Mental Well-Being

Feeling Stressed?
Stress is your body's response to change. Stress is a normal part of everyone's life, but when it becomes long term, this can be harmful to your body. It can make you feel angry, afraid, excited or helpless. It can create sleep disorders, headaches, and lead to bad habits like smoking, drinking, or overeating.  Stress promotes higher levels of inflammation, which is thought to contribute to many diseases of aging. Inflammation has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis,and functional decline as well as reduction in the immune system.

The top causes of stress in the United States are money and work related pressures. Major life changes (divorce, death of a loved one, illness or loss of a job) can cause extreme "high alert" responses increasing a person's hormones and chemicals released to prepare him/her for action. Traumatic stress brought on by a major accident, exposure to violence, or a natural disaster can also cause extreme "high alert" responses.

How to Reduce Stress?
  • Taking 15 - 20 minutes a day to sit quietly, breathe deeply, and think calmly to help your body readjust it's internal fight, flight, or freeze responses.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Don't overeat.
  • Exercise dailyWalk, run, bike, or swim for 30 minutes a day.
  • Limit alcohol
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Get out an social with supportive friends. - Laugh and allow yourself to redirect your focus on others. 
  • Think positively.
  • Seek help if you feel you cannot do it alone.
A person may think that the agitation brought on by stress would burn more calories, but actually, it is reverse. Individuals in a heighten stressed state burned less calories after a high-fat meal and produced more of the hormone insulin which increases your body's fat storage.

For more information: click here for WELCOA's "Reducing Stress Guide."

How Common is Mental Illness?
Anyone can get a mental illness at any time. It can start from a traumatic event or from extreme stress. Having a mental illness does not mean you are weak. It is not your fault and your are not alone.

About 26% of Americans suffer from mental illness each year. Mental illnesses are the leading cause of disability in the US which includes:
  • Anxiety Disorders: 40 million Americans
  • Mood Disorders: 20.9 million Americans
  • Social Phobias:  15 million Americans
  • Major Depression: 14.8 million Americans
  • Bipolar Disorder: 5.7 million Americans
  • Schizophrenia: 2.4 million Americans

Know someone struggling with a mental illness? Wish you could do something to help?


If an emergency: 
1. Call 911                                          
2. Stay with them until help arrives.
3. Go with them to the hospital


 Do not leave them alone. Always make sure they are safe.

If NOT an emergency: 

  •  Help them find resources       for recovery.
  • Help them find a mental health professional.
  • Offer to go with him or her to their first appointment.

Numbers to call:
Anoka County Children's Mental Health 763-712-2722

Anoka County Crisis Line (24/7): 763-755-3801

Anoka County Adult Mental Health:                 763-422-3283

Eat These Calming Foods for Stress Relief
Eating certain foods can offer natural stress relief. Listen to this little video on three of the most calming foods.                            Source: EatingWell

In addition, these foods will help tame your stress:
  • Whole grain breads and pastas 
  • Oranges
  • Spinach
  • Fatty Fish
  • Black Tea
  • Pistachios
  • Avocados
  • Almonds
  • Raw Veggies (Celery and carrots) 
  • Salmon    
  Source: WebMD
"the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) offers disaster preparedness resources because disasters and terrorism events can have devastating physical and psychological effects on children and families. Children and teenagers are at risk for stress reaction including sleep and eating disturbances, irritability, anger, headaches, and stomachaches. To significantly improve the emotional well-being of children and families after a disaster, many strategies can be accessed and in place beforehand."  For further information, visit NCTSN.

Here are a number of resources that can greatly benefit school personnel, children and families.

School Personnel

Teens Staying Safe

Psychological First Aid

Child Trauma