Mental Health America Blog https://www.mhanational.org/ en LGBTQ Peers Deserve to Feel Pride Too https://www.mhanational.org/blog/lgbtq-peers-deserve-feel-pride-too <span>LGBTQ Peers Deserve to Feel Pride Too</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-06/pexels-ron%C3%AA-ferreira-2577951.jpg" alt="Woman with a flower crown and rainbow sparkle makeup looking at the camera with a rainbow flag wrapped around her." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/07/2021 - 10:44</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">June 07, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p style="margin-top:16px; margin-bottom:16px"><em>By Kat McIntosh, Manager of Global Peer Support at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>Everyone deserves to feel pride in their mental health. Research shows that sharing the story of your mental illness can be empowering and may enhance a person’s self-esteem<a href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1" title="">[1]</a>.</p> <p>In the 1970s, a mental illness diagnosis meant you were considered ill for the rest of your life and not given much hope. This hopelessness could have made it difficult for those living with mental health conditions to feel pride in their mental health.</p> <p>The consumer movement, which gave rise to peer support, called for inclusion<a href="#_ftn2" name="_ftnref2" title="">[2]</a>. It advocated for the mantra “nothing for us, without us.” We see evidence of this movement in the principles of peer support--it is voluntary and has equally-shared power.</p> <p>A peer is someone who shares your lived experience. This lived experience can be having a mental health condition, but it can also include other characteristics such as sharing a specific mental health diagnosis, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, language, or disability. Being a peer can also be a situational experience, such as being a parent or experiencing a life-altering event such as a natural disaster.</p> <p>One principle of peer support is equally-shared power, but equality may not be the experience of LGBTQ peers. A recent report by the Trevor Project found that 75% of LGBTQ youth had experienced discrimination in their lifetime<a href="#_ftn3" name="_ftnref3" title="">[3]</a>. We need to ensure that LGBTQ peers feel included. Inclusion can help promote pride.</p> <p>Mental Health America (MHA)’s screening data shows that 95% of LGBTQ youth ages 11-17 scored moderate to severe for depression<a href="#_ftn4" name="_ftnref4" title="">[4]</a>. Not only are LGBTQ folks experiencing challenges with their mental health, but they are also simultaneously experiencing discrimination. Ending this discrimination is vital since personal, family, and social acceptance of sexual orientation and gender identity can affect the mental health and personal safety of LGBTQ individuals<a href="#_ftn5" name="_ftnref5" title="">[5]</a>.</p> <p>It is crucial to help LGBTQ peers to feel pride in their mental health. To do this, we must advocate for acceptance and inclusion. The absence of this inclusion can cause negative impacts on mental health. Reports indicate that LGBTQ persons experience stigma, discrimination, and denial of both civil and human rights5. Trevor Project’s recent survey also showed that 94% of LGBTQ youth reported that recent politics affected their mental health.</p> <p>Inclusion happens in everyday events like using chosen names and pronouns. When we use the chosen name of LGBTQ youth, it can help reduce suicidal ideation and depression<a href="#_ftn6" name="_ftnref6" title="">[6]</a>. Additionally, when pronouns are respected, it can minimize suicide risk by 50%.</p> <p>Inclusion also means creating safety for LGBTQ folks to share their experiences without facing discrimination. In a survey of LGBTQ people, over 50% reported that they had experienced cases of providers denying care, using harsh language, or blaming the patient’s sexual orientation or gender identity for causing an illness. Fear of discrimination may lead LGBTQ folks to conceal their sexual orientation or gender identity from providers or avoid seeking care altogether. We can help create safe spaces by supporting the<a href="https://www.hrc.org/resources/the-equality-act"> </a><a href="https://www.hrc.org/resources/the-equality-act">Equality Act</a> and speaking up against<a href="https://www.thetrevorproject.org/trvr_press/the-trevor-project-condemns-florida-governor-for-signing-anti-trans-sports-ban-on-the-first-day-of-pride-month/"> </a><a href="https://www.thetrevorproject.org/trvr_press/the-trevor-project-condemns-florida-governor-for-signing-anti-trans-sports-ban-on-the-first-day-of-pride-month/">Anti-Transgender Sports Bans</a>.</p> <p>At MHA,&nbsp;we believe that LGBTQ peers deserve to feel pride in their mental health. We need to build safe spaces where they can feel this pride. Building safe spaces include asking Congress to fund<a href="https://mhanational.salsalabs.org/advocacymondaysweek3crisisservicesandsuicideprevention/index.html"> </a><a href="https://mhanational.salsalabs.org/advocacymondaysweek3crisisservicesandsuicideprevention/index.html">mental health crisis services</a> that identify meeting LGBTQ youth and adults where they are, such as in school and community settings and not in jails or hospitals.</p> <p>It also includes supporting the<a href="https://mhanational.salsalabs.org/advocacymondaysweek4peersupportandequity/index.html"> </a><a href="https://mhanational.salsalabs.org/advocacymondaysweek4peersupportandequity/index.html">Promoting Effective and Empowering Recovery Services (PEERS)</a> in Medicare Act of 2021, which promotes the use of peer support specialists as part of integrated care in Medicare. The PEERS bill is important since peer support reduces hospital admission rates, increases social support and social functioning, and decreases substance use and depression.</p> <p>Take this important action and share our<a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/bipoclgbtq"> </a><a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/bipoclgbtq">BIPOC LGBTQ Peer Support Survey</a>. This survey helps ensure that the experiences of LGBTQ peers are heard. Help us ensure that LGBTQ peers feel pride in their mental health.</p> <div> <hr size="1" /> <div id="ftn1"> <p><em><a href="#_ftnref1" name="_ftn1" title="">[1]</a> https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3698841/</em></p> </div> <div id="ftn2"> <p><em><a href="#_ftnref2" name="_ftn2" title="">[2]</a> https://camphro.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/outreach-materials-mh-movement.pdf</em></p> </div> <div id="ftn3"> <p><em><a href="#_ftnref3" name="_ftn3" title="">[3]</a> https://www.thetrevorproject.org/survey-2021/</em></p> </div> <div id="ftn4"> <p><em><a href="#_ftnref4" name="_ftn4" title="">[4]</a>https://mhanational.org/mental-health-and-covid-19-what-mha-screening-data-tells-us-about-impact-pandemic</em></p> </div> <div id="ftn5"> <p><em><a href="#_ftnref5" name="_ftn5" title="">[5]</a>https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender-health</em></p> </div> <div id="ftn6"> <p><em><a href="#_ftnref6" name="_ftn6" title="">[6]</a> https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6165713/</em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/lgbt-mental-health" hreflang="en">LGBT Mental Health</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19426&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="HRO302liUp7GtkTzIk7Wk4G2NFbuQEAqs89OwJOCWLA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 07 Jun 2021 14:44:12 +0000 JCheang 19426 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/lgbtq-peers-deserve-feel-pride-too#comments How the Human-Animal Bond Increases Resilience and Empowers Us to Thrive https://www.mhanational.org/blog/how-human-animal-bond-increases-resilience-and-empowers-us-thrive <span>How the Human-Animal Bond Increases Resilience and Empowers Us to Thrive</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-05/pexels-samson-katt-5255626.jpg" alt="African American female freelancer with netbook near dog" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Mon, 05/17/2021 - 10:37</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">May 17, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Steven Feldman, President of the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI)</em></p> <p>Pets have been a bright spot in people’s lives throughout the pandemic, providing unconditional love and support. Approximately 11 million U.S. households brought home a new pet during the pandemic<a href="#_edn1" name="_ednref1" title="">[1]</a>, and pet owners overwhelmingly reported that they could not have made it through the toughest parts of lockdowns and quarantines without them.</p> <p>Now more than ever, people need resources and support to improve and maintain good mental health. The good news is that the human-animal bond – our mutually beneficial relationship with our pets – can support better mental health for people of all ages, in good times and in bad. &nbsp;</p> <p>With <a href="https://www.mhanational.org/mental-health-month">Mental Health America’s Tools 2 Thrive</a> topics in mind, the <a href="https://habri.org/">Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI)</a> compiled scientific research and information on the many ways that pets can help improve mental health, foster resilience, and empower us to thrive.</p> <p><strong>Adapting after trauma and stress</strong></p> <p>Research shows that the emotional<a href="#_edn2" name="_ednref2" title="">[2]</a> and social support<a href="#_edn3" name="_ednref3" title="">[3]</a> pets provide helps buffer stress, promote resilience, and recover from adverse circumstances.</p> <p>Studies have demonstrated that pet owners recover faster from stressful events than non-pet-owners<a href="#_edn4" name="_ednref4" title="">[4]</a> and also that the simple act of petting an animal reduces anxiety<a href="#_edn5" name="_ednref5" title="">[5]</a>. Science has shown that pets activate oxytocin in our bodies’ systems and reduce cortisol levels in our brains, documenting the physiological mechanism behind stress reduction and improved well-being<a href="#_edn6" name="_ednref6" title="">[6]</a> <a href="#_edn7" name="_ednref7" title="">[7]</a>.</p> <p>For those recovering from trauma, regular interaction with animals in a structured intervention has been found to reduce participants’ self-reported fear and anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbance<a href="#_edn8" name="_ednref8" title="">[8]</a> <a href="#_edn9" name="_ednref9" title="">[9]</a>.</p> <p><strong>Dealing with anger and frustration</strong></p> <p>One great tip for coping with anger and frustration is changing one’s surroundings or finding a welcome distraction. Pets are good for both - try playing with your cat or dog!</p> <p>One study found that pets helped people cope with depression and other mental health issues<a href="#_edn10" name="_ednref10" title="">[10]</a> by serving as a distraction from typical symptoms and encouraging meaningful activity<a href="#_edn11" name="_ednref11" title="">[11]</a>.Walking, exercising, or playing with pets is associated with greater happiness and less stress relative to other activities<a href="#_edn12" name="_ednref12" title="">[12]</a>. Science shows that pets can instill feelings of happiness in people and improve mood. Pet owners also laugh more often than non-pet-owners<a href="#_edn13" name="_ednref13" title="">[13]</a>.</p> <p>Research suggests that pet owners often derive the same amount of overall social support from their pets as from their parents or siblings. This support is another contributing factor to the greater levels of well-being and happiness that pet owners tend to experience <a href="#_edn14" name="_ednref14" title="">[14]</a> <a href="#_edn15" name="_ednref15" title="">[15]</a>.</p> <p><strong>Taking time for yourself</strong></p> <p>Moving your body is a great way to take some time for yourself. Research shows that spending time in nature can be restorative, allowing the brain to rest and process information<a href="#_edn16" name="_ednref16" title="">[16]</a>. A pet can be a great reason to get outside and walk, and research shows that dog owners walk more often than non-owners<a href="#_edn17" name="_ednref17" title="">[17]</a>.</p> <p><strong>Processing big changes</strong></p> <p>It goes without saying that the pandemic brought unexpected changes to people’s lives. In providing consistency, companionship, and purpose, pets have helped us process the pandemic and feelings of uncertainty<a href="#_edn18" name="_ednref18" title="">[18]</a>.</p> <p>Keeping up with self-care is so important for processing change. When so much can feel overwhelming, it’s easy to stay in bed or on the couch. Keeping up with normal, healthy habits is important. Pets can encourage us to adhere to our routines and add structure to our lives<a href="#_edn19" name="_ednref19" title="">[19]</a>.</p> <p><strong>Self-acceptance</strong></p> <p>Taking care of our pets can even positively change the way we think about ourselves.</p> <p>People recovering from serious mental health conditions have commonly reported feeling a sense of control when they successfully care for a pet, which can increase feelings of self-efficacy<a href="#_edn20" name="_ednref20" title="">[20]</a>.</p> <p>Pets also offer unconditional love for their owners, which can be deeply validating for people facing social stigma for mental health conditions<a href="#_edn21" name="_ednref21" title="">[21]</a> <a href="#_edn22" name="_ednref22" title="">[22]</a>. Pets are non-judgmental, non-evaluative, and accepting<a href="#_edn23" name="_ednref23" title="">[23]</a>, which can be particularly beneficial for buffering stress and social anxiety in children<a href="#_edn24" name="_ednref24" title="">[24]</a>.</p> <p><strong>Mindfulness</strong></p> <p>The simple routines associated with pet care can help people stay mindful and in the present. A study of pet owners living with a long-term mental health condition found that pets may disrupt inward attention from harmful symptoms or upsetting thoughts such as suicidal ideation. Pet care, such as regular feeding, walking, and play, can provide people with an opportunity to focus their attention and ground themselves in their day-to-day lives<a href="#_edn25" name="_ednref25" title="">[25]</a>.</p> <p><strong>Resources on the Human-Animal Bond</strong></p> <p>The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) is proud to partner with Mental Health America to raise awareness of the mental health benefits of the human-animal bond. For more information about the science of the human-animal bond, please visit <a href="http://www.habri.org">www.habri.org</a>.</p> <div>&nbsp; <hr size="1" /> <div id="edn1"> <p><a href="#_ednref1" name="_edn1" title="">[1]</a> <a href="http://todaysveterinarybusiness.com/pets-appa-survey-covid/">“Pets Remain In High Demand During COVID.” Today's Veterinary Business, Oct. 2020, todaysveterinarybusiness.com/pets-appa-survey-covid/.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn2"> <p><a href="#_ednref2" name="_edn2" title="">[2]</a> <a href="https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-018-1613-2">Brooks, Helen Louise, et al. "The power of support from companion animals for people living with mental health problems: a systematic review and narrative synthesis of the evidence."&nbsp;BMC psychiatry&nbsp;18.1 (2018): 1-12.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn3"> <p><a href="#_ednref3" name="_edn3" title="">[3]</a> <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08927936.2017.1311050?casa_token=oAK32SkqTusAAAAA:My1Vri6cT64e4LVBiXQmhESjh31c8Pm5AGMvtkWb0jxDJhOiA1OXzxEM_3GQ3siKkWFXXvW__5c">Meehan, Michael, Bronwyn Massavelli, and Nancy Pachana. "Using attachment theory and social support theory to examine and measure pets as sources of social support and attachment figures."&nbsp;anthrozoös&nbsp;30.2 (2017): 273-289.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn4"> <p><a href="#_ednref4" name="_edn4" title="">[4]</a> <a href="https://journals.lww.com/psychosomaticmedicine/Fulltext/2002/09000/Cardiovascular_Reactivity_and_the_Presence_of.5.aspx">Allen, Karen, Jim Blascovich, and Wendy B. Mendes. "Cardiovascular reactivity and the presence of pets, friends, and spouses: The truth about cats and dogs."&nbsp;Psychosomatic medicine&nbsp;64.5 (2002): 727-739.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn5"> <p><a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1061580031000091582?casa_token=Kz7OeOR13u8AAAAA:3SmI8Y6H16vLtejzxJh0wnvbcrSkUafurbMCez_PVmhJ5dH9Xga6UHmPQokigI3b0haBx778DyY">[5] Shiloh, Shoshana, Gal Sorek, and Joseph Terkel. "Reduction of state-anxiety by petting animals in a controlled laboratory experiment."&nbsp;Anxiety, stress, and coping&nbsp;16.4 (2003): 387-395.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn6"> <p><a href="#_ednref6" name="_edn6" title="">[6]</a> <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00234/full">Beetz, A., Uvnäs-Moberg, K., Julius, H., &amp; Kotrschal, K. (2012). Psychosocial and psychophysiological effects of human-animal interactions: the possible role of oxytocin. Frontiers in psychology, 3, 234</a>.</p> </div> <div id="edn7"> <p><a href="#_ednref7" name="_edn7" title="">[7]</a> <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S109002330200237X?casa_token=pxY2GbhwYUMAAAAA:5lPpNAb3ejmBr-S9eRR3NmW_tq9fsUfmh0fmyQZlIzI4NFs5hW5C6SkGiZtNjicvMvwidjZTXQ">Odendaal, J. S., &amp; Meintjes, R. A. (2003). Neurophysiological correlates of affiliative behaviour between humans and dogs. The Veterinary Journal, 165(3), 296-301.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn8"> <p><a href="#_ednref8" name="_edn8" title="">[8]</a> <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01121/full">O'haire, Marguerite Elizabeth, Noémie Adeline Guérin, and Alison Claire Kirkham. "Animal-assisted intervention for trauma: A systematic literature review."&nbsp;Frontiers in psychology&nbsp;6 (2015): 1121.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn9"> <p><a href="#_ednref9" name="_edn9" title="">[9]</a> <a href="https://library.oapen.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.12657/24992/1005110.pdf?sequence=1#page=30">O’Haire, Marguerite E., et al. "The impact of human-animal interaction in trauma recovery."&nbsp;New directions in the human-animal bond&nbsp;(2019): 15.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn10"> <p><a href="#_ednref10" name="_edn10" title="">[10]</a> <a href="https://habricentral.org/resources/58595">Brooks, H., Rushton, K., Walker, S., Lovell, K., &amp; Rogers, A. (2016). Ontological security and connectivity provided by pets: a study in the self-management of the everyday lives of people diagnosed with a long-term mental health condition.&nbsp;BMC psychiatry,&nbsp;16(1), 409.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn11"> <p><a href="#_ednref11" name="_edn11" title="">[11]</a> <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/18387357.2018.1485508?casa_token=wvcLHu018LoAAAAA:3_MFMhziP6vwUHli7eUFIIAhe2L_O0uVPNJkptEZWYotQ3hJylYNg1rHrlNajxeAF6YDTIyNGZI">Hayden-Evans, Maya, Ben Milbourn, and Julie Netto. "‘Pets provide meaning and purpose’: a qualitative study of pet ownership from the perspectives of people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder."&nbsp;Advances in Mental Health&nbsp;16.2 (2018): 152-162.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn12"> <p><a href="#_ednref12" name="_edn12" title="">[12]</a> <a href="https://idp.springer.com/authorize/casa?redirect_uri=https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11482-020-09908-0&amp;casa_token=uV2L-fkuu_oAAAAA:lB4T6tvukS8IhOkNjBVbDdp-RG0Ll7ebJarrw7oKup9mLsLm3GOw6d8PhUdnZK_yZZXSnREZOazMnaE">Kalenkoski, Charlene M., and Thomas Korankye. "Enriching Lives: How Spending Time with Pets is Related to the Experiential Well-Being of Older Americans."&nbsp;Applied Research in Quality of Life&nbsp;(2021): 1-22.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn13"> <p><a href="#_ednref13" name="_edn13" title="">[13]</a> <a href="https://habricentral.org/resources/21343">Valeri, R. M. (2006). Tails of laughter: A pilot study examining the relationship between companion animal guardianship (pet ownership) and laughter.&nbsp;Society &amp; Animals,&nbsp;14(3), 275-293.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn14"> <p><a href="#_ednref14" name="_edn14" title="">[14]</a> <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037/a0024506">McConnell, A. R., Brown, C. M., Shoda, T. M., Stayton, L. E., &amp; Martin, C. E. (2011). Friends with benefits: on the positive consequences of pet ownership. Journal of personality and social psychology, 101(6), 1239.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn15"> <p><a href="#_ednref15" name="_edn15" title="">[15]</a> <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fa0014979" target="_blank">Kurdek, L. A. (2009). Pet dogs as attachment figures for adult owners.&nbsp;Journal of Family Psychology, 23(4), 439–446.&nbsp;https://doi.org/10.1037/a0014979</a></p> </div> <div id="edn16"> <p><a href="#_ednref16" name="_edn16" title="">[16]</a> <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0272494495900012">Kaplan, S. (1995). The restorative benefits of nature: Toward an integrative framework. Journal of environmental psychology, 15(3), 169-182.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn17"> <p><a href="#_ednref17" name="_edn17" title="">[17]</a> <a href="https://habricentral.org/resources/34617">Reeves, M. J., Rafferty, A. P., Miller, C. E., &amp; Lyon-Callo, S. K. (2011). The impact of dog walking on leisure-time physical activity: results from a population-based survey of Michigan adults. Journal of Physical Activity and health, 8(3), 436-444.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn18"> <p><a href="#_ednref18" name="_edn18" title="">[18]</a> <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/psycarticles/2020-43444-001.pdf">Nieforth, Leanne O., and Marguerite E. O'Haire. "The role of pets in managing uncertainty from COVID-19."&nbsp;Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy&nbsp;(2020).</a></p> </div> <div id="edn19"> <p><a href="#_ednref19" name="_edn19" title="">[19]</a> <a href="https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-016-1111-3?utm_source=facilisimo.com&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=facilisimo">Brooks H, et al. Ontological security and connectivity provided by pets: a study in the self-management of the everyday lives of people diagnosed with a long-term mental health condition. BMC Psychiatry. 2016;16(1):409.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn20"> <p><a href="#_ednref20" name="_edn20" title="">[20]</a> <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1037/a0016812?casa_token=qeIznE1HzfAAAAAA:MsodyUtWa9mL5yAx3BiuJ44WvS-EkaaqHGxa5KtAQLmLdD5JMhsA-r8UYdO6kUw7j7HW7RZ1E4sK">Wisdom, Jennifer P., Goal Auzeen Saedi, and Carla A. Green. "Another breed of “service” animals: STARS study findings about pet ownership and recovery from serious mental illness."&nbsp;American Journal of Orthopsychiatry&nbsp;79.3 (2009): 430-436.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn21"> <p><a href="#_ednref21" name="_edn21" title="">[21]</a> <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01642121003736101?casa_token=N02BKHvTFl8AAAAA:B_nCFzX8jWJEW1GNsjNbhEleEfFsv8b7W4wu95-InCMLqGmAroD0JvXjFiLeCgQbP6kLUEyWnuw">Zimolag, Ulrike, and Terry Krupa. "The occupation of pet ownership as an enabler of community integration in serious mental illness: a single exploratory case study."&nbsp;Occupational Therapy in Mental Health&nbsp;26.2 (2010): 176-196.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn22"> <p><a href="#_ednref22" name="_edn22" title="">[22]</a> <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128129623000101">Brooks, Helen, and Anne Rogers. "The Role of Pets in the Personal Communities of People Living With Long-Term Conditions."&nbsp;Clinician's Guide to Treating Companion Animal Issues. Academic Press, 2019. 159-172.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn23"> <p><a href="#_ednref23" name="_edn23" title="">[23]</a> <a href="https://habricentral.org/resources/62558" target="_blank">Purewal, R., Christley, R., Kordas, K., Joinson, C., Meints, K., Gee, N., &amp; Westgarth, C. (2017). Companion animals and child/adolescent development: a systematic review of the evidence.&nbsp;International journal of environmental research and public health, 14(3), 234.</a></p> </div> <div id="edn24"> <p><a href="#_ednref24" name="_edn24" title="">[24]</a> <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/sode.12203?campaign=W1604%3Felq_mid%3D30640&amp;elqTrack=true&amp;elq_cid=4350828">Kertes DA, Liu J, Hall NJ, Hadad NA, Wynne CDL, Bhatt SS. Effect of Pet Dogs on Children’s Perceived Stress and Cortisol Stress Response. Soc Dev. 2017;26(2):382–401. doi:10.1111/sode.12203</a></p> </div> <div id="edn25"> <p><a href="#_ednref25" name="_edn25" title="">[25]</a> <a href="https://habricentral.org/resources/58595">Brooks, H., Rushton, K., Walker, S., Lovell, K., &amp; Rogers, A. (2016). Ontological security and connectivity provided by pets: a study in the self-management of the everyday lives of people diagnosed with a long-term mental health condition.&nbsp;BMC psychiatry,&nbsp;16(1), 409.</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/pets" hreflang="en">pets</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19352&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="_uMmZjiJtxGrmuWn2Zm93uQJkkd0WJnvEd-AjBQeZHs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 17 May 2021 14:37:23 +0000 JCheang 19352 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/how-human-animal-bond-increases-resilience-and-empowers-us-thrive#comments Addressing Inclusion in Peer Support https://www.mhanational.org/blog/addressing-inclusion-peer-support <span>Addressing Inclusion in Peer Support</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-05/pexels-rodnae-productions-7551255.jpg" alt="Woman Dancing in Red Crew Neck T-shirt" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Wed, 05/05/2021 - 11:12</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">May 07, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Kat McIntosh, Manger of Global Peer Support at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>In mental health, <strong>a <a href="https://mhanational.org/what-peer">peer</a> is usually used to refer to someone who shares the experience of living with a psychiatric disorder and/or addiction. </strong>Within this context, two people living with mental health conditions can be considered peers, but in reality, most people are far more specific about whom they would rely on for peer support. Additionally, peer support activities can include anything from traditional peer support groups run by certified peer support specialists to non-traditional one-on-one peer support.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Peer support addresses these needs as it allows for individuals to give and receive encouragement and assistance and helps them achieve long-term recovery. Studies showcase that peer support improves <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22654945/">engagement and well-being</a> and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21770786/">reduces mental health hospitalizations.</a> Though trust and compatibility are often seen as important factors in this process, many traditional peer support services do not address key aspects such as race and sexual orientation.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Research shows that only one in three Black adults who need mental health care receive it. Additionally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gay and bisexual youth are almost <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/pdf/2017/ss6708.pdf">five times as likely</a> to have attempted suicide as their straight peers. Mental Health America (MHA) <a href="https://mhanational.org/lgbtq-mental-health-insights-mha-screening">screening data</a> also recognizes an emergent need to address the concerns of these communities, with 86 percent of LGBTQ youth (ages 11-17) scoring moderate to severe for a mental health condition. Additionally, multi-racial people were the most likely to screen at-risk for an alcohol/substance use disorder, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and psychosis.&nbsp;</p> <p>With all the challenges peers are facing, inclusion should not be one. It is therefore important to address barriers to care and inclusion experienced by BIPOC and LGBTQ peers. You can help us address these by taking our <a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/bipoclgbtq">BIPOC and LGBTQ survey</a> and sharing it with your communities.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/peers" hreflang="en">peers</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19342&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="eonn9Tg1VKQ2I22iBd51yz1wbt94A4t5IgC_CZX1_lE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 05 May 2021 15:12:00 +0000 JCheang 19342 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/addressing-inclusion-peer-support#comments 10 Ways to Volunteer Your Time for Mental Health https://www.mhanational.org/blog/10-ways-volunteer-your-time-mental-health <span>10 Ways to Volunteer Your Time for Mental Health</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-05/2017-01-08%2010.00.36.jpg" alt="Three women in green tutus posing with their hands in the shapes of hearts in front of an MHA banner" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 05/06/2021 - 09:38</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">May 06, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>This article was originally posted on IDONTMIND's journal and has been cross-posted here with permission. <a href="https://idontmind.com/journal/10-ways-to-volunteer-your-time-for-mental-health">Read the original article here.</a></p> <p>There are so many ways you can volunteer your time to mental health! Not only is volunteering a way to support other people, it can also boost your mental health along the way. <a href="https://idontmind.com/journal/pay-it-forward-for-your-mental-health?rq=pay">Research has shown</a> that when you help other people, the reward center of your brain is kick-started. You get a rush of endorphins, making you feel happier. Volunteering and acts of kindness can also decrease stress, increase your self-esteem, and <a href="https://mhanational.org/meaningful-work-and-recovery">can add meaning to your life</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>There are so many opportunities for you to get involved, and all it takes is a little bit of compassion and a little bit of your time. Here are a few ways that you can volunteer your time for mental health.</p> <h4>Give back to your local community</h4> <p>Boosting someone’s quality of life directly impacts their mental health. When you work with local organizations, you’re improving your community piece by piece and contributing to the overall health of the people in your area. And that’s when it can make the biggest difference.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>1. Lean into your skills and interests.</strong></p> <p>When you’re starting to look for volunteer opportunities, invest in finding the right match for you. Lean into the skills that you already have.&nbsp;</p> <ul data-rte-list="default"> <li> <p>If you’re a people person, volunteer at a nursing home.&nbsp;</p> </li> <li> <p>If you like working with animals, volunteer at a local animal shelter or get your pet certified to be a therapy animal.</p> </li> <li> <p>If you like organizing, sorting food donations at your local food bank could be perfect for you.&nbsp;</p> </li> <li> <p>If you like reading, volunteer at your local library.&nbsp;</p> </li> <li> <p>If you like the outdoors,&nbsp; join a local park cleanup.&nbsp;</p> </li> </ul> <p>There are so many options, so find what works best for you! If you need some help narrowing things down, try using <a href="https://www.volunteermatch.org/">Volunteer Match</a> to find opportunities near you.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>2. Work with your local Mental Health America affiliate.</strong></p> <p>Mental Health America (MHA) has an Affiliate Network with over 200 locations in 42 states and over 10,000 volunteers. And MHA affiliates may have volunteer opportunities in your community. Use the <a href="https://arc.mhanational.org/find-an-affiliate?field_affiliate_address_locality=&amp;field_affiliate_address_administrative_area=All&amp;field_affiliate_address_postal_code=&amp;field_affiliate_programs_target_id=All&amp;field_bpsp_value=All&amp;field_cbs_membership_level_value=All">Find An Affiliate</a> tool to find the organization closest to you.&nbsp;</p> <h4>Make some noise</h4> <p><strong>3. Create social change.</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.dosomething.org/us/causes/mental-health">Do Something</a> is a youth-led nonprofit focused on creating social change. There are movements that you can join in a huge range of mental health campaigns. When you join a campaign, it can be as simple as signing a petition or sharing an uplifting message.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>4. Share your story.</strong></p> <p>When you open up about your mental health, you make it easier for other people to do the same. <a href="http://idontmind.com/journal">The IDONTMIND Journal</a> is a collection of helpful articles and inspiring personal stories on mental health. Consider taking some time to share your story and <a href="https://idontmind.com/journal-contributions">submit it to be published in the IDONTMIND Journal</a>. Reading it may give someone the courage they need to reach out.</p> <h4>Help someone who’s struggling</h4> <p><strong>5. Volunteer with Crisis Text Line</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.crisistextline.org/">Crisis Text Line</a> is a text line (available 24/7) and can be really useful in any moment of pain or struggle in your life. The text line is powered by volunteer Crisis Counselors who work remotely. When you become a Crisis Counselor, you answer texts from real people in crisis situations. After going through a 30-hour, free training you can provide help to people when they need it most. <a href="https://www.crisistextline.org/become-a-volunteer/">Learn more about how to become a Crisis Counselor.</a>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>6. Volunteer with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline</strong></p> <p><a href="https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/">The Suicide Prevention Lifeline</a> is there to help calm you down and work to keep you safe in one of the most difficult moments in your life. The lifeline is made up of a network of local crisis centers, and it relies on trained volunteers to provide support to the people that call in. You can <a href="https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/our-network/">find the closest local crisis center</a> to you and contact them to see if there are any volunteer opportunities available.&nbsp;</p> <h4>Be there for someone in your life</h4> <p><strong>7. Check in with the people you love.</strong></p> <p>Sometimes the best way to really get involved in mental health is just by checking in with your friends and family. Try IDONTMIND’s <a href="https://idontmind.com/journal/just-checking-in-ten-minutes-ten-questions?rq=checking">Just Checking In</a>. It’s ten simple questions to get a conversation going about mental health and to make sure the people in your life are taking care of their minds.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>8. Try actively listening.</strong></p> <p>It sounds simple, and maybe you aren’t necessarily “volunteering,” but you’re making a huge impact in someone’s life just by being there and supporting someone that’s struggling with their mental health. Check out <a href="https://idontmind.com/journal/listen-up">Listen Up</a> from the IDONTMIND Journal to learn more about how to actively listen to someone that’s being open and honest with you about their mental health.&nbsp;</p> <h4>Speak up on social and share resources</h4> <p><strong>9. Share mental health screening.</strong></p> <p>Mental Health America (MHA) offers a <a href="http://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools/?ref=IDM">free mental health screening tool on its website</a>, available 24/7. It’s a simple series of questions to help you check on your mental health. You can also think of it as a routine check-up for your mind. Just by spreading the word, sharing screening on social media, and talking to your friends and family about it, you’re sharing a really valuable resource that can make a huge impact on someone’s mental wellbeing. If you’re short on time, this is one of the fastest, easiest ways to get involved in mental health.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>10. Follow mental health-based accounts.</strong></p> <p>When you repost content or send a post to someone, you’re supporting mental health awareness. It’s one simple step in fighting the stigma around mental illness and continuing to open up the conversation about mental health. Check out IDONTMIND’s <a href="https://www.instagram.com/idontmind/">Instagram</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/idontmindmha">Facebook</a>, and <a href="https://twitter.com/IDONTMIND">Twitter</a> and Mental Health America’s <a href="https://www.facebook.com/mentalhealthamerica">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/mentalhealthamerica/">Instagram</a>, and <a href="https://twitter.com/MentalHealthAm">Twitter</a>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/mental-health" hreflang="en">mental health</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19344&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="IkXT9FrQgx5bIv5TI41_p4KwkH8lUxSW3PAxsRvzQxc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 06 May 2021 13:38:28 +0000 JCheang 19344 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/10-ways-volunteer-your-time-mental-health#comments Language Arts, Math, Science and Mental Health: The Importance of a Mental Health Curriculum in Schools https://www.mhanational.org/blog/language-arts-math-science-and-mental-health-importance-mental-health-curriculum-schools <span>Language Arts, Math, Science and Mental Health: The Importance of a Mental Health Curriculum in Schools </span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-04/total%20brain%20guest%20blog.png" alt="&quot;Mental Health Risk taking Tolls on US Students&quot; overlayed on top of an image of a pensive man along with a bar graph and logos for Total Brain" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 04/22/2021 - 10:52</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">April 26, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p style="margin-bottom:11px"><em>By Louis Gagnon, CEO of Total Brain</em></p> <p>One year into COVID-19, school systems nationwide report that grades are taking a hit. Poor <a href="https://themarkup.org/coronavirus/2020/12/08/remote-school-failing-kids">adaptation to virtual learning</a> mandates and <a href="https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2020/07/29/virtual-learning-means-unequal-learning">economic inequities</a> have been cited as key drivers of the toll on academics. However, neuroscience suggests that the unprecedented decline in student mental health is an equally strong indicator of academic performance. Success in school is inextricably linked to brain capacities, such as memory, focus, and planning. Those brain functions are themselves directly affected by mental health.</p> <p>Repeated and prolonged stress and anxiety hijacks the brain and puts us in fight-or-flight mode. When we perceive danger, all of our bodily systems are focused on keeping us safe. Naturally, chronic stress and anxiety inhibits the ability to learn by making us inflexible vs. flexible and contracting vs. expansive.</p> <p>Teens and young adults have been particularly vulnerable to the mental health impacts of the pandemic. An American Psychology Association<a href="https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2020/report-october" target="_blank"> study found </a>seven out of ten students, ages 8to 23, reported experiencing common symptoms of depression.</p> <p>Recently, Total Brain and the Center for Adolescent Research and Education (CARE) partnered on a neuroscientific study. We looked at the impact of declining mental health on student cognitive capacities during the time of COVID-19.&nbsp; We went into this national study with knowledge that the pandemic was taking a tremendous toll on the mental health of adolescents and young adults.&nbsp; We wanted to see to what degree this unprecedented emotional strain was impacting students’ ability to learn.</p> <p>Our findings are consistent with research that points to an epidemic of mental health concerns among today’s youth. When we assessed more than 1,000 high school and college students, ages 13 – 22, nearly half were at risk for general anxiety (48%) and social anxiety (45%). And two in five students were at risk for PTSD (39%) and depression (40%).&nbsp;</p> <p>Further, when we measured student cognitive capacities - memory, focus, and planning - we discovered that the average percentile rank for students in each of these functions fell well below the standard average.&nbsp; Expressed in percentile ranking, the standard average for any capacity is the 50th percentile ranking. &nbsp;What we found was:</p> <ul> <li>Memory: 37th percentile rank (13 percentile points below standard average)</li> <li>Focus: 37th &nbsp;percentile rank (13 percentile points below standard average)</li> <li>Planning: 34th percentile rank (16 percentile points below standard average)</li> </ul> <p>In response to our research findings, Barry A. Garst, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Youth Leadership Development at Clemson University noted, “The importance of providing students with resources that strengthen their resilience and flexibility in the face of conflict or change has never been more apparent than now.”</p> <p>Stephen Wallace, president and director of our research partner CARE says, “Students can benefit greatly from lessons designed to build self-awareness, build on cognitive strengths and address deficit areas in need of development.”</p> <p>The psychological impact of having an entire population of students under extended periods of stress cannot be underestimated. A high risk for common mental health conditions can severely impact student motivation and engagement, academic performance, and ultimately graduation rates. An entire generation is at risk of never reaching their full potential – and that should worry us all. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>As our nation awaits the tsunami of mental health issues born from or worsened by COVID-19, investments in student mental health may be among the wisest ways our nation can support today’s youth. Teaching students strategies and coping skills to deal with stress and anxiety and providing tools and vocabulary to communicate their feelings is a very smart move. The long-term economic benefits of a standardized mental health curriculum will yield an incalculable return for students, businesses, the economy, and society-at-large. Learning to manage mental health is as important as learning the ABCs, multiplication tables, or basic biology.&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p><img align="left" alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="146" src="/sites/default/files/louis%20gagnon.jpg" width="146" /><em>Louis Gagnon is the CEO of <a href="http://www.totalbrain.com">Total Brain</a>, a mental health and wellness platform powered by the world’s largest standardized neuroscientific database.&nbsp; He is Advisor to TPG Capital, a top-tier US private equity firm who named him CEO of Ride, a portfolio company that he restructured.&nbsp; As a corporate executive, Louis held dual Chief Product Officer and Chief Marketing Officer roles at Audible/Amazon, Yodle and Monster Worldwide.&nbsp; As an entrepreneur, Louis created and led five business and social enterprises on four continents, many of which were in the field of reproductive health.&nbsp; He received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Laval University in Quebec City and a Master of Science in Marketing from HEC-Montreal. His work has been featured in a number of management books and magazines including The Economist.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/youth-mental-health" hreflang="en">youth mental health</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19323&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="PnS3pm1kVblLlK0c_C5V0gGwHECnoeMgWs5NuI-c6Ok"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 22 Apr 2021 14:52:04 +0000 JCheang 19323 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/language-arts-math-science-and-mental-health-importance-mental-health-curriculum-schools#comments Reimagining Self-Care for Black Folks https://www.mhanational.org/blog/reimagining-self-care-black-folks <span>Reimagining Self-Care for Black Folks</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/IMG_1922.jpeg" alt="Painting of an individual on some sort of structure with lots of colors." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Fri, 03/26/2021 - 16:01</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">April 15, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><i>This article was originally published on&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=http://kelechiubozoh.com&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1616868143790000&amp;usg=AFQjCNExIXRSMlcc7RT7KONcBPSX4hIClw" href="http://kelechiubozoh.com/" target="_blank">kelechiubozoh.com</a>&nbsp;and has been re-published on Mental Health America's website with permission.&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://kelechiubozoh.com/2020/06/04/reimagining-self-care/&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1616868143790000&amp;usg=AFQjCNEIxe2ML7ClBHmpF5WsI_ArZs611g" href="https://kelechiubozoh.com/2020/06/04/reimagining-self-care/" target="_blank">Click here to read the original article</a>.</i></p> <p><em>By&nbsp;Kelechi Ubozoh, Mental Health Consultant, Writer, and Public Speaker</em></p> <p>There are thousands of thought-provoking pieces on the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter Movement, unemployment, civil unrest, police brutality, and the economy. Meanwhile, we are still here. Some of us barely holding on and feeling so much grief.</p> <p><strong>I am a black woman in deep pain</strong>. I’m watching the ongoing violence against my community and knowing that we are also dying at higher rates from this virus. What can we do about promoting our own healing? Holding space for all this discourse and our own mental health may feel unbearable.</p> <h3>Let me tell you something,&nbsp;your mental health is vital.</h3> <p>What is happening right now is&nbsp;<em>collective trauma</em>&nbsp;underscored by&nbsp;<em>generational trauma.</em>&nbsp;Every time I see photos, videos, and images of black folks being murdered that is a micro-trauma. I have to utilize healing-centered practices and coping skills to survive.</p> <p>We all process and cope in different ways. For me, when I say I’m actively engaging in self-care, that doesn’t mean a bubble bath. I’m a black woman living in America trying to navigate “the system” with my own historical trauma and survivorship (suicide, sexual violence).&nbsp;<strong>Self-care for me is a full-time job.</strong></p> <p>For me, it usually starts with a set of questions,&nbsp;<em>“Is this going to be helpful or harmful to my mental health?”</em></p> <p>I am someone “programmed” to value what other people think and need above my own health. That success means compartmentalizing and pushing through. (<em>And the Oscar goes to …</em>) I’ve been told that taking care of myself is “selfish” and that my productivity is tied to my worth. These are lies at best, and a way to keep me out of my own power and down the imposter syndrome rabbit hole.</p> <p>Some of my ongoing work includes building better healing centered practices of connecting with myself. This includes therapy and meditation (though that has been difficult lately).</p> <p>Here are my list of self-care considerations. They may sound simple, but they required a lot of “de-programming”. Know that you should do what works for you and listen to your own intuition. Please take what is helpful and leave what is not.</p> <h3>Reach out to trustworthy people who can hold space for you.</h3> <p>Not everyone can be supportive, even if they care deeply for you. Consider the people who show up and make it easy to be yourself. No performances or faking it, but to just be. This is not as easy when you are cast, “the strong black woman,” and asking for help is seen as weak. Those are lies. Silence and isolation can breed more pain. Connecting with ourselves and folks that are supportive of us is critical.</p> <h3>Connect with things that bring you joy or energy</h3> <p>It may be difficult to do right now or even feel impossible, but if you have capacity…I would recommend it. When one of my friends asked how she could support me, I said send me pictures of your baby laughing. I’m writing affirmations about my identity, capability, and worth defined by ME. I’m listening to music that feeds my soul, and watching media that energizes me rather than drains me. I’m watching&nbsp;<em>Insecure</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>The Photograph&nbsp;</em>(okay all Issa Rae), but things that promote positive and nuanced identities of black folks. I need our black love stories, supernatural stories, science-fiction stories, and other images of our existence not drenched in pain. It reminds me of the whole picture.</p> <h3>Ask yourself what you want and need right now, and then advocate for it</h3> <ul> <li>Do you need a break from work? Can you ask for time-off or an adjustable schedule? If not, can you use your Paid Time Off (PTO)?</li> <li>Is it time to explore therapy? Do you need peer support?</li> <li>Are you wanting to have deep facilitated conversations about racism and pain? Can you join a healing circle?</li> <li>Do you need to stop talking about racism and pain and have permission to check out?</li> <li>Do you want check-in text messages and phone calls from your friends and colleagues?</li> <li>Do you need to not respond to text messages and phone calls and go silent for awhile?</li> </ul> <p>Understand what you need from folks around you and make sure you communicate it.</p> <h3>Revisit your coping mechanisms and remove those that no longer serve you</h3> <p>I’m not here to judge your coping mechanisms, you needed them to survive and they served you at some point in your life. However, it may be time to evaluate if they are still helpful.</p> <p>My previous coping mechanisms included:</p> <ul> <li>Staying so busy with work projects or advocacy that I could avoid looking at my own feelings and emotions.</li> <li>People pleasing</li> <li>Avoiding all “conflict” or saying what I actually felt, because I felt I already knew the outcome would be unproductive. Sometimes people can surprise you and sometimes they don’t, but I won’t know this if I don’t use my voice. (*N<em>ote, for me it is still important to say what I think and feel to be authentic to me. I know not everyone has that luxury or safety.)</em></li> <li>Pouring all my concern and energy to “helping others” which left me emotionally starved (but feeling good because I could avoid paying attention to my own life)</li> <li>Numbing out emotion through food or binge watching Netflix</li> <li>Insert ________(so many more)</li> </ul> <h3>Allow yourself to feel your emotions and attend your physical needs</h3> <p>Whether I’m experiencing anguish or rage, I’m allowing myself to sit in those very uncomfortable spaces and release those feelings instead of stuffing them down. This also means paying attention to your body. Do you need to go for a walk? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you dehydrated? Are you holding pain somewhere physically that needs to be released? I’m a work in progress, but I’ve noticed if I don’t dedicate time and space to releasing, it spills out in ways that are not helpful.</p> <h3>Transform feelings of hopelessness to advocacy</h3> <p>Turning my despair into action helps my mental health and allows me to move that heavy energy toward something productive. Feeling your feelings is productive and checking out may be necessary. Both have a time and place. For those of you looking for ways to contribute through donations or education, I highly recommend this&nbsp;<a href="https://www.itsnicethat.com/news/resources-supporting-black-lives-matter-movement-creative-industry-010620">list&nbsp;</a>.</p> <p>I do also take breaks and enjoy unplugging with a good show or a book, but try not to use it to detach from myself.</p> <h3>Create boundaries for yourself of what works specifically for YOU</h3> <p>No. = A complete sentence.</p> <p>Telling someone no used to bring about panic, fear, and judgement. (Since I used to tie my worth to productivity and people-pleasing- it was super hard.) Boundaries are what helps me have honest, balanced, and healthy relationships. Here are some of the questions I ask myself to understand my boundaries.</p> <ul> <li>Am I doing this because I feel obligated, guilty, or pressured?</li> <li>Do I need to have this conversation right now?</li> <li>Does this drain me or give me energy?</li> <li>Do I need a break from social media, the news cycle, and certain conversations?</li> <li>Do I need to ___________(insert things), right now? Ever?</li> <li>Is it mine to do?</li> </ul> <p>Don’t forget to rest and breathe, drink water, and explore with your needs. Consider connecting with powerful black art, media, and music that showcase a different narrative of our stories and our strength. Add to this list and share what helps you. We need you.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/bipoc-mental-health" hreflang="en">BIPOC mental health</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/self-care" hreflang="en">self care</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19271&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="Jrc47mkMf525uc_1b354AsGam1wgmxgwGWC30OHrP84"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 26 Mar 2021 20:01:36 +0000 JCheang 19271 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/reimagining-self-care-black-folks#comments Going from Interest to Impact in Young People’s Mental Health https://www.mhanational.org/blog/going-interest-impact-young-peoples-mental-health <span>Going from Interest to Impact in Young People’s Mental Health</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-04/pexels-keira-burton-6147219.jpg" alt="Three students sitting on steps with books and laptops open." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Tue, 04/13/2021 - 10:33</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">April 14, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Kelly Davis, Associate Vice President of Peer and Youth Advocacy at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>Even before COVID-19, there was growing distress and a need for mental health resources among young people. Now, the need for these resources is becoming even more urgent. With the increasing attention and investment in youth mental health, we must use this momentum to make critical cultural changes to the field, including amplifying and expanding the ideas, leadership, and initiatives of young people.</p> <p>So often, young people's perspectives are excluded from resources that have profound impacts on their lives. While many young people are making changes in their communities, Mental Health America (MHA) <a href="https://mhanational.org/blog/new-report-young-peoples-mental-health-2020-hope-advocacy-and-action-future">research</a> has found that only 1 in 4 young people believe that they can make a difference in their communities' mental health. This lack of empowerment creates a significant gap, excluding the perspectives needed to change services and supports.</p> <p>We must understand where young people are and what they view as barriers in creating impact in awareness initiatives to peer support programs to policy leadership and more. As players in the field, organizations must lift young leaders' work and their voices. They must engage the many young people who want to make a difference but do not feel supported in doing so.</p> <p>To help fill this gap and create accessible resources, MHA's <a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8ZSQZ7C">Youth Engagement Survey</a> is designed to identify young people's perspectives and mental health advocacy needs. This survey will inform new resources that support young people in making a difference in mental health, no matter their starting point.</p> <p>As we try to meet the needs of young people, we must listen to them and build resources that promote wellbeing and empowerment. We encourage our partners and leaders in the field to share the survey to help us create supports that empower young leaders to change the present and future of mental health.</p> <p>Complete and share the survey <a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8ZSQZ7C">here</a>. The survey closes on Friday, April 30.</p> <p>Questions? Email Kelly Davis at <a href="mailto:kdavis@mhanational.org">kdavis@mhanational.org</a>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/youth-mental-health" hreflang="en">youth mental health</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19303&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="WuWojMGJrPoqoaJ5_EDu8MkPU49XwW8tu5XCPt9n_K8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 13 Apr 2021 14:33:21 +0000 JCheang 19303 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/going-interest-impact-young-peoples-mental-health#comments How Peer Support Can Support Asian American Communities https://www.mhanational.org/blog/how-peer-support-can-support-asian-american-communities <span>How Peer Support Can Support Asian American Communities</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-04/pexels-mentatdgt-1206059.jpg" alt="Group of girls laughing" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Mon, 04/12/2021 - 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">April 12, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Tea Tran, Facilitator at Lotus</em></p> <p>Peer support is having someone in your corner who you can come to for resources and support.&nbsp;</p> <p>The pandemic; tragic shootings; racism against Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and the rise in hateful violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) - all highlight the need for accessible, peer-led, emotional support. Peer support can make an impact in these types of crisis situations because you are talking to someone who just "gets it.” A person who has been there before and has experience navigating the system will know about a wider range of resources.</p> <p>Peer support can be a friendlier introduction to mental health; it can be more accessible and approachable than clinical services. Many people fall through the gaps in our current system because of financial barriers, culturally-illiterate care, and lack of therapeutic resources in general. Peer support catches folks who fall through the cracks and oftentimes is a resource for people who need compassionate care the most.&nbsp;</p> <p>In peer support, you can express yourself more freely knowing you will be heard by someone who has been there and survived. There is a certain social equity that is created. Lived experience and mutuality is at the heart of peer support. It is solidarity for one another, in action.&nbsp;</p> <p>In my own recovery process from a major car accident, peer support, along with therapy, has made all the difference. I am a traumatic brain injury and abuse survivor. I would not wish any of my experiences on a single living being, however, knowing that there are others who have a personal understanding of similar experiences has helped me feel less alone. Living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain from injuries, panic disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression is not easy.&nbsp;</p> <p>Even still, the social support and guidance from other peers helps me build resilience. I am more than my diagnosis. Sharing personal lived experience can lead to a profound shift--from telling an “illness story” to a “recovery story.” Peers can support their own recovery and that of others through practical and emotional support such as:</p> <ul> <li aria-level="1">using positive self-disclosure,</li> <li aria-level="1">inspiring hope,&nbsp;</li> <li aria-level="1">promoting empowerment and self-efficacy, and&nbsp;</li> <li aria-level="1">growing social networks.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>I have personally found joy in facilitating a peer-led group called <a href="https://peersupportspace.org/lotus">Lotus</a>, centering around the experiences of LGBTQ Asians. Each month we meet and check in with each other, share our thoughts on chosen or freeform topics, and strive to provide a safe, supportive space for all to express themselves freely. We honor the diverse diaspora of all Asian cultures as well as AAPI perspectives.&nbsp;</p> <p>Staying connected with people during a time where the world has varying degrees of self-isolation is critical. Having an identity-specific space where I can connect with others has been healing, cathartic, and empowering.&nbsp;</p> <p>Demonstrating the need for peer-led spaces, in the first two years of Peer Support Space, our peer spaces have been used over 8,000 times. In response to COVID-19, we shifted to virtual resources to continue providing support to an international community during a time of heightened distress.&nbsp;</p> <p>We welcome anyone looking for a peer support space to connect with others with shared lived experience. Check us out and join our chosen family and healing community. Visit <a href="https://peersupportspace.org/community-gatherings-1">Peer Support Space</a> to learn more about their resources.</p> <hr /> <table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="1" style="width: 150px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt="" class="cc_cursor" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="1819dc0d-714e-430f-ae90-b9306d2e2c4b" src="/sites/default/files/00-4.jpg" width="150" /></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><em>Tea Tran is a facilitator of Lotus, an Asian LGBTQ peer support group with Peer Support Space.&nbsp; Tea is also a photographer and empowers clients to explore their best selves by providing a photoshoot experience and custom wall art galleries. She strives to create a safe space where you can discover more about yourself and provides support along your journey to peace through mental health advocacy. Tea serves the community through the arts as an LGBT female-owned small business owner with certifications in Diversity and Inclusion.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/bipoc-mental-health" hreflang="en">BIPOC mental health</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/peers" hreflang="en">peers</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19274&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="DqjoKW0y0N12bRWk6QwtFsteFo-a4jiCFXuPIAAEoFI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 12 Apr 2021 14:00:34 +0000 JCheang 19274 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/how-peer-support-can-support-asian-american-communities#comments How Employees Can Advocate for Better Workplace Mental Health https://www.mhanational.org/blog/how-employees-can-advocate-better-workplace-mental-health <span>How Employees Can Advocate for Better Workplace Mental Health</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-02/mind%20the%20workplace%202.jpg" alt="A man and a woman in face masks talking at a table with another woman with a face mask with a laptop." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Fri, 02/26/2021 - 12:16</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">April 01, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p style="margin-bottom:11px"><em>By Taylor Adams, Director of Workplace Mental Health at Mental Health America</em></p> <p style="margin-bottom:11px">Mental Health America (MHA) recently released its <a href="https://mhanational.org/research-reports/2021-mind-workplace-report">Mind the Workplace 2021 Report</a> to highlight the mental health challenges that employees across company size and industry have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. The data is staggering – employees need more mental health supports at work. As an employee, it may feel like you do not have a lot of control over workplace mental health. However, there are things you can do! If you want to help improve mental health in your workplace, here are four ideas to consider:</p> <ol> <li><strong>Understand your workplace culture.</strong><br /> <br /> Workplace culture reflects an organization’s missions, values, and norms. Culture also dictates how informed or invested your company is in improving workplace mental health. Does your manager or your coworkers talk about mental health at work? Is leadership receptive to employee feedback? Did your company take employee well-being into account when responding to COVID-19? Would you describe your workplace as toxic with a capital “T”? Asking yourself these questions will help you better understand your company culture and identify the areas that need the most improvement. To help get started, the questions asked in MHA’s <a href="https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools/work-health-survey/?ref">Work Health Survey</a> might help you initially frame your company culture.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Listen to and understand your coworkers’ needs.</strong><br /> <br /> Need mental health accommodations, not self-care packages? Need benefits that cover mental health services, not a training? There is often a discrepancy between what leaders think employees need and what employees actually need. For example, employers may offer an app to manage stress, but what employees really want is to feel accepted and connected with coworkers. Stress management tools serve an important purpose, but it is more important that the employer understands what tools or supports are needed. If your employer is not taking the initiative to understand employees’ needs, you can kickstart the process by closely listening and learning from your coworkers. Chances are they share many of the same concerns and stressors as you.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Consider joining or establishing an Employee Resource Group for mental health.</strong><br /> <br /> Once you understand your company’s culture and specific needs, the next logical step is to organize a group of like-minded people and form an Employee Resource Group (ERG), working group, committee, or team. Recruit members who bring different perspectives, including race, gender, those with lived experience, and different levels within the organization. Focus on integrating mental health support and resources, in addition to bringing awareness within the organization. Opportunities to integrate resources include new hire orientation, management training, or professional development. Coordinate potential activities, responsibilities, and budget with HR and Employee Assistance Program (EAP), if possible. Finally, consider connecting with mental health organizations in your community. Many organizations offer workplace resources and training at little- to no-cost. A great place to start is with MHA’s 200+ <a href="http://www.mhanational.org/our-affiliates">Affiliate network</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Connect with leaders who are willing to listen.</strong><br /> <br /> A mental health movement can begin with one motivated and compassionate employee. Finding a leader within the organization who is willing to listen can turn thoughts into action. Many organizations have a designated wellness coordinator or HR representative to connect with about your concerns and goals. A place to start may be sharing MHA’s <a href="https://mhanational.org/get-involved/download-mind-workplace-2021-report">Mind the Workplace 2021 Report</a>. A successful ERG should have the ability to:</li> </ol> <ul> <li>request a budget that covers the costs to improve workplace mental health;</li> <li>outline clear expectations and allocate work hours for ERG’s responsibilities;</li> <li>provide feedback to upper management about findings or recommendations; and</li> <li>communicate regularly with management about anticipated changes based on the team’s feedback.</li> </ul> <p>Want to learn more? Please check out the following articles at <a href="http://www.mhanational.org/workplace">www.mhanational.org/workplace</a>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://mhanational.org/how-can-employees-promote-mental-health-workplace">How Can Employees Promote Mental Health in the Workplace?</a></li> <li><a href="https://mhanational.org/how-can-leadership-support-employees-who-promote-mental-health">How Can Leadership Support Employees Who Promote Mental Health?</a></li> </ul> <p class="text-align-center"><a class="btn btn-primary" href="https://mhanational.org/get-involved/download-mind-workplace-2021-report">Download the full Mind the Workplace 2021 Report</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/workplace-wellness" hreflang="en">workplace wellness</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19228&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="PQLMjT5xCEXIQ2j25daQt4pRB1HU_zUNvM0XtoVBhGI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 26 Feb 2021 17:16:44 +0000 JCheang 19228 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/how-employees-can-advocate-better-workplace-mental-health#comments My Psychosis Worsens My Imposter Syndrome https://www.mhanational.org/blog/my-psychosis-worsens-my-imposter-syndrome <span>My Psychosis Worsens My Imposter Syndrome</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-03/thought-catalog-Nv-vx3kUR2A-unsplash.jpg" alt="Woman in room sitting on floor with laptop." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Mon, 03/15/2021 - 10:24</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">March 16, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Kat McIntosh, Manager of Global Peer Support at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>I have noticed a growing knowledge and awareness on imposter syndrome and the way it impacts various folks, particularly<a href="https://mhanational.org/blog/why-imposter-syndrome-goes-deep-multiracial-people"> BIPOC communities</a>. <a href="https://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2013/11/fraud">Imposter syndrome</a> (also known as impostor phenomenon) was first described by psychologists Suzanne Imes, Ph.D., and Pauline Rose Clance, Ph.D., in the 1970s, and is said to occur “<em>among high achievers who are unable to internalize and accept their success</em>.”&nbsp;As a result, they <strong>may attribute their accomplishments to luck rather than to ability&nbsp;and fear that others will eventually unmask them as a fraud</strong>.</p> <p>The increase in available resources surrounding imposter syndrome is important in understanding this unique experience. I have found however my own lived experience lacking in these accounts. While being Black Caribbean has impacted my experience with imposter syndrome, my psychosis makes it worse.</p> <p>When Mental Health America (MHA) asked folks what<a href="https://imgur.com/ebwOCtK"> living with psychosis feels like</a>, some stated:</p> <ul> <li><strong>It is hard to trust your version of the world around you.</strong></li> <li><strong>People and things randomly become scary.</strong></li> <li><strong>You are paranoid about the world around you and don’t want to be.</strong></li> <li><strong>(You ask yourself) ...Is that real, or is that me?</strong></li> </ul> <p>In my own lived experience, psychosis symptoms are coupled with doubts in my perception of my reality, and filters into how I engage with my imposter syndrome. It has been my experience that psychosis in imposter syndrome can show up as:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Persistent thoughts of being judged</strong></li> <li><strong>Voices accusing you of being a fraud</strong></li> <li><strong>Increased anxiety at work due to fears of inadequacy</strong></li> <li><strong>Persistent thoughts of comparison to other people</strong></li> </ul> <p>When I experience these situations, I constantly find myself in a balancing act of checking in with myself to ensure that I perceive myself correctly and that I perceive my world correctly. If you too experience an intersection between your experience of psychosis and your experience of imposter syndrome, there are helpful methods that you can use.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Speaking to a trauma-informed therapist. </strong>By speaking to a trauma-informed therapist, you can find a safe space to explore your experience of imposter syndrome and psychosis. I have found that this space allows me to bring language to my experience and speak about specifics related to it such as - what do my voices tell me, and how does that impact my feelings of inadequacy that imposter syndrome brings? Your therapist can also give you helpful tips that can allow you to thrive in your daily life. <a href="https://mhanational.org/finding-therapy">Visit our website for a list of therapy providers.</a><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Attending a peer support group. </strong>By attending a peer support group, you can find a community of other individuals who may be experiencing similar experiences with psychosis. Peer support places value on lived experience. Sharing this experience with other peers can aid in your recovery journey and can even unlock a recovery journey for someone else.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Using ground techniques. </strong>Finding tricks that allow you to feel grounded can also help you with your experience. Grounding techniques for persons experiencing psychosis and imposter syndrome can include using senses to ground you back to reality, which then allows you to remind yourself that you are not an imposter. I have found that holding items such as crystals or a stress ball that engage my sense of touch while repeating positive affirming mantras allows me to ground myself to reality, and simultaneously reminds me that my imposter syndrome is not my entire reality.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Allowing your nervous system to reset. </strong>Sometimes our nervous system simply needs to take a break and reset. You can try finding a space where you feel safe that does not have sounds or lights (particularly if you are sensitive to these). You can also use sunglasses, blinds, or dark curtains to help with blocking out light. Noise-canceling headphones can also be great at blocking out sounds.&nbsp;Giving your nervous system a chance to reset can give you a chance to pause, and make space to work through your feelings of imposter syndrome.</li> </ul> <p>Living with psychosis and imposter syndrome can be difficult for anyone. When psychosis voices seem to worsen your feelings of inadequacy from imposter syndrome, it is important to remember to be kind to yourself. You are not alone, and you can find help and support. If you are unsure if you are experiencing psychosis, you can take MHA’s <a href="https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools/psychosis/?ref">psychosis screening test</a>.</p> <h3>If You Are in Crisis, Please Seek Help Immediately.</h3> <p><em>Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center, text MHA to 741741, call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/psychosis" hreflang="en">psychosis</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19259&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="MDglh_SA-4kvB1Cv0dWtvWCUCy1JFc7NviNeiokSo4Q"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 15 Mar 2021 14:24:59 +0000 JCheang 19259 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/my-psychosis-worsens-my-imposter-syndrome#comments