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“Smile, you’ll feel better.” “It is what it is.” And worst of all: “Don’t worry, be happy.”

The world is filled with platitudes that, at best, gloss over and minimize the real mental health struggles millions deal with every day. The problem is magnified for LGBT people, who also face state sponsored attacks from the legislature to school boards.

While SunServe helps many segments of the community, their focus on mental health is second to none in South Florida. As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, they are hosting Whole Person Health: Strengthening Your Inner Core on May 25 at Hagen Park Community Center at 6:30 p.m.

Mental Health IS Health

“The emotional inner core of a human is the deepest, most fundamental essence of who they are,” SunServe’s director of communications John Marler told SFGN. “It is composed of their feelings, emotions, desires, hopes, fears, and values. It is the part of a person that determines how they think, feel, behave, and interact with others in the world.”

Mental health is hard for people to view as a “real” illness because, unlike a broken bone or cancer, outwardly visible symptoms are uncommon. Because of that, it’s easy for people to ignore their own problems.

“People fail to maintain a healthy inner emotional core because they are unaware of the importance of self-care and tend to focus all their energy on external goals and objectives,” Marler continued.

The event will help people develop a better understanding of self-care and why it’s important, as well as techniques to incorporate it into their daily lives. Benefits can include better mental health, lower stress, and feel better overall. Mental health professionals will also be on hand to answer individual questions.

Showing up to the event can be a great first step to finding help. It’s a step many are hesitant to take for fear of stigma or cost. Marler says neither are a barrier at SunServe.

“For those looking for more informal ways to get mental health help, friends and family can be a great resource,” he said. “Talking to a trusted friend or family member can be a great way to get emotional support and guidance in dealing with a challenge.”

SunServe hopes this will become a monthly event, and is also available to help people every day.

“SunServe has professionals that can assist people in need and those close to the affected individual,” Marler explained. We can engage clients privately, securely, and compassionately via telehealth, no matter where they are.”