Health & Safety

May 9, 2014

Mental Health Awareness Month: Mental wellness central to health, well-being

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Maj. COREY CHRISTOPHERSON
56th Fighter Wing Psychological Health director

Mental-health-logo
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the 2014 theme is “Mind Your Health.”

It was 65 years ago that Mental Health America designated May as Mental Health Month to raise awareness about mental illnesses and the importance of mental wellness for all.

The goal this year is to communicate to all Americans that mental wellness is central to overall health and well-being. MHA has 2 objectives. The first is to raise awareness about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the preventive factors and benefits for mind and body. The second is to build broad public recognition around the role of mental health to overall health.

Wellness is defined as “an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence,” according to the National Wellness Institute.

The pathway to wellness can include improving or maintaining good physical health, budgeting and saving money, creating healthy relationships, engaging in rewarding activities, getting rest and relaxation, being mindful of how much we have to be grateful for, making and keeping good, positive friendships, participating in and taking care of the community, and finding and living via your authentic self (i.e. living with purpose, values and meaning).

All of these wellness themes can be found and even simplified by following the U.S. Air Force Airmen Comprehensive Fitness Program which consists of each Airman taking care of their mental, social, spiritual and physical well-being.

Everyone should take this mental health awareness month as an opportunity to develop their own comprehensive fitness program.

Start by making a list of realistic and desired short-term, mid-term and long-term goals for each of the four categories. Luke Air Force Base has subject matter experts in each category help Airmen identify, implement and achieve each of these goals. By achieving these goals Luke Airmen can make a better Air Force and attain a better quality of life for everyone through improved overall fitness and well-being.

Resources to help Airmen achieve comprehensive fitness goals at Luke AFB are the mental health clinic at 623-856-7579, the 56th FW Chapel at 623-856-6211, the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 623-856-6550, the health and wellness center at 623-856-5902, fellow wingmen, unit fitness managers, unit resiliency trainers and the Air Force portal.




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