It’s Mental Health Awareness Month, and this is the opportunity that we all have to further the conversation and end the stigma. If we broke our arm, we’d go to the doctor, and we wouldn’t be afraid to tell people we broke our arm. The same has to be true for our brains. Everyone feels sad or anxious sometimes, and it shouldn’t be a secret or something to be ashamed about. It’s so important for everyone to understand that they are not alone.

Some people think they are being strong if they hold in their emotions, but it really does build up, and you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re always holding it in or if you are always in fight or flight mode. Not only will mental health suffer but physical health will too, so we need to release it, and it’s totally okay to feel what we feel, and actually healthier if we express it. For sure, we need to express it in appropriate ways, but that’s where mindfulness and social emotional learning can come into play. It’s not about being happy 100% of the time, but if we can learn to be our authentic selves with our emotions and get to a place of acceptance, we may find balance and inner-peace and get to a neutral, happier and healthier place.

As part of a Leadership Program, I recently started a podcast for teens called The Better Mindset with some friends. Check it out when you can. Our intention is to offer teens a place where they can talk about mental health, ask questions, provide meaningful information, interviews with experts, and resources that they can go to for help. By talking about mental health, we are hoping to de-stigmatize it. I think this is really valuable information any time, but especially now during Covid, when a lot of teens are feeling isolated, stressed, or overwhelmed. Communication is key, and teens need to know that they are not alone, and they are special, unique, and worthy.

Here is a link to local and national resources:

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