May 28, 2019

What is Mental Health?

What Is Mental Health?

Mental Health refers to a state of emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Basically, it means that our mental health affects how we feel, think, and act in certain situations. When we are in a good state of mental health, we are better able to handle everyday situations and potential challenges.

Everyone will experience life challenges throughout our lives, some more than others. Likewise, stress is something we all can relate to, such as job-related stress, financial stress, daily responsibilities, and even major life events such as an illness or divorce. Some stress is good because it keeps us on track and allows us to stay motivated in reaching our goals. However, too much stress can be harmful and toxic to our social, emotional, and physical health.

When we struggle to handle life’s challenges effectively and with a proper outlook, a mental health disorder might be the cause of the problem. There are many kinds of mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar, and others. Taking care of our emotional well-being is just as important as caring for our physical well-being.

Here are some tips to improve your mental health:

    1. Connect with others – spending time with others who are positive, loving, and caring can help us feel part of a family or community, makes us feel accepted, and gives life meaning.
    2. Learn and Practice “Mindfulness” Skills – do you ever think about what you are thinking about? Mindfulness is a form of self-reflection that allows you to focus on your thoughts. It can be done anywhere and at any time. The goal is to focus on the present instead of thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Using this skill is known to lower stress, increase your focus and memory, improve your relationships, and help you feel at ease.
    3. Exercise – should play an important role in your life. Exercising can lower anxiety, improve your sleep, mood, and help you feel more relaxed.
    4. Get enough sleep – Sleeping well is imperative to your overall physical and emotional health.
    5. Eat well – good nutrition can reduce your stress and promote your overall health and well-being. Eating unhealthy foods can cause health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
    6. Practice self-care – set aside some time each day to focus on self-care. It’s important to take care of your physical, emotional, and mental health by incorporating daily activities you enjoy.
    7. Get the care you need – if you feel like you are struggling with your mental health, don’t be ashamed or afraid to ask for help.


It’s Up to Us

It’s Up to Us is a campaign designed to empower San Diegans to talk openly about mental illness, recognize symptoms, utilize local resources and seek help.

San Diego Access and Crisis Line:

The SD Access and Crisis Line provides free assistance 7 days a week/ 24 hours a day. Services include confidential support in all languages, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention, referrals for mental health and/or alcohol and drug needs, and referrals to other related resources.
Tel: 888-724-7240 or 619-614-6992

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) San Diego

NAMI San Diego offers a Helpline, support groups, educational meetings, and other services on mental illness at various locations throughout San Diego.
NAMI San Diego Helpline: 800-523-5933 or 619-543-1434
NAMI North Coastal: 760-722-3754

2-1-1 San Diego:

2-1-1 SD connects people with community, health and disaster services through a free, 24/7 phone service and searchable online database.
Tel: 2-1-1

RI International – San Diego Chapter

RI International provides recovery-based services to adults with mental health and/or addiction challenges and offers free wellness and recovery classes to adults experiencing mental health challenges.
Phone: 858-274-4650

Rady Children’s Behavioral Health Urgent Care

The Behavioral Health Urgent Care serves children and teens ages, 5 -17 and their families struggling with urgent emotional and/or behavioral concerns posing a risk to their safety or the safety of others or creating significant impairment in their daily lives. The program accepts Medi-Cal, private insurance, uninsured, and undocumented.
Phone: 858-966-5484

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I hope you find this information useful. Please feel free to contact me if you need additional information or resources at 619-427-4411 ext. 1416 or by email at


Jenny Ordinario
CDA Family Resources Coordinator