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"Recovery comes from within the person with the right supports."Marc Jacques

 

Mental Health Advocacy Inc. offers useful, up-to-date information and self-help tools & techniques to aid us in our recovery process.  

Principles of recovery emphasize that we strive to understand those things that  improve our health. This website is offered as a banquet of various complementary practices to explore and learn.

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What is mental health recovery? 

Simply put, it is the process of getting better. For some of us, a life-long process of learning coping skills and information we need to offset the disabling effects of our mental health challenges.

 

The first step of recovery is to believe we can do so. The first lesson, accept that "we can do better." For many years mental health service systems were built with the idea that we did not get better. There are still remnants of mental health professionals who believe we stay sick forever. However, our understanding about recovery has changed. New science has motivated the building of recovery oriented systems of care. 

 

So how can we do better? What do we do? The most effective change we can do for ourselves is to have an appropriate diet. Mental illness is often described as a brain chemistry problem - literally we are what we eat. Brain chemistry is affected by what we put in our mouth.  Irregardless of "what" mental illness is, nutrition, education and individualized support are the best way to achieve recovery. Thus people do better and "recover" the pieces of their lives or life-skills damaged by the consequences of their health. 

  

To start the process of recovery we must set aside the half-truths we were taught and accept new insights. Many of us totally understand that bad diet will make us sick. High cholesterol and diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease are only a few affected by poor diet. We have a harder time understanding that a good diet can cure us. We also need to get around deep seated self-stigma about being helplessly mentally ill.  We have both the responsibility and the ability to take control of our health.

 

After accepting  we can do better we're not automatically recovered, but we have set in motion a series of actions that lead to lifelong learning helping us cope with our mental health problems. We achieve a better quality of life. Mental Health Advocacy Inc. provides information that is helpful for us to do better.

 

Everyone's life is unique, but others have experienced what we are going through. We can benefit from what they have learned to help us cope with our challenges. This is the essence of Peer Support. Peer support is useful in helping us find out what it is we need to do better. Why should we wait years to have a better quality of life? We can learn what we need to respond to symptoms differently; handle stress better; not give into addictive behaviors; enjoy life more fully. Learn to advocate for the services that are more helpful to the life we  want. 

You are a good person. You deserve to have the best quality of life possible. All people can do better with the resources they have. The key to doing better is knowledge. Mental Health Advocacy Inc. offers advocacy, networking, peer support, economic and health tips you may need to do better.


                

                





 





















 


Research Scientists have discovered that serotonin plays no role in depression.  They have uncovered that inflammation causes depression and other psychiatric distress. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition warns that processed sugar triggers the release of inflammatory messages called cytokines. "It is hard to resist deserts, pastry, chocolate bars, sodas even fruit juice because Sugar is also highly addictive and often triggers cravings for other addictions like alcohol cocaine and heroine." writes the Arthritis Foundation. Those individuals who are seeking to be successful in substance use recovery should reconsider how much sugar is in their diet. Sugar is a factor in suicide in our young adults and especially in populations of college students who are already vulnerable from poor diet, life style issues such as lack of enough sleep. Anyone interested in mental health recovery should limit the amount of sugar in their diet. 

click on image to visit our Sugar page.       

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Suicide Awareness 

Suicide is a public health issue that touches the lives of millions of people across the nation, and each of us has a role to play 
Join the discussion: #playarole in preventing it in our own communities.

Follow the Surgeon General on Twitter: @SGRegina

Subscribed to HHS.gov Homepage Updates for U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services. For more information, visit HHS.gov.

  7 Ways You Can Improve Your Mental Health Recovery Skills  By Marc Jacques, Co-Director

   Each year, millions upon millions of people all over the globe resolve that their next year will be different.       Most common are efforts around improving fitness & finances. Here in the land of non-profits June 30 is the       end of our fiscal year – so this is to offer a few ideas about how to improve our next year’s skills for recovery.    These are our top seven choices

    1.) Improve your Diet- You will absolutely start to feel better if you eat better.         Eat with a focus on recovery. Science now knows with certainty that added sugar     causes brain inflammation and that brain inflammation is “the most probable            cause” of depression, anxiety and bipolar. Sugar causes cravings for other                 addictions. Many medications cause weight gain and diabetes. It makes good sense     to be proactive and eat as if you had diabetes; you may avoid it. Become aware        that 90 percent of the body's serotonin is made in the digestive tract. Appropriate     diet will safeguard our digestive health. Click here to visit our healthy diet page.  
        
2.) Exercise -  Exercise is just loaded with recovery and health benefits. Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication. Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. It relieves tension and stress, boosts both physical and mental energy, and releases endorphins enhancing well-being. Anything that gets you moving will help so make an effort to exercise. You’ll feel better. Click here to visit our exercise page.  

3.)    Love yourself by practicing compassion – Trying to do better often comes with setbacks. Recognize this truth for what it is and be kind to yourself. Offer yourself words of encouragement when that little voice in your head starts to criticize. So, when you’re in a difficult situation give yourself the same comfort and advice you’d give your best friend. Honor and recognize that your pain is acceptable. Turn negative thoughts into positive ones. Try Positive Affirmations – click here to see how positive affirmation can help.

   
4.) Recognizing your triggers to counter them with healthy coping strategies - Recovery requires a great deal of self-awareness. If you can recognize your triggers then you can practice specific coping to prevent crisis. An example I like is coloring when I start feeling anxious. This strategy is helpful for me because it clears my mind and requires me to focus on something other than myself.



5.)    Participate in meaningful activities Meaningful activities can bring a sense of purpose to your life.When we find purpose, our sense of self-worth increases and we feel better about ourselves. When we engage in meaningful activities we create relationships with others that enhances our sense of belonging. Self-worth and a sense of belonging are two building blocks of a better quality of life.

6.) Snuggle with a pet- Research shows that pets help reduce anxiety, stress, and feelings of loneliness. Pets Lower cholesterol and triglycerides, decrease blood pressure and increase physical activity and functioning. Amazingly, service animals predict seizures, control 'freezing' in Parkinson's Disease, Diagnose cancer, and alert to hypoglycemia. Pets help us to live healthier both physically and mentally. So snuggle with a pet and feel better. 

7.) Use Peer Support - Sharing your challenges with others who have had similar experiences helps you find solutions, make you feel less lonely, and promote a sense of inclusion. You can seek this Peer Support through peer-run programs. There is much evidence that these programs improve quality of life, coping skills, and social support networks. Peer Support works so well that the federal Government pays for intentional peer support through many mental health programs and is considered to be a best practice. Click here to visit our peer support page.


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