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Future Health

ABC of Mental Health

September 18, 2023 

The ABCs of mental health are principles that help promote mental health and wellbeing for individuals and organizations.

A – Ask Yourself How You’re Feeling
Make sure to do a check in with yourself, a friend, a family member or even a colleague. Here are some emotional and physical reactions that they may experience:

Emotional Reactions

  • Anxiety, worry and/or fear
  • Loneliness or boredom
  • Emotional extremes
  • Irritability and blaming others
  • Periods of panic
  • Depression
  • Overwhelming sadness
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Not caring
  • PTSD

Physical Reactions

  • Low energy levels
  • Sleeping too much or not enough
  • Changes in appetite
  • Stomachaches
  • Skin rashes
  • Tremors
  • Headaches or body pain
  • Sweating or chills

B – Beware of Signs and Symptoms
We all get that occasional anxiety, but when it lingers, there is need for concern. Some symptoms may include:


  • Feeling restless
  • Easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Being irritable
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep problems


  • Persistent sadness, anxiety, or “empty” mood
  • Feeling of hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest
  • Decreased energy
  • Moving or talking more slowly
  • Feeling restless
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts


  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Talking about feeling empty
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Acting anxious or agitated
  • Change of eating or sleeping patterns
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family
  • Giving personal possessions away
  • Using alcohol or drugs more often
  • Withdrawing from family and friends

C – Care for Yourself & Others
Make sure you make self-care a priority in your life, as well as making sure others are taking care of themselves. Try checking in with three people every day and asking how they are doing. There are a variety of mental health resources, whether that is via call, email, chat or in person. Write down resources that you or someone else may need for future reference. When it comes to caring for yourself and others, it isn’t a simple reassuring statement or believing that focusing on the positive will get rid of the negative. Caring for yourself and others needs to support a growth mindset, is intentional and is action oriented.