Week 3: 2022 Mental Health Awareness Month | Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Week 3: 2022 Mental Health Awareness Month

May 17, 2022




Week 3, May 16-22: Recognizing when you need help

What we will learn:

  • Identify when you are stressed and out of balance
  • Recognize when your thoughts, feelings and behaviors change

Pay attention to your usual thoughts, feelings and behaviors. How is your typical mood? Energy level? Appetite? Sleep routine? Social life? Physical health? How do your thoughts change when you experience something that causes you stress?

Recognizing when our thoughts, feelings and behaviors have changed significantly is the first step to acknowledging help is needed.

Learn more about mental health facts and conditions at https://mhanational.org/ and take a mental health screening at https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools/

Activity: Build your coping toolbox

We all have tools in our coping toolbox when times get tough. Coping skills are strategies to help us deal with difficult situations and emotions. Traditional activities, like hunting, song and dance and even using humor are all ways our ancestors taught us to cope with difficult situations.

Aim to:

★ Create a list of the tools you have in your toolbox (examples: breathing exercises, calling a friend, going for a walk, etc.) or create a physical toolbox with activities like a traditional song playlist, stress ball, written notes or photos.

★ Add one or two new tools/skills to your toolbox (examples: practicing gratitude, watching a funny movie, processing your feelings, reaching out to a crisis resource, listening to music, singing, drumming, dancing, etc.).

Reflection

The occasional bad day is to be expected, but when things that used to be easy become more difficult, something is going on. Recognizing when our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors have changed significantly is the first step to acknowledging when help is needed. If we are unable to change our physical circumstances, we can take care of ourselves by using our coping toolbox.

  • What tool/skill(s) did you add to your toolbox?
  • Did the new tool/skill(s) help you deal with any negative emotions during the week?
  • If so, in what ways did it help?

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