Taking Care of Mental Health
Taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of your body. To do both well requires living a healthy lifestyle, paying attention to how you feel, and doing simple things to take care of yourself.
This month, we have an opportunity to evaluate and better understand our emotional well-being. In 1949, Mental Health America and affiliates began May is Mental Health Month to increase awareness that mental health is something we all should be concerned about. The organization’s Tools 2 Thrive provides tools we can all use to improve our mental health.
In addition, MCPS and its medical insurance partners have resources for physical and mental health needs. Both medical plans also offer video visits, which make mental health care more accessible. Whether you are a member of CareFirst or Kaiser Permanente, you will find your options below:
- Mental Health Resources and Tools: If you’re looking for support, you’re not alone. Kaiser Permanente offers many options for members with mental, emotional and addiction issues.
- Calm: This is the number one app for meditation and sleep that is designed to help lower stress and reduce anxiety.
- myStrength: This is a personalized program that helps you improve awareness and change behaviors. Members can explore interactive activities, in-the-moment coping tools and community support.
- ClassPass: Unlimited on-demand video workouts (4,000+), reduced rates on livestream and in-person fitness classes and partnered with 30,000 gyms and studios around the world, giving members access to a range of classes including yoga, dance, cardio, boxing, Pilates, boot camp and more.
- Health Classes and Programs: Kaiser Permanente members can sign up for in-person, over-the-phone and online wellness programs and classes taught by a team of experts and designed to help you achieve health goals.
- Self-Care Resources: Explore a broad range of self-care resources, including apps, audio activities and articles, which are designed to help you thrive in mind, body and spirit.
- Video visits
- Inspirations and Relax 360°: Available through Sharecare, both tools offer relaxation and wellness videos that help you experience freedom from stress, unwind at the end of the day, or ease into a restful night of sleep.
- Mental Health Support: CareFirst members have access to specialized services and programs for depression, anxiety, drug or alcohol dependence, eating disorders, and other mental health conditions.
- Financial Wellness: When it comes to managing your finances and preparing for your financial future, it may be difficult to know whether you’re on the right track. If you feel overwhelmed—you’re not alone. Sharecare Financial Well-Being is a comprehensive online learning program that shows you how to take small steps toward big improvements in your financial situation. Whether you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck, get out of debt, save for retirement, or send a child to college, Financial Well-Being can help.
- Health Coaching: As part of your health coverage, you have access to personal health coaching. Lifestyle coaching helps identify opportunities to improve your health and well-being. Coaching is provided by trained health coaches who can assist you in many areas, including stress management.
- Video visits
A number of MCPS and community resources also are available. The following list will help you continue your journey toward being well in mental and physical health:
Find Your Words: Talking about depression can be challenging. Find the right words to say that can help, along with tools to recognize signs of depression in others.
Support Groups: The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) works to educate, advocate, listen and lead to improve the lives of people with mental illness and their loved ones.
MCPS Employee Assistance Program (EAP): With the ongoing global health crisis and recent events in our country, many of us are feeling stressed about health, racial injustice and the economy. The EAP offers phone counseling, video conferencing, direct email communication, and webinars. Please know that you are not alone and feel free to contact the EAP for confidential, no-cost counseling.
Mindful Moments: MCPS-TV has created a series of mindfulness videos to deliver simple and effective tools to help children and adults of all ages manage anxiety and stress.
BurnAlong: A free benefit for MCPS employees, BurnAlong is an online health, wellness, fitness, and social motivation video platform. BurnAlong partners with hundreds of wellness experts around the country to develop diverse programming, including thousands of live and on-demand classes in more than 45 categories. These classes include yoga, cardio, mindfulness, nutrition, prenatal, diabetes, adaptive workouts and more. On BurnAlong, you can include family, friends and co-workers for social motivation by taking live private group classes where you can see and hear each other.
MCPS Well Aware Toolbox: Well Aware, the MCPS employee wellness program, has a webpage with many resources to help staff adjust to returning to schools and offices. These tools include physical and mental health resources, lists of free exercise and mindfulness classes, and links to resources for improving sleep, nutrition and more.