LAC Offers Tips for Self-Care, Looks for Community Resilience Coordinator, and Offers Grants
May 18, 2022
As National Mental Health Awareness Month continues, the Local Advisory Council for Mental Health (LAC) continues to share tips for self-care. They are also looking for someone willing to serve on the Council, as well as applicants for their mini-grant program.
The position that LAC is hoping to fill is for a Community Resilience Coordinator. Although this is a volunteer role, all training will be provided and paid for by the LAC. As described by LAC Secretary, Haley Velk, and Vice Chair, Tina Mord, this is an individual who will serve as a point of contact for community members looking for resources. Furthermore, this person will share focus areas of community concern so that the Council can improve their services. Interested applicants should call 406-357-2369 to receive more information.
Until such time as this position is filled, the Blaine County Health Department (BCHD) encourages people to reach out to their office and its officials. Among the available resources is a directory. “We can print a copy of the Resource Directory for any individual requesting it or point people in the direction of other tools and programs,” stated Program Assistant Mark Weber.
This Resource Directory not only lists hotline numbers but shares contact information for a variety of Physical, Mental, and Health Resources. Additionally, Mental Health Information and Assistance as well as Education and Development Resources and Alternative Wellness Resources are all collected in one consolidated directory.
Anyone wishing to receive a copy can contact the BCHD by calling 406-357-2345 or the LAC at 406-357-2369. Directories can also be obtained in person by stopping by the Courthouse Annex at 420 Ohio Street.
In other news, the LAC invites all interested individuals to attend their quarterly meetings. These are held on the third Wednesday in the final month of every quarter (March, June, September, and December). The next meeting will occur on June 15 at 10:00 a.m. in the Emergency Coordination Center on the second floor north in the Blaine County Courthouse.
According to Velk, the LAC welcomes input from a wide variety of perspectives. “Even if all you do is share your experiences or your coping strategies, we need to know what barriers to services exist, what works, what information is being received versus what’s not, and where we need to close any gaps. We really want to work towards a healthy populace, and we can’t do that without having access to information about needs.”
The LAC will also be collaborating with various organizations and community groups to promote healthy family activities and to reinforce continued awareness about the value of a few minutes for self-focus. “One vitally important mental health rule is to be good to yourself. Taking care of yourself not only contributes to personal well-being but will enable you to be responsive to the needs of others. People who are good to themselves deliver the best interactions. We can’t help others if we don’t first take care of ourselves,” Velk explained.
Because there is no single way to take care of one’s self, self-care will look different for everyone. For one person, self-care might mean playing a game on a digital device; for another it might be watching a favorite television program or reading a mystery novel. By taking time to rest and recharge, we are able to be our best selves.
The following four tips can further contribute to mental and emotional health:
• Set healthy boundaries and stick to them.
• Remind yourself that not everything is on you and that no matter how hard you try, you can’t control everything.
• Use exercise as an outlet and stay mentally and physically fit. Research data shows that regular physical activity increases energy and reduces the risk for health problems. Exercise can also be a great outlet for releasing energy or frustration that has piled up over the course of a day.
• Allow yourself to take time off when you feel overwhelmed. An important part of self-care is managing stress and taking a break when necessary. Whether that means choosing a 5 minute break or a personal day, make sure to spend some time relaxing your brain and body. This way, when you return to your obligations, you are rejuvenated and ready to perform.
Finally, the LAC invites local organizations to consider partnering with them
in their ongoing effort to bring awareness to mental health issues. As a show of support, the LAC can provide financial assistance for qualifying programs. For more information about these mini-grants, contact Velk or Mord by calling 406-357-2369.
“We have money available to help support a number of qualifying ideas—something like the recent LifeLine Assembly on Human Trafficking or the one on developing a digital consciousness. Just call us with your proposals, and we can see about helping with a mini-grant,” Velk and Weber suggested.