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Living wellness means balancing the physical, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual, financial, occupational, and environmental dimensions of your life. Practicing wellness is essential to behavioral health. People with mental and/or substance use disorders die earlier than the general population, making wellness especially important for those with a behavioral health condition.But how do we incorporate wellness into our everyday lives? Getting involved in National Wellness Week 2014 is a great place to start!
People with severe mental and/or substance use disorders are more likely to die from heart disease than the general population. That’s why SAMHSA became a partner in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Million Hearts® Initiative, which aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. One great way to improve your heart health is by getting outside and getting active.
SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline answered over 1 million calls in 2013. One of those calls was from a 15-year old named Jackie. Later, after her crisis had passed, she contacted us. Jackie said, “You guys have saved my life. I am 15 years old and was going through a rough time. … A lady named Denise saved my life. After a failed attempt a couple days ago, I was going to try again. But she helped. A lot. A complete stranger saved my life.
We both grew up in a time and a place where coming out of the closet, for many people, was a risky proposition. While we were both lucky enough to have the support of many of our loved ones, others in our communities were not so fortunate. Despite the great progress Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender individuals in our nation have made in recent years in achieving equality and acceptance, not all families embrace their loved one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Coming out can still be a frightening, difficult, and in some cases dangerous thing to do. Coming out was then, and is now, brave. And, even months or years later, some families still struggle accepting their relative is LGBT.