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Benefits of Caring for Our Mental Wellness

by | Jan 27, 2023 | Mental Health, Mental Wellness

Forward, Together with western tidewater community services board

Mental health requires care. When we avoid caring for our mental health, we can rob ourselves of emotional, psychological, and social well-being. People often avoid taking care of mental wellness after reaching out to others and being told to “just suck it up,” or, “you shouldn’t be depressed because you have it better in life,” or some other idiom that simply does nothing to support mental health.

Despite the naysayers, we must take care of ourselves. There are multitudes of benefits that we can derive from caring for our mental wellness, and mental self-care is an essential factor in preventing a mental health crisis.

Benefits of Caring for Our Mental Wellness

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes mental health as “A lot more than the absence of illness: it is an intrinsic part of our individual and collective health and well-being.”

Many benefits of caring for our mental wellness can be found in WHO’s definition of mental health as a state of well-being that enables people to:

  • Cope with the stresses of life
  • Realize abilities
  • Learn well
  • Work well
  • Contribute to the community

The human assets of mental health involve our whole existence, per WHO:

“Mental health is an integral part of health; indeed, there is no health without mental health.”

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) states that mental health affects how we think, feel, act, make choices, and relate to others:

“Mental health is more than the absence of mental illness – it’s essential to your overall health and quality of life. Self-care can play a role in maintaining your mental health and help support your treatment and recovery if you have a mental illness.”

When we care for our mental wellness, we improve both our physical and mental health, per NIH. It can help us:

  • Manage stress
  • Lower our risk of illness
  • Increase our energy
  • Boost our overall mood and health

A big part of caring for our mental wellness is prevention. When we care for our mental wellness, we increase the protection that can prevent the onset of a diagnosable disorder, and it also reduces the risk factors that can lead to a crisis.

Preventative mental health care covers three key levels:

  1. Primary prevention stops mental health problems before they start by decreasing risk factors.
  2. Secondary prevention involves supporting individuals with high-risk factors for mental health problems (such as biological factors, life experiences, and family history of mental health illness) to reduce the progression of mental health disorders. This process involves screening, early identification, and brief treatment.
  3. Tertiary prevention helps people at a higher level that are living with mental health problems to remain well and have a good quality of life.

Mental health care (like counseling) can help with:

  • Depression and low mood
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Grief and loss
  • Problematic thoughts and behaviors
  • Problems at work or school
  • Problems at home
  • Low confidence or self-esteem
  • Negative self-talk
  • Self-harm
  • Drug or alcohol misuse or abuse
  • Thoughts about self-harm, death or suicide

Mental health care is a choice of action. It is about self-care, taking care of ourselves despite our circumstances, and despite any stigmas.

“Mental health…is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going.” – Noan Shpancer, PhD

Getting Beyond the Stigma

If a person comes to you to talk about their mental health struggles, please understand that they are not “attention seeking,” they are “support seeking.” Listen, and let them know that you care. Encourage the person to seek help.

Learn more: 5 Ways Family Members Can Promote Mental Wellness

Please help us end the stigma!

Taking care of our mental wellness is not a sign of weakness, and when we seek help it is not a shortcoming.

  • There is strength in acknowledging the need for help. Strength is found when we do not equate our value as a person with our mental health struggles or illness.
  • Strength is found in seeking our full potential – and reaching out for the support that we might need to obtain it. Personal strength is found in ignoring the stigmas.
  • Strength is knowing our worth and honoring ourselves despite any false standards that either you or society holds.

“There is no standard normal. Normal is subjective. There are seven billion versions of normal on this planet.” – Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive

Caring for Mental Wellness

Mental wellness is a necessity and caring for it is not something to take lightly, nor to engage in intermittently. Caring for your mental health involves choice and action, and it is something to maintain, especially if you have a mental health condition.

We Are Here to Help

We offer a variety of counseling services that can help you manage and understand your mental health – your emotions, self-confidence, and relationships with others – and to work through and solve the problems that you have in your life. We are here to help you feel better in life – today, tomorrow, and ongoing!

We are a Community of Hope

We’re here and ready to connect 24/7. We make access to professional, high-quality, wrap-around care affordable, convenient, and easy – including Same Day Access for crisis intervention.

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