Arizona opinion: Embracing mental wellness in 2024

February 16, 2024

Tucson.com: New year’s resolutions come and go. Whatever commitment you made to yourself, with the hope of self-improvement, the reality is that by this time of year, only about 5% of people are still holding to their resolutions.

But when it comes to mental health, prioritizing it is imperative to overall emotional and physical well-being. Especially this time of year. At Solari Crisis and Human Services, we saw an uptick in calls to our 844-534-HOPE and 988 crisis lines last year in January from December to the tune of 22% and 10% respectively. We anticipate this trend to continue in 2024 and that’s why we’re calling for proactive measures to support individuals in navigating their mental well-being.

While seasonal depression is certainly a factor here, managing everyday stressors and life’s rigorous schedule and pressures weighs heavy when it comes to one’s state of mind. And that is a year-round job for all of us.

Our approach at Solari is built on the belief that creating a compassionate and supportive community is essential for mental well-being. With this in mind, we encourage everyone to consider setting attainable goals for better mental health, knowing that Solari is there if you ever need support. Here are a few goals for individuals to embrace this year:

1. Prioritize Self-Care: Establish daily routines that promote mindfulness, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep.

2. Cultivate Connections: Participate in social activities to build meaningful connections and alleviate feelings of loneliness or isolation.

3. Curate Online Well-being: Foster a positive digital space by unfollowing, or limiting usage of social accounts that contribute to negative self-perception and embracing content that uplifts and inspires.

4. Set Realistic Goals: Break down larger goals into manageable tasks to boost motivation and sense of accomplishment.

5. Seek Professional Support: When in need, seek help from mental health professionals through the national 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or the Arizona statewide crisis line at 844-534-HOPE. Both offer free and confidential support and connections to resources.

Our crisis lines at Solari, staffed 24/7 by professionally trained Crisis Specialists in Arizona, have proven to be invaluable resources. In 2023, we received an average of more than 43,000 calls per month, with an impressive average answer time of less than 10 seconds. Nearly 80% of the time, our crisis specialists were able to stabilize situations over the phone with a small percentage resulting in discreet mobile crisis teams being dispatched for face-to-face assistance.

I want to emphasize that our crisis lines are not just for emergencies but are available 24/7/365 for anyone experiencing difficult times. Beyond crisis intervention, our services provide ongoing support and connections to numerous resources.

As a nonprofit organization that provides a continuum of support and resources, we look to the community for support through key fundraising events like our annual Inspiring Hope Gala this month. The philanthropic support helps keep our vital programs available for those in crisis and we are thankful for those that can prioritize their time and monetary resources to help others.

Let’s make 2024 the year we don’t just talk about mental wellness, but we prioritize it and celebrate the little wins we have each day. Set attainable goals and stick to them. But when and if the need arises, Solari is there to answer your call, or text, when you need that additional support. For additional mental health resources, please visit https://solari-inc.org.

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