Happy Soul Food Friday!
This week: Mental Health Awareness Month- You Are Not Alone!
May is Mental Health Awareness Month:
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, NAMI joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.
Why ‘getting back to normal’ may actually feel terrifying: (Nat Geo)
After a year of anxiety, anger, and burnout, many people are struggling with returning to pre-pandemic behaviors. Experts weigh in on ways to work through the trauma. Doctors are forecasting what some experts are now calling “the fourth wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts say the mental health impacts will be “profound and far-reaching,” likely outlasting the physical health impacts, and straining already-stretched mental health systems in the United States and worldwide.
Some 15 months of lockdowns, loneliness, Zoom calls, grief, illness, monotony, job loss, and economic hardship has caused “an extraordinary rise in anxiety and depression,” says Boston College developmental psychologist Rebekah Levine Coley. “The level of these disorders … are unprecedented.”
During the pandemic’s first nine months, six times as many American adults reported mental health issues The inability to cope has sparked other, darker consequences. Soaring suicide rates in Japan prompted the appointment of a “minister of loneliness” in February. Suicide hasn’t spiked in the U.S. or Europe, but with many still in survival mode, trauma symptoms could manifest later.
The U.S. saw a sharp rise in other “deaths of despair” in 2020. Drug overdoses, mostly from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, may have exceeded 90,000, up from 70,630 in 2019. While numbers had been climbing, that was the largest rise in two decades.
Shift Happens- A Prospective Response for All Communities:
The Future of Healing: Shifting From Trauma Informed Care to Healing Centered Engagement (Medium.com)
Healing centered engagement is asset driven and focuses on the well-being we want, rather than symptoms we want to suppress…
During the early 1990s experts promoted the term “resiliency,” which is the capacity to adapt, navigate and bounce back from adverse and challenging life experiences. Trauma informed care encourages support and treatment to the whole person, rather than focusing on only treating individual symptoms or specific behaviors.
The term healing-centered engagement expands how we think about responses to trauma and offers more holistic approach to fostering well-being.
A healing centered approach to addressing trauma requires a different question that moves beyond “what happened to you” to “what’s right with you” and views those exposed to trauma as agents in the creation of their own well-being, rather than victims of traumatic events. Healing centered engagement is akin to the South African term “Ubuntu” meaning that humanness is found through our interdependence, collective engagement and service to others…
Meet the Happiest Man in the World:
Meet Eddie Jaku, a 101-year-old Auschwitz survivor who describes himself as “the happiest man in the world.” He recently opened up to NBC’s Harry Smith about the secrets of living a life with kindness and gratitude. “Where there is life, there is hope,” he said.
Thanks this week go to Kurt C, Maria Shriver, Eddie Jaku and Mental Health Advocates Everywhere!
Please pay it forward.
— Dr. David Hawkins