Mental Health Awareness MonthMay is Mental Health Awareness Month. This year more than any other, mental health awareness is vitally important. We are coming to the end of a very difficult year dealing with the stresses of the pandemic and it will be easy to “let our guard” down as we start getting back to a more normal life. Now, more than ever, we need to pay careful attention to our mental health as well as the mental health of those around us. The transition from our life of social distancing to closer interaction and in person activities will be stressful. There has been a kind of rhythm in the routines this year has brought to us and those patterns can be difficult to break.

While I have no doubt that we will return to a kind of new normal, I must admit that the transition will cause more stress in the short term. We should pay close attention to this as we move forward and not fail to take care of ourselves and those close to us as we navigate this change to the “new normal.” It will be as important now as it ever has been to manage our stress and anxiety. We will get through this and we will be stronger doing it together. Being mindful of our own reactions to this transition will help us be empathetic to the feelings and emotions of those we encounter and will help us be more effective in caring for those around us suffering from mental illness. Let us all take some time during this month to find ways to care for our own mental health and be more present for those whom we care for and need us.

If you or a loved one need help, UofL Health – Peace Hospital’s Assessment and Referral Center offers no-charge assessments 24/7 at 502-451-3333 or 800-451-3637. Or contact the 24-Hour Crisis and Information Center Line at 502-589-4313 or 800-221-0446.

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Article by: Stephen Taylor, MD

Stephen Taylor, M.D., is the chief medical officer of UofL Health – Peace Hospital. Dr. Taylor is a graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine and completed his residency in psychiatry in 2007. Dr. Taylor has been board-certified since September 2008 and holds a current license for the state of Kentucky. He has been involved as a gratis faculty at the University of Louisville Department of Psychiatry since 2007 and taught medical students and residents in the proper use and application of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) until 2017. Dr. Taylor was awarded the School of Medicine teaching award for 2011-2012 for contributions to the learning environment and teaching students and received a certificate of excellence in medical student education in May of 2013. He was awarded resident research awards in 2005 and 2007.

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