Pride and Mental Health

Pride and Mental Health

In the month of June, as Pride celebrations unfold across the world, it is an opportune time to reflect on the intersection of mental health and the LGBTQ+ community. Mental health issues can affect anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. However, it is essential to recognize and address the unique challenges faced by individuals within the LGBTQ+ community when it comes to mental well-being. This article aims to shed light on the importance of mental health within the context of Pride, emphasizing self-acceptance, empowerment, and support.

Understanding the Impact

LGBTQ+ individuals may face significant mental health impacts due to the unique challenges they encounter. Facing stigma, discrimination, and prejudice can contribute to various mental health issues. The fear of rejection, judgment, and harassment may lead to stress, and possibly increase levels of anxiety. Depression and feelings of loneliness are also prevalent among LGBTQ+ individuals, especially when they face social isolation or lack supportive networks. The struggle for self-acceptance, as they navigate their sexual orientation or gender identity, can further exacerbate these challenges. Additionally, the experience of trauma, including hate crimes or family rejection, can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological consequences. Access to affirming mental health services is crucial for LGBTQ+ individuals to address these mental health impacts, build resilience, and foster overall well-being.

Nurturing Mental Health in the LGBTQ+ Community

At NW Mind-Body Wellness, we are committed to nurturing the mental health of LGBTQ+ individuals and creating a safe, inclusive space for everyone’s well-being. Our team of skilled and LGBTQ+-competent professionals provides compassionate and affirming care, offering a non-judgmental environment where individuals can freely express their experiences and concerns. We prioritize creating a support network by connecting individuals with LGBTQ+-inclusive community resources and support groups. Through therapeutic interventions, we help clients develop resilience, coping strategies, and self-acceptance, empowering them to navigate the complexities of their sexual orientation or gender identity with confidence. By fostering a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, we strive to contribute to the mental health and overall well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals, ensuring they receive the care and support they deserve.


Learn More About Pride and Mental Health

Understanding the intersection of LGBTQ+ pride and mental health is crucial. Fortunately, there are several valuable resources available to explore this topic further.

The Trevor Project

Trevor Project offers a wealth of information, helpline services, and support for LGBTQ+ youth in crisis, with a focus on mental health and suicide prevention. 

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

NAMI offers resources and support for individuals seeking information on mental health, including specific materials addressing the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals. By engaging with these resources, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of the importance of mental health within the context of LGBT pride and work towards fostering a more inclusive and supportive environment.

Building Confidence in Yourself

Building Confidence in Yourself

In a world that often tests our resilience, building confidence in yourself stands as an invaluable endeavor that can empower individuals to navigate life’s complexities. Confidence serves as a solid foundation upon which individuals can build a fulfilling life, fostering a sense of self-worth, enhancing relationships, and opening doors to success in various domains. However, many individuals struggle with self-doubt, limiting beliefs, and a lack of confidence, which can hinder their ability to live their lives to the fullest.

At NW Mind-Body Wellness, we believe that everyone possesses the potential to build confidence in yourself. Our dedicated team of mental health professionals is here to provide expert guidance, support, and evidence-based strategies to help individuals unlock their inner strength and discover newfound confidence. Through a holistic and personalized approach, we empower our clients to embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery, fostering resilience, and embracing their unique qualities.

Remember, building confidence in yourself is not just a destination but an ongoing journey.



Ways to Build Your Confidence

There are many ways that you can work towards building confidence within yourself. To help get you started on your journey, we have eight tips for building confidence. However, it is important to note that the best methods for building one’s self confidence depend on the individual at hand. 

  1. Recognize Your Worth: Acknowledge your unique qualities, strengths, and accomplishments. Focus on your positive attributes and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem.
  2. Challenge Self-Doubt: Identify and challenge negative self-talk and limiting beliefs. Replace self-critical thoughts with affirmations and positive statements. Remember that you are capable of achieving great things.
  3. Set Achievable Goals: Break down your larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks. Each accomplishment will boost your confidence and provide motivation to tackle more significant challenges.
  4. Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind and compassionate towards yourself. Treat yourself with the same understanding and support that you would offer a close friend. Remember, nobody is perfect, and it’s okay to make mistakes.
  5. Embrace Failure as a Learning Opportunity: Understand that setbacks and failures are a natural part of growth. Instead of letting them diminish your confidence, view them as opportunities for learning, growth, and resilience.
  6. Focus on Progress, Not Perfection: Shift your mindset from seeking perfection to valuing progress. Recognize and celebrate even the smallest steps forward, as each one contributes to your growth and confidence.
  7. Practice Self-Care: Prioritize self-care activities that nourish your mind, body, and spirit. Engage in activities that bring you joy, reduce stress, and enhance your overall well-being.
  8. Seek Support: Surround yourself with positive and supportive individuals who uplift and encourage you. Seek guidance from mentors, friends, or professionals who can provide valuable insights and guidance.



Learn More

To learn more about how to build confidence in yourself, we recommend speaking with your healthcare provider.

To read more about the building confidence, as well as the importance of self-esteem, we recommend the following:



Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month

In a world that often overlooks mental health, the significance of Mental Health Awareness Month cannot be overstated. Throughout the month of May, individuals, organizations, and communities unite to bring awareness to mental health as a whole. This annual observance serves as a reminder of the critical role mental health plays in our lives. Let us embrace this opportunity to prioritize mental well-being and advocate for a society that values the mental health of all its members.

This year’s theme is “Look around, look within.” This theme encourages us to cultivate self-awareness and to nurture our mental well-being through self-care, self-compassion, and seeking help when needed. By turning our attention inward, we can better understand and address our own mental health needs, fostering resilience, growth, and personal transformation.

Mental Health by the Numbers

Many individuals struggle with their mental health. This is important to recognize because it can help you understand that you are not alone. Regardless of the stigma, it is common to face challenges with your mental health. The following statistics by NAMI showcase the presence of mental conditions in the United States.

  • 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
  • 1 in 15 U.S adults experienced both a substance use disorder and mental illness in 2020
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.

Causes and RIsk Factors

There are many causes and risk factors for mental health conditions. Although there is no one clear most mental illnesses, experts agree that the following may increase one’s risk factor:

  • Trauma can cause long-term changes in the way that one thinks and make them more vulnerable to many mental health conditions.
  • Genetics can increase the risk of many mental health conditions, as many tend to run in families.
  • Other medical conditions can contribute to mental illness. Many physical and mental health conditions can increase one’s risk for other illnesses.

Self Care for Mental Health

It may not be a cure all, but many individuals find that their mental health improves with self care. Self care can include a variety of things, but it is important to figure out what is best for you. Some ways you can practice self care are to:

  • Eat healthy meals and stay hydrated
  • Ensure you are getting enough sleep
  • Get active, even if in small amounts
  • Find a relaxing activity
  • Set goals
  • Focus on the positive in your life

When to Seek Help

It is important to seek professional health if your mental health struggles persist. If your symptoms last more than two weeks, we strongly recommend speaking with your health care provider. Together, you and your provider can create a plan for you to get the treatment that you need.

Crisis Help

If you or a loved one is in a crisis, it is important to get help immediately. If in danger of suicide:

  • Call 911
  • Go to the nearest emergency room
  • Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889)

Learn More

Tips for Becoming Motivated

Tips for Becoming Motivated

Motivation is a crucial factor in achieving success, happiness, and personal growth. It is the driving force that helps individuals accomplish their goals and overcome obstacles. However, maintaining a high level of motivation can be challenging, especially during times of stress or uncertainty. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can increase your motivation and stay on track towards your goals.

In this article, we will explore potential ways to become more motivated. By implementing these tips, individuals may improve their motivation, allowing them to create a more fulfilling and successful life.

Set Attainable Goals

Set goals that feel attainable to you. If your goals feel too big or daunting, you may be reluctant to work towards them. You will likely feel more motivated to reach your goals if they feel attainable.

Break Down Tasks

When a task or goal feels too big, it can be hard to even know where to start. By breaking down tasks into smaller goals, it can be easier to become and remain motivated.

Look to the Future

It can be hard to find motivation in the moment, but think about how what you do now will affect your future. From smaller tasks like completing a project, to larger tasks such as creating a retirement fund, the work you do today can benefit you tomorrow. Think about how your efforts today will pay off later, and you will likely find more motivation.

Remind Yourself “Why”

It is important to know your goals and why you have them. If your reasoning isn’t clear, you likely won’t have the motivation you need. Take the time to remind yourself of what you are working towards, and why you want it.

Eliminate RoadBlocks

Try to identify possible roadblocks or things that may be hindering you from feeling motivated. Once you’ve identified these problems, do you best to eliminate them if possible.

Ask for Help

The help of friends, family, or a healthcare professional can help keep you on track and feeling motivated. It is okay to need some extra help. By sharing your goals with others, you may feel a sense of accountability and also inspiration to keep moving forward.

Know Your Potential

You may not always feel like it, but you have potential to do great things. Recognize your potential and use it for motivation. Remind yourself that you can do this!

Reflect on Your Successes

Take time to reflect on your progress and success. By focusing on your wins, you will likely find the motivation you need to keep going.

Learn More

If you are looking for further help on becoming motivated, we suggest you speak with your healthcare provider to learn more.

To read more, the following resource is suggested:

Health Direct (AU):

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Overview of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a often long-term disorder in which an individual experiences uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions), and behaviors (compulsions) that they feel the urge to repeat over and over.

Based on data collected by Harvard Medical School and their National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), the lifetime prevalence of OCD among U.S. adults was 2.3%.

In order to provide help for those struggling with OCD, it is important to understand what the disorder is. With the following overview, we hope to help you better understand the symptoms, causes, and treatment of OCD.

Signs and Symptoms

Obsessive-compulsive disorder causes obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that interfere with daily life and typically last for at least an hour each day.

Obsessions are repeated thoughts, impulses, or mental images that can cause anxiety. Common obsessions include:

  • Doubts about having done something right, like turning off the stove
  • Desire to have things be symmetrical or in a specific order
  • Fear of germs or contamination
  • Thoughts about harming or having harmed someone
  • Disturbing thoughts or sexual images
  • Fear of losing control of one’s actions 

Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that a person with OCD feels driven to do in response to an obsessive thought. Common compulsions include:

  • Repeatedly checking things such as appliances, locks, or switches
  • Putting things in a particular and precise order
  • Constantly seeking approval or reassurance
  • Excessive cleaning and/or handwashing due to fear of germs
  • Compulsive counting

Causes and Risk Factors

Although the exact causes of OCD are unknown, health professionals have determined various risk factors for the disorder. These risk factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Genetics are often looked at as a risk factor for OCD. Many studies have shown that people with first-degree relatives (such as a parent, sibling, or child) who have OCD are at a higher risk for developing OCD themselves. 
  • Brain structure has been found to have links to OCD, although the connection is not yet entirely clear and research is still underway. Imaging studies have shown differences in the frontal cortex and subcortical structures of the brain in patients with OCD. 
  • Environment, such as childhood trauma, has been found as a risk factor for OCD by some studies. However, further research is needed to better understand the relationship between one’s environment and OCD.

Types of Treatment

There are many forms of treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder, and some types may work better for different individuals. Many treatment options are often used together for the best results. Types of treatment include, but are not limited to:

  • Psychotherapy can be beneficial to both children and adults with OCD. There are various types of psychotherapy used to treat OCD including:
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help individuals better understand and learn to control their obsessions and compulsions
    • A type of CBT called exposure response and therapy helps teach individuals how to respond to the anxiety associated with obsessions and not respond with the compulsion
  • Medication may be used in the treatment of OCD. Various different medications may be prescribed, including:
    • SSRIs, a type of antidepressant, can be helpful for many in controlling obsessions and compulsions

Finding Treatments and Resources

The Impact of Stress on Mental Health

The Impact of Stress on Mental Health

Prolonged stress can have devastating impacts on your mental health and overall wellbeing. Although stress itself is not an illness, it can make existing problems worse. In addition, it is believed that extended periods of stress can contribute to the development of some mental illnesses.

For Stress Awareness Month, the NW Mind-Body Wellness team would like to highlight various aspects of stress. This article is only one part of our series on stress this month, so check back for more soon. 

If you are being faced with stressors and are having trouble managing, we encourage you to reach out to a healthcare provider. If you are looking for a healthcare provider, please fill out a contact form by clicking here.  Our team is ready to help you break free from the stress of life!

What is Stress?

Before you can understand the impact of stress on mental health, it is important to understand what exactly stress is. 

Stress is a natural response to pressure, changes, or other instances that might feel threatening. It is important to note that stress may also arise from positive things, such as a new job, getting married, etc. That being said, prolonged stress usually stems from negative experiences, such as financial hardship or loss of a loved one.

Stressors vary by person, and so does the intensity. But there is no “right” or “wrong” thing to be stressed over. Stress is unique to the individual.

The symptoms of stress may also vary by person. However, common symptoms of stress include mood swings, headaches, irritability, difficulty sleeping, and trouble concentrating. 

What is the Impact of Stress on Mental Health?

To some degree, stress is a normal part of daily life. In small doses, some people find that stress can actually help motivate them in work, school, and more. In addition, stress can help provide a signal in dangerous situations that will help your body face danger or flee. The functions that stress causes your body to feel in these situations can help keep you safe. 

As stress becomes a long-term state, it poses a threat to your mental health. One’s risk of mental and physical health problems increase as stress becomes overwhelming and prolonged. If continuous, the impact of stress on mental health may be very harmful. This is why managing your stress is essential.

How Can I Manage Stress?

We cannot avoid stress all together, but we can better manage our response to it. There are many ways that we can do this, and preferences will vary by person.

One way that you can manage stress is by managing your time. Prioritize the most important tasks or responsibilities you have. By highlighting what you must do, you may realize that there are other things you don’t need to worry about. This will also help you plan and better manage your time. 

Accept your own needs. It can be easy to find yourself constantly saying “yes” to things you do not wish to do. If these things start to pile up, it can be very overwhelming. It is okay to recognize your own needs and give them priority. What you need matters.

We suggest using self care to help manage stress. There are many ways that you can practice self care. Self care is largely dependent on what benefits you personally. To learn ways that you can practice self care, we suggest our article “Tips for Self Care.”

There is no one best way to manage stress. We suggest trying different methods and seeing how they work for you. In addition, a healthcare provider can help assist you in finding the best way for you to manage the stressors you face.


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Stress Awareness Month

Stress Awareness Month

Every April, Stress Awareness Month is recognized. The month aims to bring awareness to the causes and impacts of stress, as well as how to better manage stress and its symptoms. 

Everyone encounters periods of stress in life, which is why it is important to understand what stress is and how it affects your overall health. You can help you manage your own stress by gaining a better understanding of stress as a whole.

To learn more about stress, we encourage you to read the following. 

Causes of Stress

Stress has a seemingly infinite number of causes. Often, people experience stress from the build up of many small things, rather than one single noteworthy-stressor. Common causes of stress include, but are not limited to:

  • Changes to life circumstances
  • Finances
  • Increased pressure or responsibilities 
  • Experiencing uncertainty
  • Lack of time for yourself

Symptoms of Stress

Stress can affect your entire body, both mentally and physically. Symptoms of stress include but are not limited to:

  • Headaches
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Changes in appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating

Ways to Reduce Stress

Stress management techniques may vary by person but, common helpful steps taken to reduce stress include: 

  • Manage your time and prioritize the most important tasks. Creating a schedule or to-do list can also be beneficial for time management. 
  • Practice relaxation methods such as deep breathing and meditation to calm yourself.
  • Exercise can help produce stress relieving hormones and improve overall health.
  • Accept your needs and recognize what triggers your stress. Identifying what is causing you to feel stressed can help you avoid it when possible, or help you better manage the situation. 


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How to Improve Your Self-Esteem

How to Improve Your Self-Esteem

There are many ways that you can start improving your self-esteem. 

When low self-esteem becomes a long term problem, it can negatively affect one’s mental health. Self-esteem is often built from the experience’s in one’s life. However, there are many ways to improve your self-esteem. Those with high self-esteem tend to be less vulnerable to the ups and downs of life, and less commonly have anxiety or depression. Improved self-esteem can offer many benefits and help you live a more positive life.

The following list consists of five tips for improving your self-esteem.

Use Positive Affirmations

Use positive affirmations to recognize your successes as well as to believe in your ability to reach your goals. The way that we talk to and treat ourselves matters. Many people greatly benefit from using positive affirmations to help boost their self-esteem.

Challenge Negative Thoughts

People commonly think negatively about themselves. Whether it comes in the form of self-doubt, anger, or anything in-between, it can be harmful to view yourself this way. When you find yourself thinking negatively, try to challenge these thoughts. Many times, you will realize that these negative thoughts are in fact far from the truth. Try your best to replace negative or harmful thoughts with more positive ways of thinking.

Identify Your Strengths

Everyone has strengths, but not everyone realizes them. Take time to recognize your strengths and develop them. Knowing what your strengths are can boost your self-esteem and help you combat feelings of doubt.

Set Limits and Learn to Say “No”

Sometimes in the pursuit to please others, we over burden ourselves. Recognize your limits, and own wants and needs. It is okay to say “no” to others in order to protect your own mental health. 

Build Positive Relationships

Our self-esteem is often influenced by those around us. If you are surrounded by negative people, it can be hard to view yourself in a positive way. Focus on developing healthy relationships that build you up, rather than bring you down.


Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention

Suicidal thoughts are often the result of an untreated mental health condition, but they can affect anyone. According to NAMI, suicide is the 10th leading cause of deaths for adults in the United States. To help decrease this statistic, it is important to talk about suicide prevention. By raising awareness, showing support, and providing resources, we can help prevent suicide. 

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at
988 or call 911 immediately.

Mental Health by the Numbers

For those struggling with a mental illness, you are not alone. Millions of Americans are affected by mental illness each year. It is important to understand the prevalence of mental health conditions, and the suicidal thoughts that might follow.

The following statistics on mental illness have been found by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

  • 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience mental illness each year
  • 1 in 6 of U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience mental illness each year
  • 46.2% of U.S. adults with mental illness received treatment in 2020   
  • 11% of U.S. adults with mental illness had no insurance coverage in 2020
  • 150 million people live in a designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Area
  • 12+ million U.S adults had serious thoughts of suicide (2020)
  • Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death overall in the U.S (when looking at all ages)

Warning Signs

Warning signs that someone may be at immediate risk for attempting suicide include, but are not limited to:

  • Often talking or thinking about death
  • Talking about wanting to die or kill themselves
  • Feeling intense emotional or physical pain
  • Withdrawing from friends and/or family
  • Taking extreme risks, such as driving extremely fast or recklessly
  • Talking about feeling empty and/or hopeless
  • Giving away important processions or creating a will
  • Saying goodbye to friends and/or family

Other serious warning signs that someone may be at risk for attempting suicide include, but are not limited to:

  • Rapid, extreme mood changes
  • Researching methods of killing themselves
  • Consuming alcohol often or abusing other substances
  • Acting anxious or on edge
  • Talking about feelings of guilt or shame

Risk Factors

People of all ages, gender, and background can be at risk of suicide. There is no single cause of suicidal behavior. Although the risk factors vary, they commonly include: 

  • Family history of mental illness or substance abuse
  • Depression or other mental disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Individual history of suicide attempts, or attempts of family members
  • Exposure to abuse, including physical and emotional
  • Presence of firearms in the home

Supporting Those in a Crisis

It is common for family and friends to have trouble supporting an individual in a crisis. This is commonly due to a lack of understanding, and lack of preparedness. Although the behaviors of those in a crisis may be unpredictable, there are ways to help support a loved one in a crisis. 

  • Professional help is likely necessary to help someone in a crisis. Family members should contact the individual’s healthcare provider, or call 911 if in immediate danger.
  • Create an open dialogue, and don’t be afraid to ask questions
  • Show support and concern
  • Be patient
  • Do not argue or raise your voice
  • Remove any firearms from the home

Crisis Lifeline

If you or a loved one is in a crisis, it is important to get help immediately. If in danger of suicide:

  • Call 911
  • Go to the nearest emergency room
  • Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988


Creating Kindness in Your Life

Creating Kindness in Your Life

There is always an opportunity for creating kindness in your life. Whether it be at work, school, home, or anywhere else, you can help create a positive atmosphere with kindness. Even seemingly small acts of kindness can have a big effect. 

Everyone faces their own challenges and hardships. When someone is faced with these troubles, kindness and compassion from others can go an especially long way. You may not know if someone is struggling, but whether they are having a hard day or a great day, a kind word or action never hurts. For this reason, we encourage you to see every moment as an opportunity to spread kindness.

In addition to helping others, spreading kindness can be beneficial to your own happiness and overall mental health. According to Mental Health UK, being kind to others can help improve your self-esteem, confidence, and overall happiness. 

To help get you started creating kindness in your life, we have the following suggestions.

Give your full attention when listening to others.

Offer to help someone complete a task.

Take the time to get to know more about another person.

Express gratitude.

Share your skills with others.

Take the time to get to know another person.

Recognize other’s strengths.

Pick up trash or litter from a public space.

Celebrate the success of those around you.

Volunteer or offer assistance to those in need.

Write an inspirational note to someone.

Take time to appreciate the small things.

Give a heartfelt gift to someone.

Offer to run errands or help a busy friend.

Help cleanup or organize.

Bring a treat to share with others.

Offer to take a photo for a couple or family.

Write a thank you note for someone.



Learn More

To learn more ways that you can start spreading kindness, as well as the benefits, we recommend the following resources.

Mental Health UK:

Mayo Clinic: