Mental Health and Wellness: Why We Need to Have “Hope” for Our Body’s Health and Our Mind’s Health Radio Segment with Suzie Cooney

August 16, 2011  Excerpts Taken from the Maui Breakfast Club: Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui, Health & Fitness Segment every Tuesday morning at 7:38 am on KNUI 900 AM.

As some of you know, I am a huge advocate when it comes to spreading the word of mental health. With the world facing so many challenges, it’ s no wonder why we’re more stressed, depressed, over eating, under eating, turning to alcohol or drugs or worse yet, some are choosing the sad path of suicide. But, there is one thing that somehow keeps us all going and that is “hope”.


Without it, we wouldn’t get out of bed, practice our lessons, exercise or help another. Hope helps us conquer the unknown, the uncertainty that faces many of us. Hope is also the mantra used in the world of mental health professionals to encourage all of us to believe that there is a tomorrow that will be better. I believe our President’s message also includes the word hope.

The word “hope” defined by Wikipedia: Hope is the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life.

This segment was especially important to me, for I personally manage a loved one, my mother who lives in a world of delusions, hallucinations, and fear, where some of her biggest challenges during a given day is riding the bus and returning home safely. Each day, each hour or each minute can change from function to complete dysfunction. Her disease is schizophrenia and like other brain disorders, it can diminish the feelings of hope and be clouded by thoughts and voices that are not hers.  One thing she holds onto is hope.

( If you missed link above: Listen here )I remember marching on the steps of the capital in Sacramento in 1995 with my mother some years back for a NAMI rally with signs that read, “Don’t give up the hope“.  I marched with her and my shoulder sling from some mountain bike accident or something; holding my sign too. Once again the government was cutting funding to a much needed program. But, we were not giving up hope for a positive outcome.

Speaking of positive, the word “positive” is another form of shaping a healthy mind and adds to our word hope to help us manage our hope. We’re always told to remain positive in times a great trouble or large challenges. This is easier said than done when it’s you that must remain positive. You wonder how it is, why some people are always this way?

I’ve discovered that there is a proven inverse relationship that helps us maintain our physical health when we are able to focus on keeping our mental health fit as there is a relationship to having hope. A  study performed at the Keen University in New Hampshire studied the relationship of hope and having an optimistic, positive outlook when dealing with chronic pain. The results revealed that there is a better outcome of managing illness, chronic pain and other physical challenges if one has hope, optimism and a positive outlook.

As a health care professional, I try to encourage my clients and those I mentor to look at things in a different manner. One doesn’t wake up and say, “I’m going to be positive.” It takes time to reshape one’s behaviors and ways of thinking. It’s a process. Just like losing weight, it takes time if you want to keep it off. It takes effort and a mindful attempt to look at the world, your life, your situation and most importantly,  your health in order to have this thinking stick.

I hope you enjoyed the radio segment. A special thanks to the Maui Breakfast Club and to you for spreading the word of mental health and wellness. It does a body good.


Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui and Mental Health Advocate.


Resources I recommend:

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Health: See my article for NAM here: Standing Up for Mental Illness

“Inspiring Hope Through Research” by  Dr. Robert M. Post, M.D.

Columnist for Wall Street Journal: Health: Melinda Beck



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