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Martial Arts & Mental Health

By Rochelle E. Brenner

As martial artists, we are recognizing May as Mental Health Awareness Month. It is our pledge to stand on the front lines of supporting mental health for families.

It is our mission to be a safe space, a positive and grounding environment that helps families face whatever stresses they are experiencing.

The nation is in a mental health crisis. In our homes and schools, the pain of mental health struggles infiltrate every part of our lives.

  • Teens spend 75 percent of their waking day (9 hours) on their devices

  • 7 in 10 teens are struggling with a mental health issue

  • 67 percent of teens pretend to feel better to not worry anyone (If you think everyone’s OK, some of them are definitely faking it)

  • 75 percent of students say school work makes them feel anxious or depressed. (Try to make it a more positive experience)

  • Since the pandemic, 1 in 6 adolescents had a major depressive episode, and emergency rooms have seen a 31 percent increase in mental-health related visits.

  • Less than half of those afflicted with a mental health issue get the care they need.

  • Nearly 8 in 10 teens wish there was an inclusive environment or safe space for people in school to talk about mental health.

We have to work together. All this month, we are committing to less screen time. Let’s work as a team and each of us set new screen time boundaries to improve our mental health.

We are listening. We share your pain. It’s okay to not be okay. We try to be kind. If anyone you know has thoughts about suicide, say something, ask them how they are doing, ask if they have a plan and listen to their answers.

There is support out there. No one is alone. Contact your local NAMI chapter: If you or someone you know needs someone to talk with, text the NAMI chat line: 741-741. Seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, someone is there to chat with you. The suicide hotline is 988.

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