May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental Health America is celebrating 70 years of Mental Health Awareness Month! 43.8 million adults experience mental illness in a given year (nami.org). Mental illness without treatment can have a variety of traumatic consequences such as addiction, homelessness, and incarceration. MHA’s 2018 theme was 4Mind4Body and this year they are expanding the theme and the tool kit with new materials and resources to create a recovery tool kit that can assist anyone seeking information or support around mental health.
Click here to download the tool kit
Sexual Assault and Mental Health
Experiencing sexual assault can have a severe impact on an individual's mental health. A survivor may experience triggers or flashbacks of the assault. Often after an assault, feelings of guilt and shame may be present. Remind the survivor that sexual assault is never their fault. Remember to validate each survivor’s emotions and experience. Allowing them to share what they would like to when they are comfortable doing so can help create a sense of safety and security. Each survivor's story is unique, as are their experiences and reactions after a sexual assault has occurred. It is important to keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way for an individual to process their emotions. Hope Project advocates are available to be present and support anyone who is processing traumatic memories or emotions from a sexual assault.
If you are a survivor wondering how you can improve your mental health on a day-to-day basis MHA also has some wonderful articles about incorporating small things into our daily lives, like humor. Humor is a small yet extremely beneficial strategy when looking for ways to deal with difficult experiences. Check out this image below to see a sample of their work. It explains how to use humor to reduce stress hormones and the potential benefits of doing so.
You can click the link to check out their website.
Hope Project Self-care Tip
Taking care of our personal needs allows us to be more diligent and efficient in every aspect of our lives. Remember to take time to assess how you are doing! Are you taking time to love and take care of yourself? Honoring mental health awareness month not just for those around us, but for ourselves as well is very important. Check out this work-life balance piece from Mental Health America to learn more about managing our workload along with all of life’s stressors.
Connect with Hope Project
Check out our social media pages to see all of our up-to-date events and groups.
Follow us on Instagram @hopeproject42
Like us on Facebook @hopeproject42
Hope Project volunteers support survivors by responding to calls from the hospital when someone goes to the emergency department and reports a sexual assault. They support the survivor through a SANE exam and ongoing advocacy for the survivor during the reporting process, should they choose to report the sexual assault. They also support advocates at our offices by preparing for hospital calls, support groups, community presentations, and a variety of other tasks.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or call 360-703-3762 ext. 13.
Hope Project also provides free presentations on sexual violence awareness and Hope Project program information to schools, businesses, churches, and other organizations.
Email email@example.com or call 360-703-3762 ext. 16.