Your End of Year Mental Health Check-In

Bernadette Joy Graham, MA, LPCC, LLC

By Bernadette Joy Graham, MA, LPCC, LLC

Can you remember how you felt last year in December of 2022?  Do you recall any new year resolutions or goals you were so excited and adamant about making?  Regardless of whether you are currently in mental health therapy or have never been or have no intentions of ever going in your life, an end of year mental health check-in is the least you can do for yourself during this wonderful season of giving.

Just from my lens and work done with clients this year as a mental health clinician, more than a higher than usual number of my clients shared far more than a few challenges.  Personally, I remember last year specifically stating to myself I would not make any resolutions but I did have some expectations……good ones (they didn’t happen.)

When I began listening to the challenges incurred by my clients, I had no choice but to silently say to myself, “so it’s not just me with the many issues to come up in 2023.”  This has been a year of great challenges for many of us and with challenges come change.  Change means work, change means undoing, restarting, discomfort and when it is unexpected change such as health issues, a loss of a loved one or more than one, relationship break-ups, car accidents, a new household member, a move and all the many other things that can happen in life, it takes a toll on our mental and emotional health.

All of us do mental health check-ins even when we do not realize, but just doing a check-in is just part of the process.  Not everyone does the other part of the process which is acknowledging the difference in her thinking and feeling but also doing something to change her thought process that will lead to differences in feelings and behaviors.

To get started, compare 2022 to 2023.  On a scale from 1 – 10 with 1 being the worst ever and 10 being the best ever or keep it in a simplistic style of an emoji face such as sad, just okay, or the super smiley face.  If changes did occur this year were there more unexpected than last year?  Did you gain more or lose more in 2023 in anything from finances, weight/health, career/employment, housing to relationship status?  Lastly, ask yourself if you learned anything about YOU this year despite how the lesson occurred?

What we think affects how we feel and how we feel determines how we behave.  Take a mental health moment to scale your end of year mental health check-in.  If you think you dealt with any change, you have to acknowledge the other things to which those changes led.  Regardless if you gained or lost anything or anyone you learned something about yourself.  Now the question is that thing you learned will you utilize it for 2024?  The bottom line of a mental health check-in is not self-diagnosis, please leave that to the professionals, but rather to acknowledge your sense of self-awareness.

A lot of change can happen in a day, good bad or ugly and  sometimes all three within the 24 hours.  Over the course of this past year your mental health may have oscillated like a roller coaster or just went downhill.  If it is to the point of you feeling at the bottom, mental health therapy can be a real-life saver.  Life happens, changes occur and sometimes we all need help in getting our thoughts back in order, to feel the best we can and act in accordance with moral standards and codes.

If you think 2024 is the year to start therapy, you can begin by checking for providers through your insurance or try an online platform list such as

Happy Holidays (they could be happier in therapy), and remember to get your mind right and everything else will fall in its place.  Be well.


Bernadette Joy Graham, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist can be reached at 419 409 4929.   Email:

Telehealth or in office appointments available in both Toledo and Maumee office locations.  Most insurances accepted, EAP, self-pay, Health Savings Accounts and sliding fee schedule.  Call about discounts and pro-bono services for Military Veterans.  Individual counseling services offered to ages 13 and older.

Next adult grief group begins the end of January 2024 at the Toledo location.  Call or email to register for group. 


If you feel you may be in a mental health crisis, please call 988 or go to the nearest emergency room.