Mental Health Awareness Month





Several factors contribute to our overall mental health and well-being. The world is constantly changing, and it can feel overwhelming to adjust. In honor of May’s Mental Health Awareness Month, ANTHC will promote weekly activities to encourage healthy ways to navigate challenges in a changing world.  

The activities will help us learn how modern life affects our mental health and understand the impacts; act by building our coping toolbox; practice how to nurture ourselves with regular check-ins and seeking support; and assist others to advocate for mental health awareness in our own lives, community and society.   

Complete the activity and fill out a survey for a chance to win $100 in Amazon gift cards! Prize winners will be selected at random. One entry per person, per week.  Must be a resident of Alaska to be eligible. 


Activity 2, May 13-19

Act: Self-care 

What we will learn

  • Plan self-care and coping skills help overcome challenges

Activity

  1. Create a list of the activities, strategies or tools you currently have in your self-care toolbox
  2. Add one or two new activities, strategies or tools to your self-care toolbox
  3. Toolbox ideas: 
    • Connecting with a friend, family, Elder, or mentor 
    • Practicing gratitude 
    • Participate in traditional activities, like song, dance, drumming, beading, and sewing 
    • Physical exercise, like walking in nature, chopping wood, picking berries or hunting 
    • Finding humor with others, or watching a funny movie 
    • Practice mindfulness activities, like breathing exercises and other grounding techniques 
    • Sleep 7-9 hours 
    • Try relaxation techniques, like soothing plants, aroma therapy from candles or soaps, and listen to music or read a book 
    • Familiarize yourself with crisis resources, such as 988, or behavioral health resources such as the Behavioral Health Wellness Clinic  

Reflection 

Engaging in self-care regularly helps us maintain our mental, physical, spiritual and emotional wellness. Our coping skills help us manage overwhelming emotions or stressful situations. Experiment with different techniques to discover what works best for you.  

Create your own user feedback survey

Activity 1, May 1-12

Learn: Mental Health Impacts 

What we will learn 

  • To understand factors of modern life that impact our mental health 
  • Practice activities to lessen the effects of modern life challenges  

Activity 

  1. Identify and respect your feelings: Pause and think through your feelings by naming your emotions instead of acting on them. Acknowledge your feelings and think of helpful ways to express them. For example, you can start by writing your feelings in a journal, creating a poster, or voicing them out loud to someone you trust. If needed, refer to this word bank resource to help name your emotions 
  1. Unplug from technology. Go for a walk in nature to be among the beauty of the land. Play a sport with friends, such as basketball. 
  1. Connect with family, friends, Elders, or mentors. Talk to others to learn and seek advice, support or a unique perspective. Seek out the company of uplifting people. 
  1. Set boundaries on technology. Limit screen time; create tech-free zones; participate in traditional activities such as singing, dancing drumming, beading arts and crafts.  
  2. Turn off devices before bed – read a book to yourself, child or another person.  

Reflection 

Be kind to yourself. Feeling overwhelmed is okay and will not last forever. Learning about factors that impact our mental health can help us recognize and address challenges more effectively. 

Take the survey here!


Resources

Feeling stressed? Out of balance? Changes in thoughts and behaviors? Resources are available to help you assess your mental health, increase your well-being and practice mindfulness.

The ANTHC Behavioral Health Wellness Clinic offers telehealth counseling, assessments and referral support to adult beneficiaries anywhere in Alaska. You can access our care from your personal cell phone or computer. To learn more or become a client, visit www.anthc.org/bhwc or call (907) 729-2492 Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.


988 is more than just a number – it is a direct connection to compassionate, accessible support for people experiencing mental health related distress. Call or text 988, or chat 988lifeline.org, if you or someone you know needs crisis support.