Home LifestyleHealth + Wellness 25 Ways to Recognize Mental Health Awareness Month From a Local Therapist

25 Ways to Recognize Mental Health Awareness Month From a Local Therapist

by Heather Rafanello
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May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Frankly, the topic of mental health deserves more than a month, and part of breaking the stigma is normalizing discussions about mental health, promoting positive mental health practices, and supporting one another. It’s important to start somewhere — so we’ve got you covered with tips and suggestions for how you can recognize Mental Health Awareness month. Read on for some simple ways to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month from Heather Rafanello, MSW, LCSW, a Hoboken-based therapist and founder of Growing Mindset Therapy LLC.

tips for mental health awareness month

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The Tips + Other Helpful Resources

  • Talk about your own mental health with friends or family, whoever allows you to feel safe
  • Listen to other people’s responses after asking, “How are you?”
  • Attend a therapy workshop or mental health walk
  • Volunteer with a local agency
  • Start journaling
  • Read a self-help book. The Untethered Soul and Eating in the Light of the Moon are two great examples
  • Declutter your home, phone (deleting photos, apps, etc.), closet, etc. and donate discarded items
  • Call a friend
  • Spend time in nature
  • Write a letter
  • Set boundaries + create an emotional budget
  • Start a new hobby
  • Read a social justice book
  • Start a gratitude journal
  • See a therapist
  • Take a few moments to talk to a stranger
  • Smile
  • Play a game — be silly. Reconnect with your inner child
  • Slow down, take a break
  • Pay it forward with an act of kindness
  • Set intentions throughout the day
  • Take a deep breath
  • Plant a garden or buy a house plant
  • Limit screen time (phone, TV, computer, tablets)
  • Use your PTO — or take mental health days as needed

It’s no secret that mental health is arguably just as important as one’s physical health — because the longest relationship that anyone has is with themselves. In order to take care of one’s mental health, it’s important to exercise the brain, allow space to feel emotions, and practice flexible thinking. Don’t believe everything you think — be gentle with yourself and use kind words towards yourself and others.

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Here are some free, confidential mental health resources if you or someone you know is experiencing an emergency:

  • National Suicide Lifeline: 800-273-8255
  • Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor
  • Domestic Violence helpline: 800-799-7233; Text START to 88788
  • Eating disorder support: Text “NEDA” to 741741
  • Substance Use Hotline: 1-800-662-4357
  • National Gambling Helpline: 1-800-522-4700

Additional list of non-emergency Mental Health Agencies in NJ

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