Science Care’s Team & The Importance of Mental Health

Science Care’s Team & The Importance of Mental Health

Mental Health is the collection of our emotional, psychological and social well-being and more than 1 in 5 adults in the United States live with a mental illness. Taking time to care for your mental health is just as important as caring for your physical health as each can have an impact on the other. For example, depression can increase the risk of physical health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. 

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are honored to share the perspective of two Science Care staff members for whom mental health is incredibly important. 

Helen Taylor, Assistant Lab Technician

Helen Taylor is a passionate advocate for helping others understand how the brain functions and learning more about the complexity of a mental health diagnosis.

“Being Hispanic, I grew up in an environment where mental health was not acknowledged and the importance of maintaining mental wellness was ignored or not spoken about,” said Helen.

A mom of four, Helen suffered postpartum depression after her first pregnancy and felt alone during her journey to recovery. This experience motivated her to become an advocate within her community and bring much needed awareness to the stigma around mental health within specific cultures. Her family and her faith motivate her to advocate for and share her truth about mental health. 

That advocacy evolved when her second son, Eli, was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism at the age of three and Helen felt called to the counseling field. After the diagnosis, she struggled to balance her mental health as their family adjusted to their new normal. As a family, they immediately pursued intensive therapy to help Eli advance and meet his milestones. Today, Eli is a thriving ten-year-old. While he still experiences limitations in some areas, he has made tremendous progress over the years. 

“Experiencing the highs and lows with Eli motivates me to encourage others and to bring hope to parents that might be feeling hopeless during the low seasons,” said Helen. “I am strong in my faith and believe that everyone and every circumstance has a purpose and mine is to help other families and their loved ones navigate their mental health journeys.”

Helen finishes her counseling degree this May and was accepted into a clinical psychology Ph. D. program. After completing her clinical psychology program, Helen wants to work with local nonprofits to provide support in areas of her community that lack resources to mental health education. 

If you know someone who is struggling with their mental health, Helen encourages you to trust the process and practice patience. I encourage others to trust the process and to have an abundance of patience. It can be hard to not know what is going on and for every day to be different, but with help from mental health supports, change and progress can be achieved.  

When it comes to caring for her own mental health, Helen enjoys spending time with family, going to church, cooking, and traveling. Her family has two pets that serve as their unofficial support animals. In her spare time, she catches up on true crime documentaries, listens to podcasts or goes on walks with her family.

For Helen, working at Science Care is about being part of a greater vision. 

“Science Care’s ability to facilitate medical research and training allows me to witness the continuous flourishment of medicine in our country,” said Helen. “It is humbling and heartwarming to witness the gift of donation in action. I feel honored to get to be a part of the process and can only speak highly about Science Care’s integrity and care for our donors and their families.”

Tre Decker, IT Manager

For Tre Decker, Science Care’s IT Manager, offering encouragement and support to those that struggle with their mental health comes naturally. 

“I believe that mental health is the key to having a balanced life,” said Tre. “I have dealt with depression and anxiety in my own life and have been surrounded by those who have experienced the same thing. My dad was a Vietnam Vet who suffered from PTSD in his last years before passing away and I wish I could have done more to support him.” 

Tre speaks on Motivation Mindset and Healing through Pain on his internet radio podcast called Coach, Heal, Motivate. In addition, he also speaks at wellness conferences, schools and various venues. He also facilitates mediation, Reiki, and 4-7-8 breathing techniques to help others learn how to better care for their mental health. 

Reiki is a technique for stress relief and relaxation that is said to promote healing. This practice is a gentle, non-invasive practice of hands-on, energy-based healing. Reiki masters use their hands to deliver energy to your body, improving the flow and balance of your energy to support healing. You can learn more about Reiki here.

Meditation is a simple practice that is available to everyone and can be a helpful tool to reduce stress, anxiety and help promote a sense of calm and wellbeing. “The term “meditation” refers to a variety of practices that focus on mind and body integration and are used to calm the mind and enhance overall well-being. Some types of meditation involve maintaining mental focus on a particular sensation, such as breathing, a sound, a visual image, or a mantra, which is a repeated word or phrase. Other forms of meditation include the practice of mindfulness, which involves maintaining attention or awareness on the present moment without making judgments.” (Source) Check out a helpful beginners guide for meditation here

4-7-8 is a breathing technique that can provide anxiety relief, reduce stress and even help you sleep. This technique involves inhaling through your nose for four counts, holding your breath for seven counts and then exhaling through your mouth for eight counts. Learn more about this technique here.

To anyone who may be struggling with their own mental health, Tre wants you to know that you are not alone and there are ways to overcome struggles with your mental health. Reach out to those around you or look for support in your community. 

“I understand how it feels to go through anxiety or depression and not want to be judged,” Tre said. “Sometimes people just need to be heard and feel like someone cares about their situation.” 

When caring for his own mental health, Tre reaches for his holistic health practices such as Reiki, meditation, and 4-7-8 breathing. He is naturally drawn to nature, especially anywhere near the water or a good hike. 

Tre values the caring environment and people that make up the team at Science Care. 

“I can see every day that Science Care is making a difference in the world,” Tre said. 

If you or someone you know has a mental illness, is struggling emotionally or has concerns about their mental health, there are ways to get help. Find support and resources here

There are many ways to support your mental health. Learn more about how gardening can help here.

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