Darling Mental Health is a practice dedicated to serving the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community with empathy and advocation in the Worcester, MA area and beyond.

The goal of this site is to provide a comprehensive introduction to the individual practice, policies, services, and philosophies that are utilized in providing mental health treatment and support. 

I currently practice at Serenity Coaching and Counseling, a group private practice, and provide both in-person and virtual appointments to individuals age 14 and older, couples, and families.

This website has a Resource Directory page to aid people in meeting their needs including hotlines, services for basic needs, other therapists, and family friendly activities in Worcester. It is organized by mode of engagement and region.

Please note that this website does not provide access or direct communication to a therapist, nor does it provide any 24/7 emergency care.

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May Awareness

In May, we observe several awareness campaigns that are interconnected in various ways. These include Arthritis Awareness, Sleep Awareness, Mental Health Awareness, Walking Month, and Women’s Health. Today, I would like to focus on discussing the benefits of walking and maintaining a balanced sleep schedule for mental well-being.

Let’s start by acknowledging the interesting coincidence that May is both Arthritis Awareness Month and National Walking Month. This is ironic because arthritis can significantly impact a person’s ability to walk. Many of us often take walking for granted, but it’s important to realize that individuals with chronic illnesses face mobility challenges. Those of us who are currently able-bodied should appreciate and use the skills and opportunities available to us. Walking can be a powerful tool for reducing stress and anxiety, particularly walking outdoors. It provides a change of scenery, and exposure to fresh natural stimuli, and is generally a low-impact activity.

In my therapy sessions, I often emphasize the importance of spending time in nature through activities like walking. Engaging in such activities can significantly contribute to maintaining good mental health. Rather than searching for a single solution to address specific mental health issues, establishing practices that support a balanced and healthy mind-body connection is often more beneficial.

A vital aspect of overall well-being is maintaining a healthy relationship with sleep. A healthy sleep routine plays a crucial role in managing mental health needs. It allows for processing unconscious thoughts and emotions and replenishes the body’s energy to support our daily endeavors. Quality sleep is associated with positive health outcomes in various aspects of life. Therefore, assessing what might be disrupting your sleep schedule if you wake up feeling unrested is essential. Consider incorporating a calming playlist or relaxation techniques such as Progressive Muscle Relaxation before bedtime, and try to avoid using screens when experiencing difficulty falling asleep.

Good mental health!

April Flowers

As the month of April unfolds we can take time to appreciate the opportunity to be outdoors, engage in gardening, or work to cultivate changes and growth that can be demonstrated all around. A trip to the Botanic Garden, or even just visiting a local park allows for an opportunity to appreciate the changing weather and affirming experience that Spring provides.

However, this Spring seems to be a rather heavy season for many: current events, political legislation, and general continuation of monologues that do not lend themselves to progressive dialogue seems to overwhelm media at this time.

Exhaustion from the winter has been affecting many, mindless engagement with substances has been a common topic of reflection, and general planning for the upcoming weeks/months has the potential to overwhelm some. Recommendations include taking stock of your behaviors and patterns, identifying what goals you may have at this time, and finding ways to re-invigorate yourself as we all collectively shake off the low energy of winter.

The occurrence of major celestial events hallmarks certain traditions for the Abrahamic Religions as the first full moon after the equinox indicates Passover and the following Sunday is celebrated for Easter followed by Eid-al-Fitr in correlation to the new moon which marks the close of Ramadan this year. Secular occasions of Earth Day and Arbor Day close out the month and request us to consider tree-planting and ecological efforts to protect the planet.

All of these celebrations correlate to the theme of Spring, gratitude for the end of Winter and its dormancy effect ending to mark new beginnings; and with that in mind I hope everyone is finding some positive focus and hope for a healthy engagement with cycles and starting things that serve us to heal and grow.

Spring Bulletin

This Spring marks the launch of this website and the development of an online presence for which I am hopeful achieves a few goals:

  1. Educate on matters relating to gender, sexuality, and other topics
  2. Help more people engage with a diverse pool of quality therapists through the Therapist Network page
  3. Provide support to clients in managing their symptoms with a growing language of coping skills and resources
  4. Encourage discussions in people’s therapy as a result of material found on the website and the links it provides

I hope this tool serves my practice and my client’s in a holistic way that improves all of our collective ability to care for self, care for others, and make changes for a better and more authentic future.

As Spring unfolds I often recommend clients to take advantage of the season and consider what outdoor options are available to them to feel refreshed. Even if not going outdoors, consider what can encourage a degree of activity that feels like renewal, rebirth, or regeneration in order to challenge any stagnation negatively affecting one’s mood, motivation, or sense of direction. It has a been an emotionally draining season for many and I am hopeful that the upcoming season gives us more than flowers; something that helps us feel healthy and strong, able to grow.

Change is hard and I hope this new cycle brings some positive shifts to your mental health.

Also, P!nk dropped some new music:

2023 Holiday Schedule

Spring Equinox 3/20

Memorial Day 5/29

Summer Solstice 6/21

Independence Day 7/4

Labor Day 9/4

Fall Equinox 9/21

Thanksgiving 11/23

Winter Solstice 12/21

Snow Policy

In the event of active/predicted snowfall of 3 or more inches, consideration will be made to only provide virtual appointments. Communication via email and/or text will be provided before 10 A.M.

Please be mindful of what weather/traffic alerts are active for Worcester County.

COVID/Contagion Policy

Since 2020, specific protocols are in place at the office to be mindful of the risk of airborne contagions. Regular use of a spray disinfectant is used on the furniture, hand sanitizer is readily available, as are paper towels and hydrogen-peroxide wipes. The office layout includes a centrally placed HEPA air filter, windows are opened during warm weather upon request. If any client is feeling a symptom of any infection that is contagious (cough, fever, etc) they are expected to report this before arrival and/or wear a mask. 

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