Catholic Charities Counseling program provides quality, affordable services to individuals, families, couples, children and adolescents dealing with a variety of concern including anxiety, depression, anger management, stress, abuse, grief and more. Our compassionate counselors also write informative articles about mental health, self-care, and provide strategies to manage stress and conflict.

Friday, 28 April 2023

Mental Health and Coping Skills

In recent years, society has become more aware of mental health and started treating it with the same seriousness as physical health. Although everyone has good and bad days, a person with depression and/or anxiety may feel like every day is bad.

Depression Is More Than Feeling Sad

When someone is depressed, their symptoms are disruptive most of the day, nearly every day. They can experience feelings of sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness that often have no clear cause and are difficult to shake. Sometimes angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration can occur over small inconveniences that wouldn't normally bother the person.

Depression can affect a person’s thinking, making it hard to concentrate or make decisions. They may have recurrent thoughts of suicide or death and possibly act on these thoughts.

Anxiety Is More Than Feeling Nervous

Anxiety is a normal response to stress that is occurring in someone’s life. Normal anxiety will go away quickly after the stressful situation is resolved. But anxiety becomes a concern when it lasts for a long period of time and/or the person’s level of stress is disproportionate to the stressor.

Other symptoms associated with anxiety include restlessness and being tense, feelings of danger or panic, and difficulty focusing. Some people also experience trouble sleeping and digestive problems.

How to Find Relief from Depression and Anxiety

Exercise is important, especially when feeling depressed or anxious. Engaging in daily physical activity such as yoga, walking, or going to the gym can help alleviate symptoms.

Try your best to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Don’t beat yourself up if not all your meals are healthy—it's always better to eat something than nothing at all. Also, falling asleep and waking up at the same time every day can improve your mood.

Each day, reach out to someone in your support network via call, text, or social media. Let them know how you are feeling, tell them what they can do to help, and check in to see how they are coping. You may discover that others in your circle understand what you’re going through.

Take time to step outside and get some fresh air and sun, even if it’s in your backyard. Open blinds in your house to let the sun in and brighten up your room.

Seek Help if You’re Struggling

If you’re struggling to cope with your mental health, Catholic Charities’ Counseling Program continues to provide quality, affordable services through telehealth or in person that are fee-based, with a sliding scale based on your ability to pay. We also accept Mercy Care, Molina Complete Care, and Banner University AHCCCS plans. Please schedule an appointment today by calling 602-749-4405.

If you’d like to learn more about mental health and coping skills, attend a free virtual workshop on May 16, 2023 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Anna Smith MC, LPC, LISAC is the Senior Program Manager for the Counseling Program and has been with Catholic Charities for 19 years. Family is important to her, and she loves to crochet in her free time.

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