grief group, please contact me as there are limited spaces. This is a 6-week action- based group for adults to learn how to grieve and process the difficulties faced with a loss.
Bernadette Graham is a Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor, National Certified Counselor and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist. She is also a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. Provide feedback or reach out at email@example.com For appointment information please call 419.409.4929 (Appointments available on Tuesdays and Fridays only). Office location is 3454 Oak Alley Ct. Suite 300 Toledo, OH 43606 www.bjgrahamcounseling.org Available for team building, employee empowerment in motivation and better understanding mental health in the work place. Accepting new clients ages 13 nd older.