Theresa A. Brisker
Behavioral Health Clinical Nurse Educator
Eisenhower Army Medical Center

Mental health is essential to everyone's overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. So much of what we do physically impacts us mentally.

It's important to pay attention to both your physical health and your mental health, which can help you achieve overall wellness and set you on a path to recovery.

Mental Health America declared May as Mental Health Month back in 1949, marking this year as MHA's 70th year celebrating Mental Health Month.

This May Eisenhower Army Medical Center's Behavioral Health team is expanding its focus from 2018 and raising awareness about the connection between physical health and mental health, through the theme #4Mind4Body. We are exploring the topics of animal companionship, spirituality and religion, humor, work-life balance, recreation, and social connections as ways to boost mental health and general wellness.

A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

It can also help people recover from these conditions.

For those dealing with a chronic health condition and the people who care for them, it can be especially important to focus on mental health. When dealing with dueling diagnoses, focusing on both physical and mental health concerns can be daunting but critically important in achieving overall wellness.
There are things you can do that may help. Finding a reason to laugh, going for a walk with a friend, meditating and playing with a pet.

Eisenhower already has such programs on board for staff to take advantage of. The Move to Health training includes the foundation of the Performance Triad goal: "change the conversation" from a disease and injury-centric approach to a personalized, proactive, person-centered approach that is focused on promoting the health and wellness of the Total Army Family (Soldier, Family members and DA Civilian).

Changing the conversation means holistic health through healthy partnerships and relationships, self-reflection, innate healing mechanisms, mindfulness, healing communication (empathy). Staff may sign up for the Move to Health course on Swank Health.

EAMC's Behavioral Health team has received some of the following comments from participants regarding the course when asked: "What was the most effective part of the Move to Health course, day 1?"
"Learning some different ways to look at our own health and helping with the health of others."
"That you can choose your life to be positive at any age."
"The Performance Triad and how it works."
"It gives you the opportunity to reflect and make life changing habits and improve overall health."
Look for EAMC's Behavioral Health team for mental health awareness activities throughout the month.

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