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May is Mental Health Month

May 19, 2020

Whether healthy or sick, coping with the coronavirus has been stressful for many, especially for those experiencing isolation and uncertainty. May is Mental Health Month across America so now is an ideal time to prioritize our own mental health, while also reaching out to those having a tough time during COVID-19.

Much of our focus has recently been on the protection and wellness of our vulnerable kupuna and persons with underlying health conditions. As families acquire food and financial resources during this time of economic recovery, it’s important to acknowledge and address stresses on vulnerable populations in our communities including those struggling with mental wellness. 

The CDC reminds us that fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Mental health includes emotional, psychological and social functioning. Physical and recreational activities have shown to improve mental health. Managing your own stress through healthy outlets can make you, those you care about, and our community stronger. 

Because life has changed so dramatically since COVID-19, many are overwhelmed with a sense of loss; employment, freedom to go about freely, social gatherings and more. Catholic Charities Hawaii Counseling Center has trained professionals who can help with counseling for individuals, families, couples and children dealing with stress, anxiety and trauma. Please go to https://www.catholiccharitieshawaii.org/programs-services/counseling-and-mental-health/ for more information or call Catholic Charities Hawaii hotline at (808) 527-4470, (808) 520-7721. During this time of social distancing, tele-therapy by video or phone is available.

Mental Health America of Hawaii also offers many resources to support persons who are challenged with managing their mental health. For more information, call the MHAH Crisis Line on Oahu at (808) 832-3100 and toll free from Neighbor Islands at 1(800) 753-6879. Two key from Mental Health America documents include:

May the Lord of life welcome the departed into his kingdom and grant comfort and hope to those still suffering, especially the elderly and those who are alone. May he never withdraw his consolation and help from those who are especially vulnerable.“  ~Pope Francis 2020

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