MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS
DRUG & ALCHOHOL ABUSE
THE CHILD WITHIN
GOOD MENTAL HEALTH
OVERCOMING LIFE'S CHALLENGES
LEARNING TO LAUGH AT YOURSELF!
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX OF LIFE
KEEPING FAMILY STORIES ALIVE
Travels from SLC Utah
*The Child Within
*Drug & Alchohol Abuse
TITLES AND SUMMARIES
When all of a person’s needs are being met, such as physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual, there is a balance and the person is able to have an enjoyable, happy life. So many of us get out of balance when our needs are not being met. In fact, 1 out of every 5 people will develop some sort of mental illness in their life time.
Here are a few facts about mental illness/health:
A person can tell if they have a mental illness if their troubles go beyond the normal up’s & down’s of life. They are unable to experience joy no matter how hard they try. What has happened is there is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Either too much or not enough endorphins transmitted between the nerve cells in the brain.
Here are some ways of treating mental illness:
*Healthy support system
In therapy, a good relationship between the therapist and patient is vital. Here are some different forms of therapy:
*Psychotherapy; helps client describe worries or fears. Explores the persons self-talk and work out strategies to make life less stressful.
*Behavior therapy; “exposure & response prevention.” This is where the therapist exposes the client to his fears and changes how he responds to the feared object.
*Reconnection with others; for clients who have experienced abuse. Helps them heal from the trauma by learning to trust others and giving and receiving love.
The Child Within
This concept has been very close to my heart over the years. It has been the main source of my healing starting my first hospitalization in 1989. It has been the most cathartic experience I have ever known.
We all have an “inner child” that needs attention and to be nurtured. The knowledge that kept me balanced was and is that feelings are neither right or wrong, they just are. Also, it is a package deal—you don’t pick and choose. When you embrace this concept, that is when you become free. To start with this healing, one must recognize the damage that has been done and honoring what you did to survive. What causes this “split” in a child’s mind is usually trauma. Children of abusive backgrounds are usually very creative because they use their imagination to survive. A lot of times healing usually is an art form.
Another part of healing is giving up the need for control. One must walk through the pain, and embrace those deep, dark secrets that have kept them in bondage for so long. One can learn to love the child for all she had to defend against. We learn to trust ourselves again and listen to our body cues.
Healing is an amazing thing!! The abuse that separated us can bring us together when we recognize, heal and forgive. We all can be happy and even thrive!
Drug & Alchohol Abuse
I myself have been caught in the trap of using and abusing alcohol. It wasn’t until I was ready to give up the chaos that I found peace.
When people who use or abuse drugs/alcohol, it is usually a secondary thing. They self-medicate because there is a significant amount of mental or emotional pain that they can’t deal with and the drug makes them feel better. People who come from dysfunctional or abusive families or some trauma, fall into this category.
The first step to healing comes from the 12 step program, and that is turning your will over to a higher power. This takes faith and faith and control cannot peacefully co-exist. We learn to live in the moment, not worrying about the past or future—just one day at a time. And being willing to accept whatever comes with each day, knowing all is well and having faith in life itself. This gets us centered, finding our place in the scheme of things.
The final step in the 12 step program is about service to our fellow-beings. Attention to someone else’s needs can be very healing. The more we honor someone else’s needs above our own, the more centered we are. We are healthy, whole, and our spirits are lifted.
Healing from drug abuse, we have knowledge of reverence and an affirmation of human worth. Our capacity for love, and commitment to honesty makes us whole again.
Peace in a New Day
Through songs, stories, skits and tips learn how to find greater mental health in your life. Learn the Four Stages of overcoming loss and how to navigate your way in life’s turbulence turning negative emotions into positive ones. Turn fear into faith including the stop, drop and roll method.
Kerri Ernstsen. I am 44 years old, been married for 5 years and have 5 step-children and I live in Taylorsville, Utah. My hobbies are dancing, nature and being with my husband and friends. I enjoy my husband’s cooking and making snicker-doodles for my kids. I also enjoy teaching. I have been working as a mental health mentor for NAMI Utah for 8 years. I teach Bridges (mental illness class) to the women in the prison, I facilitate a support group called “Connections.” One of my favorite things to do is speak. I have spoken for BYU, U of U, SLCC, CIT(police officers), and family and consumer support groups. I have had my own illness’s to deal with, and the journey has been long. But the healing and insight I have gained has made it worth it all!!
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