WINNERS: My Mental Helath Day 2012

My Mental Health Day 2012 was a great success! In case you missed our Facebook announcements during My Mental Health Day, below is a list of all our raffle prize winners. Some of our winners have graciously donated their gifts back to the Mental Health Association of Montgomery County (MHA) to be used at a later time and we appreciate their generosity. MHA would like to thank the My Mental Health Day 2012 Overall Sponsors, Corporate Sponsors and Restaurant/Retailer Sponsors.  We also want to thank the organization’s Board of Directors and many staff members who helped support the campaign effort. But most of all, we would like to thank all of you who have been following along, participating in discussion, and spreading awareness about the importance of mental wellness through this exciting campaign.

 This campaign was created to promote overall well-being and to help people recognize that mental wellness is an important aspect of every person’s life each and every day. My Mental Health Day is about engaging community members in thinking about and finding time to nurture their mental well-being. Like some of our guest bloggers have noted: sometimes you need to “take the bus,” “take time for dessert,” and “enjoy family connections.”

 Throughout the year, we will continue to share helpful mental wellness boosting tips with you through our Facebook and Twitter pages. We will also continue to update our blog with new guest writers so continue to follow along and remember that throughout the year, whether you take a My Mental Health Day, take an hour or take a mental health moment, it is time well spent.

 Murray Family Foundation–ticket 1402–Leroy Neiman limited edition serigraph called “Cal Ripken, Jr.” which commemorates his record breaking 2131 game. The serigraph is signed by both Leroy Neiman and Cal Ripken, Jr.

 Goodman Gable Gould Adjusters—ticket 1261— “Any Day Membership” to Blue Mash Golf Course valid for an entire year

Mickey C. of Silver Spring—ticket 1753—three hours of financial planning services donated by XML Financial Group

 Krista Z.—ticket 1526—pair of Angela Chang custom designed earrings made of 18k gold and oxidized gold with a white topaz briolette and.06 carats of diamonds 

 Murray Family Foundation --ticket 1404– your choice of a new iPad with 64GB and Wi-Fi OR a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

 Abbey K.—ticket 0153- your choice of a new iPad with 64GB and Wi-Fi OR a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

 Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and the Montgomery County Office of Human resources—ticket 1156—two night stay at SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA

 Montgomery College—ticket 1315—family portrait session with Clay Blackmore.

 Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell, P.C. –ticket 1293– gorgeous framed art print “Allegory in Yellows” by Judith HeartSong donated by ArtMatters LLC

 Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation—ticket 1178—one month of health coaching donated by Karen Schachter, MSW/Dishing with Your Daughter

 Ronald D. Paul Companies—ticket 1368—four hours of home maintenance and handyman service from Hassle Free Home Services Inc.

 Slavin Family Foundation—ticket 1388—10 passenger limo for 3 hours of service from RMA Limo

 Tracy M.—ticket 0017—gorgeous container with seasonal outside flowers donated by Pots and Pansies

 Ronald D. Paul Companies—ticket 1361—$250 American Express Gift Card

 US Wellness Inc—ticket 1211—visit to the flower wholesaler and one flower arranging lesson with Ellen Seagraves

 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy &Ecker, P.A.—ticket 1203—gift basket of Kerastance Salon products donated by Progressions Salon

 Charnita G.—ticket 1916—nine week summer semester and one year membership to the Little Gym of Silver Spring

 Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell, P.C.—ticket 1287—personal chef service for three meals from Gourmet Your Way

 Linda B. –ticket 1956– one-night stay at any one of a select number of Marriot locations, including breakfast for two

 Joseph D.–ticket 0126— one-night stay at any one of a select number of Marriot locations, including breakfast for two

 Nancy S. — ticket 0048–$200 Gift Certificate to any Black Restaurant Group Location

 Glazer, Winston, Honigman & Ellick– ticket 1297–Potomac River Running Distance Training Program Package

 Montgomery County Department of Economic Development– ticket 1181– two tickets to see a show at the Shakespeare Theatre Company

 Jill P. — Ticket 0078—customized book basket designed by Joy Paul following a telephone consultation: “What are the Stressors in Your Life”

 Rolyn Companies– Ticket 1192—golf lesson at Congressional Country Club and lunch at Founder’s Pub.

 Lisa S. – Ticket 0150—One-Hour Red Carpet micro-dermabrasion facial from Monique’s Esthetique

 Discovery Communications— Ticket 1168—Potomac Pilates Gift Card for five regular classes or 10 Happy Hour classes.

 Carla S– ticket 1983–Handcrafted candlestick by Gary Rosenthal welded with copper, brass, and steel with brilliant fused glass

 Betsy M– ticket 1537–two tickets to a 2012-2013 season performance at the Wooly Mammoth Theatre in Washington DC

 Carla S– ticket 2000–a one month Congressional Membership at the Aspen Hill Club.

Jack K– ticket 1503–$100 gift card to Founding Farmers Restaurant

 Ronald D. Paul Companies-- ticket 1365– a $100 gift certificate for Circa at Dupont in Washington DC

 XML Financial Group-- ticket 1223–$100 gift certificate from Janet Flowers Wedding and Event Designs

 Esther N. — ticket 1542–$100 gift certificate for the Mussel Bar

 Goodman-Gable-Gould/Adjusters International–ticket 1262– $100 American Express Gift Card

 US Wellness, Inc. –ticket 1212— $100 American Express Gift Card

 Montgomery College—ticket 1314– Dinner for two at select Chef Geoff’s Restaurant locations

 Murray Family Foundation—ticket 1400–entrance into the Maryland Renaissance Festival for a family of four

 The People’s Community Baptist Church—ticket 1276–15 bags of mulch from Rupert Landscape

 Brandi B.–ticket 0031–a gift certificate for 2 chef dinners at Cesco Osteria & Co2 Lounge

 Stephanie A. – ticket 0060– two tickets to any 2012-2013 season performance to the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

 Mike M.–ticket 1761–one-hour facial from Monique’s Esthetique

 Elizabeth S.– ticket 0123–an autographed photograph of Washington Redskin’s Lorenzo Alexander

 Carla S. –ticket 1981–Climbing Pass for Climbing Earth Treks Centers

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day–a day we often acknowledge for the sales or the perfect weekend to take that vacation. We often forget what Memorial Day actually represents—a time to remember those who sacrificed their lives for their country, our freedoms, and the promise of a greater future.

The many men and women who served in the battles of our country put the community above themselves, sacrificed their own pursuits for the prosperity of the country, and surrendered time with their families so our own sons and daughters could revel in the opportunity of today.

To ensure the sacrifices of America’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

All of us at the Mental Health Association of Montgomery County thank those who served, are serving, and who gave their lives for our country. And we honor the families who were left behind. Please join us in a minute of silence at 3pm today to remember the courageous and dedicated men and women of our armed forces.

 

My Mental Health Day Has Arrived!

It’s here! It’s finally here! My Mental Health Day 2012 is finally upon us and in full swing. Remember what today is truly all about—boosting YOUR mental health. Whether it’s playing in the sunshine or watching Saturday cartoons with your children or shopping with your best friend, we invite you to take part in whatever activity makes you smile a little bit more today.

Sometimes, it’s important to remember to take a moment for yourself. Step away from your weekend chores for an hour or two and give yourself permission to relax. Regularly, “mental health” is associated and stigmatized as “illness.” Often, we forget that mental health is actually about WELLNESS and finding  a certain peace of mind.

Today we invite you to find your own balance. Please share with us your plans for My Mental Health Day on our Facebook page.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out our wellness tips or need some activity ideas for My Mental Health Day, there’s still time to visit the My Mental Health Day Blog. And remember that throughout the day we will be announcing the winners of our 40-plus raffle prize winners on our Facebook page and streaming more mental health tips on our Twitter feed.

 

Celebrating Change

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

The importance of embracing new ideas and new opportunities should never be underestimated!  MHA has always been an organization of forward thinking individuals ready to approach new pathways with vim and vigor.  With a positive outlook in hand, and a group of skills as varied as clinical expertise, financial acumen, administrative know-how, communications excellence and person to person community based organizing….the MHA staff and volunteers assist our community’s residents to embrace the importance of mental health in their lives each and every day.

MHA, its staff and volunteers—in particular our esteemed Board of Directors— are flexible, forthright, and fully engaged in the caregiver role on behalf of our clients and our organization.  And, with that “engagement” comes the knowledge that as months and years pass, change is inevitable.

As I transition from my leadership role at the Mental Health Association this June, I soundly acknowledge this group of superb individuals – and I “celebrate” them – each and every one.  Likewise, I celebrate and welcome the new “leader” of MHA – Scot Marken who is set to join MHA in June as well.  I know that with this” change” in MHA’s leadership will come new and exciting opportunities on behalf our organization and its people.

For my future, I like to think there are exciting times ahead. And, I do celebrate the possibilities!  My professional passion is certainly tied to continued advocacy on behalf of the importance of mental health throughout the life cycle, the critical role that the nonprofit sector plays in the delivery of essential mental health and social services, and in the power of community organizing on behalf of empowering individuals and families in and around our community.  So, as I embark on a future professional path – I will seek to engage in activities that help to advance these causes.  Indeed in support of my activities now and into the future, I am lucky to have a personal support system of “activists!” all – right there beside me– My husband Stephen, my son Robbie and my son Lee and daughter-in-law Valerie….These individuals Inspire me daily!

 So, for us all…New Dreams.  New Discoveries.  New Explorations.   Enjoy!!  Sharon Friedman

 

My Mental Health Day Thanks:

 Sharon E. Friedman, LCSW-C, is the Chief Executive Officer of Mental Health Association of Montgomery County.  After 17 years of stellar leadership, Ms. Friedman is stepping down from her post at the end of June to start a new chapter in her already extraordinary career.

“Just one more box”

“Just One Box”–Since moving into our new apartment, this had been my rallying cry.  Except now it had degenerated into a zombie plea.  Despite the vise gripping my shoulders, I soldiered on, mindlessly unwrapping each dish, every glass.  

My husband and I had decided moving cross-country without a job was an excellent plan.  Life was too short, we told ourselves, for playing it safe. Boldly going quickly became not-so-much, as two months in my sister’s extra bedroom stretched into six and our cushion deflated. Then, in a flash, Andrew found a new job, I stopped biting my nails about supporting us solely on my freelance income, and we found a new home.

Now, I was desperate for everything to be solidly, safe – normally – in its place.

Outside, Southern California’s spring sun drenched everything in chamomile light.  I put another (why did we have so many?) mug on the shelf and shifted my feet, buried in drifts of packing paper.   Doggedly, I reached for the next mystery package when a breeze, the one we’d moved 3,000 miles away from home for, swept through our kitchen window.

I needed to go for a ride.

Traveling north on the 405, braking for (another) vehicle veering across three lanes, dodging a texting drifter and swerving to avoid a chair, I reconsidered. ‘Turn around.  You should have never left,” each obstacle intoned.  Gritting my teeth, I prepared to exit when I saw the sea of cars crawling southbound.  There was no turning back now.

At my destination, the farm where I lease Playday (an off-the-track Standardbred), acres of box-free ranch and the Los Angeles National Forest beyond beckoned.  Half an hour later, I was on Playday’s back, enjoying birdsong and her companionable silence, yet cataloging all I had left undone.

We crossed a stream, leaving the boxes to float away.  Anxiety drifted with the dust behind us as we trotted through bamboo.  Cantering to the top of the trail, mountains greeted us, gold relief against a cloudless sky, a familiar breeze playing in the long grass.

 Why had breaking land-speed unpacking records seemed more important than this?

 Wasn’t making it this far good enough?

 My Mental Health Day thanks:
Jessica Fox

Your Journey to Emotional Wellness – 5 KEY STEPS YOU MUST TAKE NOW!

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.  These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

~Elizabeth Kubler Ross

Our mental/emotional state impacts EVERYTHING we do, so it is critically important to make our mental health a priority.  May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this is a great time to take inventory of your emotional health!  If you find yourself in need of an emotional tune-up, here are 5 key things that may help you get back on the road to emotional wellness (these five steps have also personally helped me in my journey):

1. ACKNOWLEDGE, ACKNOWLEDGE, ACKNOWLEDGE

No matter what they are, acknowledgement of our TRUE feelings is so critically important.  When we suppress or ignore our true feelings, they can build up, and over time, these bottled up emotions can wreck havoc in our lives (believe me, I KNOW)!  Telling ourselves that “everything is fine” is not always the best solution.  For example, leading up to my breakdown, (and even after I was discharged from the hospital), I remember telling my family, “I’m fine” and “I’m okay.”  Yet in reality, I failed to acknowledge and truly accept that I needed to slow down and that I was depressed; I rationalized & dismissed the symptoms I was having, and because I was technically still “functioning” at work and successful at school, in my mind, there couldn’t possibly be anything really wrong with ME.  My journey to emotional wellness did not begin until I acknowledged my feelings and what I was experiencing.  Only then could I begin making the changes I needed.

 2. SHARE YOUR STORIES

Opening up and being vulnerable about our experiences and the challenges we face can truly bring about significant emotional/mental healing.  This certainly is NOT always the easiest thing to do, especially when we are frequently conditioned to share all the positive, wonderful, and happy things that are happening in our life.  However, “emotional purging” or sharing our vulnerabilities is also a critical component of staying emotionally/mentally well.  While it did take time to bring me to the point of opening up, I personally have experienced considerable healing, release, and freedom from sharing my story.  It has truly opened doors and allowed me to connect with others in a way that I might not have otherwise.  While you may not necessarily be comfortable sharing with the world, I would encourage you to find ONE person with whom you can truly open up and get real with what you may be experiencing. Remember that one person could be a therapist.

 3. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS – DON’T IGNORE RED FLAGS!

Just as acknowledging HOW & WHAT we are feeling is important, it is equally essential to pay attention to what may be causing us to feel a certain way and monitor our mental/emotional state on an ongoing basis.  Keeping a journal may help; I have found journaling to be a very effective way to track how I’m doing.  Additionally, be careful not to minimize physical signs (e.g. headaches, fatigue, and insomnia); physical manifestations of stress can often times be a red flag that we are setting ourselves up for a mental/emotional (and physical) breakdown.

 4. GET SOME SLEEP

Most people who don’t get enough sleep don’t recognize the toll that it takes on their cognitive and mental health.  There is a well-established connection between lack of sleep and mental and physical health.  Lack of sleep can cause irritability, anger and lessens our ability to cope with stress.  Additionally, when we are tired, we often establish other poor health habits such as not exercising and eating unhealthy foods.   Establishing a healthy sleep regimen in an absolute MUST for optimal mental/emotional wellness. 

 5. GET MOVING!

We hear this over and over again, but trust me when I tell you that exercise can really give you an emotional boost!  At a bare minimum, I do 30 minutes of cardio 4-5 times a week; if I miss more than a couple of days, I can tell a significant difference in how I feel.  In the same way I schedule my business appointments, I have found scheduling “exercise appointments” to be an effective way to maintain a regular exercise routine. Find whatever works for you, but the key is to JUST DO IT! 

 

My Mental Helath Day Thanks:
Tanya Douglas-Holland, MD
DO LESS. BE MORE. LIVE WELL
www.drtanyadouglasholland.com

Yoga, Potassium, and Joni Mitchell…Christopher O’Riley’s Secret Weapons

For as long as I can remember, being of Irish heritage, and therefore I believe prone to moodiness, I’ve felt that every day has required a good start in MY mental health. When I lived in New York City, I would invariably start dragging myself over to Central Park, mumbling complainingly in an ongoing internal monologue about the world at large, my career, and my frustrations with everything else. By the end of the Big Loop–about 6 miles–I would find my inner monologue invariably altered by the endorphin surge into a sunnier, more positive disposition, ready to take on and solve all the world’s problems and utterly confident in my abilities and future. (I’m much less self-examining now during my morning endorphin dose: I do most of my reading on the StairMaster)

The more specific emotional and tension-related challenges I have come across consistently have to do with performance anxiety, and again, I’ve found proactive measures and vitamins to be the most efficacious. Physical tension, particularly playing an instrument, can be the mode of egress for all kinds of doubt to enter one’s head, and for that and a multitude of other ills, I have found Yoga to be indispensable in my pre-concert routine.

How many times have we had nightmares in which we are expected to perform on a world-class level in some task we may not have any expertise whatsoever? In pianistic terms, one practices in a relaxed mode a piece hundreds of times, but then when performance tenses us up and our shoulders hunch or our face turns grimace-ridden. Then, voila, we are performing something for the first time in those dire physical straits, and therefore have the feeling that we are doing it for the first time. (We never had those encumbrances in the practice room, right?), and the anxiety of the unfamiliar takes our heart rate through the roof. Yoga not only regulates breathing (the most important gauge and regulator of ease and comfort), but regulates and relaxes all the muscles and energy-centers of the body. Pianists with our hunched shoulders watch that posture evaporate as centering and relaxation radiate from our sacrum throughout our body. After an hour’s routine, I’ve found that not only am I tension free and my posture more centered, but that I have the feeling of riding high, soaring at great height over the keyboard.

One of nature’s great gifts is potassium, which eases digestion and is generally settling to the stomach, one of the places where our bad humors can pour and eddy. Bananas are one of the most concentrated sources of potassium, but with the pre-concert jitters, and grocery store bananas seem intended for a leisurely residence in the home for a few days while they lose their greenness, it’s a less than palatable prospect to be munching on unripe bananas. A lot of my musician friends still swear by them, and if there’s a ripe one at hand, they’re great. The other greatly concentrated source of potassium is the tomato, and so my most preferred potassium delivery system is vegetable juice–always available, always ripe, and quite delectable.

Just as music has been, professionally, a center of tension and concern, it has of course served as a source of solace and respite. There have been periods of my life when loneliness and depression seem insurmountable. When my family moved to Pittsburgh midway through my high school years and I knew no one, I would walk spookily through my neighborhood through total darkness (the steel mills were still evident). I found I was almost unable to speak properly anymore, such was my isolation. I listened every night to a little cassette player I had. On which I obsessively (though obsession is not a great sign of mental health) traversed Joni Mitchell’s debut album, Song to a Seagull. There was such an atmosphere of romance, dream, and fantasy that it really took me away and set me down gently afterwards.

These many years later, I’m revisiting this record in having been commissioned to arrange a set of pieces for me and the San Francisco Girls Chorus. And so, music from the same age as my colleagues on this date becomes a font of inspiration. Later, in college, there were also records that I found in the Classical repertoire that I found consoling and ultimately uplifting (symphonic forms tend towards conflict/argument/disputation in their opening movements, heart-focused in their slower movements, and physical-visceral exultation in their dance-like final movements): Stravinsky’s ballet, Apollon Musagete (my intimate familiarity with which eventually resulted in my recording and performing the string orchestra work on piano), Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata #8 (another favorite in my lifetime repertoire) and Beethoven’s Symphony #7. I heartily recommend all of the above to boost your mental wellness.

The Poppy Story

This weekend we not only recognize My Mental Health Day but also Memorial Day—a day in which we remember those who gave their lives while fighting for our country. Too often we get caught up in the Memorial Day sales, our first spring vacation, or the extra day we get off from work to really remember what the day actually represents. This year, we hope you join us in taking a moment to reflect on those who have served, are serving, who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms.

As a reminder of those who were killed in service to our country, the MHA staff is wearing red poppies—a tradition that started long ago. The poppy movement was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae of the Canadian forces in 1915 before the United States entered World War I.  In the World War I battlefields of Belgium, poppies grew wild amid the ravaged landscape. How could such a pretty little flower grow wild while surrounded by death and destruction? The overturned soils of battle enabled the poppy seeds to be covered, thus allowing them to grow and to forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed during that and future wars.

We encourage you to reflect over this holiday weekend!

In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields
.

ENJOY FAMILY CONNECTIONS

My husband & I are proud parents of eight children. Seven are married with children of their own. We are also blessed with two great- grandchildren. Our immediate family now numbers 41 and our extended family numbers 44 since two relatives & a friend join our celebrations.

 There are many types of family groups. Our particular family structure might seem overwhelming to some people. We, however, enjoy every moment of our family life in spite of the trials and tribulations connected with raising children, providing for their individual needs and finding time to nurture our relationship as a couple.

 Jack and I see our lives as an adventure. Having a large family has been a rewarding part of our journey. Our numerous parenting experiences have enriched our lives and helped to shape our perspective with regard to managing stress and feeling helpless.

 Over the years, we have found that these fsix principles and practices help us enjoy our family connections and support each other.

 1.  CELEBRATE.  Take time to celebrate life’s milestones and successes. We celebrate birthdays, religious occasions, graduations, first jobs, promotions, engagements, weddings, anniversaries, births, and academic and athletic achievements. I can’t think of anything we don’t try to acknowledge.  This month, we will get together and celebrate six graduations (graduate school, college, high school and middle school) and 15 birthdays. Due to our large number of family members and their conflicting schedules, we now have quarterly celebrations. Often, there are smaller spontaneous gatherings as well. This seems to work best for us.

2.  SUPPORT.  This is as important as celebrating. Recently one family lost their beloved dog. It was a sad time for them. It gave the rest of our family an opportunity to express our love, concern and recognize their sadness and pain. Families thrive with unconditional support.

3.  BE INCLUSIVE.  Being inclusive is a life long challenge. Our family is continually assimilating new members and adjusting to the changing dynamic. The new member and his or her family become a branch of our larger family tree.  New family members bring energy and help broaden our perspectives. The challenge is to gracefully embrace everyone, accept our differences and grow from the experiences.

4.  CREATE YOUR OWN TRADITIONS.  In our family, when it’s your birthday, we bring out the Birthday Hat. The Birthday Hat is made of plush fabric and shaped like a birthday cake with candles. We sing to each person celebrating his or her big day. If you are seven or 70, you wear the birthday hat. Traditions are a fun way for family members to bond and to feel anchored to each other.

 5.  GIVE BACK. When you give, you get. We have always volunteered and been involved in the community and we have encouraged our children to do the same. By giving our time, talents, and resources, no matter how limited the contribution may be, it makes a difference to both the giver and the recipient. It is humbling to see people who are dealing with situations much more difficult than your own. Perspective can do so much to alleviate stress. We encourage and support our children and grandchildren in their efforts to volunteer in the community.

 6.  ASK FOR HELP, WORK TOGETHER AND BE FLEXIBLE. In a large family, things can’t get done unless we work together. The thought of cooking Thanksgiving Dinner for 44 (plus) people could be daunting if I took on the task myself. However, when Thanksgiving becomes a joint effort and everyone brings a dish, it’s manageable and gives others a chance to showcase their culinary skills.  When Jack and I involve our family in planning and are flexible in our approach, we often get fresh ideas and perspectives from the collaboration.

 How I will celebrate My Mental Health Day, May 26: I will celebrate granddaughter Shannon’ s high school graduation. It will be special time for my family. I hope you will take the time to celebrate My Mental Health Day too in whatever ever way brings you joy.

My Mental Health Day thanks:
Eileen Dillon, Mental Helath Association Board Member

Five Tips for a Happy Marriage

1. Appreciate your spouse at least once every day.

 2. Create a safe space for your spouse to talk to you by listening carefully through mirroring back what you hear, validation, and trying to contain your triggers.

 3. Try to be honest about your needs for reassurance without getting defensive or shutting down.

 4. Try to be empathetic, responsive and available to your spouse when you see you are needed.

 5. Learn to understand your spouse’s love language by knowing what they appreciate the most: quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, physical touch, and acts of service — then act accordingly.

 
My Mental Health Day thanks:
Barbara Champaloux LCSW-C
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