Have you checked in with yourself lately?

Throughout all of life’s events, the past few years especially, we have all been encouraged and reminded to check in with each other—family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and others in our communities—to be sure those around us are doing okay through times that may be difficult.

These difficult times take a toll on our well-being including our mental, emotional, and physical health.

World Mental Health Day reminds us that checking in is important, and it can be the one connection that someone needs in a particularly rough time that’s the difference between making it through the day or not. It could be the listening ear that person needed, giving them hope that there is a kind heart out there, hearing the supportive statement they needed that day, or referring them to a helpful resource that may get them back on track.

Be that positive interaction in someone’s life.

While you are checking on others, please be sure you are checking on yourself. If you find you need conversation, are unsure of how you feel, or concerned with what you are thinking, reach out. Reach out to a friend, to a loved one, to your doctor. Talk about what is on your mind and in your heart. Consider taking part in an activity—take a walk, work a puzzle, watch a funny movie, listen to music, write/journal, volunteer, and know it is okay to reach out to mental health and well-being resources. After all, that is why they exist.

You can do an internet search for local mental health resources near you. A few other resources available to you are:

• Your medical professional
• Your employer’s Employee Assistance Program
• Your medical insurance program
• Your university’s counseling department
• Your state’s Department of Health counseling resources
• Online resources available in the United States such as:
• National Safety Council – NSC – National Safety Month
• Centers for Disease Control – CDC
Managing Stress and Anxiety
• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Suicide Prevention
• National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging – Aging and Mental Health
• Veteran’s administration – U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
• Mental Health America – Mental Health Awareness
• National Alliance on Mental Illness – National Alliance on Mental Illness
• World Health Organization – World Health Organization
• Silence the Shame – Silence the Shame

It takes just one person to make a difference in someone’s life. Check-in with others; check in with yourself. Encourage yourself. Encourage others. Support yourself. Support others. Believe in yourself. Believe in others. Talk openly about mental health. Be a part of stopping the stigma around talking about mental health.

We all need to be reminded at times that we are not alone.

Written by: Susan Gould, CSP