Written by Sarah Gessaman, CG SUPRT
National Mental Health Awareness Month
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and CG SUPRT would like to remind you of the services available to you to maintain good mental health before, during and after challenging times.
Maintaining your mental health is about prevention and preparedness. It’s about realizing your strengths and challenges as well as your potential to navigate life’s storms. Being in good mental health is essential to being ready for duty during times of loss or unexpected changes, or when relationships become a struggle. The maintenance begins long before an emotional crisis.
Financial stress has been shown to be a prominent factor in marriage issues as well as a trigger for suicide attempts and a career concern if money issues impact your security clearance. The CG SUPRT Personal Financial Wellness program can help you get your finances on track and prepare for your future and any unexpected emergencies. Services include money coaching, telephonic financial consultation, financial education classes and a personalized website with helpful tools and calculators.
Poor mental health can also affect your physical health including developing risk factors for chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and obesity due to physical inactivity, smoking, excessive drinking, and insufficient sleep when you are stressed. To address these issues, CG SUPRT offers health and wellness coaching to help you manage stress, quit smoking and develop healthy habits such as exercise and healthy eating. Coaches can meet with you via phone or online chat for your convenience.
A lack of basic needs or instability of resources can be another cause of stress. The Coast Guard lifestyle may have you and your family moving or you may be facing other changes in your lifestyle, creating a need to set up new services or prepare for care for your loved ones. CG SUPRT can assist with daily living needs such as locating adequate housing, jobs, education, elder care, child care, and more. Career counselors through the CG SUPRT spouse education and career services are also available to support active duty spouses when they relocate or are ready to start a new career.
If you are going through a challenging time and could use some emotional support or guidance, CG SUPRT offers non-medical counseling. The counseling is solution focused to help you achieve a greater level of wellness and prepare you to cope with future stress. It is perfect for issues such as relationship stress, planning for co-parenting, blending families, work stress and grief. The counseling is available in a variety of modalities to accommodate your schedule and reduce further stress of making appointments. You can meet with a counselor face to face in your area or via phone, video chat, or web chat.
If you prefer to begin your maintenance on your own and do some self education, the CG SUPRT website is full of articles, videos, and webinars on all types of issues including stress management, adjusting to an empty nest, developing resilience, dealing with burnout and parenting. There are also two applications that are free to download to your personal devices. The ‘MoodHacker’ app will help you track your mood and what activities help you stay positive. The ‘Love Every Day’ app sparks communication between you and your spouse with fun and easy activities over a period of 21 days.
Remember that all services through CG SUPRT are free and confidential. To set up counseling, money coaching, health coaching or get more information, call CG SUPRT 24/7 at 855-CG-SUPRT (247-8778) or visit the CG SUPRT website. You can also contact your employee assistance program coordinator in your work-life office for more information on CG SUPRT and other services through the office.