May is National Mental Health Awareness month, It couldn't have come at a better time. Because of the covid-19 pandemic, many are dealing with personal or family illness. Others are experiencing heightened anxiety and fear, and many are facing the loss of jobs and income. Still others are overwhelmed by escalating conflicts as families are "sheltering in place" and "getting on each others nerves." Is it any wonder that drug and alcohol abuse is on the rise; incidents of family violence are increasing, and the darkness of depression for many is now worse. This is truly a time when the coping skills of many are stretched to the max. How can we protect our mental health when attacks seem to arise on so many different fronts? I would offer three brief words of advice..
Memorial day, especially for the last fifteen years, has always been a special time for me because it is a day when my mom, her brother Newell, and I would go together to place flowers on the graves of our loved ones. This was a time in which we would honor and remember my dad, grandparents, and other family members and friends. But it was also something more. There are two main reasons why these "memorial day outings" were so special to me...
May is a time when many are graduating from high school and college. After years of hard work, study, and perseverance, the time for the receiving of diplomas and celebrating with family and friends has come. Unfortunately this year, many will be disappointed as traditional graduation ceremonies are substituted with either a virtual ceremony or a ceremony that is extremely limited in terms of participation. Still, this is an important time in the lives of those who are graduating. It is a time to receive recognition for all that they have learned and accomplished. It is a time to look forward to further eduction, job opportunities, or new areas of service. It is also a time to remember that the true quest of education is not the acquisition of knowledge, but rather the acquiring of wisdom...
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.