Having a month dedicated to raising awareness to a cause can be helpful, but that is only a starting point. We need to be called to sustained action going forward to make real, permanent change happen. For mental health, part of that involves every day efforts to eliminate the stigma of mental health conditions and seeking treatment. As outlined by NAMI, “the need to eliminate stigma is nothing new. Fifteen years ago, a U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health—the first and only one to date—identified stigma as a public health concern that leads peoples to “avoid living, socializing or working with, renting to, or employing” individuals with mental illness.” So as we wrap-up mental health awareness month, will you consider taking NAMI’s pledge to work toward eliminating the stigma of mental health and mental health treatment? Learn more and take the pledge below…
While the emphasis on addressing the growing mental health needs of our country is often placed no the role professionals play, we often lose site of what it is we can do for each other. As shared on their website, this is the focus of mental health month at National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI). As part of this they are seeking to amplify the message of “Together for Mental Health.” They are using this month and their platform to bring our voices together to advocate for mental health and access to care through NAMI’s blog, personal stories, videos, digital toolkits, social media engagements and national events. In this they feel that we can realize our shared vision of a nation where anyone affected by mental illness can get the appropriate support and quality of care to live healthy, fulfilling lives.
Ready to learn what you can do to help those in need? Check out NAMI’s “Together for Mental Health” resource page at https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Mental-Health-Awareness-Month.
Even when the sun is out sometimes it can feel like there are clouds following us around. But that does not always need to bring us down. We can embrace literal or metaphorical rainy days, which is the goal of the below mindfulness exercise. Enjoy!
The following was written by Olga Mecking of BBC Travel. It captures what many of us having been grappling with for a long time, especially over the last two years. Many of us feel, as Ms. Meckling describes, that we have been through one of the greatest trials imaginable and have little fuel left in the tank to go forward, but we must. Enter the Polish concept of Jakoś to Będzie.
Growing up in Poland, Ms. Mecking describes hearing people people say ‘Jakoś to będzie’ (pronounced ‘Ya-kosh toe ben-jay’). The phrase means ‘things will work out in the end’ – but “it’s so much more than that” the author says. Rather than sitting around and hoping things will work out by themselves, ‘Jakoś to będzie’ is acting without worrying about the consequences. It’s reaching for the impossible. It’s taking risks, and not being afraid. It is a phrase born out of a country that was the focal point of conflict and upheaval from 1772 to 1795, disappearing from the map for 123 years, and after World War II was left destroyed and its population decimated before shifting to Soviet control in 1981. And still, the people say “Jakoś to Będzie.”
Read more about the author and the phrase “Jakoś to Będzie” at the full article “The Polish Phrase That Will Help You Through Tough Times” at https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-polish-phrase-that-will-help-you-through-tough-times
For the month of February, we are celebrating random acts of kindness (RAK) at Cooper. Scientific evidence shows us the positive effects of doing kind acts for others as well as receiving or even witnessing kindness.
Wondering how to participate? It’s easy! Check out RAK Calendars for inspiration:
In service of this initiative, the C.A.R.E. Team is acknowledging Cooper Team Members engaging in acts of kindness with a kindness coin!
If interested in participating, reach out to the C.A.R.E. Team to request a bag of kindness coins (see below). Please be mindful of hand hygiene and use hand sanitizer before sharing!
Prioritizing fun may feel impossible right now, but science journalist Catherine Price offers a four-step plan to help you rediscover how to feel more alive. In a recent New York Times column, she summarizes some of the key points from her book “The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again.” These include findings from five years or research into the question of what makes us feel the most engaged and alive. She feels that many people radically underestimate how important fun is to their resilience, happiness, and mental and physical health, and offers these four starting points to help change that. You can read the full article at https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/23/well/mind/having-fun-suceeding-coronavirus-pandemic.html
Below is a new resources from LearnHowToBecome.org offering information on detecting and tips on helping adolescents experiencing emotional difficulties while navigating school throughout a pandemic.
As the COVID pandemic finally begins to recede and Americans emerge from their homes, parents, guardians and caregivers are returning to the carpool line. While children are undoubtedly excited to see their friends, return to school and rejoin their favorite activities, this newfound freedom does come with some risk. Despite ongoing vaccinations, coronavirus has not been entirely defeated. We have put together some extra preventative and safety measures you can take during carpools to keep your children safe and healthy. Learn more about this at https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/car/carpool-safety/
Day in and day out, nurses provide empathetic, compassionate care for patients experiencing some of the most difficult times of their lives. This kind of work takes an emotional toll on nursing professionals over time, potentially leading to compassion fatigue, or a decline in the ability to provide empathetic, compassionate care.
Many nurses experience this problem. Compassion fatigue reportedly affects 16% to 39% of registered nurses, with most reports coming from nurses working in areas like hospice, oncology, and emergency care. After the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of compassion fatigue is reportedly far greater among nurses.
Recognizing and addressing the signs of compassion fatigue may allow nursing professionals to seek the help they need to provide the best nursing care possible.
Read more about how to address compassion fatigue at https://nursejournal.org/articles/combating-compassion-fatigue-in-nursing/.
Below is a video created by the Department of Food & Nutrition here at Cooper as part of their Earth Day activities.