Mental Health Awareness
Mental Health Awareness
By Alejandra Covarrubias-Parra, MSW, LMSW
The brain is the most important organ in the human body. It gives meaning to things that happen in the world surrounding us. Mental health heavily influences our quality of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people ages 15-34 in the United States.
Everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. Mental illness is caused by a number of factors including biological factors, stressful or traumatic life events, and long-lasting health conditions. How we think of mental health matters. Mental health is essential to personal well-being, family and interpersonal relationships, and the ability to contribute to community or society.
What’s your “WHY”?
Finding meaning and purpose is essential to brain health as it can help generate new cells and create new neural pathways in the brain. It can also strengthen your immune system, alleviate pain, relieve stress, and being emotionally regulated can keep you motivated to pursue other steps to improve mental and emotional health. However you derive meaning and purpose in life, it’s important to practice it every day.
The mental health field is a growing area of practice in our community and society. I am proud to say our Alegria team is supporting families in our community to heal and live through various causes. As I’ve grown within my role I have gained extensive knowledge of human behavior and development, as well as social, cultural, and economic institutions and the ways in which they interact. The level of connection built with families is indescribable. We have the ability to give individuals a voice and to ensure that they feel empowered in their own lives. I am even more moved to connect and educate others about mental health as a mother of a three-year-old sassy little girl. Today’s youth is tomorrow’s future. This is the time to come together, breathe, and hold on.
Daily Self-Care practices
- Eat balanced and healthy meals
- Good nights sleep/nap
- Take a break when needed
- Learn and acknowledge your triggers and feelings
- Let go of expectations
- Create a community (connect with family and friends)
When to seek professional help
If you’ve made consistent efforts to improve your mental and emotional health and still aren’t functioning optimally, it may be time to seek professional help. Speak to your primary care physician or mental health professional. Input from a caring professional can often help motivate us to take better care of ourselves.