May is Mental Health Month

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own                                                                                                               I Corinthians 6:19

May is Mental Health Month. It has, over the years, become much more on the radar of our culture to have awareness and appreciation for our mental health needs. When I started into my mental health professional career in the mid 1970’s (“Wow, are you that old?” you ask), there was quite a stigma in seeking counseling and psychiatric care. Fortunately, I have seen that diminish over the years so that now, people can and do openly speak about seeking treatment for mental health concerns.

Mental health care must be considered in the same realm as physical health care. Indeed, mental health is health. One cannot separate the effects of bodily health and mental health. They deeply connect with, and affect, one another. Good treatment for mental health ALWAYS considers the physical state of the client. I always ask that my clients seek out their physician for an examination, especially around issues like blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems, weight management, sleep quality, any new physical symptoms, and exercise limitations, among other physical indicators.

Similarly, almost all physicians will encourage their patients to deal with any stress, anxiety, depressive symptoms, or trauma in their life by seeking counseling. It just works that way in a good integrated system. Because physical and mental health are integrated.

So, I am gratified that I have been able to see over my career much less stigma associated with mental health treatment.

It makes for a healthier society.

Prayer: Lord, we are integrated beings, made in your image. Help us to care well for our bodies and minds, Amen

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