May is Mental Health Awareness month. It’s a time when we focus on ourselves in a way that we might not otherwise. I don’t know about you, but I tend to dislike “awareness months.” I get irritated with them because we’re inundated by them and it seems like there’s one for everything under the sun. Hang in there with me on this one, please, you won’t regret it. Taking care of ourselves is important, it’s not selfish, or self-centered but an expression of self-love and kindness. It’s just as necessary as taking care of our kids and parents and going to work. We often think of taking care of ourselves as eating right, getting enough exercise, having a regular checkup at the doctor, etc. but those aren’t the only ways we need care. Self-care is about caring for your psychological and emotional health, too. In our society, there is often a stigma around getting help for our psychological and emotional symptoms. Often admitting you suffered from anything that could be remotely considered a mental health issue was met with treatments that were brutal, isolating, stigmatizing, and branding. Tragically, people were labeled as unstable, crazy, unsafe, as someone to be avoided or ashamed of. We have come a long way in our understanding of mental health and the broad spectrum of issues and helping techniques. A long way, but not far enough. There are still many places where a lack of awareness and understanding gets in the way of helping. We’re committed to help change that perspective! During this next month we’ll be talking about some of the psychological and emotional health issues like anxiety, depression, PTSD, relationship stress, and bi-polar disorders. We’ll go over the signs and symptoms that go along with them. Knowledge is power, the more you know and recognize, the better you can care for yourself and those you love. Join us in taking back your power and raising awareness! You and the ones you love are worth it!