Spinal Cord Injury Community

Your Mind Matters

Aaron Baker
Spinal Cord Injury Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
05/01/22  8:00 AM PST
mental health awareness

Mental Health Awareness

For the past 73 years, the United States has recognized the month of May as Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health has been observed since 1949 within the media and local, regional, and national events with a purpose of bringing about awareness of the world’s greatest disability and a major cause of suicide here in America: Depression.

The Mental Health America organization (MHA) began the movement with a “toolkit of materials based on different themes”. For the past two years, the theme has been Tools 2 Thrive, chosen in a time of unprecedented anxiety about the world pandemic, economic instability and social unrest. The #tools2thrive theme is meant to improve mental health and increase resiliency regardless of a person’s personal situation. The topics and tools cover:

  • Adapting after trauma and stress
  • Dealing with anger and frustration
  • Getting out of thinking traps
  • Processing big changes
  • Taking time for yourself
  • Radical acceptance

I can personally attest to the need of these tools as I have struggled with depression on and off over the years, and have unfortunately lost a few of my close friends due to suicide.

Depression can be a lonely place. It is a dark, isolated realm where the colors of life fade and inspiring sounds become mono-toned and muffled by the noise in my head. To transcend this I must be consciously aware everyday. I choose positivity and possibility, and recognize all that I am, all that I have and all who love me.

Thankfully there are many interventions available today for those in need. We just need to want to seek them out. My hope is that our communal humility and vulnerability inspires an uplifting message beyond the month of May to motivate the mind to rise up and over matter.

– Aaron

If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. The Lifeline is available for everyone, is free, and confidential. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio: 1-888-628-9454

Lifeline Options For Deaf + Hard of Hearing:  Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255.

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255

Disaster Distress Helpline: Call or Text 1-800-985-5990


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