May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, LGB adults–like many other people who face discrimination and oppression–are more than twice as likely to experience mental health challenges as their heterosexual counterparts. Transgender individuals are four times as likely as cisgender individuals to experience a mental health condition. For LGBTQ+ youth, those numbers are even higher. In this season of unprecedented anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, healthcare and economic concerns and other issues, some of us are really struggling. We encourage all of our members and friends to prioritize self-care.
What does self-care look like for you? Perhaps it means a break from social media and the negativity of the 24-hour news cycle. (And all of us could probably use a moment to make sure our technology is working FOR our mental health, not against it–so check out this Technology for Self-Care flier from board member & Advocacy Chair Heidi Trevethan. ) Maybe it means some classic pampering at a spa or beauty salon. Maybe it’s an increase in professional mental health care during a busy or uncertain time of life. It could also mean reducing the demands on your schedule to allow time for rest and space to breathe.
In honor of National Mental Health Awareness Month and in the spirit of leading by example, the Gaymber board has elected to take a sabbatical for the month of May.
As such, there will be no breakfast event, no Out and About, and no board or committee meetings this month. During the time you may have set aside to attend these events, we invite you to please instead take the time to do something just for you–which might also mean reaching out to another Chamber member and inviting them to coffee! Interpersonal connections are self-care too. (Rather than assign Coffee Club pairs this month, we are opting to let you opt in or out for the month and reach out to each other as suits you.)
While we’re all taking this month to refill our cups, June is going to be the cup that runneth over for events as we gear up to celebrate Pride month in all its rainbow glory and beautiful diversity. You can RSVP now for our annual Pride Breakfast and mark your calendar for some of the many other events the Gaymber will be delighting in this June.
Enjoy your May, and we’ll catch you on the flip side. If you need anything this month, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Chamber Admin, Melanie Cooley, who will be on the job and ready to take care of you (and us) in May.
In Peace and Health,
Amanda Pederson, LE
Owner, The Fern Grove Spa
Gaymber Board Member & Social Committee Member