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Make a New Year's Resolution for a Healthy Mind

  • Date: 2010/12/28 Screening for Mental Health
  • Synopsis : Gauge your emotional well-being by taking a free anonymous mental health self-assessment.

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www.HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org offers free, anonymous mental health screenings to stay healthy in 2011.

As most Americans resolve to head back to the gym, change their diet, or pay off debt, their commitment to better habits may be tough to keep if they don't take care of their mental health. From deployed troops and new parents to college students and retirees, every day stressors can leave people from all walks of life feeling overwhelmed. This New Year's, gauge your emotional well-being by taking a free, anonymous mental health self-assessment at www.HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org.

The HelpYourself, Help Others website, sponsored by the nonprofit Screening for Mental Health®, offers brief questionnaires for depression, alcohol problems, and other mood and anxiety disorders. The questions are designed to assess whether an individual may be at risk for a disorder. For those who score positive, referrals to local treatment resources are provided.

"Everyone struggles with stress or the blues from time to time. It's a normal part of life. But if you have been feeling sad, anxious or irritable for more than two weeks, it could be a sign of a more serious health issue," says Douglas G. Jacobs, M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the founder of Screening for Mental Health, Inc. "The New Year is a perfect time to take stock of your emotions and incorporate resolutions that can improve both your physical and mental health," says Jacobs.

Healthy tips for coping with stress in 2011:

  • Engage in physical activity or exercise. Studies indicate that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve mood.
  • Give back. Helping others can also help you feel better. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, mentor a child or visit people in a nursing home.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption. Problems with alcohol abuse or dependence increase your risk of developing depression or may exacerbate existing symptoms.
  • Eat a more healthy diet. Dietary changes can bring about changes in your brain structure, both chemically and physiologically. Those changes can help improve mood.
  • Try to set realistic goals. When making life changes, take baby steps. When you have unrealistic expectations, you are at high risk for getting hurt, disappointed and depressed.
  • Stay connected. Spend time with other people, try not to isolate yourself. Confide in a trusted friend or relative about your feelings.

About Screening for Mental Health, Inc. -For two decades, Screening for Mental Health has worked with organizations to provide mental health education and screening programs, including National Depression Screening Day®, National Alcohol Screening Day®, and the National Eating Disorders Screening Program®. These programs are designed to educate, reduce stigma, and screen people for mood and anxiety disorders, alcohol problems and eating disorders. Individuals can locate a mental health screening site or take an anonymous online screening by visiting www.HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org

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