May is Mental Health Month

Tasha Jennings
Mental Health Practitioner

By Tasha Jennings, DNP/ARNP; PMHNP, FNP of Osceola Regional Health Center

Going into the month of May we gear up for Mental Health Awareness and focus on what it is and how prevalent it is. We hear things such as “End the Stigma” and “Mental Health Matters” and “It’s okay to not be okay” and “Normalize (insert something stressful in your life) or “Mental Health is Health”. And although these things are important and true, what do we do about it? The fact is we can say these things over and over but what are words without action? As humans, we have the ability to care.  When we are faced with someone struggling, it is in our nature to want to do something. We want them to know that what they are feeling is ‘okay’. That it’s ‘normal’ to have these thoughts or that their mental health is just as important as their physical health. 

For the past several years, especially since Covid, we have educated people that these feelings are okay, but why are we still having so much mental health problems? It’s because it has been normalized. And although it seems to be good to have normalized mental health, it has left people in a place of limbo trying to figure out what to do next. And that’s a hard place to be. 

So how do you help someone in that hard place or how do you help yourself? You talk. You say something, anything. Just because it’s normal, doesn’t mean it’s okay or acceptable and that there isn’t anything that can be done. That ‘normal’ you or someone else is feeling could be unhealthy or unsafe and what you do or say in that moment could change the trajectory of healing. 

Mental health is important and even though it has been normalized, it doesn’t mean you or someone else has to continue to wade through that tough time alone. Seek help, reach out to someone who will listen and give you support, and keep looking until you find someone. Reach out for professional help as well, sometimes a trained professional for counseling or medications is needed. And we have the time to be there with you while you are living in Mental Health Clichés. Behavioral Health Services are available at Osceola Regional Health Center by calling 712-754-5329 to schedule an appointment with Tasha Jennings.