Clay County Medical Center’s Senior Life Solutions Celebrates Mental Health Awareness Month and Encourages Everyone to Look Around and Look Within

Clay Center, KS – Join Clay County Medical Center’s Senior Life Solutions this May as we
celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to spread awareness and help break down the
stigma surrounding mental illness.
We live in a rapidly changing world that can be complex to navigate. About half of Americans can
remember a time when we were not constantly connected and it was easier to tune out the noise of the
world, while the younger half of the population can’t imagine life without the internet.
Modern life can have a significant impact on mental health — for better or for worse. The disturbing
imagery in the media we are exposed to today can be deeply unsettling. At the same time, our current
technology also allows us to mobilize and provide collective support more efficiently in times of
natural disasters or injustice.
And ironically, while our devices make us more connected than ever, loneliness is an increasingly
serious public health concern. We are now able to have conversations with friends and family on the
other side of the world in real time. However, constant connection also means that we will know if
we weren’t invited to a friend’s party down the street. Recent survey data show that more than half of
U.S. adults (58%) are lonely.
Finding a sense of calm and focusing on well-being when you are having mental health concerns can
be daunting in our fast-paced society. It can be especially challenging to know where to start.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Clay County Medical Center’s Senior Life Solutions is
raising awareness of the important role mental health plays in our lives. We are encouraging
members of the community to take action toward protecting their mental health and overall wellbeing.
This month we encourage you to:

  • Educate Yourself: Take the time to learn more about mental health conditions, their signs,
    symptoms, and treatment options. Understanding mental health can help reduce stigma and
    encourage seeking help when needed.
  • Connect with Others: Reach out to friends, family, or support groups for emotional support
    and social connection. Talking about your feelings and experiences can help reduce feelings of
    isolation and loneliness.
  • Limit Screen Time: Take breaks from screens and technology, especially social media, which
    can sometimes contribute to feelings of inadequacy or comparison. Instead, spend time engaging in
    activities that nourish your mind and body.
  • Build a Coping Toolbox. Creating your toolbox can be as simple as writing a list (on your
    phone or on paper) of what helps, like breathing exercises or going for a run – this way, when you
    start struggling with your mental health, you don’t have to remember what to do or search for tips.
    You can also have a physical toolbox and fill it with things like a stress ball, written notes to yourself,
    and photos that make you happy. If you make a physical toolbox, it’s a good idea to still include a list
    of (non-physical) coping skills that help.
    “It’s important to remember that working on your mental health takes time. Change will not happen
    overnight. Instead, by focusing on small changes, you can move through the stressors of modern life
    and develop long-term strategies to support yourself — and others — on an ongoing basis,” said
    Elizabeth Larson RN, program director of Clay County Medical Center’s Senior Life Solutions.
    If you’re taking steps to improve your mental health but are still struggling or are not sure where to
    start on your mental health journey, we encourage you to connect with your healthcare provider or
    reach out to a member of our team today.
    Clay County Medical Center’s Senior Life Solutions is an outpatient program designed to meet the
    unique needs of older adults experiencing depression and/or anxiety related to life changes that are
    often associated with aging or a chronic diagnosis. If you or someone you know is struggling with a
    decline in their mental health, our program wants you to know we are here to help. Whether through
    our program, or another service, our team works to identify and address the emotional needs of those
    in our community and provide support.
    For more information or you or someone you know could benefit from this program, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Call us today at (785) – 632 – 6472

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