The Inside Story on Mental Health

Since our world has been a bit crazy lately, our focus for this month is on mental health. Here are some valuable observations and insights from trusted mental health providers in our community! ⁣

Meet Charlotte Fritz, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with 12 years of experience in the field. Over the past few months, she has observed some common themes with her clients: “I have seen an uptick in anxiety and issues with families- parents of school aged children, burdened by having to work and care for children. Most families receive some amount of support from grandparents, other family members, friends and the church. Right now, due to social distancing, many of those support systems are not available.”⁣ ⁣

Charlotte identified being in community as a key ingredient to mental health. “Research shows the #1 healing factor in people’s life is social support. Figuring out how you can safely create a community for yourself is key. Even though Zoom calls are awful, and we often hate them – we need them. It’s easy, under stress, to just shut down and drift away from your social network – but it’s detrimental not just to your own mental health but also to those you’re in community with.” ⁣ ⁣

Another tip Charlotte mentioned that’s helpful for anxiety is grounding. “You have to find solid ground, something that will remain the same. It can be spiritual, for me I know that God does not shift. It can also be as simple as going for a walk and noticing the trees. As we pay attention to our senses and what is in front of us- we are not thinking about things we cannot control, or the future.”⁣ ⁣

Want to try a simple grounding exercise? It’s called the 54321…just pause for a moment and take in your surroundings. Then identify 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. In just a few moments, you’re better connected with yourself and your environment!

⁣Meet Jeff Redmond! He’s been leading Celebrate Recovery for 20 years and has 25 years of sobriety himself. Celebrate Recovery is not just for those with drug or alcohol problems, but for anyone dealing with any kind of hurts hang-ups⁣ and habits.⁣

“Bad habits come from our broken places- it’s how we try to fill the holes. We do what we think helps- but it doesn’t. I used alcohol.” ⁣

When asked about the current trends that he is seeing Jeff replied, “Everybody is⁣ crazy – depression is through the roof. Abuse has increased in marriages and the use⁣ of pornography has skyrocketed. People are just giving up quicker.”⁣

“If you know someone struggling with addiction, you can’t pretend it’s just going to go away. Encourage them to get connected- they can’t do this on their own. We have to accept the fact that we’re all broken people and don’t have all the answers. But there is a program in place that leads to a better life for those that work through the steps.”⁣

It may look different than before, but community is vital to recovery. “You have