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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NEW at the 2023 Firefighter Health Forum: Training for fire service spouses and significant others!

Take part in an educational track expressly designed to give you the tools, skills and perspective needed to make smart decisions about your family’s physical and mental health. Learn how to best support the health and well-being of your loved one – and navigate potential issues that can arise when you have a firefighter in your family. Register at: mnfireinitiative.com/firefighter-health-forum/

Don't want to attend alone? Have your firefighter partner register for another one of our tracks and make a weekend out of it at Grand Casino Mille Lacs!
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NEW at the 2023 Firefighter Health Forum: Training for fire service spouses and significant others!

Take part in an educational track expressly designed to give you the tools, skills and perspective needed to make smart decisions about your family’s physical and mental health. Learn how to best support the health and well-being of your loved one – and navigate potential issues that can arise when you have a firefighter in your family. Register at: https://mnfireinitiative.com/firefighter-health-forum/

Dont want to attend alone? Have your firefighter partner register for another one of our tracks and make a weekend out of it at Grand Casino Mille Lacs!

Support is all around you with the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program.

No matter where you are in Minnesota, if you're a firefighter (volunteer, paid-on-call, part-time or full-time), you can access free benefits like an up-to-$20,000 Critical Illness insurance policy, confidential mental health counseling and ongoing health and wellness training. Learn more at mnfireinitiative.com/hhap/.
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Support is all around you with the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program. 

No matter where you are in Minnesota, if youre a firefighter (volunteer, paid-on-call, part-time or full-time), you can access free benefits like an up-to-$20,000 Critical Illness insurance policy, confidential mental health counseling and ongoing health and wellness training. Learn more at https://mnfireinitiative.com/hhap/.

Your gift this Give to the Max Day will make a real impact on the lives of your local hometown heroes, providing them with the tools they need to prioritize and protect themselves against cardiac issues, emotional trauma and cancer.

Thank you for supporting them today at www.givemn.org/Mnfire! #GTMD22
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Your gift this Give to the Max Day will make a real impact on the lives of your local hometown heroes, providing them with the tools they need to prioritize and protect themselves against cardiac issues, emotional trauma and cancer. 

Thank you for supporting them today at https://www.givemn.org/Mnfire! #GTMD22

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Minnesota firefighters need your help on Give to the Max Day! #GTMD22

If you donate $75 or more today to help us reach our $10,000 goal, we'll send you a MnFIRE mug or winter hat! Give $200 or more and you'll receive a cozy MnFIRE blanket as a special thank-you for supporting Minnesota firefighter health!

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Minnesota firefighters need your help on Give to the Max Day! #GTMD22

If you donate $75 or more today to help us reach our $10,000 goal, well send you a MnFIRE mug or winter hat! Give $200 or more and youll receive a cozy MnFIRE blanket as a special thank-you for supporting Minnesota firefighter health!

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