Surrounding Yourself With Support
If you’ve read our blog for any length of time, you probably know that one of the central messages that we, at the PTI, preach is that you can do it! Our goal is to always put you in the driver’s seat, in the captain’s chair, and to put you in the center of your plan for wellness. That means your voice matters and your goals are our goals. We’re on your team to help point you in the right direction, offer suggestions, help analyze and overcome barriers, and search out creative solutions. Why not surround yourself with the best professionals and the best organization that drives itself to perform better each and every day?
Beyond that, it’s important to seek out support in other venues than the professional supports that we offer. The more you are integrated into the community, take part in meaningful relationships, go on regular outings, and engage with those around you, the more likely you will have an efficient and sustained recovery. That means achieving and keeping your optimal state of health for the long haul. That also means, in many cases, that you don’t need us and we work ourselves out of the job. That’s what success looks like to us, partnering with people so that they can lead healthy, whole, successful lives.
In some cases, that may even mean reducing meds (if that’s what your’e interested in) if you’re enjoying that sustained success, regularly employing coping skills, and creating natural supports in the community. We’d like to take a closer look at what those natural supports could be to help spur some ideas and other creative thinking you might have on your own.
Examples of Natural and Community Supports
- Join a gym and go to regular classes. Start out by making casual conversation, saying hello and introducing yourself to staff, which can help you feel welcome and like you belong as a member to that institution. That will help to take it to the next step to reach out to others in the group. Maybe even take a friend with you to help with the accountability of going on a regular basis. If finances are an obstacle to joining a gym, don’t give up; many gyms offer financial aid and scholarships to make things happen.
- Look for a support group. NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) has chapters all across the states. Baton Rouge has its own chapter as well. ([email protected] 225-273-6061) Additionally, check out local papers for support groups specific to a certain illness or disability such as TBI, bi-polar, or PTSD.
- If you’re not working, consider volunteering or looking for a part-time job. Just having a regular schedule to get out and about, whether for work or volunteering helps to build that sense of contribution and belonging to a community that leads to greater stability personally as well as with interpersonal relationships.
- Look in the local paper or a news-magazine for cultural events– many are often free– to attend at least once a week. Again, getting out and about, especially when you don’t feel like it, will help keep momentum when and if things get rough. It’s better to go out when you don’t feel like than to succumb to simply going with the flow and doing whatever you feel.
If you’re serious about your recovery and getting better, don’t forget that it’s about the choices you make to make things happen and the ball is in your court. Also remember that mental health recovery is not necessarily a straight path. It’s often circuitous and comes in ups and downs. The important thing is to take advantage of the ups so that when the downs come, you don’t lose momentum. It’s hard but know that we’re here for you and we’re always standing by to help. If you have been struggling with your mental or emotional health, consider giving us a call today. Don’t delay your personal journey towards your optimal state of health any longer because you deserve the best TODAY!