Mind Matters: How is your mental health? A St. George News series

Image by wildpixel / iStock / Getty Images Plus; St. George News / Cedar City News

FEATURE — What comes to mind when you hear the term “mental health”? For many, “mental illnesses” come to mind, including depression, anxiety and bipolar. Maybe some envision the iconic image of Don Quixote buckling on his suit of armor and charging toward a windmill, convinced that it is an evil giant holding someone hostage.

Yet mental health is a complex and sometimes misunderstood subject that concerns everyone, not just those who are affected by mental illness. The “Mind Matters” series – presented by the Cedar City Library in the Park in partnership with the Iron County Prevention Coalition – will present articles that illuminate how mental illnesses affect society and how to maintain mental health.

In addition, future articles will attempt to reduce the stigma associated with seeking help by highlighting different resources, organizations and mental health providers – both online and locally operated – available to the Southern Utah community.

According to MedlinePlus.gov, mental health includes “our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act as we cope with (the stresses of) life. It determines how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.”

Life rarely goes as planned and challenges will come, but it’s how we choose to deal with these challenges that will truly mark us. Our resiliency, or ability to bounce back when challenges occur, is one of the things that affects our mental health. And some of these challenges are just a result of inevitable biology. The fact is, mental health can change simply as a result of aging.

So how is your mental health?

Take a moment and really think about the following questions:

  • How do you react when faced with hard times?
  • Are you able to enjoy hobbies in your free time?
  • Are you able to keep your self-worth from being based off other individuals or personal circumstances?
  • Do you have a sense of humor?
  • Are you able to control your thoughts, feelings and behaviors?
  • Are you able to deal with stress or hard times that come?

Maintaining your mental health can be a challenge. You may not know where to turn for help. Luckily, there are many resources available offered online, as well as through national and local organizations and groups. Numerous Southern Utah mental health providers specialize in a variety of services, including peer support, marriage and family counseling, addiction disorders and much more.

As the Mind Matters series continues, we will highlight several of these providers and organizations and success stories, but if you or someone you know is seeking help or resources now, go to the following websites:

Written by HEIDI BAXLEY, Iron County Prevention Coalition coordinator, and LAUREN MCAFEE, Cedar City Library in the Park grant and development officer.

About the “Mind Matters” Series

St. George News “Mind Matters” series aims to illuminate how mental illnesses affect society and how to maintain mental health. Articles are contributed by Cedar City Library in the Park in partnership with the Iron County Prevention Coalition and will highlight available resources people may access in Southern Utah and online.

Read more: All the articles in the series

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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