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Learning the importance of mental health during Suicide Prevention Month

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WINONA, Minn. - (WXOW) - Suicide Prevention Month helps inform people about signs to look for in someone struggling and ways to stay mentally healthy.

Mental health is vital to one's well-being and there are many aspects of it like staying active, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and participating in activities that are enjoyable.

"Mental health really comes into this as a major piece because all of the things we used to do, we can't," said Sam Mahr, School Linked Mental Health Therapist. "Suicide prevention comes from this as we need to focus on our mental health and it's not strictly what do you do if you're having thoughts of suicide but what are you doing to take care of yourself really is what the focus is."

While physical health is important, mental health matters just as much.

Although the pandemic has made it difficult for many to do activities they enjoy, Mahr said there are ways to stay socially active. He explained that interaction in a safe setting is important. Meeting friends outside while following social distancing guidelines and wearing masks or finding activities that keep you active are just some ways to be socially active.

Mahr said there are two things he pushes right now: a consistent sleep schedule and taking a deep breath.

"Self care right now is the main thing that I can stress because if we take care of ourselves, then we can help others. If we don't take care of ourselves, we can't," said Mahr. "Just with that, having self care, making sure that you're doing things you enjoy, you're balancing things out."

If you or someone you know is struggling, there are many resources that are accessible and reaching out for help is important. The National Institute of Mental Health is a website anyone can visit to search for help if needed.

Be sure to check on your family, friends, and neighbors. You never know when someone is struggling.

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