Focus on Resilience During May for Mental Health Awareness Month
The Intermountain Healthcare Behavioral Health Navigation Service is a new tool provided to help the community find resources.
Salt Lake City, UT (PRUnderground) May 13th, 2022
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Intermountain Healthcare experts are encouraging individuals to refocus on mental well-being.
The potential mental health effects from the COVID-19 pandemic are profound. The pandemic has been associated with uncertainty, school closures, shutdowns, social isolation, and economic vulnerability— these stressors can be linked to mental health issues. COVID-19’s mental health consequences are likely to be present for longer and peak later than the actual pandemic.
Then add the war in Ukraine, economic downturns, racial injustices, and political unrest, just to name a few, and what we all encountered was mental well-being moments that challenged us.
Research has studied the effect of large-scale traumas and disasters on communities. Not only has this pandemic caused mental health challenges for many of us, we have also been given the opportunity to practice and develop our resilience. Some people think of resilience as a trait one is born with (hardiness) or an outcome (presence of post-traumatic stress or growth).
Resilience is neither lucky or passive and can be strengthened with practice. Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity. When we get far enough past an adversity to look back with perspective, we can consider its effects on our lives and identities, reflect on the skills we developed, the actions we took, the lessons we learned, and the reasons we kept going.
Asking ourselves “what do I do when times get hard?” reminds us of our personal skills and characteristics that we can use. The question “Who helps me when times get hard and who can I help?” address our social supports and sense of connection. Finally, asking ourselves “Who do I want to be when this is over and what will it have meant for me?” helps us to focus on a sense of meaning and purpose.
“Think of resilience like a seesaw or balance scale where negative experiences tip the scale towards negative outcomes, positive experiences towards positive outcomes, and shifting the fulcrum so that the scale can handle more negative experiences without leading to negative outcomes,” said Dr. Travis Mickelson, mental health integration director for Intermountain.
The COVID pandemic is far from over with vaccines providing us a bright light at the end of this tunnel. Until then, we need to be deliberate about navigating the middle of the resilience process, the part between getting through and looking back. We will do this by harnessing resources that work for us based on our individual and community needs.
If you want to speak to someone, you can call Intermountain’s Behavioral Health Navigation Line at 833-442-2211. The Behavioral Health Navigation Service is a new service provided by Intermountain and designed to help the community find the resources that they need. The Behavioral Health Navigation services is a singular phone number where you can call in and speak with caregivers to be directed to the right service and as needed scheduled with an appointment, or referred to Intermountain’s Behavioral Health Connect Care, which is a new service virtual service working to address needs for people or the loved ones in real time.
Travis Mickelson, MD, is a practicing child and adolescent psychiatrist with Intermountain Medical Group, and practices at Salt Lake Clinic, Memorial Clinic, and the Pamela Atkinson Clinic at Liberty Elementary.
About Intermountain Healthcare
Based in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,800 employed physicians and advanced practice providers, a health plans division with more than one million members called SelectHealth, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information, see Intermountain Healthcare.