If you are looking for information on physical health you will easily find articles on health and wellbeing. From diet and exercise to heart health and healthy aging, the world supports physical health in many ways. You will find thousands of organizations, doctors, and businesses designed to promote physical health. If you are looking for information on mental health you will be met with articles about “mental illness”, not “mental wellness”. You will be bombarded with statistics about diagnoses, symptoms, and illness. You will not easily find information about maintaining a healthy mental outlook, or how to promote mental health at school or work. That information is not nearly as accessible as information about maintaining your physical well-being.
Psychiatry is typically focused on pathology (what is wrong with someone), rather than wellness and the maintenance of individual well-being. Nearly 20% of U.S. adults experience some type of mental illness at some point in their lives. Just like any other disease (diabetes, heart disease, etc.), mental illness should be approached in a more holistic way. By focusing on health rather than illness we can begin to reduce stigma.
This newsletter is dedicated to Mental Wellness and how we can reframe our relationship with Mental Health. Because, after all, mental health is more than just the absence of mental illness. Emphasizing individual strengths from a person-first perspective allows individuals to build mental health enhancing habits. Just as physical habits can enhance physical health, mental habits can enhance mental health.
Mental wellness refers to the degree to which one feels positive and enthusiastic about life. Mental health is the foundation for emotions, thinking, resilience, and self-esteem. It also plays a big part in relationships and personal connections. The World Health Organization suggests developing personal skills and creating supportive environments. And the National Institute of Health suggests practicing gratitude, maintaining physical health, connecting with others, and developing a sense of meaning and purpose in life.
It comes as no surprise then, that Rose Hill Center emphasizes a holistic approach to our services. Helping people develop coping skills, resilience and self-esteem are integral to Rose Hill’s therapies. Therapeutic work team activities are built around meaningful daily activities within a community setting which supports mental wellness while building work readiness skills. Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO DBT), focuses on teaching people how to activate areas of their brain linked to social safety and is specifically designed to enhance social connectedness.
Rose Hill’s Healthy Minds/ Healthy Body programming includes a variety of physical and recreational activities such as outdoor walking groups and yoga. Most recently we have added COVID educational groups to help residents prepare to resume activities off campus (when appropriate). At Rose Hill, we are doing our part to focus on the positive and help individuals build skills and foster growth for a lasting recovery.
Below are some resources for building mental wellness.