By Breckan Erdman Winters, NRCDV Program Specialist
How are you feeling? We are often asked this, and we say “fine.” But this had been a difficult time lately, and emotions can be complex. You may be feeling sad, worried, or stressed.
For many, the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism and other traumas are taking a heavy toll on mental wellness and health. Isolation, collective trauma, and increased stress abound. Throughout the month of May, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is sharing the message that you are not alone in order to highlight “the healing value of connecting in safe ways” for Mental Health Awareness Month. They share that “now more than ever, we need to find ways to stay connected with our community. No one should feel alone or without the information, support and help they need.” In fact, community connectedness is a social determinant of health that enhances individual and collective wellbeing, fosters resilience, and promotes prevention.
As we work to dismantle white supremacy and other systems that create and maintain violence, we must invest in efforts to promote healing justice and community care. This Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s take action to ensure that everyone has the care and community support they need to thrive.
Take action for Mental Health Awareness Month:
- Support BIPOC-led efforts to promote mental health and community care, like BEAM and Project Lotus.
- Participate in one of NAMI’s awareness events and post on social media for the #NotAlone challenge to destigmatize mental health and promote connection.
- Read VAWnet’s recent TA Question of the Month: One year later: How can advocates leverage lessons from grassroots pandemic responses to deepen our investment in community resilience?
- See last month’s blog post, Uplifting Black Healing and Well-Being in Online Spaces.
- Check out tools to promote mental and emotional well-being, such as Head Start Trauma Smart, The Amazing Brain, and more in the PreventIPV Tools Inventory.
Resources to support your mental wellness and health:
- Visit the How Right Now website for tools to help navigate difficult emotions, talk with loved ones, and learn about coping strategies that others have found helpful.
- Listen to NRCDV’s 3-part webinar series, Self-Care & Healing During COVID-19.
- Explore resources to support advocates’ well-being from the #Care4Advocates campaign.
- Black. Girls. Thriving. Ready to get started with therapy? Visit the Therapy for Black Girls website to find a therapist for Black girls in your area.
- COVID-19 has been a source of collective trauma. Caring for your mental health is more important than ever – check out the Managing Anxiety About the Coronavirus podcast from Therapy for Black Girls, as well as tips for Black women to manage their mental health during the pandemic.