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  • Writer's pictureTracy Spiaggia

How To Support Mental Health Awareness: Taking Action This Month

A woman with a look of distress and fear on her face surrounded by many hands that are reaching out to grab her.

There’s not a single person in the world who wouldn’t benefit from more actionable insights around the topic of mental health. Awareness is great, but adding real-life education and action steps is critical if we are to experience a better life.

Even with all of my many years of training and professional experience, I am a person too and therefore have my fair share of struggles with managing the daily stressors and insults that are largely unavoidable. I’m well aware that mental illness is skyrocketing (as most are by now, thank God!), but what really makes a difference in my life is putting into practice all of the many ways I can increase my resiliency, expand my emotional intelligence, and eliminate unnecessary and influenceable burdens.

Before we get ahead of ourselves with the “to-do’s” of mental health, let’s slow down and remember that God is in full control, wholly good, and always working in our favor. His plans for us are to prosper, not to harm. We have to believe that if our faith is going to be the guiding light in a world gone wild.

One of the many successful tactics of our mutual enemy is hurry. Satan chips away at our ministry here in this life one day, one interaction at a time. Suppose he can convince us that there are better pursuits than home-cooked meals, minimizing life’s demands, reconciling with our spouse or friend, spending quality, focused time with our children and really BEING with them so they can securely attach to us, going for that long walk or to the gym to move our bodies, or getting to bed early enough to allow our brains and bodies to heal. In that case, he’s won the battle of the day. Of course, if we are Jesus' followers, he can’t touch our eternal salvation. Praise Jesus! But, he still has access to our earthly ministry of stewardship. Sadly, we’ve “fallen asleep” in many ways, yielding to his more subtle strategies that break down a body and family.

Our bodies are brilliantly and beautifully designed with needs that do not change with culture. A plant that existed a thousand years ago needed the same sunlight, soil nutrients, and water that our houseplants need today.

I have no doubt that the most effective response to mental illness symptoms is to slow down, create space and pause, get curious, remain humble and teachable, reflect on God’s design, be unoffendable when considering how we have strayed from that design, repent (which simply means to change our minds), and formulate a plan back to better stewardship and mental health.

Lasting mental health is possible and available for us all if we approach the problem in this holistic way. There are no overnight fixes. We often, certainly not always, behave our way into mental illness and we can enjoy a better life by behaving our way back to the safety of God’s design.

While this approach is fairly simple, it is far from easy. That is why few ever master balance. Ridding ourselves of sabotaging habits and adopting new healthier ones is difficult. I wouldn’t dare suggest otherwise. But, with accountability, a strong sense of your core values to keep you anchored to your goals, some professional support, and a lot of love and grace, you can begin to live a life defined by health-promoting habits.

Let this month, which is set aside to acknowledge the mental health crisis, be an invitation and inspiration to healthy change. We are in the driver’s seat of our lives and health stories. Take the wheel and experience the joy and vitality you deserve!

A smiling woman with one small child climbing on her back and hugging her neck and another small child on her lap hugging her around the waist. They are in a grassy field with the sun shining in the background and appear very joyful.

If you are ready to take the next step and have a conversation about your mental health needs, schedule your free call now.

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