Tips To Support Your Mental Health During Mental Wellness Month

Tips To Support Your Mental Health During Mental Wellness Month | NHWS | Mental Health Therapy Clinic

Talking about mental health is becoming more and more common these days.

And the ongoing pandemic has taken its toll as people have had to adjust to working and schooling from home, dealing with social isolation, and general anxiety over the possibility of catching COVID-19.

While in the past mental health issues were often “swept under the rug” and not talked about, the importance of recognizing and addressing issues is becoming more and more common.

We’re New Horizons Wellness Services, and we offer mental health counseling services for people of all ages, from children, teens, adults, and also for families.

Keep reading, and we’ll bust some mental health myths, and share some of our favorite tips to support your mental health.

Mental Health In The US

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, here are some statistics on mental health in the United States:

● 20 percent of adults will experience mental illness
● 4 percent of adults will experience severe mental illness
● 17 percent of youth will have a mental health disorder

Chances are you know someone who has dealt with mental illness in their life, or you yourself are currently going through it.

What Is Mental Illness?

Mental illnesses are conditions which are related to behavior, emotion, or thought processes.

They are often linked to having difficulty in situations which involve relating to others, including social, family, and workplace settings.

Although most mental illnesses cannot be completely cured, with effective treatments individuals can function in day to day life, often with little or no outward signs showing they are living with mental illness.

Myths About Mental Illness

There are a lot of myths surrounding mental illness.

Perhaps because it’s not a topic commonly discussed, or because people with mental illness are often portrayed in unflattering ways on television and in film.

Let’s look at some common myths related to mental illness, and get our facts straight.

1. People With Mental Illnesses Are Scary

There is a common perception of people with mental illness as unpredictable and prone to violent outbursts.

And this is no surprise when you look at how characters with mental illness tend to be portrayed in film and other media.

From Brad Pitt’s Tyler Durden in 1999’s “Fight Club”, to the more recent portrayal of Arthur Fleck by Joaquin Pheonix in 2019’s “Joker” mainstream media paints a picture of individuals with mental illness as unstable and prone to violence.

This might make for compelling cinema, but it does not at all reflect reality.

The fact is individuals with mental illness account for only three to five percent of violent acts, and are actually more likely to be victims of violent crime.

2. Mental Illness Is Just An Excuse To Be Lazy

A common refrain people with mental health issues hear from others is “just snap out of it” or “you just need to try harder”.

However, it’s not quite so easy.

Factors which can affect mental health include:

● Family history
● Life experiences, especially a history of abuse or trauma
● Physical illness, injury, or factors affecting brain chemistry

In some cases, mental illnesses actually change the structure of the brain – it’s not just a mind over matter thing.

3. Mental Illnesses Only Affect Adults

Nearly 50% of mental health issues appear before a person turns 14 years of age and 75% appear before the age of 24.

Young children can show signs of mental illness which may result from a combination of social, physiological, and biological factors.

Unfortunately fewer than 20% of children with mental health issues receive the help they require to prevent it from affecting their development in other ways.

4. People With Mental Illnesses Are Unreliable

There is a perception that the stress which can accompany mental illness makes it difficult for individuals to hold a job, and may face issues such as poor performance, and absenteeism.

In fact, when individuals with mental illness receive appropriate and effective treatment, they are fully capable of participating in the workforce, with the same productivity as someone without mental illness.

5. Therapy Doesn’t Help With Mental Illnesses

There are many ways to help individuals with mental illness.

Depending on the individual, treatment could entail medication, therapy, or a combination of both.

However, therapy absolutely can help with mental illness.

It’s not a cure for mental illness, to be sure, but it can help someone to better cope with their condition.

Tips To Support Your Mental Health

Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with a mental illness, taking care of your mental health is important to keep yourself balanced and ensure you have the mental resilience to tackle anything life might throw your way.

Here are some ways to keep your mental health in tip-top shape, just as you would your physical health.

get outside and exercise for better mental health | NHWS | Mental Health Therapy Clinic

1. Take Care Of Your Body

Your mind and body are connected.

If you’ve ever had trouble focusing because you were tired, or hungry, you know this to be true.

However, we often neglect our physical health or put it on the back-burner when things get busy.

Some simple things which we can to do take care of our physical health include:

● Getting plenty of sleep
● Drinking lots of water
● Exercise – it doesn’t have to be super intense, but just getting outside for a walk can help improve mood
● Eating a nutritious and balanced diet
● Quitting smoking (or not starting in the first place)

2. Avoid Negative Self-Talk

Self-criticism and negative self-talk can really get you down, lower your motivation, and leave you feeling helpless.

Also, we are often our own harshest critics.

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, but before you beat yourself up, ask yourself how you would react if a friend of colleague did the same thing.

Often times, taking a step back can help put things in perspective.

3. Practice Healthy Stress Management

Life involves stress, there’s no getting around it.

And there are a lot of unhealthy ways to deal with it.

Popular culture likes to promote using substances such as alcohol as stress relief, and while there is nothing wrong with the occasional glass of wine or beer, using it as a crutch to deal with the stress of daily life can become a problem.

Some healthier ways to approach stress management include:

● Tai chi
● Yoga
● Taking a hot bubble bath
● Going for a nature walk
● Playing with a pet
● Journaling

4. Be Realistic With Your Goals

There can be a lot of pressure on people to reach for high achievement in their personal, professional, and academic lives.

However, it’s impossible to do everything so setting priorities and understanding which goals are most important to you can help you to set SMART goals.

SMART stands for:

● Specific
● Measurable
● Achievable
● Relevant
● Time-bound

Considering each of these factors can help you to set realistic goals and put a plan in place to achieve them.

5. See A Licensed Mental Health Counsellor

Even if you’ve used all of the strategies we’ve talked about today, there may be times when you still feel overwhelmed and like things are out of your control.

When this is the case, it may be time to seek professional help.

Asking for help can be difficult, but it should be seen as a sign of strength – admitting you need help is the first step to living a more fulfilled life.

We’re New Horizons Wellness Services and we offer a wide array of counselling services.

Contact us today to learn more about our offerings.

Yours in Health,

New Horizons Wellness Services
13333 SW 68th Pkwy,
Tigard, OR 97223


New Horizons Wellness Services provides a true multidisciplinary approach to mental & physical health treatments for children, adults and families.