By Marycon Young and Liz Madison, Vitals contributors
Modern society has shown its ability to recognize the importance of mental health. Less stigma and shame linger around the topic, as evidenced by the growing number of programs and approaches designed to offer support.
But where does one begin if they start to feel mentally unwell? Mental health professionals acknowledge the importance of addressing matters well in advance with the intent to help fend off crises in the future. They also ask individuals to consider starting off with something small. This way, the work will feel more manageable and less overwhelming—increasing the chances that one will stay the course toward their mental health goals.
In advance of World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10, our Vitals editors checked in with three professionals at Northern California’s Sutter Health who work in the mental health field. We asked for their suggestions that anyone can consider as they examine their own mental wellness needs.
- “Identify a hobby or an activity that brings you joy to promote wellness and support your mental health. Nourish your body by eating well and getting enough rest and sleep. These are the foundations for wellness.” – Dr. Nancy Maguire, director of Clinical Care, Mental Health & Addiction Care.
- “Find ways to recharge your battery. Put protective plans in place for when you feel overwhelmed, like checking in with a friend after difficult days at work or taking a quick walk. Find inspiration in ways that work for you, one small step at a time.” – Dr. Rebecca Lierly, manager of Therapeutic Services, Sutter Center for Psychiatry.
- “Create a network of individuals you feel comfortable sharing your concerns with and who agree with your stance on the significance of mental health.” – Troy Nelson, senior director, Mental Health & Addiction Care.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 911, find the nearest emergency room, call 988 or text MHAC to 741741.
Note: This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.