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home : opinions : editorials February 5, 2016

5/7/2014 10:01:00 AM
Editorial: Mental health awareness is the first step
Prescott Valley Tribune

Most every month of the year is devoted to a cause to make people stop and think about it and do whatever they can to prevent it - be it a disease or a social ill.

May is Mental Health Month and, as with any other effort to focus attention on a given topic, professionals in the field ask us to be especially mindful of mental health and support and advocate for groups that work diligently to help those who struggle with mental illness.

Crises - murders, shootings and other incidents that hurt or kill people - are often triggered by a mental disability. We know this country faces many challenges in dealing with the mentally ill, much of this is because of the lack of money to finance treatment programs and the fact that the ordinary person may not have the expertise to recognize mental instability in family or friends. And, if they do, they often don't know how to approach the problem or where to turn for help.

Many people, too, are in denial and refuse to accept that their loved one or dear friend is in need of counseling or is on the brink of a disastrous act that will harm or kill him or someone else.

This is why professional counseling is critical when someone struggles with mental illness.

The Prescott area is very fortunate to have West Yavapai Guidance Clinic and its wide array of services and programs for people of all ages dealing with emotional and mental disorders.

During the entire month of May, West Yavapai Guidance Clinic is emphasizing spirit-lifting activities various entities in the community are offering this month to promote mental and physical health.

This focus is on health - mind, body and spirit. And, while we think of others who are in dark places, this month would be a good time to think about ourselves, too, and our overall health.

Be kind to yourself and remember your mental health is vital to a happy and productive life.

Here are some ideas to begin with: Spend time with friends and family - connect with people. Help others. Get enough sleep. Get physically active. Eat well. Take care of your spirit.

This advice comes from professionals who know of what they speak.

Remember, you can't make mental illness disappear, but you can make yourself a guardian of your own healthy mind, body and spirit.

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