In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, check out what the FFT team had to suggest as one step someone can take today to start improving their mental health.


Do you have all of your basics covered?


“I would say that the most important thing is to prioritize self-care and, the first step for it would be having your basic needs covered, such as, sleeping enough hours, healthy eating and being active since this can have a significant impact on your energy and mood.” 

Jessica M. Loya Aquino, MS, LPC


“One step someone can take to improve their mental health is to start to journal. I suggest this to many of my clients as a way to slow down and process thoughts, emotions, and experiences. There is no right or wrong way to do it! The goal is to start to be more in touch with yourself and your emotional experience.”

– Janelle Patterson, MS, ALMFT


Be kind to yourself!


“Remember to be kind to yourself, even when you aren’t being very kind to yourself! I.E. when you make a mistake (because we all do) and you give yourself a hard time about it, don’t follow that up by berating yourself for being hard on yourself. Acknowledge that you’ve had an unkind thought and say that’s ok and next time I will try to be kinder and more understanding.” -Samantha Tankenoff, MS, ALMFT


“To first understand that their feelings are valid and there are people out there that care. There is always hope even when we can’t feel it.”

– Maritza Pena


Get out in nature and unplug!


“One step someone can take today to start improving their mental health is getting outside more and moving around. As the weather gets nicer, soaking in the sun and fresh air can be super beneficial for our well-being!”

– Maggie Testani, Therapy Intern


“Take a walk in nature!”

– Dawn Paquelet, ALMFT


“I would love for everyone to spend some intentional time “offline” every single day.  Put your phone on silent, turn it over so you don’t see notifications, and spend time actively engaged in something you love.  Reading, spending time outside, playing with your kids, baking, cooking, art, etc.”

-Katie Fleming, MS, LMFT


What hobbies do you enjoy?


“A step you can take today to start improving your mental health is finding and/or engaging in a positive hobby that provides happiness and comfort (i.e., reading, painting, exercise, cooking).” 

Jessi Erickson, MS, MFT


“One step that someone can take to start improving their mental health is through journaling. Journaling about thoughts, feelings, and emotions can create a better understanding of oneself. Awareness is important in taking that step!”

Rachel Casey-DeRue, MS, LMFT


“Set aside time for yourself. Easier said than done, right? It seems like we are always on the go, but it is important to set some time for yourself to do activities that you enjoy such as reading a book, self reflection, a workout etc.”

– Felicia Kohn


Start focusing on your mental health today!


Please note that this content is for informational purposes, and not a substitute for treatment.  If you are in need of mental health treatment, please seek out a provider in your area.  For those located near Chicago, you may book online through our Schedule an Appointment page.

Ahora ofreciendo nuestros servicios en español, Now offering our services in Spanish