May is designated as Mental Health Awareness month. Nearly 1 in 5 people will experience mental illness during their lifetime, and nearly everyone will experience challenges that impact mental health. Many of us are seeking support for ourselves and others as we navigate this global pandemic.
If you or someone you love is at immediate risk:
Organizations & Resources:
The organizations and resources below can be a source of support. However, they do not replace your primary care doctor as a resource for mental as well as physical health concerns. If you have health insurance, you may also be able to access additional support for mental health care.
Campaign to Change Direction + Week to Change Direction
The goal of the Campaign to Change Direction is to change the culture of mental health so that all of those in need receive the care and support they deserve. Our emotional well-being is just as important as our physical well-being.
➙ The Week to Change Direction (May 18-24) is a virtual, global event. Share how you are taking care of your emotional well-being during this time of global pandemic.
➙ Staying mentally healthy during coronavirus
➙ Helplines & Resources
EveryMind + ServingTogether
EveryMind works with vulnerable and underserved populations in the National Capital Region to improve mental wellness. ServingTogether (affiliated with AmericaServes) is a coordinated network serving veterans, service members and their families in the Washington DC area.
Give an Hour
Give an Hour focuses on active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members, veterans, and their families, and works to develop national networks of volunteers capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions.
Resources for the military community:
Pastoral counselors integrate traditional psychotherapy methods with the wisdom of spiritual traditions and the faith of the client. ACPE provides a searchable directory of pastoral counselors and spiritually-grounded therapists from around the country. Your local area may also have pastoral counselor centers, such as the ones below.
Spiritual Practices: Meditation & Contemplative Prayer
Spiritual practices such as meditation and contemplative prayer have also been shown to help with mental well being, stress relief and resiliency.
➙ The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society offers resources to help you explore a wide variety of practices from embodied prayer practices such as breathing and meditation walks, traditional disciplines such as Lectio Divina and Centering Prayer, and creative practices like journaling and art.
➙ HeadSpace (app and website) offers guided meditations, animations, articles and videos with one mission: to improve the health and happiness of the world. Free COVID resources online.
➙ Mindful is dedicated to inspiring, guiding, and connecting anyone who wants to explore mindfulness. COVID-specific resources available.
➙ Insight Timer is a free app that includes not only a mediation timer but also a library of guided meditations from a wide variety of teachers across a broad spectrum of faith traditions.
➙ During May, the Cathedral Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage is highlighting spiritual practices that benefit mind, body, and spirit. Visit the page for an introduction to spiritual practices as well as articles about how the specific practice benefits well being.