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To commemorate Mental Health Month, we asked clinicians a number of questions about mental health. Today, Hannah Smith, MS, LMFT, shares her reflections on mental health and offers helpful hints for working towards good mental health.

smith_hannahHow do you define mental health?

I define mental health as psychological, emotional, and spiritual well-being that impacts our way of relating to the world, ourselves, and our surroundings.

How are mental and physical health connected?

From my perspective, mental and physical health are intimately related, in that our mind and bodies do not operate independently but are consistently interacting through feedback loops to help us understand how to best respond in any given situation. We can utilize our physical bodies to create calm and healing in our internal psyche and we can intentionally care for our mental health, and, in turn, experience strengthening and change in our physical bodies.

What are some tips for good mental health?

Remember the importance of breath as a regulator of mood.

We are intimately wired for connection – make time to cultivate connection and meaningful moments with those that you care for and feel understood by. This will help us be more productive in all facets of life.


Hannah Smith, MS, LMFT, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at The Family Institute. She has a particular passion and commitment to working with couples and addressing unresolved family of origin issues and how they impact intimate partnerships. Ms. Smith is a member of the Couples Therapy Program at The Family Institute and has training in Yoga Informed Psychotherapy.

The Family Institute offers affordable, effective mental health counseling for families, couples and individuals in Evanston, Chicago, Northbrook and Westchester. Learn more about our services on our website.

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