June is Pride month, an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the lives and contributions of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) community. While the dancing and colorful festivities are a wonderful way to celebrate, it’s also an opportunity to shine a light on the unique challenges members of this community face, particularly when it comes to their mental health and well-being.
Highlighting Mental Health Awareness Year-Round
While we talk about the importance of prioritizing mental health year-round, Sunstone Counseling celebrates the dedication of May as Mental Health Awareness Month. We envision a world where seeing a therapist is as commonplace as seeing a primary care doctor—where people grappling with emotional and relational challenges can easily access the professional services they need to not only survive, but thrive.
What NOT to Say to Sexual Assault Victims
In the wake of the #metoo movement, the highly publicized cases of Brock Turner, Harvey Weinstein, and Brett Kavanaugh have evoked thousands of men and women to come forward and share their stories of sexual assault. Sharing about the incident with someone you trust can be helpful, but only if the response is one of belief, support, and non-judgment. It is important to know what to say — or what NOT to say — to someone who has shared a history of sexual assault.
Supporting Your Transgender or Nonbinary Child
For parents or caregivers of a transgender or nonbinary child, it can be a confusing and overwhelming journey. But loving and accepting children for who they are plays a vital role in affirming their identity. After all, transgender and nonbinary children should feel they are in a safe environment where they can flourish as their authentic self. They are entitled to be respected, supported, and loved, especially at home.
Social Work for Social Good: Celebrating National Social Work Month
Thanks in part to social workers, the stigma of mental health illness has lessened over the years, and there is open and honest dialogue around mental health, opening the door for the field of mental health treatment. The fields of social work and therapy are inextricably linked, and we wouldn’t be able to serve our community without the dedication and innovation of social workers.
Is It Time to Get Help for OCD?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects 2-3% of the population across their lifetime. The disorder is characterized by a pattern of unwanted thoughts or fears (obsessions) that cause an individual to perform a set of repetitive behaviors (compulsions). OCD can interfere with a person’s daily activities and lead to significant distress. Being aware of the signs and symptoms of OCD can help individuals understand what they’re experiencing and whether to seek out professional treatment.
Why It’s Important to Talk About Suicide
Suicide was among the top nine leading causes of death in 2020 in the U.S., so it’s critical that we talk openly about it to help those impacted by suicide, and to prevent future incidents. Since everyone processes emotions and situations differently, the ways in which suicidal thoughts show up in a person can vary greatly. Being able to spot some of the ways that suicidal thoughts present themselves is the first step in prevention and getting a loved one the help they need.
Recognizing Women’s Equality Day
Observed on August 26, National Women’s Equality Day acknowledges the continuous struggle for women’s participation and equality in all spheres of life and society. Yet it is also about uplifting and empowering women, and marveling at how far women have progressed, defying all odds and oppression. It is an opportunity to express gratitude for the influential women in our lives, to support local businesses run by women, and to celebrate womanhood.
Sunstone Applauds Launch of 988 Hotline for Mental Health Emergencies
We applaud the nationwide launch of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Hotline on July 16. 988 has been designated as the simplified three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, connecting callers to trained counselors 24/7 for free. While 988 is not a new number, it was previously only accessible in certain parts of the U.S., so this marks the first time it will be available nationwide.
Understanding PTSD: You Are Not Alone
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can originate from experiencing or witnessing any number of frightening or distressing events, such as a serious accident, a natural disaster, combat or a violent assault, or personal abuse or harassment. If you’re living with PTSD, you may feel as though you’re destined to deal with these symptoms forever. But treatment is possible, and you do not have to bear this burden alone.
Juneteenth: A Time for Reflection and Healing
Juneteenth marks a historical moment – one of celebration for the ending of a horrific practice – and is also a time for reflection. The lingering intergenerational trauma wrought by slavery is still felt today, and our country’s systems and institutions remain intricately linked with racist beliefs and policies that marginalize and oppress Black and African American individuals. This Juneteenth, we want to shine a light on the mental health of this community, and highlight how we can all help dismantle barriers to achieving mental well-being.
The Power of Vulnerability
By its very definition, vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. Even when we try to control every aspect of our every day, we will be met with unexpected situations that require us to respond – with no script and no guarantee of perfection. We can try to avoid being vulnerable, or we can choose to face the uncertainties of life head-on, knowing that vulnerability often leads to greater intimacy, self-worth, and compassion for ourselves and others.