According to the organization Mental Health America, May is the most highly recognized mental health awareness event in the nation. This year, the focus is on being healthy for our future. With this theme we recognize the connection between mind and body, and the importance of broadening our focus beyond one piece of our self, such as the heart or the brain, in order to take care of our whole self.
To help us better understand mental health, the PAWs team caught up with several community members to ask about the connection between mind and body, how we can each plan a role in eliminating mental health stigma, tips for staying healthy during times of hardship, and resources that we can all keep in mind.
“One in five Americans is affected by mental health conditions,” shares Shaylah Turk, Access and Wellness Counselor at Ashford University. “Shame, fear, and silence are big factors in choosing to address mental health while working toward a healthier self. Stigma is toxic and can prevent many people from seeking help.” The good news? Stigma is 100% curable.
Thinking about a community who models resilience, we reached out to get some tips from Gene LaRue Jr., retired United States Marine Corp and Military Student Advisor at Ashford University. Mr. LaRue offers some grounding suggestions, “Don’t be afraid or too proud to admit your struggles. Understanding who you are, and your state of wellbeing, will lead you to the right resources to help you get through stressful times. Never stop believing that you are someone special. Hard times pass, and we grow and become stronger as a result of them.”
By considering our whole health and the interconnection between these aspects of well-being, we can position ourselves for a healthier future. However you choose to participate in Mental Health Awareness month, we challenge you to use this opportunity to raise awareness within your community.
Written by Ashford University staff