HPS Clinicians Discuss Mental Health Awareness Month

HPS Clinicians Discuss Mental Health Awareness Month

HPS Clinicians Discuss Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so we asked the Hartstein Psychological Services team to share their thoughts on what mental health means to them, why it’s important to attend to it and how to ensure your mental health is a priority. Here’s what they said:

Jennifer Jamgochian, LMSWJENNIFER JAMGOCHIAN:

Why is it important to focus on your own mental health? 

Think about focusing on your own mental health as putting on your oxygen mask first before assisting others. Just like on an airplane, we are no good to our friends and family if we are not taking care of ourselves. By helping ourselves, we not only feel better but can better support our loved ones. A second piece of focusing on our own mental health means not comparing ourselves to others. Comparing only makes us feel worse about ourselves and takes away from our primary focus.

TRACEY WEISS:

What do you do to support your own mental health?

For me, my mental health is extremely connected to my physical health. I make it a priority to move my body daily; whether that’s running, walking, riding on the Peloton, pilates or even just stretching! Exercise allows me to have some ‘me’ time to reconnect with my body and really check in with how I am feeling.

With the weather becoming nicer, I have made an effort to take these movements outside and reap the benefits of Vitamin D and fresh air. Moving my body while being mindful of the warmth on my face, the smells of freshly laid mulch and flowers and the sounds of birds chirping, allows me to be present and in the moment; such a calming and peaceful moment.

Ilana SanchaILANA SANCHA:

Why is it important to focus on your own mental health? 

In the past year, we have seen an unprecedented increase in the number of people experiencing mental health problems. Mental Health Awareness Month is a reminder that you’re not alone.

Treating your mental health is just as important as treating your physical health, and we can all do our part to help break the stigma around this. We all face challenges that can impact our mental health, and everyone deserves to get the help they need. Having people see you as an individual can help get you the support you need. I encourage us all to break down these barriers by learning more about mental health, in order to better support those affected in our families and communities!

JESSICA OPPENHEIMER:

What do you do to support your own mental health?

There are several ways I do my best to support my own mental health. First, I try to make sure that I am regularly engaging in activities that I enjoy. For example: spending time with friends and family, cooking and trying new restaurants/food, watching or attending sports games, or getting a manicure or massage.

I also seek support when needed. I reach out to friends, family members, coworkers and professionals who I think can help to improve the situation. And Lastly, I do my best to create boundaries. Work and personal life can both be extremely stressful. Setting boundaries has been particularly beneficial to my mental health, especially in the last year.

Jaime GleicherJAIME GLEICHER:

What do you do to support your own mental health?

To support my own mental health, I prioritize and value my time with my own therapist. Yes, therapists go to therapy, too!  There is no shame in having a weekly time and safe place to explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. In fact, therapy is hard work, and I feel people should be proud of it! I certainly am proud of the changes and peace that my own therapy has brought me.

I make sure to be honest and open with my therapist in order to maximize our time together, and I attend regularly, even if I feel nothing “wrong” or “significant” to talk about. 45 minutes with a wonderful, empathic, trusted clinician in order to focus on my well-being and mental health? I feel very grateful for it and it is an integral part of my own ability to provide therapy to others.

Alison TrenkALISON TRENK:

What do you do to support your own mental health?

For me, it is important to practice what I preach! I have my own therapist, practice daily self-compassion, and regularly practice the DBT skills.

 

Emily RobertsEMILY ROBERTS:

What do you do to support your own mental health?

It’s important for me to show up authentically and fully present with my clients, so if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t show up for them or anyone else. Even during a global pandemic, I remained committed to taking care of physical and mental health by working with the professionals who support me. I attend my own zoom therapy, telemedicine appointments, meditation & breathwork coaching, and exercise classes all in my not-so-spacious NYC apartment. Bottom line: if we don’t take care of ourselves, set boundaries and commit to our own healing practices, we cannot serve others in our lives.

Oona Caplan, LCSWOONA CAPLAN:

What does mental health mean to you?

When I think about what mental health means to me, I often return to one of John Bowlby’s quotes, “The human psyche, like human bones, is strongly inclined towards self-healing.

Mental health is how we continuously learn to navigate what we feel, ways we react to external/internal stimuli, as well as the narratives we perpetuate around our lives and experiences. Many view physical health as the cornerstone of our existence and a predictor of how ‘well’ we will live. Personally, I believe mental health is a larger part of this equation.

We may not have the graphs/charts/blood tests that specify what ailment we are dealing with in the mental health realm; however, we have many other tools to help regulate how we react, how we view elements that pertain to our lives and, most importantly, how to master the ability to steer our present and future. Our mental health can determine how our body will heal, grow, and sustain us throughout our existence.

Dr. Jen HartsteinDR. JEN:

What does mental health mean to you?

Thinking about what mental health means to me, I’m reminded that it is a common bond. It’s something we all share and that impacts all of us. We tend to conflate mental health and mental illness, which doesn’t promote the growth and connection we all need and may want. When we can step back and recognize that we ALL have mental health, it opens up doors for us to help one another, rely on one another and support one another. That connection is one of the reasons I became a therapist. It’s one of the things I believe in strongly and a message I hope to convey to others.