UACES Facebook May is Mental Health Month
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May is Mental Health Monthgraphic design stating "may is mental health month" in various colors with a green ribbon on the left

By Katie Frizzell

Did you know that 1 in 5 people have experienced a mental health concern at some point in their lives? May is Mental Health Month and it has never been more important.  Just two months ago we had no idea our worlds would be turned upside down by COVID-19. It has led many of us to feel worried, isolated, lonely, and anxious. Fortunately there are experts in the field of mental health that have created resources to help us cope with those feelings. 

In honor of Mental Health Month, here are some quick points to remember about mental health:

  • Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable.
  • While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact mental health.
  • There are practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency regardless of the situations they are dealing with.
  • It’s important to recognize your emotions and own your feelings, work to find the positive even when facing adversity or loss, reach out and try to connect with others, remove those people in your life who are bringing you down, and create healthy routines to take care of yourself.
  • There are ways that everyone can be supportive of friends, family, and coworkers who are struggling with life’s challenges or their mental health.
  • Living a healthy lifestyle and incorporating mental health tools to thrive may not be easy but can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes.
  • Recognizing your feelings, finding the routines that lift you up, removing toxic influences and connecting with others can all help you on your path to recovery as you develop your own mental health tools to thrive.

The 6 Tools to Thrive:

Mental health America has created resources for your mental health journey called Tools to Thrive. The six tools to thrive are owning your feelings, finding the positive after loss, connecting with others, eliminating toxic influences, creating healthy routines, and supporting others. Read more about the Tools to Thrive below. 

#1 Owning Your Feelings

#2 Finding the Positive After Loss

#3 Connecting with Others

#4 Eliminating Toxic Influences

#5 Creating Healthy Routines

#6 Supporting Others

Take a Mental Health Screening:

One thing you can do for yourself is take a mental health screening at mhascreening.org and help Mental Health America reach their goal of conducting 1 Million mental health screenings this May. This is a quick, free, and private way for you to assess your mental health.

Mental Health for Agriculture:

Whether you work in agriculture or someone you care for does, you know that it is a business that is rewarding, but stressful. Take time today to care for yourself and your loved ones who work in agriculture that may be experiencing mental health concerns. 

Worksheet

Additional Resources

Extension's Farm Stress Management Program

Other Helpful Resources:

COVID-19 and Your Mental Health

Stress: Signs and Symptoms

Take a moment to look at additional resources that the Cooperative Extension Service has to offer:

https://www.uaex.edu/life-skills-wellness/personal-family-well-being/default.aspx

https://www.uaex.edu/life-skills-wellness/personal-family-well-being/personal/

https://www.uaex.edu/life-skills-wellness/health/covid19/default.aspx

I hope you will participate in educating yourself and others during this Mental Health Month 2020. It is more important than ever that we talk about mental health, practice true self-care, and take care of our well-being. 

As always, stay Savvy,

Katie

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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