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In the U.S., 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 6 youth (ages 6 - 17)  experience a mental health condition each year

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to highlight the mental health issues impacting millions of lives. Mental Health America began this awareness month in 1949 and they continue to raise awareness every year. This year's theme is "Tool 2 Thrive." It focuses on providing practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase their resiliency regardless of their personal situation. Even if you don't have a diagnosed mental health condition, you can still take steps to improve your mental health! Mental Health America has chosen the following themes to focus on this year: ​

  • Adapting after trauma and stress

  • Dealing with anger and frustration

  • Getting out of thinking traps

  • Processing big changes

  • Taking time for yourself

  • Radical acceptance

Visit Mental Health America for a variety of resources and free screenings.​

3 prevention tips

Know How to Respond to a Crisis

Put these numbers in your phone!

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You can also be prepared by taking Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training.

 

Register for an upcoming training.

Know the Warning Signs

Educate yourself so you can recognize warning signs of mental health conditions

Below are some common signs. For additional signs and more information, visit the NAMI website.

  • Excessive worrying or fear

  • Feeling excessively sad or low

  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning

  • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria

  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger

  • Avoiding friends and social activities

  • Difficulties understanding or relating to other people

  • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy

  • Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
     

Prevent a crisis. Reach out to one of the warmlines if you need to talk.

Teach Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Skills

Help children succeed in school and life by teaching social emotional learning (skills). SEL helps them learn to manage emotions, feel empathy and build positive relationships.

Click the chart below from Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) to learn more. You can also download a PDF with detailed information.

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resources

 
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Kids Running

For Children, teens & parents

Kids Yoga for Mental Health

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#MentalHealthSuperpowers

Activities for Kids

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Maternal Mental Health

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OLDER ADULTS

Suicide Rates Among Older Adults is High

 

In Connecticut, From 2015 -2019, 21.3% of suicides were white, non-Hispanic men ages 65+.

Nationally, in 2019 suicide rates were highest in adults ages 85 years and older.

Risk factors for suicide in older adults include:
 

  • Depression

  • Prior suicide attempts

  • Marked feelings of hopelessness; lack of interest in future plans

  • Feelings of loss of independence or sense of purpose

  • Medical conditions that significantly limit functioning or life expectancy

  • Impulsivity due to cognitive impairment

  • Social isolation

  • Family discord or losses (recent death of loved one)

  • Inflexible personality or marked difficulty adapting to change

  • Access to lethal means (firearms, other weapons)

  • Daring or risk-taking behavior

  • Sudden personality changes

  • Alcohol or medication misuse or abuse

  • Verbal suicide threats such as, “You’d be better off without me” or “Maybe I won’t be around”

  • Giving away prized possessions
     

Source: Mental Health America

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  • Take the person seriously

  • Stay with them

  • Help them remove lethal means

  • Reach out to a crisis line (see below)

  • Escort them to mental health services or an emergency room

 

Read these tips from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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FAST FACTS

 

tips & worksheets

Download tips and worksheets to practice these skills

Find more Tools 2 Thrive on Mental Health America's Website - in English & Spanish.

Getting Out of Thinking Traps

Fact Sheet - Getting Out of Thinking Tra
Worksheet - Dealing with the Worst-Case

Processing Big Changes

Fact Sheet - Processing Big Changes.jpg
Worksheet - Dealing with Change.jpg

Taking Time for Yourself

Fact Sheet - Taking Time for Yourself.jp
Worksheet - Prioritizing Self-Care.jpg

Radical Acceptance

Fact Sheet - Accepting Reality.jpg
Worksheet - Practicing Radical Acceptanc

Adapting After Trauma & Stress

Fact Sheet - Adapting After Trauma and S
Worksheet - Processing Trauma and Stress

Dealing With Anger & Frustration

Fact Sheet - Dealing with Anger and Frus
Worksheet - Managing Frustration and Ang
 
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