Mental Health Awareness Month: The Impact of Oppression
For Mental Health Awareness Month, you will likely see posts espousing the benefits of eating balanced meals, walking, getting sunshine, establishing a healthy sleep routine, and the list goes on. While all of those are important for supporting our own mental well-being, they are not the full picture.
For many in our community, there are larger, more systemic issues at play behind mental health struggles. How do you prioritize balanced meals when you don’t have predictable access to food? How do you incorporate movement into your days when you are afraid to leave your home because of transphobic laws that empower hate speech and violence? How do you establish a healthy sleep schedule when you don’t feel safe in your own home?
The mental health field is guilty of perpetuating the myth of personal responsibility when it comes to how we are impacted by oppressive systems. It is important to both try to give yourself as much support as you can through healthful eating, sleep, movement, and connection with others, AND acknowledge that you are impacted by oppressive systems that were designed to erase identities and exploit those not in privileged classes of people.
At Heartland, we do our best to partner with our patients to address access to needed resources so that folks can meet some of those basic needs. We know that, until your basic needs are met, it is difficult or impossible to prioritize your own mental well-being.
To learn more about mental health services, talk to your primary care provider or call us at (785) 841-7297.