The Gateway Family YMCA Encourages Community to Share Mental Health Facts
As Mental Health Awareness Month ends, The Gateway Family YMCA is encouraging community members to join, and continue, the conversation about mental health.
Mental health is how we think, feel and act. At the Y, we recognize that we all have mental health, and mental health is an important part of our physical health and social-emotional well-being, as well as a core component of our identity.
“We can all play a role in supporting each other’s mental health – at the Y and in our communities,” said Melynda A. Disla, President and CEO, The Gateway Family YMCA. “The first step is to start talking in our communities about what mental health really is.”
Help the Y get the conversation going about mental health by sharing these facts with friends and family:
FACT: We all have mental health, not just those who live with a mental illness. Everyone faces challenges in their life that can impact our mental health.
FACT: There are many things we can do each day to positively impact our mental health. A few examples include:
- moving, fueling and resting our bodies
- being mindful of how we’re feeling and what’s going on around us
- connecting with others, and
- asking for help when needed
FACT: In addition to biological and environmental factors, mental health is influenced by health inequities that can be attributed to systemic racism, the social determinants of health and exposure to trauma. Ys and community organizations can support mental health by addressing barriers that prevent marginalized communities from having access to the support they need.
FACT: Mental health and physical health are interconnected, and both can impact your overall well-being. For example, research shows that exercise can alleviate long-term depression.1
FACT: Positive mental health can be supported in community settings, like the Y, in addition to traditional clinical settings. The Y supports the mental health of individuals and communities in all of the work we do to help people reach their full potential—whether that’s The Gateway Family YMCA supporting youth in our summer camps, helping people achieve their best physical health or providing newcomer immigrants access to housing and community services.
FACT: We all can support the mental health of our community through bringing empathy, compassion and kindness to our interactions with others. Something as simple as intentionally asking “how are you?” and encouraging honest answers can provide us an opportunity to normalize mental health and help others when they need it.
Help is available for those struggling with their mental health. Visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org for a list of resources. For immediate help 24-hours a day, call 800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741741.
The YMCA offers programs to assist with mindfulness, meditation and mental health. Join the conversation, and connect with your community.
The Gateway Family YMCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, health and community service organization of caring staff and volunteers dedicated to strengthening community through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. The Gateway Family YMCA impacts the community by providing quality services for all. The Y doesn’t just strengthen bodies – it strengthens people, families and communities.
For more information about The Gateway Family YMCA, visit www.tgfymca.org or contact the Elizabeth Branch 908-355-9622, Five Points Branch 908-688-9622, Rahway Branch 732-388-0057 or the Wellness Center and WISE Center Branch at 908-349-9622.