Focusing on Mental Wellness for Mental Health Awareness Month and Beyond
Today is the last official day of Mental Health Awareness Month.
Since taking care of your mental health is a year-long, lifelong process, just focusing on it for one month is obviously not enough, but as with all health awareness days or months, in order to be effective, the focus should not just be on short-term knowledge, but on long-term interventions for change.
While most folks find value in treating themselves to short-term relaxing activities*, when that no longer becomes effective or if problems persist, sometimes what we're really seeking is a mindset shift. While we can do research to empower ourselves, it's also okay to ask for help.
*And you should if it helps you! Don't devalue short-term joys!
If you need to talk to someone, Durham Tech has resources for students and employees. The Employee Assistance Program (ENI) provides up to 8 free visits for a variety of interventions, including mental health. Students can contact Durham Tech's Counseling Services, including the 24-hour Be Well hotline (833-434-1217). For emergency mental health needs for everyone, including suicidal thoughts, Hope4NC is available by calling or texting (same number, but text "hope"), and the national mental health crisis line can be reached by calling 988 (though you may also want to be informed about other options, available at the very end of the linked article: NPR's Life Kit-- "Social media posts warn people not to call 988. Here's what you need to know").
If you have a healthcare professional you trust, you can and should also talk to them. There is no shame in asking for help. Brains are tricky things, and we're all still recovering in our own ways from the tumult of the last few years.
If you're also ready to do some of your own mindset shifting and reframe or restructure some popular notions of health and wellness culture, keep reading. The Durham Tech Library has some books for you.
This list is by no means exhaustive and it may not address some of the specific issues that you're working on in your own life. Feel free to browse our collection in-person or online through Dogwood Digital Library.