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Monthly Message

October 2022 Message: Mental health support doesn’t have to be scary

By October 6, 2022No Comments

It’s that time of year again! You might be noticing pumpkins and spooky decorations popping up around the neighborhood. Maybe, like us, you’ve been stocking up on your favorite candy or cozying up for some scary movie marathons. 

In many scary movies, there’s a moment where the hero has a chilling realization…the call is coming from inside the house. What they are scared of is closer than they thought! The danger is more real, more present. Sometimes, our mental health journeys can feel that way. We might enter an especially stressful period of our lives and realize that we haven’t been taking the best care of ourselves, or may need to seek outside support. 

In those moments, we might have no idea what to do next, how to navigate our budget, our schedules, or the healthcare system and that can feel…well, scary. But it doesn’t have to. Because while there’s a lot of stigma and confusion around seeking mental health support, we promise, it doesn’t have to keep you up at night.

The thing about that “the call is coming from inside the house” moment is that it makes things real. It’s where the action starts, giving us a chance to face something that may be challenging, but not impossible. Halloween is all about making scary things fun, which is a message we can fully support. After all, our work is about making mental health care, a topic  that might feel frightening or inaccessible, into something manageable and sometimes even fun. So in the spirit of the season, here are three mental health lessons we’ve learned from watching scary movies!

  • We have to stick together: You know that moment where someone in a horror movie decides to go into the basement alone? And all you can do is yell “Go back!” at your screen? The truth is, it doesn’t take a film plot to tell us that we’re stronger together. Seeking community can make a huge difference in your mental health journey, providing support, belonging, and purpose along the way. You don’t have to do this alone. Find a support group, a trusted therapist, or confide in a friend or family member about your goals and efforts, and feel yourself get stronger together.
  • Pay attention: While this seems like obvious advice if you’re trying to escape a haunted house, being aware of what’s around you is always important. Take 5 minutes to journal about where you are in your mental health journey right now. Practice non-judgment. What are you worried about? What is keeping you from moving forward? What is going well? Make a list of the ways that you’re already supporting yourself and celebrate those wins.
  • Sometimes, you just need to turn a light on: I don’t know if science would back this up, but doesn’t it feel like watching something scarier in the dark makes it 100x scarier? But turning on even a single light can change everything. Similarly, when it comes to supporting your mental and physical wellbeing, you can start small. Make one appointment with a therapist. Take one walk or try one breathwork exercise. Write a positive quote or affirmation on a posti-it and put it on your bathroom mirror. Each small action makes the light a little brighter, until you can’t remember what was so scary in the first place. 

This time of year is about reframing our fears and misconceptions, and leaning into our courage and community. You do not have to do it alone. There are people and resources standing by to support your journey. 

If seeking support feels scary or confusing, we want to hear from you. Reach out to 844-YOU-OKAY for our free, confidential support line for Hillsborough County. We can help you find local resources to support you at any stage of your journey…no ominous music required.

We’ll see you next month,

Your Team at Tampa Bay Thrives



Tampa Bay Thrives

Tampa Bay Thrives

Tampa Bay Thrives is an innovative nonprofit helping people in the Tampa Bay area better address mental health and substance use issues.

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