May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Now, more than ever, we are needing to take extra precautions in caring for our mental health. 

The reality right now is that many people are struggling. Many people have lost jobs, support systems, resources, family members, close friends, children and so much more. 

We are all fighting this battle separately, but we all need to be empathetic and support each other during this difficult time. How can we do that when we can’t hug or even be near each other? 

We are in a unique time of history. Some ways we can check on a loved one’s mental health is reaching out through a phone call or a video chat. Other ways are being vigilant in encouraging good sleep, encourage them moving their body as much as possible throughout the day, exploring meditation and breathing apps, having them stick to a daily routine, making their environment safe and comfortable, reminding them to drink water regularly and limiting alcohol consumption. 

Limiting alcohol consumption is important for many reasons. Alcohol is a depressant, and alcohol makes the feelings of depression more prominent. Other mental and behavioral issues that people who drink alcohol excessively can experience include fear, discontent, aggression, loneliness, anxiety, and sadness. 

Encouraging each other to avoid alcohol can contribute to healthy mental health and well-being. 

If you would like to hear more about what UNIDAD Coalition is doing in Hidalgo County to promote mental health awareness, please follow us on Facebook @bhsofsouthtexas. 

Editor’s Note: The author of the above op-ed, Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Urbina based her commentary on information provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above guest column has been provided by Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas.

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