Mental Health Awareness tips from two counselors in Bismarck

Local News

May is National Mental Health Awareness Day.

One in five Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year according to the CDC. The good news is you don’t have to suffer in silence. There are some ways you can take care of your mental health this month and every day.

Gwen Westerlund, Licensed Counselor at Rosmarinus Counseling Services says, “If we learn to act against the way we’re feeling, it can sometimes start the cycle to go in a positive direction.”

The cycle Gwen Westerlund is talking about is our thought patterns.

She says, “One of the tools that I use with trauma is EMDR, which has been a very well-proven method for treating trauma and particularly PTSD.”

She says one way to overcome trivial issues is to change the way you think.

Westerlund adds, “Learning to look at life and seeing things for what they are. Maybe they’re just an inconvenience or triviality, maybe it is a problem or an ordeal, but it’s the way we think about it that determines how we deal with it.”

Alison Traynor, who works for Summit Counseling Services in Bismarck says things like going outside for a walk, eating healthier, and connecting with loved ones help too. She says there’s no shame in asking for help because she struggled at one point.

Traynor says, “Everyone needs help sometimes. And just because you’re reaching out for help doesn’t make you weak. It actually makes you stronger.”

She says things like more sleep, practicing gratitude, and spiritual practice also helps. Both ladies agree you don’t have to struggle alone.

Both Gwen and Alison have practices in Bismarck but do offer telehealth services as well.

For more information on Rosmarinus Counseling Services go here.

For information on Summit Counseling Services go here.

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