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“With the state our world is in, with the coronavirus, and the raised awareness of mistreatment of minorities in our country, we are in fragile times. These are all the more reasons to have conversations, not just about race, compassion, politics, and equality, but about our mental health.” (Photo courtesy of Venice and Vernon Moore)
Editor’s Note: July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health experts Venice and Vernon Moore, who live in East Haven and run their company in North Haven, will be writing a series of columns on mental health this month.
It starts with a conversation.
Too often in our world we go about life knowing that challenges are inevitable, and that our physical health is something that one must not ignore.
However, what about your mental health?
Has it been ignored?
If so, why?
Mental health is just as important as physical health, and to be quite honest, at times it can be more important because our mental can affect our physical health, and even cause internal illnesses and physical ailments in our body if it goes untreated.
July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and while we all know that mental health challenges are something that anyone can go through, no matter the race, color, gender, and identity, this particular month was designated Minority Mental Health Awareness Month by the National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI) in 2008 for the purpose of changing the stigma surrounding access to mental health treatment and services.
People in urban communities have been more resistant to asking for help, and now more than ever it has become a pivotal topic to be addressed not only at home but also in our communities.
In the next few weeks we will be addressing topics of importance that can affect your mental health and well-being, in addition to providing coping strategies and resources that may support you as we embark on this journey.
For far too long, the topic of mental health has been watered down to explain the most extreme diagnoses, behaviors, and actions. But, in reality, our mental health affects us on a daily basis and is one of the core components that can lead to peace and happiness, if nurtured and maintained.
You can’t be whole with just the body and soul, the mind has to be taken care of as well.
Without a sound mind, one can go about life in such a way that they are merely existing and unaware of what life can truly be for self.
We have been taught at an early age “not to talk about our stuff,” and, to be quite frank, the people who have told us this have been the people we have trusted the most.
This can create a life of fear and isolation, and can make one think of therapists and mental health professionals as the not-for-them or not to be trusted.
Once the fear is eliminated, and one can embrace getting support, no matter what the situation may be, it can open the door to the phrase we have often heard of as limitless possibilities.
Think about it, there are people who go about life, in and out of relationships, and know they were suffering from anxiety, depression, trauma or grief, and were afraid to talk about it.
Well, it’s time to TALK ABOUT IT!
If you were sick and couldn’t physically function would you just lay in bed or would you see a doctor to get treated?
You would probably see a doctor.
This is why your mental health is just as important.
We see in our practice every day people who say that they wish they would have sought out therapy months ago!
It is time to remove the fear and open up ourselves to a higher level of healing, one that can bring your mind to peace and alignment with the support of trained professionals.
The good thing is that now therapists are everywhere, in all shapes, forms, races, and genders.
Come on this journey with us as we address a variety of subjects including Breaking Patterns, Identifying Trauma, Relationships, and more.
It is our hope that you look at the help we will try to provide in these columns as the beginning of making a mental health checkup, and to help us all erase the stigma.
With the state our world is in, with the coronavirus, and the raised awareness of mistreatment of minorities in our country, we are in fragile times.
These are all the more reasons to have conversations, not just about race, compassion, politics, and equality, but about our mental health.
These conversations are needed and a priority now more than ever.
It’s time to share, it’s time to learn, it’s time to understand, it’s time to care, and most of all, it’s time to heal.
Your mental well-being may depend on it.
Venice and Vernon Moore are the Owners of Embracing Your Difference, a mental health private practice and leadership firm in North Haven. To learn more about the Embracing Your Difference Movement or to find out more about their latest work, The Self Love and Self-Healing Workbook, visit www.embraceyourdifference.com.