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Is mental wellness a priority for you? It should be!

By June 26, 2024PetalsofHOPE

By: Caitlin LaTona, LCSW Program Supervisor

With the ever-growing demands of our everyday lives, it can sometimes be difficult to pay much of any attention to our own mental health.  Do you ever stop and think, “How am I doing mentally?” We can get easily distracted by the needs of others or the things around us that need to change for us to feel better.  The actual truth is our mental health is in our hands!  We are in control of how we think, how we feel, and what we do.  If we are able to shift our focus to what we are in control of, rather than what we are not, we will have the power to change our circumstances.

To maintain or improve one’s mental health, it is important to incorporate regular self-care into your daily life.  Self-care should be intentional and practiced mindfully.

Self-care can include:

  • Practice of positive affirmations, such as, “I am doing the best I can.” or “I have people in my life that love and care about me.”
  • Spending time with loved ones that help you feel supported and accepted.  If you notice you feel better after spending time with certain people, surround yourself with them more often!
  • Doing things that you enjoy such as painting, dancing, fishing, or roller-blading. Physical activity decreases stress hormones like cortisol and increases endorphins, which helps to give your mood a natural boost (Star, 2023).

If someone practices self-care activities on a daily or weekly basis, they will likely see improved mental well-being.

However, there are times when self-care alone is ineffective and professional help is needed. How do you know when professional help is needed? Start by looking out for signs like: excessive worry/fear, inability to stop or control worrying, irritability or agitation, feeling depressed or hopeless, trouble concentrating on things, restlessness or inability to relax, thoughts that you would be better off dead or of hurting yourself in some way, insomnia or oversleeping, or having nightmares or flashbacks about past traumas. If you experience any of these symptoms and notice your life at home or work is suffering, you should seek mental health treatment.

Catholic Charities Behavioral Health offers outpatient mental health services to community members age 3 and up. Catholic Charities Behavioral Health has multiple locations in Niagara and Erie County. The Niagara County sites, one in Lockport and one in Niagara Falls, specifically serves children and adolescents. Clients are eligible to receive services at the Niagara County locations until they turn 22 years old.  The Erie County sites – those in Cheektowaga and the City of Buffalo – provide services to children, adolescents, and adults.

To access services with Catholic Charities Behavioral Health, contact 1-877-448-4466.  All referrals receive a mental health assessment to help determine eligibility for services.