MENTAL HEALTH PRESENTATION … Shirley Fry, shown at left, was guest speaker at the Feb. 13th general meeting of CHWC-Montpelier Hospital Auxiliary held at St. Paul’s UM Church, Montpelier. Her topic was mental health disorder and how to recognize symptoms and offer help. She was presented an appreciation gift from the auxiliary by Vice President and program committee member Armeda Sawmiller, right. (PHOTO PROVIDED)
Shirley Fry, retired teacher and former counselor at Shalom Ministries, was guest speaker at the Monday, Feb. 13th general meeting of CHWC-Montpelier Hospital Auxiliary held in the Robison Room at St. Paul’s UM Church, Montpelier.
She was introduced by Vice President and program committee member Armeda Sawmiller.
Mental health was the topic of Mrs. Fry’s presentation covering identifying signs of mental illness, awareness of time to seek help, how to help someone suffering from mental illness and steps to stay mentally healthy.
She reported in the U.S. one in five adults and one in six youth ages 6-17 experience mental health disorders each year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among those ages 10-34 in this country.
Signs of mental illness may include feeling sad, trouble concentrating, feeling fear, anxiety, guilt and/or regret, mood changes, withdrawal from friends, no interest in activities, changes in appetite and sleeping issues.
Recognizing time to seek help are signals from affected relationships, struggling beyond control, addictions causing issues, confusion and out of control emotions, needing help to make choices, suicidal thoughts and not feeling that life is worth living.
After seeing a doctor or counselor about a mental disorder, if help is not forthcoming, keep looking for alternate professional assistance. Trust and confidence are necessary with those trying to help someone.
Individuals with mental issues seeking help can also call “988” (available 24/7) to talk and learn where to seek help.
Some mental disorders may be caused by a physical condition, so a doctor can address these possibilities.
The difference between depression and anxiety is that depression focuses on living in the past, while anxiety is worrying about the future.
If someone has signs of mental issues, don’t judge them—use patience and grace, listen to their concerns, give them space, be honest and don’t abandon them. When offering help, be specific such as asking for a shopping list to get groceries for them.
Mental wellness is promoted with proper sleep, nutrition, regular exercise and positive thinking. Benefits of sleep include sharper brain function, mood boosts, healthier heart, energy booster, steady blood sugar, germ fighter, weight control. Ideal sleep time is 7-8 hours. Poor nutrition may cause 25% less cognitive energy.
Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers offers free classes in mindfulness which encourages turning attention to a calm place, enjoying personal activities such as cooking, gardening, working puzzles, caring for pets, meditation, and focusing on what you can control.
Following Shirley Fry’s talk, an appreciation gift was presented to her by Armeda Sawmiller, on behalf of the auxiliary.
Auxiliary President Patty Ledyard continued with the business portion of the meeting. Valentine’s cards were signed to be delivered to Montpelier Hospital’s patients.
President Patty led the auxiliary prayer. Reports were given by Secretary Connie Dunseth and Treasurer Joyce Schelling.
Members turned in recipes and monetary donations for the Bakeless Bake Sale held this month. Patty Ledyard has charge of patient favors for February.
Roll call was answered to “Who was the first President and First Lady you remember when growing up?”. Thought for the day was “Even the strongest blizzards start with a single snowflake” by Sara Raasch.
The next auxiliary meeting will be a soup and salad luncheon on Monday, March 13th at 12 noon in the fellowship hall at St. Paul’s UM Church, 402 Broad St., Montpelier.
A celebration of the auxiliary’s 70th anniversary will be held with members asked to bring only a salad (soup and anniversary cake provided).
Vice President Armeda Sawmiller and Historian Ruth Cooley are in charge of the program. Roll call will be “If you met an Irish leprechaun, what would you ask him to give you?”.
Members are encouraged to bring guests to this special program and meeting.