Healthy Living Programs
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
After a year of loss and isolation from living through the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of our mental health is more important than ever before. Many Beach Cities residents are emerging from the pandemic with feelings of loss, isolation, depression and anger. As our community recovers and reopens, the lifting of restrictions is both exciting and overwhelming. Returning to our beloved social activities brings relief and anxiety as we continue to navigate changing health guidance and learn to feel safe in the world again. Invest in your mental health by participating in Mental Health Awareness month activities.
 

The Need:
Stress has been a health and well-being issue in the Beach Cities since the initial Gallup National Health & Well-being Index (WBI) in 2010. A decade later, Beach Cities adults continue to see high rates of stress and worry. Large majorities of Beach Cities residents have experienced increased stress due to the pandemic, economic shutdown and protests and civil unrest related to racial injustice. Nearly half (49.4%) of Beach Cities adults reported experiencing stress yesterday according to the WBI (2020). This percentage is higher than national numbers with Gallup reporting that stress and worry shot up as a result of the pandemic. 

Not only are the adults in the community struggling emotionally, but so are our youth. During COVID-19, schools transitioned to virtual learning and many of the social and extracurricular activities that students enjoyed became unavailable overnight. Data from the Panorama Ed Survey (2020) show how youth mental health was affected this past year.

  • 25% of Beach Cities students grades 6 through 12 answered “almost always” or “frequently” to the question: “During the past week, how often did you feel lonely?”       
  • 21% of Beach Cities students grades 6 through 12 answered “almost always” or “frequently” to the question: “During the past week, how often did you feel sad?”

About the Panorama Ed Survey: Panorama Ed helps schools and districts support student and adult social-emotional learning (SEL) with research-backed surveys and actionable data reports. Beach Cities students (grades 6-12) completed electronic Panorama Ed surveys throughout the 2020-2021 school year.

Collectively as a community, our mental health has suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. Know that you are not alone. During Mental Health Awareness Month in May, we encourage you to be kind to yourself and be kind to one another. Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) will provide mental health programs, tips and resources to let you prioritize and support your mental health as we continue to live through and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.


Three Ways to Participate in Mental Health Awareness Month:

Virtual Mental Health & Happiness Series:
Throughout Mental Health Awareness Month, BCHD will be guiding residents through the self-led Mental Health & Happiness Series on our social media channels. Facilitated by Tiana Rideout-Rosales, participants will learn techniques to build a practice supporting stress resilience and positive social connections. Each week in May will focus on a different theme and include videos and activities:

  • Week of May 3 – Reaffirm Purpose: Navigate transitions and focus on meaning
  • Week of May 10 – Boost Empathy: Support connection and shift perspective
  • Week of May 17 – Cultivate Bravery: Embrace opportunities and manage change
  • Week of May 24 – Maximize Gratitude: Express appreciation and savor kindness

Learn how to boost your well-being through evidence-based practices to build resilience, feel more connected and be happier. The series focuses on the building blocks to help create a healthier and happier you. For information on the series, contact Tiana Rideout-Rosales at 310-374-3426, ext. 139 or e-mail tiana.rideout@bchd.org.

Kindness Calendar: 
It’s been a tough year – to say the least – and now is a good time to remind ourselves to be kind to ourselves and one another. Being kind to ourselves, body and mind, means we are self-compassionate. Being kind to others means treating others with respect and empathy, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Challenge yourself to do an act of kindness every day during Mental Health Awareness Month with this Kindness Calendar. Follow us on social media for daily reminders to inspire positive actions and reflections.

Virtual Events:


Resources: 

Download a virtual background and show your support for Mental Health Awareness in May.

How BCHD is Supporting Mental Health in Schools
MindUP Lessons: MindUP is an evidence-based program grounded in neuroscience, mindful awareness, positive psychology and social-emotional learning. Each lesson is tailored to a child’s age group and developmental level. MindUP provides an immersive discovery experience and daily practices to shift a child’s perspective, drive positive behavior and improve learning and scholastic performance. To go along with distance learning due to COVID-19, MindUP lessons for the 2020-2021 academic year are offered in a video format. Learn more

Beach Cities School Well-Being Line: During COVID-19, BCHD has launched a School Well-Being Line to provide enhanced mental health support and to help navigate questions related to health and safety at school. Call 310-374-3426, and press option 2 on school days between 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

More Information