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Have fun for your health

Written by Bruce Cruser

Bruce Cruser has been Executive Director of Mental Health Virginia since 2016, bringing a background in social work and community corrections, and many years of leadership experience in local and state government.

May 20, 2019

Fun and games are good for your health. Our free Game Time for Mental Health event on May 23rd is one way we are reaching out during Mental Health Month with the message: mental health is part of everyone’s overall health, and doing something physical, even small things, can help us stay mentally healthy. You can register here for “Game Time.”

Mental Health America (MHA) is proud to have started May is Mental Health Month in 1949, and since then has led the observance by reaching millions of people through the media, local events and online mental health screenings. Over the past seventy years, it has become the most widely recognized mental health awareness effort in the world.

Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.  It can also help people recover from these conditions.

Every year, national MHA develops a toolkit for Mental Health Month around a particular theme. This year, MHA developed a variety of new tools and materials specifically designed for people living with chronic conditions and the people who care for them.

As part of MHA’s 4Mind4Body theme, the 2019 Mental Health Month toolkit (available at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may) explores the topics of spirituality, animal companionship (including pets and support animals), humor, work-life balance, and recreation and social connections as ways to boost mental health and general wellness.

For those dealing with a chronic health condition and the people who care for them, it can be especially important to focus on mental health. When dealing with dueling diagnoses, focusing on both the physical and mental health concerns can be daunting – but critically important in achieving overall wellness.

Humor, spirituality, recreation, animal companionship, and work-life balance are important for everyone, but may be of special importance to people also living with chronic health conditions and those who care for them.

Baby steps. Making small changes and building on those successes. Finding what works for you, in ways that stretch your comfort zone just a little bit at a time. And if you can have fun while you’re at it, all the better!

You can learn more about Mental Health Month and download MHA’s 2019 toolkit by going to www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may.

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