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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

By Pastor Dean Rudloff,

The Lake County Mental Health Task Force, The North Shore Mental Health Group

While mental health is important to address year-round, Mental Health Awareness Month provides a dedicated time for people, organi­zations, and communities to join their voices to broadcast a message about mental well-be­ing. This week’s message from The Lake County Local Mental Health Task Force and The North Shore Mental Health Group focus­es on Finding Help as it concerns Mental Health.

When your mental health is off, it is im­portant to find the help that is right for you. Where you go for help will depend on what is occurring within your life. Often the best place to start is to talk with those that you al­ready have connections with, including your friends and family, you primary care doctor, spiritual advisor, or local mental health orga­nizations.

Help can be found in many places and de­pends on what type of support you may need. It can start with participating in a self-care program. You can engage with friends, fami­ly, or someone else to talk to help you process what you are experiencing. If the problems in your life are stopping you from function­ing well or feeling good, professional help can make a big difference.

When you are struggling, friends and fam­ily can be a great support system, but some­times it is hard to ask for help. But the fact is, we should talk about our feelings. Know that you are not alone. Help is available and healing can happen. It is OK not to be OK. It’s OK to reach out to friends, family, neigh­bors, a warm line, or a crisis line if you want to talk.

Even if you’re not sure that you’d benefit from help, it can’t hurt to explore the possi­bility. Getting professional help can enable you to: develop and process ways to solve problems, enable you to feel stronger in the face of challenges, help you change behav­iors that hold you back, help you look at ways of thinking that affect how you feel, and can help heal pains from your past.

Sometimes it is hard to know when you need extra help with your mental health. If you don’t know where to start, check out the following article sponsored by the Nation­al Institute of Mental Health (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/my-men­tal-health-do-i-need-help).  

Warm lines and peer support can be valu­able for those who are managing stress. You do not need to be in immediate crisis to call the warm line. Anyone seeking support may call the Minnesota Warm Line for Peer Sup­port connection at 844-739-0369, from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. For more information, visit: Wellness in the Wood: Transforming Well­ness into Reality (mental health advocacy) (mnwitw.org).

Mental Health Minnesota also offers a warm line, with services available Monday – Saturday, noon to 10 p.m. Call 1- 877-404- 3190, text Support to 85511, or connect to (mentalhealthmn.org).

If you or someone you know needs support now, call or text 988 or chat 988Lifeline.org. 988 connects you with a trained crisis coun­selor who can help.

Throughout the month of May the Min­nesota Department of Health continues to feature training that you can participate in to help others who may be experiencing life challenges or suicidal experiences. On May 15 at 11 a.m. go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/minnesota-resource-panel-get-con­nected-to-the-resources-in-our-state-tick­ets-601645687447   and learn about the re­sources available in MN and how you can help an individual, or yourself, get connect­ed. A panel of members will share their pro­grams, answer questions, and help to contin­ue to build a system of support in Minnesota.

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