May – Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month (also referred to as “Mental Health Month”) has been observed in May in the United States since 1949, reaching millions of people through the media, local events, and screenings.

Healthy bodies AND healthy minds should be everyone’s priority and it is important that we learn to help ourselves and others feel better when we/they are unhappy, worried, angry or scared. No matter how mentally healthy, resilient, or happy one is, there comes a time in everyone’s life when he or she will need to cope with something difficult. Talk to your child open about mental health. Here are some very simple child appropriate coping skills that you can suggest:

  • Skill No. 1: Reading. Reading is a great way to learn about new things and is also a way to take your mind off of other things. Sometimes when people are upset, it can be helpful to read a book by a favorite author or about a favorite topic. Think about what type of book would be best for you to read when you are upset.
  • Skill No. 2: Listening to music that makes you happy. Choose music or a song that has a positive message and makes you feel happy.
  • Skill No. 3: If you have a hard time talking about your feelings and thoughts try writing them. Writing helps you express those difficult feelings that you cannot find the words to express. Take a few minutes and write down what you are thinking or how you are feeling a few times a day.
  • Skill No. 4: Taking a break. Walk away from what is upsetting you and being by yourself for a few minutes until you start to feel calmer. Taking a break for yourself helps you to feel more in control and removes you from people or events that may be upsetting you. During your peaceful break, take three deep breaths to help calm your mind and body down, so you can be ready to return to your day.
  • Skill No. 5: Talking to someone who cares about you. Talking to someone who cares about you helps you feel understood and supported, and they may be able to help you solve your problem. Think of people you can talk to at home, at school, and in the neighborhood. Don’t keep it to yourself when you are feeling hurt, scared, sad, or angry.