Let’s make mental health care a reality for all! Here we share some staff stories and resources as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week culminating in World Mental Health Day on October 10th!

Let’s make mental health care a reality for all! Here we share some staff stories and resources as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week culminating in World Mental Health Day on October 10th!

According to the WHO, “The overall objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.” To highlight how simple steps can help us prioritize our mental health and that of others, we asked Service Coordinators from Step Up’s Westside Department of Mental Health teams, “How does your self-care routine support your mental health, while also helping you connect with clients?” A self-care routine doesn’t have to be time-consuming, expensive or indulgent, and we can continue to help others while helping ourselves.

Step Up Service Coordinator Alfredo: “Skating has served as my method of disconnecting from work in my off hours, when the pressures of the job get to be too much. Skating has also served as a method of connecting with my clients on another level, whether it was working with kids or in my current role at Step Up, skating has allowed me to connect and build rapport with the majority of them who either currently skate or used to in the past. I have now been with Step Up for three years and am very grateful to work in my hometown and to give back to the community.”

Step Up Service Coordinator Savannah: “The meaning of surfing to me is feeling connected to the ocean, and feeling grounded in my body and mind, even though I’m in the water! I’d say my self-care helps me relate to clients increasing their physical activity and connection with nature. I commonly tell clients that I despise boring traditional work outs. So I have to find something funky, like roller skating or surfing, that helps me work out and is also fun!”

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental health, with some groups like frontline workers and those with a mental health conditions being particularly affected. Thank you for supporting Step Up on the frontlines of ending chronic homelessness for those experiencing mental illness! Together, we can continue making this a reality.

Supporters like you are vital allies for Step Up in promoting mental health advocacy, sharing stories and resources that are truly life changing. Please share this article, follow us on social media and check out the resources below!


TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF: Creating space for self-care can: lift your mood, decrease stress, boost physical health, increase motivation, raise energy and support connection to self and others. Check out the self-care road map from Mental Health Coalition!


GET SCREENED: Screening for mental health conditions should be just as normal as screening for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or any other chronic health condition. Mental Health America offers free health screening tools to help you begin to explore whether you might be experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Once screened, please consult your doctor for a diagnosis and proper treatment options. Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, are common and treatable.

Kimberly, a Step Up Service Coordinator and AMFT (Associate Marriage and Family Therapist): “Gardening helps me relax and gets me outside where I meet neighbors, and neighborhood animals. It’s a great subject to talk to a lot of people, even if they just want know on how to keep their houseplants alive.”


Chelsea, Service Coordinator with Step Up’s Westside programs: “I roller skate every day as part of my self-care routine. Not only does it mark all the boxes (physical, social, mental and emotional) but it’s something that I can rely on to bring me joy every day. I encourage my clients to find something they are passionate about, something that challenges them. They may be surprised by all the additional benefits, including building confidence, creating community and reducing isolation, and changing your mood and outlook on life.”

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