We all deal with stress and anxiety differently. To some, dealing with it can cause massive amounts of exhaustion, and in extreme cases, can lead to terrible consequences such as self-harm and suicide. Montana has ranked in the top 3 in suicide rates in the United States since 2017 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's why it's so important to take time for yourself if you're feeling burned out, depressed, or worse. Trust me, I just took one myself.

Are Montanans Losing Access to Mental Health Care?

It was reported by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle in 2018 that the Montana Legislature had ordered budget cuts to mental health services across the state as mental health clinics in Livingston, Libby, and Dillon were closed. This cut off vital services for many Montanans.

Despite that, Montana spends a lot on mental health services. In the same article, it was reported that in the 2014-2015 fiscal year, Montana spent nearly $250 Million on such services, which was the seventh most in the nation. But, only about half of those who took advantage of those services stated that it helped them in their day-to-day life.

Mental Health Days Are Important For Everyone

Sometimes, you just feel really overwhelmed. The stress of work combined with things piling up at home may cause you to wonder what you're going to do with your free time. It's totally okay to request a sick day or mental health day to take care of those things. Some people, like me, tend to not prioritize their own physical health when they're stressed as well. Use that time to take care of yourself. Give yourself a nice bath, or a cool haircut.

It's important to remember that this time is used to recharge yourself. It's not a fix to the issues. I'm not a doctor or a psychologist, so if these issues persist, there are services for you to access to get extended help. I wrote an article about the types of services you can find here.

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In short, take your mental health days. They can really help alleviate some of the stress that's been built up in your life. If you are feeling worse than normal, or even suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Take care of yourselves out there.

Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic:

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