Take a deep breath and clear your mind. Whether your day has been busy or felt unproductive, take time to yourself because your mental health matters. It’s crucial to prioritize your mental health, especially during September, which is National Suicide Prevention & Awareness month. As an organization, STXi is built off the foundation of community. Because mental health is a prevalent struggle in our society, it’s vital that we initiate important conversations in our own community.
But, why is mental health a necessary conversation to discuss? It promotes a safe space in our society for those who are struggling and assists them in feeling heard and less isolated. For years, the education system has been missing mental health resources which are conducive to a better state of mind and learning environment. Though 14 is the average age where symptoms of mental illness are observed (most commonly anxiety and depression), most people never truly learn about these illnesses until they reach adulthood.
STXi strives to be the change. Below are some healthy practices we want to share with you on how to improve your mental health:
Recognize your mental health struggles are valid. While you may perceive your hardships as unimportant in comparison to others, or even the world, they will always matter. If you would not trivialize other individuals' struggles, do not dismiss your own.
Be kind to yourself. Practice talking to yourself the way you would talk to a friend if they told you they were struggling with their mental health. At times, you are the greatest enemy to your state of mind, but you can also be your greatest ally.
Recognize your triggers. At times, mental health struggles are triggered by specific environments or stimuli. Learning what negatively affects you. Whether it’s physical triggers such as comparing yourself to unrealistic body standards, mental and emotional triggers are also key factors to your state of mind. Nobody is in a constant state of being mentally well; that is as unrealistic of a standard as any physical one.
Set boundaries. Take the break you need and take it with pride. Practice not feeling guilty for prioritizing yourself.
Support yourself. We understand that not every individual can afford therapy, but a simple conversation can go a long way. If you are struggling with having these conversations with peers, we have included resources at the bottom of the blog that may help.
On a more personal note regarding advice and healthy practices, 17 year old Omar Garcia, member of the STXi Marketing Department, shared his best practice, “I prioritize my mental health
by using music as a coping mechanism for when I'm stressed or overwhelmed with things happening in my life. I usually sing my heart out to my favorite albums!” Whether it’s music or a favorite sport, doing the things you enjoy assist you through your imperfect healing process.
Although an unattended state of mind is a leading factor of suicide, there is no set list of causes. Suicide is an intricate concept, and we must be willing to talk about it with an open mind. When asked how to support an individual with thoughts of suicide, an anonymous survivor said, “Some people are better than others at hiding their struggles, but start by reminding everyone around you that you care. It will go a long way” Additionally, they discussed that, “The most crucial thing for me was having someone to listen to me. I never had that, but I knew if anyone would have reached out just to listen, I would have spoken up.”
The STXi family encourages more people to listen, especially when it could save a life or make someone feel heard. Below are some warning signs of an individual struggling with their well being (please remember that all signs are unique to each individual):
Significant changes in eating habits. (Eating too much or too little)
Significant changes in sleeping habits. (Sleeping too much or too little)
Becoming distant to peers and family resulting in isolation.
Having little to no motivation.
Experiencing abrupt mood swings.
Becoming violent and aggressive.
Suicide Prevention and Awareness month is all about promoting a safe space for those battling their mental health. Yet, as the month comes to an end, we urge you to continue prioritizing your well being. Furthermore, STXi urges our communities to never stop speaking about what’s significant: the health of our people. Because we understand how difficult these battles can be, STXi appreciates you for being strong and continuing to wake up every morning to a world that wouldn’t be the same without you..
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line: Text TALK to 741-741
To locate treatment services regarding mental health: 1-877-726-4727
For mental health information and support: 1-800-950-NAMI
Information on mental health: Mental/Health.gov
Additional resources: https://www.ndbh.com/Resources/