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AlisonBrillPosted by Alison Brill, MPH, Community Suicide Prevention Coodinator at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Welcome to the newest category on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health blog! We created this space as a forum to discuss all of the ways that mental wellness can contribute to a healthy and productive life. In our culture, all too often we can make the mistake of focusing solely on our physical health as a measure of our overall well-being, neglecting the importance of our mental outlook in that equation. 

Indeed, mental health is just as important as physical health, and in fact the two are very much connected. For example, mental wellness can be influenced by many physical factors, including medications, illnesses, injuries, weight changes and family history. Our physical and social environments also impact our mental health in the form of personal loss, traumatic events, natural disasters and job and family stress.

Mental wellness is promoted in many ways. Physical activities, such as exercise, good nutrition, and getting enough sleep can reduce stress – and in doing so, promote a greater sense of well-being. Stimulating our minds can also play role in mental wellness. Having a sense of humor, expressing creativity and spirituality, and maintaining supportive and positive relationships all can help. Other important factors are maintaining balance and resilience in your life, taking care of yourself, and keeping your mind sharp and active. 

This section of the DPH Blog is designed to give you ideas, information and resources in all of these areas. You’ll also learn more about exciting initiatives taking place at the grassroots level in communities across Massachusetts that promote the importance of mental wellness. If there are topics in mental wellness that you’d like us to explore, just drop us a note in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, here’s to wellness – mental as well as physical!

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