Brain Health Outreach

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Meet Pat!

Pat is our Emotional Support Llama and mascot for brain health! Not only is Pat super relatable and approachable; Pat has experienced their own mental health crisis before so they are ready to help comfort and support you through yours.

Mental health is brain health. "If you break a bone, you get a cast. If your throat is sore, you take a cough drop. And when thoughts and feelings make your daily life hard — there’s treatment for that too."

Pat even has a coloring & activity book to help introduce children to the concept of brain health. It's a great way to begin teaching your child that it's OK to not be OK and that it's OK to ask for help.

Pat is all about getting a checkup from the neck up! Use our Find a Provider tool to locate a mental health professional near you.

For more resources and activities you can do with your child, please visit our Virtual Calming Room page.

Pat the Llama Coloring & Activity Book

What is Brain Health?

The human brain helps you think and solve problems. It controls our senses, like vision and hearing. It regulates emotions. And so much more.

Your brain is your most important organ. And when your brain health suffers — your physical health can too.

Be a positive force for good. Help end the stigma of brain health disorders at brainhealth-now.org.

No one is perfect. We get sick, break bones and sometimes, thoughts and feelings shake us to our core. It's OK to feel off, scared or uncertain. And it's more than OK to get help to feel better.

There is a false belief that mental illness is something you can "think your way out of." This misunderstanding leads people who could benefit from treatment to suffer in silence. By changing the way we talk about our feelings, thoughts and behaviors, we can normalize our experiences and lessen the unfair stigma that comes with these challenges.

Replacing "mental health" with "brain health" in everyday conversations helps us recognize the biological and neurological basis for conditions like anxiety or depression.

This understanding — that brain health is not so different from your physical health after all — will encourage people who are suffering to get the help they need and deserve.

Where It Hurts

Chronic stress, anxiety and other brain health challenges change the way we think and feel. They can impact our physical bodies too.

At your next visit, tell your doctor about any physical symptoms you have. And open up about emotions, thoughts and behaviors that make you suffer. No matter what is causing you pain—a doctor can help you get the right treatment!

Don’t have a primary care physician? You can still get help. Use our Find a Provider tool to find a mental health professional near you.

* If you’re experiencing serious symptoms like chest tightness or shortness of breath, call 9-1-1 right away—these could be signs of a medical emergency. *

Put Your Brain Health First

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five adults lives with a mental illness, yet less than half receive the help they need. But everyone can benefit from treatment — whether it's counseling, behavioral therapy, prescription medication, inpatient treatment, or a mix of options.

Putting your brain health first offers one benefit after the other.

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Find relief from the effects of brain health concerns.

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Improve your self-esteem & feel more confident.

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Take control of hard-to-break behaviors & habits.

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Manage stress & emotions.

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Good Habits Support Brain Health

Combined with professional treatment, these good habits support a healthy brain.

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Regular Exercise

Even just five minutes of exercise (walking, swimming, weightlifting, and more) can help reduce stress and combat both anxiety and depression.

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Relaxation Techniques

Meditation, yoga and guided breathing exercises can help you respond to stressful situations in a healthy way. Try these guided practices for finding your calm.

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Eating Right

A vitamin-rich diet is the best way to support a healthy brain. Eat more fruits and veggies, proteins and whole grains to feel the immediate mental and physical benefits of healthy eating.

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Do What You Love

Take time to do things that make you smile. Learn a musical instrument. Go on a nature walk. Or join a sports club.

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Be There

If a friend facing a brain health challenge reaches out — listen. You don't need to give advice. Instead, tell them you care and point them towards help.

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Talk

We all have our ups and downs. Opening up to a close friend, relative or professional helps you take stock of your thoughts and feelings. It helps you see things from a new perspective. And it can inspire you to make positive changes to behaviors and habits.