Your Mental Health Tool Box

We know that people who identify on the LGBTQ+ spectrum are more likely to experience mental health issues and contemplate or complete suicide. There is no one cause for this. Identifying as LGBTQ+ does not mean that you are predestined for these struggles, but what we do know is that feeling unaccepted by society, community or family can have a profound effect on our mental wellness, and this increases the risk to those who identify.

 

I have had successes and failures, diagnoses and psychiatric hospitalizations, and although our experiences may not be the same, we can all thrive. I was once a college failure, and now I hold a bachelor’s degree. I was once on provincial disability, and now I work full time. There was a time that I couldn’t leave my home due to anxiety; there was depression so severe that I had to be hospitalized because I was a risk to my own life. Mental health diagnosis or not we can all do things to take care of our mental health. In my life, this looks like going to bed and getting up around the same time every day, connecting with people who love and support me, becoming involved in my community, and utilizing self-care techniques like journaling, yoga, writing and artistic endeavours.

 

Like many things, mental health happens on a continuum. You can have no mental health diagnosis and still experience not being mentally healthy, just like you can thrive in life with a mental health diagnosis. When we engage in activities that promote mental health, like getting enough sleep, eating nutritious food and maintaining healthy relationships we build our toolbox of things that keep us healthy. We don’t think twice about brushing our teeth every day to prevent tooth decay, but often we are not doing simple activities that can promote mental wellness. Just like not brushing and flossing can lead to tooth rot and pain, engaging in activities that are a detriment to our psychological health can negatively impact our lives. These things include overuse of substances, not eating correctly, surrounding ourselves with harmful or abusive people, and inconsistent sleep routine. By adding healthy activities to our mental health toolbox, we create resilience for tough times. Just as we are all very different, our toolkits are also different. Those who struggle with mental illness may have medication in that toolbox, those who are creative may paint, and those who find solace in words may read or write.
May Blogpost

We at Airdrie Pride Society are grateful for the opportunity to create connection and community for LGBTQ+ humans and their allies. These connections can reduce isolation, create a sense of belonging and provide meaningful experiences of inclusion. The events and groups that we have created are a place to find others going through similar experiences, a place to find your community and a tool in your toolbox of mental health.

 

If Airdrie Pride Society is your first point of contact for asking for help, we will do our best to connect you with meaningful resources to get you the help that you want and need.

 

Candice

 

Here are some useful numbers if you are struggling and need someone to talk to:

 

Distress centre: 403 266 HELP (4357)

Connecteen: Phone 403 264 8336 (24/7) Text 587 333 2724 (Evenings and Weekends)    Online Chat http://calgaryconnecteen.com

 

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