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May 31, 2024 4 min read

Hey there, everyone. Brendan here, rounding out Mental Health Awareness Month with something of a toolkit-in-a-blog. We've discussed only a few of the many, many different conditions and issues that affect folks every single day.

There is so much more I want to share with you all, and I hope that in due time I'll get it. Today, though, I wanted to go over a few things and share some important resources.

Mental Resilience

I wanted to go over a few tips for building mental resilience today. That sounds like a broad term (it kind of is, I guess), but what it really means at the end of the day is your strength of mind. Just as with your physical strength, it can be built up through exercises and other techniques. 

One of the most important of these is fostering strong social connections. Supportive relationships provide a buffer against stress and can offer practical assistance and emotional comfort during tough times. Using social media can help with this, but it is better to work on in-person connections as well. They help to fulfill the innate human need for connection, which can significantly bolster mood and other factors of mental resilience when met.

Engaging in regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy lifestyle also contribute to resilience, as physical well-being is closely linked to mental health (you can always talk to Steffani and Evan for a few tips on this when you see them at Eastern Market, too!). Additionally, developing problem-solving skills and the ability to set realistic goals can empower individuals to manage challenges more effectively.

Another idea, one that I've suggested in a few other blogs on different things, is the idea of journaling. It's one of those things that sounds artificial and unhelpful-- until you try it! Putting emotions and thoughts to paper helps ground both them and you, and gives them shape rather than being nebulous. You can examine what's causing happiness and frustration in your life, and utilize that as a launchpad toward clarity and resolution. 

By integrating these practices into daily life, one can build a robust foundation of mental resilience, enhancing overall well-being and the capacity to thrive amidst life's inevitable twists and turns. 

Mental Health Resources

This is a list of different links to various sites that provide access to information on nearly any mental health topic imaginable, including counseling, screening and knowledge (because knowing is half the battle!). This list is by no means exhaustive, however, and if you know of another one that merits inclusion, feel free to drop it in the comments:

  • Mental Health America is one of the most important non-profits working in our country right now to advocate for people with mental health conditions. They also have a variety of online resources, including digital screenings and special links for LGBTQ+ people: here. (Here is a link to their Canadian equivalent, and here is a European one). 
  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a similar page of different resources, including hotlines, a variety of online publications and more. There are also some interesting podcasts to help get better informed. Read and listen here.
  • The federal Office of Population Affairs also has different screening tests and other links for all different kinds of people to find the help and information they need here. The Michigan state government has done the same here.
  • The University of Rochester has collated a long list of national and independent sites and groups who can provide support, counseling and other benefits here. The University of Michigan has also done something similar here, listing many state sites as well.
  • There are a variety of apps that folks use to help keep on an even mental keel, but the one that comes up the most (and is recommended by folks here) is Calm. It helps with sleep, relaxation and meditation. 

I am well aware that it is easier said than done, trust me, but I wanted to close out our coverage of Mental Health Awareness Month by saying this: things do improve. We are naturally resilient in our own ways, and we each have the capability to overcome great adversity. The best part about it, though, is that we do not need to do it alone; there are always people and places who will listen to you and provide whatever support they can. Odds are, given how our world is these days, there are at least a few people reading who need to hear this, so here it goes: 

You are good enough. And you are doing better than you think you are. There are always struggles, but you have the strength and the wit to surpass them. I believe in you and what you're capable of, and I know that others do too. You're not alone in this, and you are good enough

On that note, everyone, thanks for hearing me out this month. As you may be able to tell, this is a topic near and dear to my heart, so I am very glad to have had this opportunity. We may be returning to more business-oriented topics in the future, but rest assured, there will always be a place 

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