Updated: Jul 22, 2020
☆*:.｡ Creating your own mental health toolbox and filling it with supportive resources ｡.:*☆
~helpful hint: everything underlined is a hyperlink directly to the resource~
How people need and want support during a difficult time in their life can come in all different shapes and forms. Not one is better than the other and maybe it’s even a combination of different things. Where do you even begin? Would speaking to someone whether directly or confidentially be helpful? Maybe you would like to learn different coping skills or to create an action plan of activities to help you feel better and to stay safe. Perhaps you would like to be able to redirect your energy and focus to be in a better headspace. No matter what help and healing looks like for you, what matters is that you do what's best for you always and that the information and resources are available to you. I think that where the problem lies is that people may not know where, how, or who to turn to for the support they need. From volunteering as a crisis counselor, I have acquired so many wonderful resources that I want to share in this post + some bonus ones. I hope that after reading you see that there's a whole team of people -- from different organizations and individuals out there who want you to have the tools to be able to take the very best care of yourself. With this knowledge, I hope you can become e m p o w e r e d to choose which helpful ideas you are open to trying to add to your own mental health tool box. (⁀ᗢ⁀)
CRISIS TEXTLINE REFERRALS:
Through my volunteer work with Crisis Textline, I have seen a multitude of referrals that we provide when asked, that have the potential to give texters a sense of calm and to better feel supported. When giving a referral, I always check it out myself too and have found that so much of what I’ve read and seen was extremely useful in my own life as well. So I thought, why not share some of these helpful resources with you all too. ٩(◕‿◕)۶
☆* Here's a link to all of the referrals from Crisis Textline *☆ based on different situations you may be experiencing: Crisis Textline Referrals
These are all free for you to use, reputable, and hand selected by the staff at Crisis Textline. Please feel free to use these resources. I hope they can be helpful for those who may need them. (♡˙︶˙♡)
I did want to highlight down below the particular resources that I checked out and that stood out to me because of how informative, creative, inspiring or relaxing they were. I know everyone copes in different ways, but I am *hoping* that these may help someone who may be going through a tough time. ʕ ᵔᴥᵔ ʔ
<(￣︶￣)> COPING SKILLS with YOURLIFEYOURVOICE.ORG
I'VE GOT 99 PROBLEMS, BUT COPING SKILLS AIN’T ONE!
The first resource that I’ve explored and found particularly useful is the Your Life Your Voice Website. Through my volunteer work with Crisis Textline one of the resources that we use from this website is 99 Coping Skills.
From this list, I chose a few coping skills that I felt would make me happy if I was feeling sad or lonely. Some of these are new skills for me to try that would be helpful to get my mind off things if I need to. These skills are also great for self-care!
My coping skills list includes:
Sewing (really excited to try this one! Dear sister, pls let me borrow your sewing machine thx :-*)
Learning a new language
Writing myself an “I love you because…” letter
Cleaning my space
Smiling at 5 people a day
Also on their website are ⇥ tips ⇤ on all of the following topics below:
(photos from yourlifeyourvoice tips webpage)
I found this to be an amazing resource that I enjoyed navigating around through. There’s SO MUCH on there that I will try and am actively using myself. I appreciate that there are many categories, but that they keep everything organized with simple lists. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with where to even start when seeking for help on topics that can be quite sensitive to talk about, so I appreciate the ease through which you can find what you need <3
I personally liked the:
1.⇥ Healthy relationships resource 👫👬👭
2.⇥ Being resilient list 💪🏼💪🏾💪🏿
3.⇥ How to let go of negative feelings (questions to ask yourself when you are ruminating on negative thoughts) 😾💭➡️😸☀️
<(￣︶￣)> SPEAK TO SOMEONE
Remote help from wherever you are that is available to you 24/7
3 different types, in no particular order of any one being better than the other <333
1. Talk to a self-help robot
⇥ Woebot (app on iphone and google): tiny conversations to make your day, made by faculty at Stanford University. I thought this was a cute little app! I tested it out the other day and I liked the hope filled messages Woebot would send me as well as explanations for why it was asking you certain questions in order to tailor your care to you. Since it’s a program that’s speaking to you and not an actual person, I was pretending Wall-e was on the other end of the texts >.<
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
2. Talk to a trained crisis counselor through text for support
Crisis Textline (CTL)
Find your region and text the word "HOME"
America or Canada: text 741741
UK: text 85258
Ireland: text 086 1800 280
Text in if you are feeling any negative emotion or just whenever you need support. The main goal of texting in is to help you feel more calm and safe. They can also lend you an ear to listen or give you referrals if that is the support that you need.
I have been volunteering with CTL and can I just say, the supervisors and other counselors that I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with are all such special and caring people. I am so inspired by them and I know that if you text in, they will try their very best to make sure that you are heard and supported 💜
If you may be interested in volunteering with Crisis Textline or finding more info on what volunteers do, learn more here ⇥ my Crisis Textline referral code.
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
3. Talk to someone via telephone if you are feeling emotionally distressed
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Dial 800-273-TALK (8255)
<(￣︶￣)> Finding Free/Affordable Services in Your Area
1.⇥ Open Counseling - affordable counseling in your area. 💓
2.⇥ 211 - finding caring, expert help in your area. 💓
3.⇥ Aunt Bertha - free or reduced costs for social services such as medical care, food, job training. 💓
<(￣︶￣)> Career Assistance
1.⇥ Career One Stop
Choosing your career or making a career change can be a daunting task. Where do you even begin??? With this next resource, you can:
- search a career of your interest
- learn about what they do in that field
- see projected job openings & actual job postings
- see the typical pay range
- learn about education/experience that is typically needed in that career
- see links to programs that can prepare you for the field (you can search by school)
- find what certifications would be helpful to have
- find licensure information for your particular state (in the U.S.)
- see what skills and knowledge you will learn on that career path
I feel like THIS is the information that should be given to us starting in freshman year of high school (along with cooking, sustainability, filing our taxes, getting an oil change, building our own furniture lmao I digress --AND also not waiting till we're nearly a third of the way done with high school to start exploring this!!!). It would be SO beneficial. Not everyone knows what path they want to be on and even in adult life, we may want to make changes. I like that this website is literally a “one stop” shop with so many resources to learn more about different types of jobs to create a plan to build your career dreams.
Also, if you have lost your job during the pandemic, they also have information about unemployment on their website available to you if you may need it.
<(￣︶￣)> Protecting Our Elderly <3
1.⇥ Connect 2 Affect - for healthy, fulfilling connections for the elderly:
If there’s an elderly person you may be concerned for, who may be lonely or going through a tough time, you could help them fill out the questionnaire form on this website. It can help them to find a support group that best fits them.
2.⇥ Dosomething.org Senior Homies campaign - to participate, simply reach out and connect to an older adult in your life and encourage them to share their stories with you! In doing so you are helping them feel less isolated, which in turn can help with both their mental and physical health. This is especially important during covid-19 where a lot of eldery may be feeling loneliness.
<(￣︶￣)> Meditation Station
1.⇥ My Life app - an app to check in on how you’re doing today, allowing you to become aware of your feelings & then it will suggest to you a short mindfulness activity based on your interactions with the app.
Here's a little walk through I did of the app. Excuse the depleted battery heh 😗
2.⇥ Insight Timer - found this site while exploring through resources and it is the largest free library of guided meditation. You can use it on your internet browser or download it as an app.
I have set a personal goal for myself to choose one guided meditation video from here a week to listen to. They have everything from a guided meditation led by the actor Russell Brand, to meditation that helps you fall asleep to relaxing music that you can play in the background of your day (just to name a few of the ones I was drawn to). The first video that I listened to is called Loving and Listening to Yourself by Saran Blondin.
<(￣︶￣)> Self-harm Prevention
Activities to prevent self-harm urges
1. Phone App: ⇥ Calm Harm
I downloaded the app to see how it works and I love that you can customize it to your liking, by changing your background colors and picking characters. LOOK at how cuteee mine is with the sunset colors and ocean animals. (◕‿◕)♡
While I know that this app was created to give alternative ideas of activities to do instead of inflicting harm on yourself, I feel that it can be used for different purposes as well! After checking out the app myself, I realized that the activities would be useful for me if I find myself feeling like I am going to have a panic attack. I really appreciated the Breathing Gif + the express yourself section, which allows you to take ownership of your emotions and to dig deep down to uncover what is causing you to feel the way that you do. It can empower you to take a shift from a negative to a more positive mind space.
Here is a little walk through I did while on the app for you all to see:
2. Article: ⇥ Help Guide
This resource shows you how to identify your triggers and to chose an alternate coping mechanism based on that. It teaches you to not fight your feelings, but to understand that a feeling will pass and that you have the power to replace it with a new feeling.
<(￣︶￣)> Invisible Illnesses by Theresa Fernandez
In addition to the resources above, my friend, Linda (@boohoolindalieu on IG) posted a video on her instagram bio for mental illness awareness month. Individuals each had a poster board and wrote out who and what helps them cope with the various mental health illnesses they are faced with. This video was inspiring for me because people were courageous enough to share their vulnerability and pain with others through this project, but also HOW they overcome them. This project was created by Linda’s friend, Theresa Fernandez. Thank you Theresa! I thought this project was powerful, empowering, and really was the inspiration for today’s post on creating your very OWN mental health tool kit that works for you.
<(￣︶￣)> Coping Mechanisms Comedy
To end with a little light heartedness, a good belly laugh & honestly some great asmr highkey lolol (her voice was so soothing!) go check this next video out. My friend Jess shared this IGTV vid on her story and I asked the creator if I could share it with you all for a good laugh (:
A little reminder that we don't have to take life so seriously all the time 🙃
So that was today's post! I hope that just as these resources have given hope to both texters on CTL and to myself, that perhaps they can be helpful for some of you as well. And if while reading this post you were wondering what this lil guy was all about <(￣︶￣)> It’s me sending you a hug! No matter what you’re going through, you are not alone, and there is someone who cares about you. Thank you to the above organizations and individuals who have dedicated their time, talents, and hearts ♡ to creating all of these welcoming spaces for others facing a tough time to feel supported and to give them hope for better days.
If you have any resources, you would like to share, don't be shy! Share it in the comments pls. You never know who you could help. ♡＼(￣▽￣)／♡
When a person is down in the world, an ounce of help is better than a pound of preaching.
Cheering you on,
Judi Bloom ✺◟( • ω • )◞✺