Life moves pretty fast, and sometimes, it’s hard to slow down to make sure we’re taking care of our mental health. It’s important for all of us to take a step back every once in a while and make sure we’re finding balance in our lives.

At Mercy Home, the mental health and wellbeing of our children is our top priority. Though they have busy schedules, there are a variety of resources we build into our kids’ everyday lives to help them keep up with their mental health.

One of the key ways we address mental health for our children is by providing regular therapy sessions. Youth meet one-on-one with a therapist every week to talk about the things that are going on in their lives. Whether it is problems from their past, ongoing family issues, academic or peer pressure – our kids know that they always have a trained professional they can reach out to when life seems unmanageable.

“I think the hard part is sometimes when we’re feeling depressed or anxious we go into that freeze kind of state or situation where we just don’t want to get up and do something,”

But sometimes, it’s easier for youth to open up about problems when they are in a group setting. That’s why we hold regular group therapy sessions in each of our individual homes. Many times, kids feel that they are the only ones experiencing certain feelings or problems, and shy away from opening up. But once they realize they are not alone, and that their peers are facing the same dilemmas – it opens up a healthy conversation.

We also provide family therapy sessions as well. Our youth typically come from unstable homes where they may have had multiple caregivers, or have experienced homelessness, abuse, or neglect. These traumatic experiences at such a young age have a significant impact on the mental health of our kids. Through family therapy, we strengthen the relationships between youth and their families so they can move on from their pasts and maintain healthy relationships.

Another essential part of keeping up with mental health is finding time to exercise. At Mercy Home, we have a variety of physical activities for our youth to engage in. For our boys, basketball is one of the most popular activities – we even have two full-courts for our youth to play on – one indoor and one outdoor. We also have an indoor soccer building with artificial grass that our kids love to run around and play on.

“Sometimes I’ll just make an idea, like let’s go on a walk for therapy, or walk Pongo – little things like that. Just kind of meeting them where they’re at, but also encouraging that physical activity.”

Not everybody is drawn to sports, however. We also offer dance therapy and music therapy as outlets for kids to get active and express themselves. But it’s not always easy to get ourselves moving, especially when we are going through a tough time in our lives.

“I think the hard part is sometimes when we’re feeling depressed or anxious we go into that freeze kind of state or situation where we just don’t want to get up and do something,” said Jackie Ader, a therapist at Mercy Home.

“Sometimes I’ll just make an idea, like let’s go on a walk for therapy, or walk Pongo – little things like that. Just kind of meeting them where they’re at, but also encouraging that physical activity.”

We encourage you to build activities into your own life that will help you stay in touch with your own mental health. Be sure to also take our mental health quiz to test your smarts!

If you or somebody you know is struggling with mental health, we encourage you to seek help right away.

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