May is Mental Health Awareness Month! On labeling jars, not people…
Where We Have Been
Mental health concerns, commonly referred to as ‘mental illnesses’ continue to be poorly understood in our culture. Due to the lack of understanding, people facing mental health concerns have been continuously marginalized. In the not-so-distant past- as recent as 30 or 40 years ago- those believed to have mental illnesses were institutionalized, often for the span of their lifetimes. They were sometimes even considered criminally minded, ‘simple’ or ‘possessed’ by dark energies or spirits. Due to these misconceptions and uninformed social constructs, far too many precious lives were marginalized and humanistic potential non-actualized.
Today, many individuals who are negatively impacted by mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety and other common conditions, all too often avoid seeking treatment and support because of the continued associated stigma. This is one of the most profound and greatest tragedies of our time. But there is hope…
The Future is Bright
The mental health and wellness treatment community has made great strides over the past few decades. There is significant movement towards a fully embodied wellness model. This is due to a better understanding of the human brain, the mind-body connection, and the value of integrating somatic practice. Knowledge has also grown to support changes in the ways we perform basic functions such as eating, breathing and sleeping.
The word of our continually emerging time in history is “resilience”. Resilience, defined by Froma Walsh in her book ‘Strengthening Family Resilience’ is “the ability to undergo hardship and emerge strengthened”. In other words, our challenges can actually cause us to feel stronger, more empowered, having more agency in our lives and ultimately richer, fuller life experiences.
There are so many modalities and therapeutic supports available these days, to include traditional psychotherapy, science-based neurofeedback, advanced nutritional guidance, movement therapy, cognitive, behavioral and spiritual approaches- the list goes on and on, and for these we are incredibly grateful.
LifeTutors and Mental Health
At LifeTutors, we focus on the human connection by partnering with young adults and their families through coaching and mentoring work. We meet those seeking support and improved young adult independence ‘where they are’, without judgement, without ego and without labels. We collaborate with therapists, psychiatrists, medical providers, professional parent and family coaches and many other industry experts to provide a comprehensive approach toward whole-life wellness for our young adults. In our commitment to seeing those we serve as individuals with great capacity for growth and development, we contribute to the greater cause of normalizing all mental health concerns … and we’ll stick to labeling the jars, not the people.
Learning and Growing
In the spirit of Mental Health Awareness Month, we want to uplift and empower people to take charge of their health. Be sure to check out the resources below for more information, tools, and support relating to mental wellbeing. Whether you need support yourself, or are seeking to learn how to give support to others, there are many valuable resources to help improve whole-life wellness and destigmatize mental concerns.
Mental Health America – Download the 2021 Mental Health Month Toolkit
American Hospital Association – Resources and Thought Leadership
Be Vocal – Speak Up For Mental Health
Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance – Check out the DBSA Wellness Toolbox
Stamp Out Stigma – Check out their Support Guide, which can help guide you in giving support to a loved one
National Alliance on Mental Illness – Support & Education Resources
Walsh, Froma. Strengthening Family Resilience. The Guilford Press, 2017.