The Dahl Family YMCA is supporting a cause this month that hits close to home and also means a lot to the community.
Sarah Johnson, the mental health director at the Dahl Family YMCA says, "May is considered Mental Health Awareness month. I would argue that every month is mental health awareness month. It's nice, however, to have a month to highlight some of the activities and resources we have in this community."
Mental health issues don't always mean you have a mental disability. If you are experiencing some mental stress, alleviating it at the YMCA may be the perfect thing to do. Sarah adds, "One of the most important things we can do for our mental health is to take care of our physical container. So by exercising we are helping our bodies regulate our emotions and help express and get out our anxieties and stresses."
The YMCA offers classes that get you moving to help ease stress such as Zumba and swimming workouts, but maybe you want to center yourself and mental health a little more. Sarah Johnson emphasizes, "We can also help with classes like our meditation classes and our yoga classes. We also help by having a sense of community." Jon Wegman, the environmental technician director at the YMCA added, "The reason that mental health is such a priority at the Y is because it's a priority in the community."
No matter the community, mental health issues are not contained to a certain age group. Johnson said, "We at the Teen Center, really started our model of mental health awareness. Really trying to normalize conversations about mental health and normalize asking for help when you need it."
MORE INFORMATION: Mental Health Awareness Month
The Dahl Family YMCA staff is ready to help in anyway they can at anytime. Martina Mellang, the community prevention and program director says, "We spend a really big, or large amount of time of our lives at work. So we are really trying to create a culture of health and wellness for people that work here as well. Really, bringing what Sarah Johnson does with our mental health programming right down to our front line staff."
Whether its boogy-ing on down to ease your mind or relieving stress through laps in the pool, you should remember that your mental health is just as important as the community resources that support it.