The new year is often a wonderful time to reflect and consider new goals to support individual improvement. A common New Year's resolution is one that focuses on physical health and wellness. However, one's mental health is just as important as one's physical health. 2020 was a difficult year that impacted many of us emotionally, financially, socially and mentally. That's why it is especially important to check-in on how you are doing and coping with the many changes in our world – and the beginning of a new year is a great time to do just that.
This year consider prioritizing mental health similar to physical health by doing a “check-up" on your mental wellness. You may find a need to adjust or change some things in your life that can help improve your mental health. Some people might find they need some help from a mental health professional for themselves (or a family member) to process and develop strategies to better cope and deal with life's many current challenges. Let's go over some of the benefits of doing that, factors to consider when choosing a mental health professional and some other resources you might find helpful.
Here are some benefits a mental health care professional can provide you:
- Assistance with identifying and defining steps that can help you achieve goals.
- Help with identifying strategies to improve communication with others and your relationships.
- Help developing coping strategies to better deal with difficult life circumstances.
- Help learning stress management and problem-solving skills.
- Help gaining a better understanding of emotions and how to express them in healthy ways.
- Help addressing and improving problematic behaviors interfering with school, work and relationships.
- Provides parents with tools to support their children in overcoming difficult life circumstances.
- Offers a space for people to talk about their feelings and experiences without judgment and with a fresh perspective.
When choosing a mental health professional, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Consider speaking with your child's school guidance counselor for referrals in your local area.
- Get a referral from a trusted friend who had a positive experience with a provider.
- Ask questions of potential providers to determine if they are a good fit, such as their modality, training and approach.
- Contact insurance to ask for a list of mental health providers covered under your insurance.
- If financial barriers are present, consider contacting local universities or clinics to determine if they have staff who would be willing to work on a sliding scale.
- Consider workshops and trainings for parents that focus on teaching new parenting skills to help improve your relationship with your child and strategies to deal with difficult child behaviors. Boys Town offers parenting classes through Common Sense Parenting.
There are many great in-person resources available for you to access. Internet and phone applications also offer an amazing array of resources on managing mental health. Here are some websites and apps to consider:
- Boys Town National Hotline® (800-448-3000) is a free resource and counseling service that assists youth and parents 24/7, 365 days a year, nationwide and is staffed by specially trained Boys Town counselors. Also, you can text VOICE to 20121 to connect with Hotline counselors.
Apps to Help Support Your Mental Health Goals
Here are websites where you can read about some reviewed apps that are recommended to help support mental health:
This year give yourself the gift of positive mental health by making it a priority for you and your loved ones. We wish you a blessed and healthy 2023!