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'Get Connected' in May and Boost Your Mental Health

Mental Health America Challenges Each American this May to the Mental Health Connection Challenge

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 1, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- In observance of 2008 May is Mental Health Month, Mental Health America is encouraging Americans to build their social support networks throughout May to protect and improve their mental health. Mental Health America challenges all Americans to the Mental Health Connection Challenge by making FIVE positive and life-fulfilling connections. Research shows that social networks can reduce stress and promote overall health by providing a sense of belonging, self-worth and security.

"We all need to maintain positive connections to feel a part of our communities and families, which is why this May, Mental Health America is challenging every American to connect to family & friends, coworkers, community members and professional help, if needed," said David Shern, Ph.D., president & CEO of Mental Health America. "Years of research have shown that individuals who feel valued and cared for are better equipped to deal with stress and adversity and even experience less severe illnesses than those with little social support."

Mental Health America's Mental Health Connection Challenge:

-- Connect To Family & Friends - Loved ones are an important source of support and encouragement. Talk to them when you need extra help, allow them to provide guidance and be prepared to help them when they need you.

-- Connect To Coworkers - Given the amount of time we dedicate to work, healthy relationships with coworkers are a must. Spend a lunch hour with officemates or reach out to someone you haven't talked to in a while to take a walk or grab coffee.

-- Connect To Community Members - Shifting from your own issues to the needs of others can be a healthy change of pace. Select a faith-based organization, school, long-term care facility or non-profit group that needs your help and pitch in.

-- Connect To Yourself - Taking time for yourself can decrease stress and improve health and relationships. Try meditating, exercising, enjoying a hobby or reading a book. Whatever you choose, it's your time, so spend it doing something you enjoy.

-- Connect To Professional Help - If you're feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope, reach out to a mental health professional. For a referral to local services, contact Mental Health America or your local Mental Health America affiliate at 800-969-6642 and

Mental Health America founded May is Mental Health Month 50 years ago to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of mental health for all. This year's theme, "Get Connected" is focused on the important role social connectedness plays in maintaining and protecting mental health and wellness.

Mental Health America is the country's leading nonprofit dedicated to helping ALL people live mentally healthier lives. With our more than 320 affiliates nationwide, we represent a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation - everyday and in times of crisis.

SOURCE Mental Health America
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