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by Kayla Bell

Summer brings longer days, warmer weather, and the promise of outdoor activities, but it can also present unique challenges for mental health. Understanding how summer affects mental well-being and exploring strategies for managing anxiety and depression can help residents maintain a healthy mindset during this vibrant season.

The benefits of sunlight during summer are well-documented. Exposure to sunlight increases the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that boosts mood and promotes a sense of well-being. This natural increase can be particularly beneficial for those struggling with depression. Spending time outdoors, whether it’s taking a walk in a local park, enjoying a day at the beach, or simply relaxing in your backyard, can have a positive impact on mental health.

However, the summer season can also bring about challenges. The increase in social activities and expectations can lead to anxiety, while the intense heat can exacerbate feelings of lethargy and irritability. For some, the lack of structure during the summer months, especially for students or those with seasonal employment, can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression.

Trillium Health Resources plays a key role in supporting individuals with major mental health illnesses, intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), substance use disorders, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). They offer vital healthcare services that enhance well-being and support people in leading happy lives. Trillium serves uninsured people as well as Medicaid recipients via NC Medicaid Direct, the Behavioral Health and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Tailored Plan, and other programs. These programs are essential for dealing with mental health issues, particularly in the summer.

Local resources are also available to support mental health needs. Coastal Horizons operates mobile clinics serving the area, offering accessible mental health services. They can be reached via their mobile clinic webpage or by calling 1-910-619-7117. Additionally, RHA Health Services provides support through its Eastern NC Mobile Care Unit, serving multiple counties. More information is available on their webpage or by calling 1-866-400-4RHA.

Establishing a healthy routine is essential to managing mental health during the summer. Regular physical activity, even mild exercise like swimming or walking, can dramatically lift your spirits and lessen your worry. Dehydration and inadequate nutrition can have detrimental effects on mental health, therefore it’s also important to stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet.

Engaging in mindfulness practices such as meditation or yoga can help manage stress and anxiety. These practices encourage relaxation and can be particularly effective in dealing with the heightened social pressures of summer. It’s also important to establish a regular sleep schedule. Longer days can disrupt normal sleep patterns, leading to increased stress and irritability.

Getting expert assistance is crucial for anyone with serious mental health problems. The required assistance can be obtained by utilizing programs offered by Coastal Horizons, RHA Health programs, or Trillium Health Resources. Mental health specialists can provide tailored coping mechanisms and interventions to address the unique obstacles that the summer season presents.

Summertime mental health maintenance calls for proactive measures. People can effectively handle seasonal transitions by creating healthy routines, embracing the benefits of sunlight, and making use of local resources. With the help of groups like Trillium Health Resources, everyone may get the care they require, promoting a year-round community where mental health is given priority.

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