Debra Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of St. Clair County Community Mental Health.
Take a moment to consider your surroundings. Do you feel safe? Do you have access to health care and grocery stores? Does your home support you, both physically and mentally?
This Mental Health Awareness Month, challenge yourself to look at your world and how different factors can affect your mental health.
“Where a person is born, lives, learns, works, plays, and gathers, as well as their economic stability and social connections, are part of what is called ‘social determinants of health,’” comments Debra Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of St. Clair County Community Mental Health
(SCCCMH). “The more these factors work in your favor, the more likely you are to have better mental well-being. However, when it seems like the world is working against you, your mental health can suffer.”
While parts of your environment can be out of your control, there are steps you can take to change your space and protect your well-being.
- Work toward securing safe and stable housing: This can be challenging due to finances, age, and other reasons, but there are a few things you can try, such as reaching out to state and local agencies to learn about available resources, removing safety hazards in the home, or finding another space – such as a community center or friend’s home – where you can get the comfort you are missing at home.
- Focus on your home: Consider keeping your space tidy, sleep-friendly, and well-ventilated. Surround yourself with items that help you feel calm and positive.
- Create bonds with your neighborhood and community: Get to know the people living around you, engage in community activities that happen in your community, or spend time outdoors to get to know those living around you.
- Connect with nature: Hike on the trails or along the waterways of the Blue Water Area, sit in a local park, or take the kids to enjoy one of the many new playscapes in the area, bring a plant inside, or keep the shades open at home and in the office and let the sunshine in!
This May, one great activity that can help you get out in nature, enjoy some physical activity, and connect with your community while helping raise awareness about mental health, is St. Clair County Community Mental Health’s 15th Annual Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies Run for Recovery. This event includes a 5k run, one-mile walk, and one-mile timed kids’ run.
The Run for Recovery will be held on Saturday, May 13, at SCCCMH located at 3111 Electric Ave. in Port Huron. The walk and kids’ run begin at 8:30 a.m., and the run begins at 9 a.m. Many fun things are planned for the participants, including a band send-off by the Central Middle School
band and a welcome across the finish line by the Port Huron Northern High School
drumline. Participants will also be able to interact with our special guests, including Levi the Lion with McLaren Port Huron
’s Levi’s Link Program, Skip from St. Clair County Community College
, and Mitts from the Port Huron Prowlers. Former University of Michigan and NFL wide receiver Braylon Edwards will also be joining in on the day’s events. To sign up, visit: scccmh.org/events/run-for-recovery
If you’re actively taking steps to improve your surroundings but still struggling with your mental health, you may be experiencing signs of a mental health condition. SCCCMH is here to help.
SCCCMH is offering free trial periods of the online therapy platform Talkspace. This free three-month trial is provided in part with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding from the City of Port Huron
. For some, the three-month Talkspace membership will give enough support to work through a time-sensitive issue and gain valuable tools and resources to improve their mental well-being. For others, the short-term trial may be a catalyst to encourage them to continue treatment. Talkspace memberships are geared toward individuals 14 years and older who may have a mild mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety, or would like to learn tools and techniques to help improve their mental well-being. To learn more about Talkspace, visit https://scccmh.org/talkspace/
In addition to the three-month trial membership of Talkspace, a one-year membership to the Talkspace: Self-Guided mobile app is also offered at no cost. This easy-to-navigate app empowers individuals, parents, and couples to take charge of their mental well-being in as little as five minutes a day. Based on hundreds of research studies, the Talkspace: Self-Guided clinically supported programs utilize the most effective therapeutic approaches for anxiety, depression, burnout, and parenting. To learn more about Talkspace: Self-Guided and how to get started with your one-year trial, visit scccmh.org/talkspace-self-guided/
If you need more comprehensive mental health services, you are encouraged to reach out directly to SCCCMH. The Access Center at 1-888-225-4447 can help you access services for mental health conditions, substance use disorders, and intellectual/developmental disabilities. The Mobile Crisis Unit (MCU) is available for those experiencing a mental health crisis and needing immediate support. The MCU is open to any individual in St. Clair County and can be reached by calling 1-810-966-2575. These phone lines are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The world around us can be both positive and negative – bringing joy and sadness, hope and anxiety. Learn more by visiting scccmh.org
and clicking on the Resource Library
. Accessible, practical resources for Mental Health Month have been added. These resources focus on how an individual’s environment affects their mental health, suggestions for making changes to improve and maintain mental well-being, and how to seek help for mental health challenges.
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