Over the past 25 years, I have worked to raise the awareness of mental health and break down the stigma of mental illness. Let me talk a little about what I’ve learned and reveal to you why I am so passionate about this topic.
I believe “mental health is a lifestyle”. I believe the mind is a wonderful tool, it can be our best friend, as well as our worst enemy. Many people struggle to understand their own personal psychology and it causes us to live in fear, suppresses and limits our capabilities. If we can learn how to get the best out of ourselves and how to transform negative thoughts into positive behaviors, we will live a more fulfilled life – a life where we actually handle the challenges we face.
I also believe wellness and wholeness is important for one’s optimal mental health. Over my years of practice and from my own personal experience, I found that FOOD is the most abused anxiety and depression drug; and EXERCISE is the most underutilized antidepressant. During graduate school, I spent two years exploring the relationship of depression and obesity in African American women. After reading over 100 articles, research proved that healthy nutrition and physical activity/exercise were found to be one of the most effective strategies among the population group. Therefore, I place substantial emphasis on self-care and the development of healthy habits as a foundation of my patient’s individualized plan of care.
– Kizzy Petersen, Provider