You have a mental health condition – now what?

Five tips for dealing with a new diagnosis

Life can bring many stressors, which can deteriorate both physical and mental health. Many people know how to care for their bodies when they are dealing with a physical ailment, but if you are diagnosed with a mental health condition, what happens next?

You may feel a bit lost with this new information, but we want you to know there are ways to help you feel better. For World Mental Health Day Oct. 10, we have compiled a list of five tips of how to deal with a new mental health diagnosis.

Acceptance of your diagnosis

While people have shared more about mental health in recent years, it still sometimes carries a stigma. But we’re here to tell you mental health is just as important as physical health. It’s OK to receive a mental health diagnosis. Here’s the good part – there are care plans out there to help you feel yourself and live a fulfilling life. Take a deep breath, accept your diagnosis and stick to your care plan. You’ve got this!

Find others to support you

Having supportive people to help you through each stage of your diagnosis can make a big difference. If you feel comfortable, open up to family and friends you trust. Writing your thoughts and feelings in journal can also be helpful when you don’t feel like talking. Or if it’s not already in your care plan, consider finding a therapist to assist you sort through all the thoughts in your mind. You don’t have to do this alone.

Learn about your diagnosis

Being able to care for yourself can only be done if you understand what you’re caring for in the first place. Even if you think you know about your diagnosis, do some research and learn about symptoms, treatments, and short- and long-term outcomes. Make sure you look at reliable sources such as government institutes, professional associations and patient advocacy organizations.

Take care of your physical health

Mental and physical health go hand in hand. Your sleep schedule, diet and exercise can impact how your mind feels. You don’t have to be perfect every day but try to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night, eat nutritious and filling foods, and move your body regularly. Taking care of your physical health isn’t a cure for a mental health condition, but your body will at least be ready to handle any physical stressors.

Set realistic expectations

Managing a mental health condition takes time and effort. Sometimes it can take a few tries to find the right medication or a therapist with whom you feel comfortable. Know that this is normal and part of the process. You may also experience setbacks or challenges. Try not to let those get you down. Keep those supportive people around you, take care of yourself and continue moving forward so you can feel like yourself again.

Everyone’s mental health journey is different. Be patient with yourself as you figure out this new diagnosis. If you need support in your mental health journey, we’re here for you. The MnFIRE Assistance Program provides free and confidential help online or over the phone, anytime, for dealing with:

  • Traumatic calls
  • Relationship problems
  • Parenting and family issues
  • Stress, anxiety and depression
  • Eldercare support
  • Substance use and addiction
  • Financial guidance
  • And more

Experienced specialists trained in the rigors of the fire service will listen to your needs and connect you to the appropriate resources, including mental health counseling. For more details or for help, call 888-784-6634 or visit https://mnfireinitiative.com/hhap/.

Repurposed from MnFIRE Assistance Program partner, Optum

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On behalf of MnFIRE and HealthPartners, Chief Resident Physician of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Dominic Dabrowski presented insights about our Critical Illness Program at the 2024 International Firefighter Cancer Symposium in Miami.

The significant number of cancer claims we see suggest the ongoing need for this benefit for Minnesota firefighters, and for more research to better understand the challenging epidemiology of firefighters and cancer.

Thanks to the Firefighter Cancer Initiative for hosting this important event!

#ifcs2024 #ExtinguishCancer
... See MoreSee Less

On behalf of MnFIRE and HealthPartners, Chief Resident Physician of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Dominic Dabrowski presented insights about our Critical Illness Program at the 2024 International Firefighter Cancer Symposium in Miami.

The significant number of cancer claims we see suggest the ongoing need for this benefit for Minnesota firefighters, and for more research to better understand the challenging epidemiology of firefighters and cancer.

Thanks to the Firefighter Cancer Initiative for hosting this important event!

#ifcs2024 #ExtinguishCancerImage attachmentImage attachment

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Thank you for attending this year's IFCS and for sharing your important research with us! Let's stay connected!

It would be interesting to See data on retired firefighters, as the time following exposure might be longer.

Photos from Minnesota State Fire Department Association's post ... See MoreSee Less

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MnFIRE President George Esbensen spoke at the Midwest Business Group on Health's workforce mental health forum this week about the impact of the innovative mental health benefits available to Minnesota firefighters for free through the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program.

We're grateful to have these resources, and to take care of one another, in the face of all the stress and anxiety that comes with the fire service. Learn more at mnfireinitiative.com/hhap/#MAP.
... See MoreSee Less

MnFIRE President George Esbensen spoke at the Midwest Business Group on Healths workforce mental health forum this week about the impact of the innovative mental health benefits available to Minnesota firefighters for free through the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program. 

Were grateful to have these resources, and to take care of one another, in the face of all the stress and anxiety that comes with the fire service. Learn more at https://mnfireinitiative.com/hhap/#MAP.

Last week MnFIRE peer supporters and MnFIRE Assistance Program network providers came together for a Living Works SafeTalk workshop – a suicide prevention skills training – where they learned how to better recognize when someone might be thinking about suicide and how to keep them safe by promptly connecting them to further support.

We all can make a difference with suicide prevention, and learning the skills to reach in and have a conversation is a crucial step.

#suicideprevention #LivingWorks #PeerSupport
... See MoreSee Less

Last week MnFIRE peer supporters and MnFIRE Assistance Program network providers came together for a Living Works SafeTalk workshop – a suicide prevention skills training – where they learned how to better recognize when someone might be thinking about suicide and how to keep them safe by promptly connecting them to further support.

We all can make a difference with suicide prevention, and learning the skills to reach in and have a conversation is a crucial step.

#suicideprevention #LivingWorks #peersupport
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