Supporting Mental Health at SMF

We like to think of Shambhala as a safe haven – a place to relax and recharge from the stressors of the outside world. That isn’t to say, however, that demons and anxieties don’t follow us when we step onto the farm. Festival environments can be overwhelming and overstimulating at times, and it’s important to recognize when we need to take a breather. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so we encourage you to treat it as such. If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulties such as anxiety, panic attacks, or anything else mental health related, visit Shambhala’s sanctuary located behind the medical office that’s open 24/7. Our experience team of professionals will ensure you have a safe place to relax before venturing back out into the festival.

Our farmily encourages you to use best practices to ensure you’re taking the best care of your mental health on and off the farm. Some tips:

  1. Be open and honest with your friends. Let them know how you’re doing and if you need to take a break away from the action.
  2. Create your own safe haven at your campsite – a nice, quiet space to relax to recharge between sets and workshops.
  3. Get an adequate amount of sleep every night. We know you want to pack in as much as possible during your short time on the farm, but sleep is more important than you realize. Pack some good ear plugs or put in headphones to play soothing music while you fall asleep. You’ll wake up feeling ready to take on another full day of dancing.

Since mental health-related issues are sometimes difficult to recognize in yourself and others, here’s some signs to watch out for:

Potential signs of mental health issues:

  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating
  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
  • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
  • Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don’t exist in objective reality)
  • Illogical thinking — Unusual or exaggerated beliefs
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

Potential signs of a panic/anxiety attack:

  • Nervousness — Fear or suspicions of others or general nervousness
  • Feeling of loss of control
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and fingers
  • Chest pains
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Feeling weak, faint or dizzy

If you’re not comfortable visiting the sanctuary, here’s a few other activities you can do to relax:

  • Visit the Wishing Tree – read the beautiful wishes and notes of love from your fellow Shambhalovelies and write your own!
  • Walk through the garden – admire the beautiful flowers and plants our wonderful gardening team planted before your arrival.
  • Meditate by the river – The Salmo River is the perfect place to dip your feet in, listen to the soothing sounds of the water flowing by, and take deep breaths of fresh air.

We care deeply about our Shambhalovelies, and we want you to have the best experience possible on the farm. Look out for not only each other, but yourself. We’re always here and happy to help.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any mental health related issues such as anxiety, panic attacks, hallucinations, delusions or dissociation, visit the sanctuary for a cool and quiet place that’s staffed with experienced professionals.

Remember to practice #selfcare everyday and that Shambhala loves you, so love yourself too! #ShambhaCares

  • Don’t be afraid to reach out! 
  • National Depresive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline: 1-800-826-3632
  • Crisis Center’s 24-hour hotline: 1-775-784-8090
  • CMHA National

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