Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month 2019
May 15, 2019
BY MIA SIMON
Let’s get real—life can get tough at times. We have bills to pay, families to take care of, relationships to maintain, and jobs that need to get done. We’re also supposed to fit self-care into our schedules, somehow. Unfortunately, we don’t always prioritize our overall well-being and mental health. Although we should make a conscious effort to rectify that mindset as often as we can, we’re paying special attention to mental health this month.
May is nationally recognized as Mental Health Awareness month, so we are featuring some organizations and events that are helping bring attention to the cause in this latest installment of our cultural awareness series. We’re hoping you’ll feel motivated to make more time for you and your loved ones’ mental health.
**Trigger Warning: This blog contains information about services to help those who are living with mental illnesses. If you are in need of help, please reach out to a trained professional who can help you immediately. You can text the word “HOME” to 741741 and someone from the 24/7 Crisis Text Line will reach out to you. You can also reach out to the Suicide & Crisis Center of North Texas at 214-828-1000. **
THE CENTER FOR BRAINHEALTH
The Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) is doing some pretty amazing stuff. Researchers in a few different labs are working on projects to better understand our brains and their functionality. They also offer educational opportunities to the public through the Brain Performance Institute. The guiding vision for the Center for BrainHealth is to “empower people of all ages to unlock their brain potential,” according to its website. To learn more about registering for a class, like iRest for relaxation as well as a meet up for anyone interested in using virtual reality for social good, peruse its website or Instagram!
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DALLAS HEALING HOUSE
Dallas Healing House is staffed by a group of counselors with a diverse range of specialties including, but not limited to, emotional well-being, mental and physical health, and relationships. One of the best things about Dallas Healing House is its array of treatment options. Along with talking to a counselor, clients can partake in yoga classes, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and activity therapy. They really embrace the idea of holistic health, here!
To make sure you’re keeping up with this awesome group, follow them on Instagram @dallashealinghouse.
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Mental Health America (MHA) of Greater Dallas
This organization has been advocating and raising awareness for mental health in the Dallas community for more than seven decades. MHA of Greater Dallas hopes to empower those living with a mental illness, or a person who is helping someone who is need of support, by equipping them with the knowledge and tools needed to understand their respective mental health needs. The non-profit also hosts events throughout the year to help educate the public. To learn more about the mission of MHA of Greater Dallas, you can visit their website.
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National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) North Texas
NAMI has chapters all over the country that consist of advocates who are committed to helping people of all backgrounds who are living with a mental illness. Their grassroot efforts are meant to help break down the stigma surrounded mental health so more can be done to help those who are trying to get on the path toward wellness, whether it be through education, housing, or other sources of help.
NAMI North Texas just wrapped up participating in the NAMI Walks event with fellow chapters from all across the country, but there are other ways to get involved throughout the year. You can visit their website to access some of the organization’s resources, learn how to stay connected, or request a speaker for an event!
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Be Kind to Your Mind 5K and 10K
This may be your first-time hearing about a “virtual race,” but they do exist! The “Be Kind to Your Mind 5k and 10k” is one of them. Here’s the concept—you decide when and where you want to run your 5k or 10k between May 18 and May 31. After you’re done, notify the race organizers and they’ll send your medal. Plus, a portion of your registration fee will benefit Mental Health America (MHA). How cool is that?
LIVE AID 4 MENTAL HEALTH
Back in the 80s, rock bands like Queen performed at the Live Aid concert (go watch “Bohemian Rhapsody” to see what we mean!) to help raise money for people affected by the famine in Ethiopia. Fast forward to 2019, where another group of bands are gathering together in Dallas to raise funds for another worthy cause, mental health awareness.
Live Aid 4 Mental Health will feature rock bands in a concert that will raise funds for Foundation 45, a group that helps people, particularly musicians and artists, who are struggling with mental illness, addiction, and suicidal thoughts. The event takes place the first weekend in June, right after Mental Health Awareness month officially wraps up.
Foundation 45 also provides funding for Interlude 45 Support Group, a counseling service for adults. To get plugged into a free support group, visit this page to learn more.
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Mental Health First Aid Training
MHA of Greater Dallas is partnering with Recovery Spectrum to host a first aid training event that specifically focuses on helping those in need mental health aid. The class will teach participants how to recognize when someone is showing symptomatic signs of mental illness or substance abuse. The class will take place on May 25, and costs $50.