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OUR VIDEO: Take care of your mental health

Before the global pandemic took the lives of more than 500,000 Alabamians and confined people to their homes, Alabama ranked 36th in the nation in mental health according to The State of Mental Health in America report by Mental Health America.

Coping with this crisis challenges those who have never struggled with anxiety or depression. Many of those who struggle with such issues are likely overwhelmed, especially with no clear end of this crisis in sight.

For those who battle depression, this may feel like the end of the world.

For those who suffer from anxiety, the gloves and masks and hand sanitizer and washing and cleaning and disinfecting … it’s a lot to handle.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and in this uncommon time, it is necessary for all of us to have a greater awareness about mental health as well as physical health and take appropriate steps where possible to help one another.

Start with yourself. Your life might have been flipped upside down over the last year. These sudden changes have been difficult for everyone, and it is OK to acknowledge that.

The World Health Organization recommends reducing the amount of news you consume.

Find one or two trusted sources and not inundate yourself with information overload.

Next, take care of your family and friends. Those people that may have needed help in the past and will still need it now.

Take care of your home. The time for open, honest expression of feelings and how to cope with those feelings is just as important now as it was before this pandemic.

All around our nation, participants will wear the color green to represent this purpose.

The green symbolizes the aim to “break the stigma.”

The overall support and awareness for those with mental illness has been significantly crucial.

Many communities, such as ours, can make a huge difference.