Office of Christian Care and Counseling

Psalm 94:19-
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. 

Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in the U.S. since 1949. Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During the month of May, ASBC joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Each year efforts are made to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.

  • Mental health is an essential part of overall health.
  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience a mental health condition each year.
  • 17% of youth aged 6–17 experience a mental health condition
  • Annually, mental illness affects: – 17% of African American/Black adults
  • The suicide rate has increased 35% since 1999.
  • 55% of U.S. counties do not have a single practicing psychiatrist.
 
Mental Wellness Tools and Tips
  • Be Mindful 
    • Practicing mindfulness can be as simple as pausing and meditating on a passage of scripture.  It is most effective and helps us maintain connection God who is our help!
  • Listening to music
  • Get Quality Sleep 
  • Talking to a friend
  • Reduce Stress 
  • Taking a nature walk
  • Meditating 
  • Squeezing a stress ball

Add to your tools by creating/ updating your Mental Health Action Plan.  Following this link for steps:

https://guides.library.kumc.edu/ld.php?content_id=48265547

 

Contributed by:

Jorge Wallace, LPC
Sr. Mental Health Clinician           
Alfred Street Baptist Church 
Office of Christian Care and Counseling 

Navigating Difficult Conversations- Things To Consider:

In tough situations, the main thing to be mindful of is our nervous system. This is what controls our breathing, movements, thoughts and automatic responses. You can do this by recognizing when you are getting worked up, using mindfulness (breathing, meditating, focusing, reciting scripture, prayer and positive thinking) to help navigate the situation, and actively seeking out moments to pause in order to help integrate information and bring the emotion down a notch.

1. Remember we are human.

“Humanizing the other person requires the humility and empathy to step outside of your own story and consider other perspectives.” www.mindful.org

2. Examine (Create) Your Self-Care Routine.

When we find ways to naturally take a breath, a break and a beat to stop and pause in order to deactivate and regroup- it makes it easier to navigate in difficult moments. We find it easier to listen, hear, engage clearly and offer proper and appropriate responses. https://www.alfredstreet.org/selah/

3. Nourish yourself before a difficult conversation.

Aim to find your balance first and follow with a regiment that includes rest, food, fresh air, sunshine and time spent meditating, talking with and listening to God.

4. Investigate what is at stake.

This helps tool helps us consider the most important aspects of a complicated circumstance so that we can better prepare our response versus an emotional reaction. This also helps us focus more on what we can agree on compared to what we cannot.

Psalm 23- A Wonderful Meditative Scripture

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Tools/Resources:

Need immediate mental health support? Get help three ways:

NAMI Crisis Text Line Support: Text HOME to 741741 24/7
SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1 800 662- HELP (4357)
NAMI’s Chat Support: https://nami.org/help
Alexandria Emergency Mental Health Services: 703-746-340

Drop us a line at pastoralcounseling@alfredstreet.org and tell us how you are doing!

For further information, assistance, or for counseling referrals email:

NOTE: due to an overwhelming response, counseling requests are being wait-listed and answered in order received.  Contacting your insurance provider, employer provided employee assistance program team or EAP team or larger platforms like Better Help or Thrive works may be a better option for an immediate request.