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Mental Health Spotlight: Giving Thanks This Year

Last updated on November 10, 2020

This material was written by a Dallas College licensed counselor. All views expressed in this piece are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dallas College.

Throughout history, great leaders have taught humanity that our attitudes shape who we are and what we become:

“As a man thinks, so he is.” – Proverbs 23:7

“We become what we think about.” – Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius

“What he thinks, he becomes.” – M.K. Gandhi

If we think confidently, we have more confidence. If we believe we can, we are more likely to be able to. If we think positively, we will be more positive and happier.

Is all this true?

Well, there is a substantial amount of research that supports these thoughts. As we approach Thanksgiving, research tells us the positive “attitude of gratitudecan actually make us feel better and be happier!

But what can we be grateful for in the year of COVID? Fortunately, living through such a tough year doesn’t mean that there is nothing good at all. Things haven’t been great, but that should not keep us from appreciating life.

Happy Rays of Light

  • I’m still alive and able to be grateful this year.
  • Some of us have had losses, but we still have loved ones to be thankful for.
  • We have found that we have some real friends who have helped us through a tough time.
  • We’ve gotten closer to family and friends.
  • We’ve seen examples of people who have continued to do their work to support others, even at risk to their own health; everyday heroes just doing their job.
  • Folks have been ingenious in finding ways to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, holidays, etc. – to find joy amid hardship and barriers.

So, as we approach Thanksgiving, don’t let COVID rob you of your ability to appreciate and give thanks for the good you’ve seen and received lately. Look past the virus, the lockdowns and social distancing and enjoy the eternal and undefeatable human spirit. Throughout all this, we’re learning we can still be caring, loving and giving even in the most challenging situations.

Reach out in your world, real and virtual, and thank those who have been there for you. Check out some of that research because we believe an “attitude of gratitude” will only make you happier and healthier.

Written by Dr. Jesse Gonzalez, personal counselor at Dallas College

Dallas College Free Online Counseling for Students

Do you need to speak to someone about something you’re dealing with? At Dallas College, we never want you to feel alone. Our certified, professional counselors are here to help you — for free!

Our team offers virtual, one-on-one sessions for any student currently enrolled in Fall 2020 classes. To get started, all you need to do is contact your campus Counseling Center at the email address listed below:

Brookhaven Counseling Center:
Cedar Valley Counseling Center:
Eastfield Counseling Center:
El Centro Counseling Center:
Mountain View Counseling Center:
North Lake Counseling Center:
Richland Counseling Center:

Please note: If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call 911 or visit the nearest hospital emergency room rather than requesting an online counseling session.

Interactive Sessions by Topic

Our counselors also offer various psychoeducational workshops and Let’s Talk Series to assist students in developing academic skills, exploring career options, making career decisions and growing as a person. These interactive sessions are free and available just about every week! Join us for the following events:

November 10
Let’s Talk Series: Parenting During COVID-19
2-3 p.m.Please Register

November 17
Let’s Thrive Series: Change Your Thoughts to Change Your Life
11 a.m. – noonPlease register

November 17
Self-Care is Not Selfish
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.Please register

Our team of Dallas College counselors also proudly support TAO (Therapy Assistance Online) as a helpful, free resource that offers more than 150 brief, interactive sessions on various topics such as mental health, wellness and substance abuse. Check out the following sessions that are available on demand:

Healthy Relationships


Enrollment Key: #Love

Let’s Talk About Anxiety

Join in:

Enrollment Key: #kick-it

Mindfulness 101 

Join in:

Enrollment Key: #keepcalm

Stress Management 

Join in:

Enrollment Key: #kickstress

Check out other events we have planned this semester by visiting our Counseling Workshops and Events page.

Community Mental Health Resources Available in Our Area

  • North Texas Behavioral Health Authority can help pay for community psychiatric, mental health and substance abuse services — please call 214-366-9407.
  • Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas — please call 214-828-1000.
  • National Veterans Crisis Line — please call 800-273-8255 and press 1.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline — please call 800-799-7233.
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline — please call 800-656-4673.
  • Message 741741 from anywhere in the United States to text with a trained crisis counselor. Heads up — standard messaging rates may apply.

It’s okay to say. Our college encourages and supports all students and employees in their efforts to openly talk about mental health. Even if you’re not dealing with a specific mental health issue, chances are someone you know is. If you see something that could help someone else, spread the word and share this information.

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