Panhandle PBS put together a Garden of the Mind event to help people learn some “little things” they can do for their mental health on Saturday. Various stations have been set up at Amarillo College to raise awareness of the things that can be done for someone’s mental health.
Panhandle PBS has a new series called The Little Things which aired its first episode on September 15th. According to a Panhandle PBS press release, “The Little Things” will be an eight-part series produced by Panhandle PBS in partnership with the Panhandle Behavioral Health Alliance and the Texas Panhandle Centers for Behavioral and Developmental Health. The Garden of the Mind event took the same teachings from the “little things” and made different tents to examine them.
“Getting out in nature, exercise, food, communication, and creativity are all great ways to improve your mental health,” said Corby Fails, director of marketing for Panhandle PBS.
The Northwest Texas Health Care System (NWTHS) had a booth to raise awareness about places available to help. At the event, the NWTHS was using a comic book to offer advice about anxiety and how anxiety can affect someone.
“Just because you need help doesn’t mean you’re weak,” said Dustin Ho-Gland, RN, NWTHS Clinical Instructor for Behavioral Health. And if you need help, it’s important that someone get that help. There is no need to suffer in silence. If someone has a friend or someone around them is experiencing a mental health crisis, just listen to them without judgment and simply be there for them…and (if) they need help, help them get help.”
Comic book tips for reducing anxiety in one minute include:
Tip 1: Five breaths – inhale slowly and fully for five seconds, hold your breath for five seconds, counting at the same pace. Finally, exhale slowly and count to five.
Tip 2: Line your gift with 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – Find five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.
Tip 3: Mindful Visualization: Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Imagine something that brings you happiness and/or gratitude in your life. Focus and continue this for one minute.
The title of the event’s “Mind Garden” came from the episode “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” where he called on viewers to “cultivate the ideas in their minds.” Saturday’s event featured many different activities and mental health experts to provide attendees with different options for professional help, or little things they could do on their own.
One of the groups that attended the Amarillo event was 7 Star Horse Therapy. The non-profit uses equine-assisted therapy to not only help with physical, but mental challenges that people go through. “We integrate horses into therapy sessions. Horses can sense your energy when you get within 20 feet of them. These animals are very grounded. Their heart rates are slow. They have a slow breathing rate,” said Lou Ann Humphrey, a licensed professional counselor at 7 Horse Therapy. So we try to match that.” “It’s very interactive. You have to be awake and working with the horse. This is good for people who don’t want to just sit and talk.”
“The Little Things” airs every Thursday at 7 p.m. on Panhandle PBS. To stream episodes and singles, go to panhandlePBS.org/TheLittleThings and on the station’s social media.
To find out more information about 7 Star Horse Therapy, visit www.7starhorsetherapy.org .
For more information about the Northwest Texas Health Care System, visit nwthsbehavioralhealth.com.