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World Mental Health Day shines spotlight on mental health conversations

A licensed clinical social worker in Richmond is giving advice on how to prioritize your mental...
A licensed clinical social worker in Richmond is giving advice on how to prioritize your mental health.(Source;NBC12 | NBC12)
Published: Oct. 10, 2021 at 5:47 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 10, 2021 at 7:25 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - October 10 marks World Mental Health Day, which the World Health Organization classifies as a time to raise awareness about mental health issues and discussing what needs to be done to provide mental health care to everyone.

The day also reminds Jasmine McLaughlin, a licensed clinical social worker and founder of Empowered to Thrive Counseling and Wellness, about the importance of mental health.

“It’s just a day to recognize the importance of really taking care of our mental well-being,” she said.

McLaughlin says mental health has also become the center of conversations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There has been such an increase in rates of depression, anxiety, substance use, those sorts of things, stress during the pandemic,” McLaughlin said.

On Sunday, the World Health Organization took to social media to talk about the impacts of the virus on mental health.

According to WHO, nearly one billion people around the world have a mental health disorder.

To prioritize your own care, McLaughlin’s first piece of advice is to see how your day-to-day activities are impacting you.

“Sometimes we’re so quick to say yes to things and agree to certain opportunities because they sound great, but we really have to consider how this is going to affect my emotional well-being,” she said.

McLaughlin also advises you to take time away from your phone and computer.

“It’s great to use it to connect to people, but it can also be a way for us to be inundated with negativity,” she said. “A lot of times, the first thing that we reach for in the morning is our phone, so think about those habits too and how they’re affecting our mental health.”

Tips aligning with McLaughlin’s biggest takeaway for those who are struggling.

“It is absolutely okay to ask for help,” she said. “We all have stresses that we deal with and it’s okay to seek a professional or to seek professional help and to talk to someone about those things.”

For more information on Empowered to Thrive Counseling and Wellness, click here.

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