I sometimes wish there were a thermometer I could just stick in my mouth – or my husband’s mouth, or my kids’ – that could easily read their mental health. Especially these days; there is fear, there is stress, there is sadness – are we mentally healthy?
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month.
There are a lot of ways to talk about mental health, but here is an easy check-list:
- Am I able to be productive?
There are certainly times lately when I struggle, but most days I am able to do some work, keep myself clean(ish!), and feed my family.
- Am I able to solve problems?
I called my elderly father four times yesterday and he did not answer. This was a problem – did he have a fall? Was he incapacitated? But I thought of a solution, and was able to call the Housing Authority to check on him (he was fine).
- Am I able to enjoy health relationships with the people in my life?
My husband and I have had squabbles about his snoring, yes, but I also thank him every morning for making the coffee. I do bicker with my son about doing his remote high school classwork, but we also spend time together doing a puzzle or watching cute cat videos.
So—right now!— I feel mentally healthy enough to manage this difficult time. But I want to make it clear that this has not always been the case. I have struggled to maintain my own mental well-being, as have many of my friends and family members. And professional support was very helpful.
Our social, emotional and mental health is as important as our physical health. If you are concerned about your mental health—or the mental health of someone you know—there is help available.
Here are some Connecticut resources:
For families and caregivers of young children sponsored by the State of Connecticut and United Way of Connecticut (211)
1-888-217-HERO for front line COVID-19 workers and others struggling with the ongoing stress of the corona-virus.