At a time when minutes can often seem to go by faster than we can track them, and on days when the daily news rushes by even more quickly than the day before, it is important for us to use reminders like today, World Mental Health Day, to take note of our individual health and the health of our communities. Establishing regular staples of self-care needs to be a priority for those of us with careers spent in service to people and communities across the globe. For example, what actions do you take to care for your mental health? Do you attend therapy? Walk in the woods? Cook? Stay active?
At EDC, we witness the advancement of mental health and suicide prevention strategies in countless communities in the United States and across the globe. Our organization is dedicated to helping to improve the health and well-being of the communities we work with.
For example, EDC’s Suicide Prevention Resource Center website provides hundreds of thousands of unique visitors every year with specific and evidence-informed resources that can advance suicide prevention in all types of settings, such as schools, tribal nations, health care systems, and college campuses. And EDC’s Zero Suicide Institute advances comprehensive suicide prevention efforts within health and behavioral health care systems nationally.
Further, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention is the nation’s only federally supported public-private partnership dedicated to suicide prevention. It works to advance suicide prevention in every sector of our community—faith communities, entertainment, sports, and more.
While all of these specific and dedicated efforts have major impacts on the lives of individuals living in these communities, they also require a workforce that is healthy and supported to do the work!
On a day like today, I am particularly grateful to work among so many individuals who are dedicated to advancing the mental health and well-being of others. But as we work to make things better for other people, I also hope we use an opportunity like today—World Mental Health Day—to reflect on our own well-being and needs. What strategies do you use to stay grounded in a culture that is constantly fixated on the immediate? How are you supporting World Mental Health Day in your community?
Adam Swanson, MPP, is a senior prevention specialist at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center operated by EDC. He is also a member of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s Consumer/Survivor Advisory Committee, a 2018 Lambda Literary fellow in nonfiction, and an alumnus of George Washington University’s LGBT Health Policy & Practice graduate certificate program.