Louisiana Department of Health: Just Breathe: It’s Mental Health Month


By ASHA MURPHY, MA, LPC-S, NCC | Office of Behavioral Healthcare Workers

It’s May and May is Mental Health Month! As a mental health professional, I often experience Mental Health Month as a validation Other disheartening. Thoughts like, “Am I taking good care of my mental health?” “Am I more stressed than my clients seem?” “Do I take care of myself? enough? ”

Then, I stop, breathe and wonder if there’s an audience I’m trying to win over. The answer is almost always: “Well, no”. After this fundamental realization, I remind myself that sometimes hairstylists have bad hair days, professional athletes get injured, some of the best authors have writer’s block, and farmers miss the occasional crop. Having skills and / or receiving a paycheck for a job does not imply that we are superhuman. Rather, it’s simple: we can’t avoid bankruptcy and that’s okay.

Brene ‘Brown says in her “The gifts of imperfection“: “Healthy commitment is self-centered: ‘How can I improve?’ Perfectionism is focused on the other: ‘What will they think?’ ” I believe we cannot fully support our clients, patients, spouses, children and friends without a thoughtful view of our thoughts, feelings and lives. Here is living this month with thoughts and actions related to self-realization, giving us grace and filling us.

Here are some helpful journals or thought tips to help you take care of your mental well-being (from the Port St. Lucie hospital page):

  • Talk about your day.
  • Identify the things you are grateful for.
  • Write a list of your coping mechanisms.
  • Describe a goal.
  • Write about how different you were five years ago.
  • Write a letter to your body.
  • List and describe your emotions.
  • Write how you would describe yourself to a stranger.
  • Describe the best compliment you’ve ever received.
  • Write a message for yourself on bad days.


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