Letter to the Editor
Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 27, 2021
The words "mental" and "dental,” are equally evocative for many in our society. Unfortunately, we equate the two kinds of health with fear and dread. The whole point of the May is Mental Health Awareness Month is trying to reduce/eliminate the stigma attached to the "mental" part. It's as if it is the elephant in the room, so to speak. It need not be. Just as we see the benefit of regular checkups with our dentist, why not a "check up from the neck up?”
It is about our toxic thoughts, feelings of depression and anxiety — a true mental mess, aggravated by a chaotic world and sustained by an inability to manage our runaway thoughts. I submit it is not a "new normal,” unless we allow it to be. To combat this situation, "talk therapy,” meditation, prayer, healthy hobbies, volunteering through agencies such as RSVP can all be helpful. It all starts with an awareness that matters need attention, followed by a plan to remedy what isn't right or good in our lives. It might involve seeking a new set of friends. Maybe becoming active in one's church and reaching out to the less fortunate could get the ball rolling. The point is that one has to start, to do something different, or the same symptoms will persist.
It is good that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I long for the day when mental and dental will each be words associated with health, and healthy living. Wearing an appropriate smile is probably one of the easier things to do to get the process going. It could become a habit. Wouldn't that be newsworthy!
— Bill Kersting, Spencer