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May is Mental Health Awareness Month; remember you are not alone

According to the American Counseling Association (ACA) May is the month that we are made aware of Mental Health illnesses. Millions of Americans face the reality of living with mental health issues and each year we fight stigmas placed on us by others, we seek support, and we educate and advocate for the public and our community to reduce stigmas placed on us.

Dealing with the coronavirus and COVID-19 over the past year has really put a damper of stress on many people and families in the communities. We have over the past year, worked from home, schooled our children from home, taken care of our home, stayed away from family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to keep ourselves and our families from catching the coronavirus and COVID-19. That caused a lot of stress for many. Now we are trying to find a way to get back to normal. For some, it is hard to get back to normal. Remember you are not alone. We should seek ways to stay connected to the people in our community that can support and help us to cross this bridge. Talking to someone about your mental health is a step in the right direction.  It gives you relief to know that there is someone out there that can help you to move forward through your stress, depression and loneliness.

If you are feeling stressed, depressed or lonely, please contact someone at the Mental Health or Behavioral Health Clinic in your parish and talk to them and express how you are feeling. Contact the pastor at your church if you feel more comfortable talking to them. Another thing that can help relieve stress is walking, walking with a friend, your children, or people in the community. Just try walking for a week and see how your feel mentally, physically and emotionally. Please do not feel that you are alone in this situation.


Cynthia Clifton is a nutrition extension agent for St. John the Baptist Parish with the LSU AgCenter. She can be reached at CClifton@agcenter.lsu.edu.