Your Mental Health Matters
POOR MENTAL HEALTH IS LIKE FLYING WITHOUT WINGS. YOU’LL EVENTUALLY FIND GROUND, BUT THE LANDING’S GONNA HURT.
Most disorders are often just accumulated skill deficits over time.
The more chaotic our world becomes, the more fractured our families, and the more stressed we are as a nation … the more disordered we look. In fact, too many people function in daily life as though they have a frank mental illness. While there are certainly a small group of people who have genuine mental disorders, the dysfunctional majority suffers from chronic emotional and mental distress (i.e., dis-ease) with an almost complete absence of skills needed for improvement.
If you’ve already fully bought into the disease model, then this may be a hard concept to swallow. But consider, for example, being raised by someone with severe anxiety. Not only might you have a genetic predisposition; but more importantly, you would never have seen how not to be anxious, good coping skills would be absent and you would’ve internalized the core beliefs that support an anxious view. Without a positive model for mental fitness, you don’t know what you don’t know.
Mental Health Course Components
Classes can be purchased as content-only (Solo Class) or with added support (Class Plus option). Class Plus format offers the following benefits:
A variety of 4-week classes.
Downloadable learning aids for classes.
Support forums for questions and peer support.
Small-group instructional coaching to keep learning on track (3 coach-led, 1 peer-led)
One private, 30-minute coaching session per month for individualized work.
Weekly open office hours for course questions.
Weekly mental fitness tips via mFIT blogs
Monthly mPACT with mFIT Guides.
For those who want maximum support, we also offer one membership option (Fast Track).
NOTE: All classes are 4 weeks as they are designed to be completed during a 30-day period. There may be multiple class units on the same topic (e.g., Self-Esteem 101; Self-Esteem 102, etc.), which means classes must be taken in order as higher level courses build upon the previous ones.
Level I Class Offerings
Browse and select classes below (or view class list). Level II & III Classes follow below.
Saying Goodbye to Anxiety
As the chaos of our modern world spirals out of control, literally millions of people are suffering from what is labeled as anxiety, worry, panic, or obsessiveness. At the core, anxiety is a natural defensive reaction of the central nervous system to protect us from danger and we can become conditioned to produce this fear response to even neutral, non-threatening events. For most anxiety sufferers, however, the condition often seems hopeless as more and more of their life is swallowed by anxiety. Learn how to break free of anxiety trap! [View CLASS LIST]
When Blue is Not a Color
The mood state we call depression or sadness is rampant and affects millions. It is often left untreated, causing a great deal of suffering for the depressed person as well as to their families. Depression hits all age and ethnic groups and cuts across all socio-economic statuses. It has a biological underpinning related to survival and is sending a strong message from mind and body. Understanding the message and making needed changes is crucial to alleviating low mood. [View CLASS LIST]
Fantastical Fears and Frightful Phobias
Flights of Fancy Gone Awry
A phobia is “fear on steroids.” The fear has progressed to being way out of line with the actual stimuli. For example, this picture is an example of a phobic mental representation of “biting fish” even in lakes where no such thing exists. It is important to understand that the phobic response, while irrational, is actually rooted in the survival mechanism and the only way to extinguish it is exposure and violation of the belief. Learn more in this class on how to eliminate fears and phobias! [View CLASS LIST]
Signs & Symptoms of an Eating Disorder
Recognize the Early Warning Signs
Eating Disorders (ED) can include symptoms such as restricting food intake, over-eating (binging), intentional vomiting (purging) and use of laxatives. Many cases of ED begin from a relatively normative dieting effort, which the person becomes obsessed with. This may first take the turn of orthorexia or extreme “healthy” eating, then turn to greater and greater restriction. Learn the physical , mental and emotional signs and symptoms and why early intervention is crucial. [View CLASS LIST]
Self-Injury & Psychological Pain
Self-harm can take many forms such as cutting, scratching, burning, hitting, pinching, hair pulling, reckless behavior, restricted eating, substance use, intentional poisoning, etc. Self-harm can be both non-threatening and life-threatening (i.e., suicidality). Such behavior can be triggered by specific events (i.e., stress response) or chronic. What they all have in common, though, is an attempt to cope with psychological pain. Learn more about self-harm and how to help someone in its grasp. [View CLASS LIST]
Trauma Based Disorders
The Legacy of Traumatic Events
Trauma comes in many forms. For example, a big “T” trauma is a single, catastrophic event like a car wreck, death of a loved one, a natural disaster, rape, war acts, etc. In contrast, little “t” traumas are accumulated, smaller negative events that have a similar negative impact. These could be peer bullying, an emotionally unavailable parent, feeling alone or rejected, teen substance use, etc. This class introduces common reactions and negative outcomes associated with trauma. [View CLASS LIST]
When the Mind Withdraws
Dissociation is a very misunderstood condition. The symptoms range from periods of “zoning out” to a feeling of being outside of your body, to full-blown separations into multiple personalities (which some people do not believe exists). In essence, the mind is withdrawing from circumstances experienced as being so egregious as to dramatically overwhelm coping resources. This is especially true for children who are being chronically traumatized, given they have such limited coping skills already. Learn more about dissociation. [View CLASS LIST]
Bypassing the Mind, Besieging the Body
Understanding Somatic Disorders
When people talk about psychosomatic illnesses, what they mean is that a mental condition is manifesting in the body. Common examples include tension headaches, gastrointestinal issues, skins conditions, insomnia, etc. The point is that when we ignore mental or emotional conditions, it can erupt in the body with all manner of physiological problems. The mind and body is sending a message and trying to get your attention by saying, “We need help! Do something!” This class explores common psychosomatic illness and ways to intervene. [View CLASS LIST]
The Epidemic of Addiction
Self-Medication in Disguise
Addictions have always been with us. As long as there is psychological pain, there will be those who attempt to medicate it with substance use. Whether this is alcohol, prescription meds, cocaine, meth or other illegal substances, the end result is the same. It is a spiraling out of control, increasing amounts of time dedicated to use and even criminal behavior to support the habit. But addiction can also include gambling, pornography, shopping, over-eating, etc. This class explores the current landscape of addictive behaviors. [View CLASS LIST]
“I used to always be so worried about upsetting people. I never wanted anyone to be mad at me because it made me feel so horrible, like I’d let them down. After taking classes at the Mental Fitness Institute, I realized that I just needed to be me. Nobody else. And those who loved me for me…well, that’s who I’d want in my life anyway. I’m just saying that if I can make that kind of change, anybody can.”
Becca@Chapel Hill, NC