By Aaliyah Moore
With reports about COVID-19, protests, and racial injustice constantly taking over news feeds and tv screens, it seems as though not a lot of attention was given to May being Mental Health Awareness Month. But for someone who constantly advocates for mental health, I’ve spent time reflecting on my own journey, and have been intentional about tending to it lately, especially in the middle of a pandemic.
Here are some quick facts about mental health and also the ways I have coped when my mental health hasn’t been in the best state:
- One in five Americans has experienced some form of mental illness with one in 25 experiencing serious mental illness, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death worldwide for 15-29-year-olds.
- Many people do not seek treatment for mental illness due to the associated stigma.
- 70-90% of people who seek proper treatment for mental health disorders witness a significant reduction in symptoms.
- Most people living with mental illness lead productive lives despite their challenges.
What helps me tend to my mental health?
- Going to therapy (During the pandemic, it’s been virtual.)
- Being in my own space is vital for me. I love being around my family and other people I love, but I really don’t think I get my energy being around other people. I need to be able to recharge in my own space
- Affirmations/ sticky notes on my mirror
- Getting great rest
- Reading/ joining a book club
- Walking/ being active
- Listening to music that makes me feel good
While we periodically raise awareness about mental health during certain times of the year, tending to it is something that should take place year-round. Different ways of coping work for different people, so do what works for you. Let’s help put an end to the stigma. Speak up about your journey. You honestly have no idea how your story could help save a life.
Aaliyah Moore is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Aaliyah enjoys spending time with her family and is a lover of food, writing, and Quartet Gospel music. She is a higher education professional and loves the impact she gets to make in the lives of college students, every day. You can follow her on Instagram @aaliyah.m.moore.