As we make our New Year's resolutions, we wanted to share a few ways to improve your personal (or your family's) mental health in 2019. Here are 10 suggested resolutions that will make a difference, along with a bonus 5 more.
On a system level, we hope 2019 will bring changes that will fix our country's broken mental health system. Below are some of the priorities we see in Connecticut, along with links to more info and/or initiatives that are underway:
We need to invest in upfront efforts that foster healthy, supportive families and communities--from free play initiatives to programs that recognize and address toxic stress and help students develop coping skills.
We need to improve access to behavioral healthcare in many ways, including addressing the disparity between private and public insurance coverage; expanding free supports for individuals and families such as SMART Recovery, NAMI and The CARES Group; integrating peer support into treatment planning; expanding much-needed services such as First Episode Psychosis programs, psychosocial clubhouses, and respite services, and addressing the workforce shortages that create barriers to care and affect the quality of services.
We need to recognize the interrelationship of mental illness and substance misuse and make integrated treatment the norm.
We need to continue our state's efforts to reform prisons and address homelessness.
And we can all play a part in fighting stigma and making sure that everyone knows that help is available. Please feel free to download and distribute or post the "Need Help?" posters shown below: English flyer, Spanish flyer.)