Resources to Better Your Mental Health

Hello,

Today I would like to take the time to introduce you to some resources that can help you better your mental health. As you will see below, I have included a wide variety of resources that assist with a multitude of diagnoses. The best thing about these apps is that they are all FREE and available to iOS and Android users. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, OR if you want to share a resource with us, reach out to me and let me know!

(1) The first thing I would like to bring to your attention is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This is a 100% free service that is available 24/7. If you or someone you know if having suicidal thoughts, call 1(800)273-8255 and a trained crisis counselor will answer the phone and help you deescalate the situation.

(2) The Crisis Text Line is also a 100% free service that is available 24/7. If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, text HOME to 741-741, and a trained crisis counselor will respond and help you during the crisis. I would also like to note that a crisis is NOT LIMITED to suicidal thoughts. You can use this service for a number of different situations, if desired.

(3) Now I would like to introduce you to Calm Harm, an app that provides users with tasks in order to reduce the urge to self-harm. There are six different categories of tasks available to users: Comfort, Distract, Express Yourself, Release, Random, and Breathe.

(4) Super Better is a resilience training app that provides you with quests and tasks to help you use psychological strengths in order to build resilience in daily life. Users of the app report being able to tackle depression, chronic pain, concussion recovery, and more.

(5) ThinkUp is an app that allows you to create daily affirmations that help you develop a more positive mindset. You can browse through recommended affirmations or create and record your own while adding background music and tracking your progress.

(6) Breathe2Relax is a stress management app that instructs users on diaphragmatic breathing. The breathing exercises provided by this app can help to decrease the body’s stress response, help with mood stabilization, control anger, and manage anxiety.

(7) PTSD Coach allows you to take assessments while tracking and managing your PTSD symptoms. The app has resources and information to educate survivors, family members, and loved ones. in addition, there are resources to help those with PTSD find professional help and a support network. This app is especially useful for Veterans.

(8) The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is a great resource for individuals ages 13 and up who are struggling with eating disorders. One great resource provided is the NEDA Helpline. Individuals can call (800)931-2237 to speak with a trained volunteer who can lead you to support and educational materials. There is also an online chat feature called Click-to-Chat or a texting feature. To use the texting feature, text “NEDA” to 741-741 during crisis situations. However, the hotline is NOT open 24 hours. It is open Monday through Thursday from 9 AM - 9 PM and Friday from 9 AM - 5 PM (Eastern Standard Time).

(9) BetterHelp is a resource that offers online counseling to individuals who prefer meeting via text, phone, or video chat. This is an affordable resource that offers financial aid and plans starting at $40/week. They offer a wide variety of qualified licensed professionals who can assist with many issues including low self-esteem, anxiety, stress, depression, grief, relationship troubles, anger, and so much more.

Last but not least, do not forget to check out resources in your area. If you or someone you know needs help finding counseling, support, or other services in your area, please do not hesitate to reach out to me!

Above all else, take care of yourself! Remember that different things work for different people. Sometimes you have to try several resources before finding the perfect fit. The number one thing is to not lose hope! You have a whole community of people at The Letter Project who are supporting you.

I’ll be seeing you.

K

Welcome to Our New Mental Health Blog!

IMG_9196.JPG

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Kirsten Fox (most people call me "k"), and I will be working as a Mental Health Intern for The Letter Project. I am a junior at Indiana University Bloomington studying Social Work with a minor in Sociology. Upon graduation, I would like to pursue my Master's Degree in Social Work and become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, which will allow me to work as a mental health counselor. Personally, I have struggled for several years with Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Panic Disorder. Therefore, I know how easy it can be to let your mental health rule your life (and not always in a good way)! However, my struggles have given me a generous amount of insight into how to cope with a mental health disorder, as well as how to live your best life regardless of your mental health status.

If it is alright with you, I would love to share my knowledge and passion for mental health with you. I will be posting weekly blog posts that focus on self-care tips, mental health education, and personal stories or blog posts (from other writers) that I think will help you in your mental health journey. I always welcome questions, feedback, and requests. So, if there is a topic that you would like to learn more about, or if there is a tip that you would like to share with the community, please feel free to reach out to me. My virtual door is always open.

My mission as a mental health intern is simple: I am here to remind you that you are worthy of love and kindness. I am here to remind you that your mental health status does not define you. I am here to remind you that there will undoubtedly be good days and bad days, but that does not mean that you should let the number of good days versus bad days determine your progress. As long as you are staying alive for another day, you are making progress.

With that being said, I want to note that mental health is not something that is simple. It cannot be fit nice and neatly into a little box. It can be very difficult and overwhelming to define, and sometimes, there is no clear definition.

I want to acknowledge that while each individual has his/her/their own mental health journey, that does not mean that we are complete strangers to one another. More likely than not, we probably have something in common somewhere along the lines, whether it be a diagnosis, a coping mechanism, or a situation that helped bring a mental health condition to light. Also, I want to acknowledge that some of my tips may not be as effective for one individual as they are for another, but that does not mean that you should give up. It simply means that there is a different tip out there that may fit you a little bit better, and that is perfectly okay.

It is okay to try different things, especially regarding your mental health. It is okay to feel lost or confused or frustrated with the process. We all feel that sometimes. However, I want you to know that you are not alone in any of this. I am here to support you and remind you of your worth. In fact, there is a whole community of people here at The Letter Project who wants to teach you how to love yourself because we love you and believe in you.

For now I will leave you with this reminder: self-love is not selfish.

I'll talk to you soon,

K