Health Is Vital

Health is taken for granted, until you can't any more. In this blog I hope to put down on paper some of the articles I come across and want to remember, about health. I will be personalizing these articles to apply to me. I am diabetic, over weight, have high blood pressure and tinnitus, so these are the things you will find here. I will include nutrition, exercise, and holistic health, and many other ideas. I work in the health profession, particularly mental health, and have an interest in suicide prevention; so these topics will also be covered in this blog. Please, if you are suffering reach out. Our county health and crisis line is 1-855-278-4204.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Booklet Review: Be True and Be You: A Basic Mental Health Guide for LGBTQ Teens

This is a booklet sponsored by Each Mind Matters, a California Mental Health Movement.  IS has some very good information about coping with mental illness.
It reveals some mental health myths: "People with mental illnesses are just weak and need to 'snap out of it.'"  Mental illnesses are illnesses just like any other illness.  They are caused by a mix of what is going inside your body and your environment.  Myth: "If you have a mental illness you will never get better." People can get better from mental illness.  Of course all illnesses are different and there are different types of recovery.  However people with mental illness can live healthy, happy lives.  Myth: "I can't help someone with mental illness.  Only a doctor can." Although only a doctor of professional can diagnose mental illness, we all can help.  Much of this is based on our attitude.  Be willing to talk to people with mental illness and find out about their interests and talents.  If we hear derogatory terms like "crazy" os "psycho" we can speak up.  We can help those who are bullied because of mental illness.  Myth: "People diagnosed with mental illnesses are dangerous or violent."  Most people with mental illness are not violent or dangerous.  However their risk of being the victim of violence often goes up.  Please speak up if others are being bullied or hurt.  Myth: "People who are not straight have a mental illness."  Being LGBRQ is not a mental illness.  However LGBTQ often may be at higher risk for mental illness due to environmental interaction.
There is also a very good section in this booklet on ways to deal.  We are all stressed, and sometimes want to get away.  Poor ways of dealing with this include drugs or alcohol, self-harm and risky sexual behavior.  Some alternative "Ways to Deal" are: Express yourself.  Find a way to express your thoughts and feelings.  This could be having a good cry, talking to a friend, or through creativity--art, music, cooking, dancing, etc.  Find support.  Opening up to a trusted friend, parent, counsellor are ways of finding support.  There are also talk lines: Santa Clara County 1-855-278-4202, Boys Town 1-800-448-3000.  Challenge negative talk.  If self-talk, or talk from others is making it more difficult to find your goals, then we should dump it.  Instead we may choose to focus on positive and more realistic self talk that can help you succeed.  Take care of your body.  Regular exercise, eight hours of sleep nightly and good nutrition can work wonders for your mood.  Get Involved.  Find things you enjoy and be involved.  Serving others is a great way to promote your own mental health.  Know where to get help.  Everyone has the right to feel safe.  It can be helpful to talk with an adult or a friend.  However sometimes professional help is needed.  Santa Clara County Mental Health is 1-800-704-0900.

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