When you or someone you love is dealing with a mental health concern, sometimes it’s a lot to handle. It’s important to remember that mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable.

May is Mental Health Month was started 70 years ago by the national organization, Mental Health America (MHA). Community Hospital-Fairfax’s Senior Life Solutions program is joining this year’s national campaign to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone.

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. 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. That is why in 2019 they are expanding upon last year’s theme of 4Mind4Body and taking it to the next level, as they explore the topics of animal companionship, humor, work-life balance, and recreation and social connections as ways to boost mental health and general wellness.

“It is important to really look at your overall health, both physically and mentally, to achieve wellness,” said Sarah Watkins, Program Therapist of Senior Life Solutions. “Finding a reason to laugh, going for a walk with a friend, meditating, playing with a pet, or working from home once a week can go a long way in making you both physically and mentally healthy – it’s all about finding the right balance to benefit both the mind and body.”

MHA has developed a series of fact sheets (available at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may) to help people understand how their lifestyle affects their health.

“We know that living a healthy lifestyle is not always easy, but it can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes,” concluded Watkins. “Finding the balance between work and play, the ups and downs of life, physical health and mental health, can help you on the path towards focusing both 4Mind4Body.”

Community Hospital-Fairfax Senior Life Solutions program is an intensive outpatient group therapy program designed to meet the unique needs of older adults suffering from symptoms of anxiety and depression often related to aging.

For more information, call the Community Hospital-Fairfax Senior Life Solutions program at 660-686 2319.

For more information on May is Mental Health Month, visit MHA’s website at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may.