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Mental Health Month at San Bernardino FACT

Mental Health Month, observed annually in May, is the perfect time to learn more about how to support your mental wellbeing. This year's theme, Back to Basics, is meant to provide the public with foundational knowledge surrounding mental health and what steps an individual can take if they are concerned about their mental state. Mental Health America has observed Mental Health Month since 1949 to educate the public to recognize when a person needs help and why taking care of your mental health is so important.  

Heather Butterfield, one of the case managers at the San Bernardino FACT program, has been working with member Steven. She takes him to the park for self-care, surrounded by nature. Interacting with the geese has positively helped his mental health because he feels joyful, relaxed, and understood.

Trust is an essential part of successful mental health recovery. It provides a sense of safety and security that comes from knowing someone has your back no matter what. It can help build a foundation for open communication between you and your support system. This open communication is key to working through difficult times and growing from the experience. Finally, trust can help you to believe in yourself and your ability to recover even when things are tough. And, as it turns out, it's something that can be found in the most unlikely of places... even from a flock of geese! 

Below, San Bernardino FACT member Steven shares what he's learned about trust from being around geese: 

"Trust. To be trusted by a creature of a completely different species and language is an unworldly experience. It gives me a sense of overwhelming joy and happiness knowing that even after all you have done in the past, there is always an opportunity to create new relationships based on trust and loyalty. To feed the geese and ducks gives me hope knowing that it's never too late to start a new life. When I start feeding the geese and ducks, I get the attention of squirrels, like saying, "What are you handing out?" So in a sense, once you start surrounding yourself with positivity, then positivity will start to follow you. Eventually, you find yourself surrounded by creatures that trust you, and I wouldn't trade that feeling for anything. Trust is a universal feeling that every living thing can understand" - Steven I. 

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