Take One Step Towards HealingMay 27, 2021
I don’t want to go, This headache just won’t go away, I am tired of all of it, Are you kidding me?, My stomach hurts, Leave me alone, I need stock in kleenex, The walls are closing in!!!!
Are these words you have spoken lately? Have you felt these things in the past year? I think we all have. Fear, anger, worry, frustration, uncertainty has entered our lives like a freight train. Maybe you have had the death of a loved one, a job loss, or just the isolation of it all. We have dealt with so much from hurricanes, to COVID, vaccinate or not vaccinate, political and social unrest and everyday life stressors of supporting our families. Our lives have been bombarded with one catastrophic event to another. And we wonder – when will it end!
Mental health affects 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 6 children and adolescents. Stress, anxiety, depression, isolation to name a few of the mental health determinants in our community. In a recent study by Mental Health America, 60% of Texans did not seek treatment for their mental health concerns in 2019. If left untreated, the most vulnerable in our community will lose hope in their ability to take care of themselves. Diagnosing a mental health disorder doesn’t happen with a finger prick or an Xray. Mental health symptoms can be masked. It is critical that as a community we take action in caring for ourselves and loved ones, encouraging a conversation about the daily stressors in our lives.
Just as we have routine physical health check ins, we must take a mental health check in to ensure our quality of life is being lived to its fullest. Recognizing the need for support is the first step in moving our lives to being productive and fulfilled. For some a conversation with a professional counselor provides hope and healing. Others may seek ways in their own homes. Healthy ways to cope with anxiety, stress, and depression include: turning off electronics, taking deep breaths (think of blowing bubbles), stretching, eating healthy meals, or taking short walks. During times of isolation connecting with others can be tricky. Make a phone call, write a letter to someone, step outside and talk with your neighbors, or head to the park and feed the ducks.
We encourage you to seek support where you can. Take a free online Wellness Screening at www.sccset.org, reach out to a local mental health facility, or seek a neighbor or friend.
Just talk, take one step toward the healing your body and mind need for a joyful daily life.
Robin McCutcheon, MEd. is Samaritan Counseling Center’s Executive Director. She is a Lamar University and McNeese State University graduate. Her career has spanned public school teaching, regional, state and national educational consulting, program evaluation and effectiveness, and higher education teaching and field experience coordination. Born and raised in Southeast Texas, Robin has loved raising her children around friends, family and her church community. She spends most of her time attending events for her children, nieces and nephews alongside her family and friends. Robin finds her greatest joy in serving others and finding ways to empower those around her to find their purpose.