Look Around, Look Within: May Is Mental Health Month

The stress and isolation of the pandemic have taken a toll on our collective wellbeing. The longer days and warming weather of May make it the perfect time to celebrate Mental Health Month.  This year we are joining Mental Health America, creator of Mental Health Month, in encouraging our community to “look around and look within.”

Our surroundings have a huge impact on our mental health. Safe communities, ready access to health care, and healthy, affordable food are vital to our emotional wellbeing.   Where a person is born, lives, learns, works, plays, and gathers, as well as their economic stability and social connections, are part of what is called “social determinants of health” (SDOH). When it seems like the world is working against us, our health, including our mental health, can suffer.

This May, we’re asking our friends to think about how they can contribute to healthier communities and how they can create a healthier emotional environment in their own lives as well. As a member of the community, you can create bonds with your neighbors and get involved in your city, borough or township’s initiatives to improve residents’ wellbeing. Get to know the people living around you, join or start neighbors-helping-neighbors groups, and support local businesses to challenge gentrification. Advocate for access to healthy food and work with nonprofits that bring produce into underserved communities. Take a mental health first aid class or a course in QPR – Question Persuade Refer – techniques for crisis intervention. Several area organizations offer these courses at no charge.

Closer to home, you can do a lot to nurture your own and your loved ones’ mental wellness. While many parts of your environment can be out of your control, there are steps you can take to change your space and protect your well-being. Consider keeping your space clean and limit clutter. Keep your bedroom sleep-friendly (yes, we mean turning off your electronic devices!), and well-ventilated. Surround yourself with items that help you feel calm and positive. Connect with nature: We are blessed in Chester and Delaware counties with an extensive network of nature preserves where you can bike, hike, or simply sit quietly with nature. More and more communities offer mindfulness programs that you can join. Exploring creative activities like writing, music, art, and photography can reduce stress and improve your sense of wellbeing. Most important, connect with friends and loved ones. Take time to foster relationships that nurture your happiness.

We are fortunate to live in a time when the healthcare community is focused on the importance of mental wellbeing. It has become acceptable to talk about mental health, both our own and our collective mental health. Let’s all take the month of May to look around us to find ways to make our communities healthier and look within to consider how to take care of ourselves at the same time.

If you find yourself struggling with your mental health, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to reach out. Talk to your primary care provider or call 988 to get access to mental health resources near you.


Center for Family Health at Eastside
125 E. 9th Street
Chester PA, 19013
Medical Phone: 610-872-6131
Dental Phone: 610-874-6231

Center for Family Health at Coatesville
744 East Lincoln Highway
Suite 110
Coatesville, PA 19320
Medical Phone: 610-380-4660
Dental Phone: 610-383-3888

Center for Family Health at Upper Darby
5 South State Road
Upper Darby, PA 19082
Phone: 610-352-6585

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1510 Chester Pike,
Suite 200
Eddystone, PA 19022

Phone: 610-485-3800
Fax: 610-485-4221

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