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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – #MentalHealthAwareness Month: Resources


#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

For #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth in May, we put together some resources and information with help from UCLA Health.

In the year since #COVID-19 upended daily life, #mentalhealth struggles have skyrocketed. Often, the hardest action we can take on our #mentalhealth journey is the very first one: reaching out for the first time to a friend, walking into the first support group meeting, finding a therapist or calling a support line. It is time we all take care of our emotional wellbeing in the same way we tend to our physical health, before we reach a moment of crisis.


#MentalHealthActionDay will take place on May 20, during #MentalHealthAwareness Month, to drive the culture of #mentalhealth from awareness to action. We must take action now to meet the needs of our communities and identify opportunities to build long-term resilience. Action looks different for everyone, and #MentalHealth Action Day will encourage people to do what feels right for them. If you have concerns about your or someone else’s #mentalhealth, please contact a medical professional or call 1-800-273-TALK(8255) for a free, confidential conversation. As part of Mental Health Action Day, ABC7 will hold a town hall on May 20 to put a spotlight on #mentalhealth action.

Cultivating Meaning & Joy by Fostering Connections

Social support means having individuals to turn to in times of need or crisis to give you a broader focus, positive self-image and other benefits. Social support improves physical and #mentalhealth, enhances quality of life, and can provide a buffer against the adverse effects of #stress and adverse life events.

Peer support: https://www.mentalhealthsf.org/peer-support-services/
Managing Illness Support Group: https://www.beyondmybattle.org/support-groups
Volunteer website: https://www.laworks.com/opportunity-calendar
Warmline: https://www.mentalhealthsf.org/peer-run-warmline/

Learn more:

Practicing Self-Compassion

Self-compassion includes remembering you are human (which means remembering that all humans suffer and are imperfect), accepting yourself at the present moment, and appreciating yourself not for your productivity, skill or beauty, but for your inherent worth.

Self-Compassion Exercises: https://self-compassion.org/category/exercises/



Mastering Fears

Fear and #anxiety are associated with many #mentalhealthconditions. About 20% of #adults in the #UnitedStates experience symptoms of an #anxiety disorder during any given year, and #women tend to have these symptoms more often than #men.

Cognitive #Behavioral Therapy:

Books: https://www.helpforanxiety.com/self_help.html

Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation App: https://www.calm.com/

Living with Uncertainty: https://www.socialworker.com/feature-articles/field-placement/living-with-uncertainty/

Child #Anxiety: https://carescenter.ucla.edu/

Mindful Gratitude & Savoring

Mindfulness means the practice of maintaining complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions or experiences in the present moment without judgment. You can also use specific mindfulness techniques to intentionally add positive thoughts to your inner voice. This might increase the positive effects of mindfulness. Two examples are savoring and gratitude practices. Savoring and gratitude practices are associated with improved psychological well-being including increased life satisfaction, mood, happiness and positive emotions.


Gratitude Journal Apps:


The information and links above were provided by UCLA Health.

UCLA Health
The Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA is among the leading centers in the world for comprehensive #patient care, research and education in the fields of #mentalhealth, developmental disabilities and neurology. The Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital’s vision is to serve the health care needs of the community, its #patients and their families through excellence in research, education and the delivery of neuropsychiatric and #behavioralhealthservices.

Other Resources

California Hope
CalHOPE delivers crisis support for communities impacted by a national disaster. CalHOPE builds community resiliency and helps people recover from disasters through free outreach, crisis counseling, and support services.

Pacific Clinics
Pacific Clinics supports individuals and families in over 50 locations across Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties. With free, low-cost and sliding scale fee services for children, youth, transitional age youth, #adults, and older #adults, they are here for Southern Californians at every stage of life. They pride themselves on delivering innovative community-based, culturally and linguistically appropriate programs, and their highly trained staff members are reflective of the communities they serve.

San Fernando Valley Community #MentalHealth Center
San Fernando Community Health Center (SFCHC) is a state-of-the-art Federally Qualified Health Center located in the City of San Fernando and serving the entire San Fernando Valley. They provide high-quality state-of-the-art health care services, as well as prevention and education services in a supportive atmosphere to every person, particularly the most vulnerable of the San Fernando Valley, regardless of religion, race, age, sex, or personal income. The FQHC designation allows them to provide quality care at an affordable price to everyone in their community.

#NAMI Westside LA
#NAMI Westside Los Angeles offers free education programs along with support, guidance, and hope for the growing number of Angelenos affected by #mentalhealthconditions.

Department of #MentalHealthServices for all CA Counties
The #MentalHealth Plan (MHP) in each county is responsible for providing or arranging for the provision of Specialty #MentalHealthServices (SMHS) to Medi-Cal beneficiaries in their county. SMHS means the impact of the beneficiary’s condition is severe enough for him/her to require the services of a specialist as opposed to a generalist in the field of #mentalhealth.

WeRise LA
The WHY WE RISE campaign is an ongoing project of the Los Angeles County Department of #MentalHealth, serving the 10 million people of L.A. County with education and prevention programs and providing #mentalhealth-related services to over 250,000 people each year, offering connection, hope, recovery and wellbeing. The WE RISE events are calls to action, asking you to join a movement to break through barriers and defy old assumptions about #mentalhealth and the many related social conditions that compound problems and hurt our communities.

The Trevor Project
Access information preventing #suicide and Trevor’s unique resources for #LGBTQ youth.

National Action Alliance for #SuicidePrevention
The National Action Alliance for #SuicidePrevention (Action Alliance) is the nation’s public-private partnership for #suicideprevention. The Action Alliance works with more than 250 national partners to advance the National Strategy for #SuicidePrevention. Current priority areas include: transforming health systems, transforming communities, and changing the conversation.

National Alliance
#NAMI is the #NationalAllianceonMentalIllness, the nation’s largest grassroots #mentalhealthorganization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of #Americans affected by #mentalillness. #NAMI works to educate, advocate, listen and lead to improve the lives of people with #mentalillness and their loved ones.

The #ChildMindInstitute is an independent, national #nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of #children and families struggling with #mentalhealth and learning disorders. Our teams work every day to deliver the highest standards of care, advance the science of the developing brain and empower parents, professionals and policymakers to support #children when and where they need it most.

Seize the Awkward
Having a conversation about #mentalhealth might be uncomfortable, but it can make all the difference. Check out these tools – from conversation guides to tips -that can help you help those in need.

The Jed Foundation
Transitioning into adulthood can bring big changes and intense challenges. The Jed Foundation (JED) empowers teens and young #adults with the skills and support to grow into healthy, thriving #adults.


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