Shining a National Spotlight on Mental Health

By Sarah Lynn, MA, and Kristen King, MPS, Advocates for Human Potential, Inc.

May is national Mental Health Month, hosted by Mental Health America. The theme for 2017 is Risky Business, or “habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or could be signs of mental health problems themselves.” If you’re living WRAP, you can probably identify signs that you may need to take action to maintain or regain your wellness, and you can also plan for circumstances or events that could take you off track. With WRAP, the quest for optimal wellness becomes an important part of everyday life, essentially making every month “mental health month.”

This year’s Mental Health Month theme is a good reminder that our habits and behaviors can have a huge impact on our wellness—both mental health and general wellness. It’s also a good reminder that wellness exists on a continuum and is very personal; what might be “risky business” for one person may be unremarkable for another. The line between when an activity goes from fine to unhealthy can be thin, and the key is knowing yourself and knowing which behaviors are your signs of declining wellness.

The Mental Health Month campaign offers an interesting interactive quiz that asks you to evaluate different scenarios and decide whether the potentially “risky” behavior described is “fine” or “too far.” Then you can compare your answers to each question with answers from others who took the quiz. There are no right or wrong answers, just opinions. Taking the quiz made us think about our own lives and about which activities could be signs that wellness is on a downward trajectory for each of us. Considering our different answers to the same questions was a powerful reminder that what works for each person can vary widely.

This is why WRAP is such a powerful tool—you’re the expert on yourself. Your WRAP, Sarah’s WRAP, and Kristen’s WRAP are probably all going to look very different. Unlike the answers in the quiz linked above, you never need to compare your WRAP to anyone else’s. Your wellness tools are your wellness tools. Your triggers are your triggers. Your early warning signs are your early warning signs. Your WRAP is all about you, how you want your life to be, and how you define wellness for yourself. It’s about your wellness your way. Empowering people to take charge of their own wellness is what started WRAP in the first place, and it’s what WRAP has been all about for more than 20 years.

This Mental Health Month, do you want to update or expand your WRAP? Is there someone in your life you’d like to share WRAP with? Comment on Facebook and tell us how you’re celebrating recovery and wellness this May. We’d love to hear about the habits and behaviors that contribute to your wellness!

Reminder: It’s Almost Conference Time!
WRAP Around the World is less than a month away on June 5-7, 2017, in Sacramento, California. If you haven’t registered yet, now is the time! Visit the Copeland Center website for more information on the conference. In the Sacramento area but can’t attend the conference? Join us for a Zumbathon® FUNdraiser to benefit the Copeland Center on Tuesday, June 6, during the conference. This evening wellness event is open to the public, and advance tickets are available online!

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