Mental Health America Blog https://www.mhanational.org/ en Pandemic of Grief: A Mental Health Challenge for Nursing Home Staff https://www.mhanational.org/blog/pandemic-grief-mental-health-challenge-nursing-home-staff <span>Pandemic of Grief: A Mental Health Challenge for Nursing Home Staff</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-10/pexels-pixabay-276551.jpg" alt="Two chairs sitting in front of a large chair." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Wed, 10/14/2020 - 12:54</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">October 15, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p style="text-align:justify; margin-bottom:11px"><em>By Ellen Bartoldus, nursing home administrator and social worker, Claudia S. Blumenstock, LNHA., and Aimee Falchuk, MPH, M. ED, CCEP, Board Member at Mental Health America</em></p> <p><strong>“I am so afraid I will be the one to bring the virus into my nursing home.”</strong></p> <p><strong>“I am anxious every day and constantly worry that I will infect my family with COVID.”</strong></p> <p><strong>“I get so depressed seeing so many residents die.“</strong></p> <p><strong>“I feel bad seeing our residents so lonely and depressed because they can’t see their families.”</strong></p> <p>These are some of the statements we hear&nbsp;as we traveled the country, virtually, listening to the voices of hundreds of nursing home workers. We heard stories of exhaustion, fear, anxiety, and grief that have taken a toll on their mental health and resilience.</p> <p>Nursing homes have been hit hard by the pandemic, in part due to the frailty of their population, the challenges of congregate living, and the multiple staff persons involved in providing care. The initial lack of clear regulatory guidance, conflicting scientific information, inadequate PPE, and the rapid spread of the disease have left staff feeling vulnerable and powerless.</p> <p>Unlike their counterparts in hospitals, deservedly honored as heroes, nursing home workers have not been accorded the same accolades. &nbsp;As resident deaths mounted, media painted nursing home workers as COVID spreaders, incompetent in managing the virus and allowing residents to die alone without family support. In some cases, workers have been blamed for spreading the virus because they work a second shift at another nursing home to make ends meet. (The national average hourly rate for a certified nursing assistant is $15 or $27,300 annually. The US Department of Health and Human Services defines the 2020 poverty level for a family of four as $26,200)</p> <p>Although we are aware that there are nursing homes that provide substandard care and should be closed, this negative generalization has taken an incredible toll on the mental health of workers. Staff worry about wearing their uniforms in public and some are avoided by friends who know where they work. They are embarrassed and frightened by newspaper accounts of nursing home failures. Staff have told us that their fear of contracting and bringing the virus home has increased anxiety and, in some cases, serious depression. Staff have reported starting to smoke again and using alcohol and food to cope.</p> <p>Although death in a healthcare environment is not uncommon, resident deaths in nursing homes are personal. Staff build long term, intimate relationships with “their” residents. Nursing assistants have told us that when a resident dies it’s like losing a family member. As with COVID, when multiple deaths take place in a short period of time the emotional toll of what we are calling a “pandemic of grief” has been overwhelming.&nbsp; The combination of “public shaming,” physical exhaustion, and lack of ready access to mental health services places this population at risk for deepening emotional distress and burnout.</p> <p>As we potentially face another wave of COVID, our response must include a fresh and deeper look at policies and practices impacting nursing home residents and those who care for them. How do we provide adequate reimbursement that will offer a living wage for caregivers without their having to work two stressful jobs? How do we build in easily accessible mental health services for staff and decrease the stigma in seeking help? COVID has placed increased attention on our nursing homes – let us not squander this opportunity for change.</p> <p>And most of all, we need a public acknowledgement of the incredible work these workers are doing. They have stood by our elders, at great risk to themselves and their families. Now we need to stand by them.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/covid19" hreflang="en">COVID19</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19092&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="N1TmJ9dckRH251Spdr9zptDW9S2-BRwVyYVuH_DzdVs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 14 Oct 2020 16:54:26 +0000 JCheang 19092 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/pandemic-grief-mental-health-challenge-nursing-home-staff#comments New Peers in Medicare Legislation: A Bold Step Forward https://www.mhanational.org/blog/new-peers-medicare-legislation-bold-step-forward <span>New Peers in Medicare Legislation: A Bold Step Forward</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-10/Colorful%20People%20Wallpaper.png" alt="DEAR CONGRESS, THE PEERS ACT OF 2020 MUST BE PASSED" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 10/01/2020 - 15:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">October 05, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Caren Howard, National Advocacy Manager at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>Mental Health America and partner organizations helped usher the introduction of recent key legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives: H.R. 8206, the Promoting Effective and Empowering Recovery Services (PEERS) in Medicare Act of 2020. This bipartisan bill, introduced by Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA) and Adrian Smith (R-NE), would recognize for the first time in Medicare history certified peer specialists and would allow reimbursement of peer support services when they are offered as part of coordinated physical and mental health care provided by therapists, case managers, and physicians in holistic treatment. The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, the National Association of Peer Supporters, and the Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness, were partners with MHA in this effort.</p> <p><strong>MHA strongly supports Rep. Chu’s and Rep. Smith’s bill to provide Medicare coverage for peer support services for individuals within integrated physical and mental health care. <a href="http://takeaction.mentalhealthamerica.net/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&amp;id=845">Take action today and let Congress know why they should pass H.R. 8206</a>.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Medicare is the federal health insurance program for which people qualify once they reach a certain age or have a disability when they also have a work history. Most private commercial insurance plans set their policies and benefits packages based on Medicare policy and benefits. Thus, because of its influence on the broader market, H.R. 8206 is more than just a stepping-stone bill. It will likely allow all adults with health insurance to enjoy the benefits of peer support within integrated care, once seniors and people with disabilities begin to enjoy its benefits.</p> <p>As we see a growing surge in distress and demand for mental health services, increasing access to peer support is essential to meet people’s mental health needs and to empower individuals to live healthy lives in their communities.</p> <p style="margin-top:8px; margin-bottom:8px"><strong>Peer-Run Affiliate Solidifies Bill Sponsor</strong></p> <p>Peer support specialists use their own lived experience, have specialized training, and are certified by their state or national certification body, to assist individuals in achieving recovery goals by furnishing emotional, informational, and other support services to individuals with a mental illness, including dementia, and/or a substance use disorder.</p> <p>The COVID-19 crisis is exacerbating a pre-existing behavioral health workforce shortage that is particularly acute in rural areas and for communities of color. MHA of Nebraska’s Executive Director Kasey Moyer and Wellbeing Initiative’s Executive Director Danielle Smith saw this and met with staff for Congressman Adrian Smith (D-NE) and discussed the important work of peers in the state. They requested that the Congressman co-sponsor H.R. 8206 with Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA).</p> <p>Wellbeing Initiative, the state’s largest peer training entity counting over 500 peers trained, explained how the bill would help grow the reach of peers who are needed in remote areas of the state. These areas are experiencing extreme shortages of mental health providers, limited ability of residents to travel for in-person care, and limited opportunity to use telehealth platforms – all while people are experiencing increased isolation, fear, and anxiety. In the virtual meeting with Rep. Smith’s office, peers also noted their ability to provide technical assistance in setting up telehealth to help their clients engage in care.</p> <p>MHA Nebraska reported seeing a dramatic increase to its emotional support warmline, staffed by peer specialists, at the beginning of the pandemic. At the time, Nebraska residents were facing disaster recovery from flooding. The Governor had also declared a state emergency on top of the COVID public health crisis. Other MHA affiliates and other providers across the country were also reporting an uptick of calls to their warmlines, support groups, and other peer programs, without receiving additional grant funding. <a href="/sites/default/files/Report%20IMPACT%20OF%20COVID-19%20ON%20PEER%20SUPPORT%20SPECIALISTS.pdf">Peers, alongside frontline health workers, are being asked to do more with less.</a> Peer support specialists in Nebraska and elsewhere often work their way off federal/state assistance to be self-sufficient, but in many states peers are not paid a living wage and often are forced to live in poverty or leave the field they love for better wages. H.R. 8206 would help take care of that, by allowing for fair compensation for peers providing integrated care.</p> <p style="margin-top:8px; margin-bottom:8px"><strong>Peers Make a Difference: Why Medicare and Other Insurers Should Cover Peer Support </strong></p> <p>Peer support promotes recovery from mental health conditions and substance use disorders by helping individuals better engage in services, manage physical and mental health conditions, build support systems, and ultimately, live self-directed lives in their communities.&nbsp;The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recognizes peer support as an effective, evidence-based practice. And, as of January 2019, over 43 states allowed Medicaid – the state program for individuals with disabilities, are low income, and for pregnant women and their children – to be billed for peer support services.</p> <ul> <li>According to <a href="https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/programs_campaigns/brss_tacs/peers-supporting-recovery-mental-health-conditions-2017.pdf">SAMHSA</a>, the proven benefits of peer support include&nbsp;reduced hospital admission rates, increased social support and social functioning, and decreased substance use and depression.</li> <li>A 2018 <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30071793/">analysis</a> showed that providers with peer services had 2.9 fewer hospitalizations per year and saved an average of $2,138 per Medicaid-enrolled month in Medicaid expenditures.</li> <li>The Veterans’ Administration has recognized the value of peer support specialists to serve Veterans with mental health and substance use conditions. For example, a <a href="https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/31/executive-order-improving-access-mental-health-services-veterans-service">2012 White House Executive Order</a> to improve mental health access for Veterans included a directive to hire additional peer support specialists.</li> <li>A peer support program in Pierce County, Washington reduced involuntary hospitalizations by 32 percent leading to a savings of $1,990,000 in one year.</li> <li>A Federally Qualified Health Center in Denver found that using peers saved $2.28 for every dollar spent.</li> <li>A New York-based peer support program for individuals transitioning from inpatient services back to the community resulted in a 47.1 percent decrease in total behavioral health costs.</li> </ul> <p>Under H.R. 8206, co-sponsored by Reps. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Adrian Smith (R-NE), peer support would be covered by Medicare as part of integrated physical and mental healthcare and billed through the respective codes for integrated care.&nbsp; For example, under collaborative care models, a primary care doctor, care coordinator and other team members provide behavioral health services and coordinate mental and physical health care.&nbsp; Medicare has specific collaborative care billing codes to support this model.&nbsp; MHA strongly supports collaborative care because the model promotes screening, early intervention, addressing mental health as part of overall healthcare, and reducing health disparities.&nbsp; Adding peers will increase the emphasis on recovery, as well as strengths-based and person-centered&nbsp;<span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="line-height:115%"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">car</span></span></span>e. This legislation specifies that peer support specialists can be members of the integrated care team and their services can be billed as part of that overall model of care under these codes.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>A Call to Action</strong></p> <p style="margin-top:8px; margin-bottom:8px"><a href="http://takeaction.mentalhealthamerica.net/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&amp;id=845">Weigh in on the PEERS Act of 2020&nbsp;with your Members of Congress! Anyone wishing to send an email may share their story in our customizable action alert. Let Congress know why they should pass H.R. 8206.</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/policy" hreflang="en">policy</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-113895" class="comment-wrapper comment js-comment by-anonymous clearfix"> <span class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1602706052"></span> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> </article> <p class="comment__author"><span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Lola L. Schiefelbein (not verified)</span></p> <p class="comment__time">Mon, 10/05/2020 - 22:16</p> <p class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/113895#comment-113895" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></p> </footer> <div class="comment__content"> <h3><a href="/comment/113895#comment-113895" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Re: PASSING H.R. 8206</a></h3> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For all of my friends and loved-ones, who need extra support during all recovery periods, involving treatment, this House Resolution MUST BE PASSED! Let us not continue to do things &quot;halfway,&quot; to save costs--the human condition has no time for that! Let us work to get positive results that matter for life! Thank you!</p> </div> <nav><drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=113895&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="SNtYNhyLMc6QdIiQmA1DoTifpOmgZpyKn6KQxyuFkRM"></drupal-render-placeholder></nav> </div> </article> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17763&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="L61LVEArmPEvdrPcoUhjcqSf23QYDnuOKWQOywop1Bg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 01 Oct 2020 19:00:21 +0000 JCheang 17763 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/new-peers-medicare-legislation-bold-step-forward#comments Psychiatric Disability Accommodations During the Pandemic: A Survey for Students https://www.mhanational.org/blog/psychiatric-disability-accommodations-during-pandemic-survey-students <span>Psychiatric Disability Accommodations During the Pandemic: A Survey for Students</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-10/pexels-photo-4144100.jpeg" alt="Young man on laptop" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 10/01/2020 - 11:01</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">October 02, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p style="margin-bottom:11px"><em>By Kelly Davis, Director of Peer Advocacy, Supports, and Services at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>The pandemic is negatively impacting the mental health of many college students and has created a large shift to online learning. A <a href="https://www.activeminds.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Student-Survey-Infographic.pdf">survey</a> conducted by Active Minds in April found that 80% of students reported that the pandemic negatively impacted their mental health. But what is happening to the students who were struggling or who were receiving support for a psychiatric disability prior to the pandemic?</p> <p>For the time being, many schools are rethinking the needs of students. Changes that would make school more accessible for students with disabilities, like flexible assignment due dates and attendance policies or recorded classes, are more accepted as schools try to adapt. Yet students with disabilities struggled and still struggle to access these supports on an individual basis. Students often report <a href="https://mhanational.org/beyond-awareness-student-led-innovation-campus-mental-health">barriers to accommodations</a>, including:</p> <ul> <li>Not knowing that mental health conditions can qualify them for disability accommodations;</li> <li>Difficulty navigating disability services;</li> <li>Lack of access to mental health professionals and documentation; and</li> <li>Non-supportive professors.</li> </ul> <p>All of these problems remain and may become more complicated during the pandemic. To learn more about what college students with psychiatric disabilities are experiencing, Mental Health America has created a new survey focused on the following questions:</p> <ul> <li>What are the experiences of college students with psychiatric disabilities during the pandemic?</li> <li>How have the needs of students with psychiatric disabilities changed during the pandemic?</li> <li>How have professors and disability services adapted to meet the needs of students with psychiatric disabilities during the pandemic?</li> <li>How can colleges and universities better meet the needs of students with psychiatric disabilities during the pandemic and in the future?</li> </ul> <p>As many in the world of mental health understand, a crisis can also be an opportunity for growth. It is important for us to use the pandemic to normalize accommodations and to understand how we can do better for students with psychiatric disabilities on campus and through online learning.</p> <p>To take and share the survey, visit <a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WP6KLXR">bit.ly/campusmhsurvey</a>.<br /> <strong>Survey closes October 16, 2020.</strong></p> <p>Questions? Email Kelly Davis at <a href="mailto:kdavis@mhanational.org">kdavis@mhanational.org</a>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/life-campus" hreflang="en">life on campus</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17762&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="bPifJbshE0VudF6yB-zwhyykJDXchuH-wostN7P0Dr0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 01 Oct 2020 15:01:24 +0000 JCheang 17762 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/psychiatric-disability-accommodations-during-pandemic-survey-students#comments How public health workers can combat their frustrations and mental health challenges in COVID-19 https://www.mhanational.org/blog/how-public-health-workers-can-combat-their-frustrations-and-mental-health-challenges-covid-19 <span>How public health workers can combat their frustrations and mental health challenges in COVID-19</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-09/pexels-edward-jenner-4031818_0.jpg" alt="Two people speaking on video chat with masks on" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Fri, 09/18/2020 - 12:41</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">September 23, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Lisa M Carlson, MPH, MCHES, President of the American Public Health Association and Johanna M Hinman, MPH, CHES, Past Chair of the Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section of the American Public Health Association</em></p> <p>In this very unusual year, nearly half of Americans say the pandemic is harming their mental health. Public health workers are equally affected, if not more so. Research published in JAMA Network Open found Chinese health care workers fighting COVID-19 had significant symptoms of poor mental health:</p> <ul> <li>Depression</li> <li>Anxiety</li> <li>Insomnia</li> <li>Psychological distress</li> </ul> <p>While we likely joined the field of public health with the understanding that the work would be hard, it’s less likely that we fully understood what it would mean to work through the greatest public health crisis in a century. In a recent article in The Atlantic, Ed Yong warned: “The pandemic experts are not okay,” noting health care workers are demoralized from:</p> <ul> <li>Making the same recommendations over and over</li> <li>”Shouting evidence-based advice into a political void”</li> <li>The advent of “armchair experts from unrelated fields” as trusted sources</li> <li>Working under a nationally disjointed response</li> <li>Seeing the missed opportunities</li> <li>Feeling “the wrath of a nation on the edge”</li> <li>Experiencing multiple crises at once</li> <li>Exhaustion</li> </ul> <p>Adding to these challenges is the weight of&nbsp; caring for patients who might not have become ill had they followed public health recommendations. As health care and public health workers, each of us engages daily with people who are making choices that negatively impact their health. Our challenge is to stay true to our core principle of “meeting people where they are” without judgment. &nbsp;We need to be mindful of what we can control - our own actions - wearing a mask, washing our hands, and watching our distance. Rather than becoming frustrated with those who may not have followed health recommendations, we can focus on doing what we can to help them now. And we need to take stock of our own mental health and acknowledge our own needs, monitoring ourselves for symptoms of anxiety, such as:</p> <ul> <li>Feelings of fear, worry, numbness, or disbelief</li> <li>Changes in appetite</li> <li>Difficulty sleeping, concentrating or remembering</li> <li>Being easily frustrated</li> <li>Physical reactions such as increased tension and pain in the body, or headache</li> <li>Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or substances</li> </ul> <p>What can we do for self-care?</p> <ul> <li>Ask for help</li> <li>Take breaks from the news</li> <li>Take care of ourselves by focusing on the basics (sleep, healthy food, exercise)</li> <li>Create structure and maintain routines</li> <li>Wind down and rest</li> <li>Take reasonable steps to protect ourselves, such as washing our hands often</li> <li>Connect with our community to stay grounded</li> <li>Get out into nature</li> </ul> <p>The balm of nature is especially salient when connecting directly with other people may be risky. Jason Mark, in the Sierra Club national magazine, said:</p> <blockquote> <p>“… even as we must distance ourselves from one another to protect public health, nature remains one place where we can find a feeling of reconnection.”</p> </blockquote> <p>This is an important time to get outside – taking appropriate precautions – and soothe ourselves amongst the trees.</p> <p>This pandemic brings us ample sources of frustration, but we can mitigate those stresses. As public health professionals, we need to acknowledge the impact of mental health broadly when talking about COVID-19 – taking care of our patients, ourselves and each other.</p> <p><strong>REFERENCES</strong></p> <p>Ettman, CK, et al. Prevalence of Depression Symptoms in US Adults Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Netw Open.&nbsp;2020;3(9):e2019686. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.19686.&nbsp;&nbsp; Accessed September 3, 2020.</p> <p>Lai, J, et al. Factors Associated With Mental Health Outcomes Among Health Care Workers Exposed to Coronavirus Disease 2019. JAMA Netw Open.&nbsp;2020;3(3):e203976. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.397</p> <p>Yong, E. The pandemic experts are not okay. Health. July 7, 2020. <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/07/pandemic-experts-are-not-okay/613879/">https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/07/pandemic-experts-are-not-okay/613879/</a> . Accessed August 5, 2020.</p> <p>What mental health statistics can tell us. Howley, EK. US News. June 26, 2019.</p> <p>Achenbach, J. Coronavirus is harming the mental health of tens of millions of people in U.S., new poll finds. The Washington Post. April 2, 2020. <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/coronavirus-is-harming-the-mental-health-of-tens-of-millions-of-people-in-us-new-poll-finds/2020/04/02/565e6744-74ee-11ea-85cb-8670579b863d_story.html">https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/coronavirus-is-harming-the-mental-health-of-tens-of-millions-of-people-in-us-new-poll-finds/2020/04/02/565e6744-74ee-11ea-85cb-8670579b863d_story.html</a>. Accessed May 22, 2020.</p> <p>White, M.P., Alcock, I., Grellier, J.&nbsp;et al. Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing. Sci Rep&nbsp;9,&nbsp;7730 (2019). <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44097-3">https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44097-3</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/covid19" hreflang="en">COVID19</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17758&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="SdX3F9aztLuj3schgfgOU-b7XMcFm01OmV97WT4oNOI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 18 Sep 2020 16:41:49 +0000 JCheang 17758 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/how-public-health-workers-can-combat-their-frustrations-and-mental-health-challenges-covid-19#comments 7 Tips for Managers Addressing Burnout https://www.mhanational.org/blog/7-tips-managers-addressing-burnout <span>7 Tips for Managers Addressing Burnout</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-09/Picture2.jpg" alt="Hands writing in a journal next to a laptop." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Wed, 09/16/2020 - 10:22</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">September 23, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p style="margin-bottom:11px"><em>By Taylor Adams, Manager of Workplace Mental Health at Mental Health America</em></p> <p style="margin-bottom:11px">To prevent the spread of COVID-19, many employers have undergone unprecedented change by closing their office doors and requiring most – if not all – employees to work from home. While all employees must adapt to new routines and workplace tools, managers face the additional challenge of maintaining morale and supporting their employees during the transition. With fewer opportunities to interact candidly in-person, it may be especially difficult for managers to tell when an employee is feeling burnt out.</p> <p>As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), burnout is a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. Burnout is specific to the workplace, and there are three primary signs of burnout: exhaustion, personal efficacy, and cynicism.</p> <p>If you are a manager, it is important now more than ever to discuss the signs of burnout and solutions with your employees so they can identify issues when they come up and find ways to help you support them. Here are seven tips to help engage your employees in a conversation about burnout:</p> <ol> <li><strong>Check-in regularly.</strong> If you don’t already, make a habit of checking in regularly. It will help you build a relationship where an employee can feel comfortable about sharing.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Ask appropriate open-ended questions.</strong> If you don’t know where to start, try, “I wanted to check-in. How are you doing?”<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Actively listen </strong>with your complete attention to your employee and resist the urge to think about how you should respond next or offer advice.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Recognize their feelings</strong> and express your understanding back to them.</li> <li><strong>Offer support. </strong>Ask them what they need to help them feel better or encourage them to check out the employer’s resources.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Be aware of your own stress, feelings, or thoughts that might be a barrier to being supportive. </strong>When we’re stressed out, we often can’t give others the attention they need. But attending to the situation for even 5 minutes can make a big difference.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Understand that mental illnesses are just like physical health problems.</strong> They can have flare ups that require attention but having a mental illness doesn’t reflect a person’s character or some unchangeable quality.</li> </ol> <p><a name="_Hlk48549789">For more information on how you can support your employees as a manager, you can access MHA’s </a><a href="https://mhanational.org/employeesupportguide">Employee Support Guide</a> at <a href="https://mhanational.org/employeesupportguide">https://mhanational.org/employeesupportguide</a>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/covid19" hreflang="en">COVID19</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/workplace-wellness" hreflang="en">workplace wellness</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17747&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="v9mbnN2__TNYxRw52SsklSTKmXIciZ3PYysdmXhKAik"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 16 Sep 2020 14:22:49 +0000 JCheang 17747 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/7-tips-managers-addressing-burnout#comments 10 Young Adults Transforming Mental Health https://www.mhanational.org/blog/10-young-adults-transforming-mental-health <span>10 Young Adults Transforming Mental Health</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-09/ymhlc%20group.png" alt="Group Photo of Young Mental Health Leaders Council" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Wed, 09/16/2020 - 16:44</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">September 18, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p style="margin-bottom:11px"><em>By Kelly Davis, Director of Peer Advocacy, Supports, and Services at Mental Health America</em></p> <p><a name="_Hlk51149455">Mental Health America (MHA) is proud to announce the members of our first-ever </a><a href="https://mhanational.org/youngleaders">Young Mental Health Leaders Council</a> (YMHLC). YMHLC identifies young leaders from across the U.S., promotes their work to other advocates, and expands their ideas into new communities.</p> <p>This year’s members have many focus areas, including addressing mental health through policy, music, athletics, technology, peer support, and more. Members will contribute to an annual report on transforming mental health and share their work with MHA’s audience and partners.</p> <p>Learn more about them below!</p> <p>Want to stay up to date on our youth and young adult mental health resources? Sign up for our email list at <a href="https://mhanational.org/youthalerts">mhanational.org/youthalerts</a>.</p> <table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" class="cc_cursor" style="width: 100%;"> <tbody> <tr> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 233px;"><img alt="" class="cc_cursor" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="84fb9912-76e9-4f9a-bc1b-5ec5c1b9a9d3" src="/sites/default/files/cyngomez.jpg" width="250" /></td> <td style="width: 470px;"> <p style="margin-bottom:11px"><strong>Cyn Gomez (they/them/theirs) - Baldwin Park, California</strong></p> <p>Cyn Gomez is a young adult who identifies as nonbinary. In Cyn’s free time, they were involved in clubs and sports on their high school campus. Participating in JV and Varsity Lacrosse and their schools’ GSA (Gender and Sexuality Acceptance) Club, and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Club. Outside of school, Cyn is a student poll worker, food kitchen volunteer, and ambassador for the non-profit organizations Tangible Movement and LivingWorks. Cyn enjoys reading and public speaking, enjoying discussions on the importance of mental health, human rights, and social justice. In Summer 2021, Cyn will be attending Stanford for their Intensive Law &amp; Trial Program and is currently a UC Berkeley Undergraduate.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 233px;"><img alt="" class="cc_cursor" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="99244226-5081-4a9c-bb73-c16776025bf7" src="/sites/default/files/Shyanne%20hoff.jpg" width="250" /></td> <td style="width: 470px;"> <p><strong>Shyanne Hoff (she/her/hers) - Tonganoxie, Kansas</strong></p> <p>Shyanne Hoff is 22 years old and lives in Kansas, although she is originally from Missouri. She currently works at Wyandot Behavioral Health Network as a Certified Peer Support Specialist, where she shares her personal experience and knowledge with others in the hopes of fostering personal growth and recovery. Outside of work, she attends Florida Institute of Technology as a Psychology major. Shyanne also owns and runs a mental health server on Discord, a popular social platform. Shyanne aspires to help spark massive changes in society regarding mental health and its treatment in communities by advocating and speaking to others. She envisions a world where mental health is not stigmatized and is approached with knowledge and care.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 233px;"><img alt="" class="cc_cursor" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="4a4ad72a-9ac3-4599-9baf-d27a992d7137" src="/sites/default/files/dantegolden.jpg" width="250" /></td> <td style="width: 470px;"> <p style="margin-bottom:11px"><strong>Danté Golden (he/him/his) - Sacramento, California</strong></p> <p>Danté Golden is from Suisun City, California, which is a part of the North Bay Area. He uses the pronouns he/him/his. He graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Community and Regional Development. In his free time, pre COVID-19, he enjoyed attending hip-hop and EDM music festivals. He is an avid personal fitness and a Game of Thrones enthusiast. He was an all-state nominated high school baseball player and also played collegiate baseball. During his college career, he held various jobs and internships in Sacramento, California related to ensuring equitable and safe public health policy. He was a 2019-2020 Senate Fellow in Senator Scott D. Wiener's office and staffed legislation specific to mental health, health, social services, and housing within the Senator’s legislative package. He is very excited to join Mental Health America's Young Mental Health Leaders Council!</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c67fe316-ca5c-4cac-a3f1-8ee639fd9930" src="/sites/default/files/jordan%20nelson.jpg" width="250" /></td> <td style="width: 470px;"> <p><strong>Jordan Nelson (he/him/his) - Queens, New York</strong></p> <p>Jordan Nelson is originally from South Jamaica, Queens, where little options to prosper existed. Jordan always wanted to provoke change in the areas that needed it most, seeing similarities in most of the neighborhoods that he grew up in. When the opportunity to enforce change presented itself, he got involved, starting and leading initiatives around criminal justice reform, alternatives to incarceration through arts, mental health, and financial literacy. Jordan won’t stop until the needs he desired as a kid are met for all the young people that come after him and then some.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="07beb05b-13df-41a6-b681-6bc680396de0" src="/sites/default/files/ben%20ballman.jpg" width="250" /></td> <td> <p class="MsoNormal cc_cursor"><b>Ben Ballman (he/him/his) - Potomac, Maryland<o:p></o:p></b></p> <p>Ben Ballman is a senior at Winston Churchill High School in Rockville, Maryland. The mental health crisis in America has always been very present within and around his life. From family, friends, and even himself struggling with mental health, he sought from a young age to make change where nobody else seems to be.</p> <p>To make this change, he has started and led several projects to support the mental health of his community. These have included leading a team of students to conduct research into his school district’s counseling departments, which culminated in meetings with county leaders. He also founded a mental health coalition (DMVsfmhr.org), which seeks to unite student advocates, clubs, and schools from around the DMV into a cohesive unit for change. To create an immediate change for students, he developed the Students for Students program. This program is based on the peer support model and seeks to act as an extension of the under resourced counseling department.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 233px;"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ad712492-4ca4-40be-9ba3-c7eaa2483b8b" src="/sites/default/files/ari%20sokolov.jpg" width="250" /></td> <td style="width: 470px;"> <p style="margin-bottom:11px"><strong>Ari Sokolov (she/her/hers) - Paradise Valley, Arizona</strong></p> <p>Ari Sokolov is a 19-year-old founder, designer, and developer that has won national and international awards from the National Center of Women in Information Technology, the U.S. Congress, South by Southwest, Target, and Apple for her work. Currently, Ari is the CEO of the Trill Project, a mental health application with over 75,000 users. She is also a contributor to mental health technologies in the open-source community and an advocate for minorities in STEM.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 233px;"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c8df0c82-d687-4c5f-8325-82b4569a94af" src="/sites/default/files/marcus%20alston.jpg" width="250" /></td> <td style="width: 470px;"> <p><strong>Marcus Alston (he/him/his) - Ellicott City, Maryland</strong></p> <p>Marcus Alston was born and raised in Howard County, Maryland. He went on to play D1-AA Football at Saint Francis, where he was a member of the 2016 NEC Championship team. He graduated from Saint Francis in May of 2018 with a major in Management Information Systems and a minor in Cyber Security Administration. In September 2018, he was diagnosed with several underlying mental illnesses, which he was dealing with for a decade. This put Marcus in a dark phase, but it helped him find his purpose. A year later, Marcus founded Alston for Athletes, a sports mentoring program that emphasizes mental health awareness. Alston for Athletes’ goal is to partner with local high schools and colleges to provide mentorship to the younger generation of student-athletes who are struggling mentally</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 233px;"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="22468ed1-ce11-4c0a-aba5-557d4f410db0" src="/sites/default/files/claire%20yu.jpg" width="250" /></td> <td style="width: 470px;"> <p><strong>Claire Yu (she/her/hers) - Naperville, Illinois</strong></p> <p>Claire Yu is 18 years old - a rising freshman in college - and uses she/her pronouns. Coming from a Chinese American community that prioritized fulfilling the model-minority stereotype above all else, she quickly realized that there were many cultural, social, and personal barriers that prevented students like her from speaking freely about mental health. Because of this, she searched for "small" ways to start conversations: writing about mental health days in the school newspaper, speaking out against the school district's approach to screening its students for mental illness, running in 5ks dedicated to destigmatizing mental health, etc. Eventually, she joined the Asian Mental Health Collective and worked with the Asian Mental Health Project. Through collaborating with these groups on making mental health resources more accessible to the AAPI population, she realized that working within existing structures could be just as impactful as building something from the ground up. Through Mental Health America's Young Mental Health Leaders Council, she sincerely hopes to do everything in her power to serve as a cheering squad and support system for other youth, especially those with ethnic backgrounds that make it harder for them to have open dialogue about their mental health.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 233px;"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="13f52946-8d81-4f2b-bff6-b976059c35be" src="/sites/default/files/cameron%20vigil.jpg" width="250" /></td> <td style="width: 470px;"> <p style="margin-bottom:11px"><strong>Cameron Vigil (she/her/hers) - Parker, Colorado</strong></p> <p>Cameron Vigil is 23 years old and currently lives in Parker, CO. She formally serves as the Rocky Mountain Engagement Manager at Young Invincibles. As the engagement manager, she leads community leadership development programs in Colorado and offers hands-on public policy experience to diverse young adult leaders. She has experience with developing and implementing direct and indirect advocacy programs built upon strength-based approaches to serve underrepresented communities. Cameron stays engaged with her childhood community (Pueblo, CO) by co-creating and running a local scholarship dedicated to financially supporting students interested in pursuing higher education and reducing mental health stigma and youth suicide. She also serves as the Co-Chair of the Colorado State Youth Council (SYC), a sub-committee of the Education &amp; Training Steering Committee of the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC). Cameron graduated from the University of Colorado Denver in 2017 with a BA and from Regis University in 2019 with a Master's in Nonprofit Management (MNM).</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="4c9e5fdf-b688-4590-8f45-a67524f1f33a" src="/sites/default/files/arthysuresh.jpg" width="250" /></td> <td style="width: 470px;"> <p><strong>Arthy Suresh (she/her/hers) - Parkland, Florida</strong></p> <p>Arthy Suresh is a rising senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. On February 14, 2018, Stoneman Douglas experienced the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history. Following the massacre at her school, Arthy was attuned to the mental suffering on her campus and focused her energy on co-founding a Mind Body Ambassador program at her school in collaboration with The Center for Mind Body Medicine. She has been leading mind-body medicine workshops for her peers, community members, and doctors across the state of Florida to teach mental health coping skills. As a result of her achievement, she was selected by her district school board to spread her Mind Body Ambassador program to schools across the district. Arthy likes to spend her free time dancing. She has trained in the oldest classical dance tradition of India, Bharathanatyam, for 12 years. She aspires to be a well-educated psychiatrist in the future and hopes to integrate mind-body medicine as a form of alternative medicine in the healthcare world!</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/youth-mental-health" hreflang="en">youth mental health</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17750&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="5VK0rvS5AIlIPFVHal-DHv_Hghz2jTy9Urc0u3i1iBU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 16 Sep 2020 20:44:13 +0000 JCheang 17750 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/10-young-adults-transforming-mental-health#comments Can I really be burnt out because of working from home? https://www.mhanational.org/blog/can-i-really-be-burnt-out-because-working-home <span>Can I really be burnt out because of working from home?</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-09/Picture1.jpg" alt="Woman sitting on a bed touching the back of her head." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Wed, 09/16/2020 - 10:11</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">September 16, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p style="margin-bottom:11px"><em>By Taylor Adams, Manager of Workplace Mental Health at Mental Health America</em></p> <p style="margin-bottom:11px">It has been 23 weeks since MHA began working from home because of COVID-19. Daily life has changed a lot over the course of the last five months, including more hours of sleep. Could sleeping more be the result of more time spent indoors or is it a recurring symptom of depression? (That is probably a different conversation…) Although I am getting enough sleep, I have never been more mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted. Instead of taking walks like I used to at the office, I find myself collapsing on my bed midday for my breaks. Why am I so tired?</p> <p>Since the start of COVID-19, many organizations moved to remote work as an alternative to working at the office, and millions of employees experienced a rapid shift in their routines, schedules, and lifestyles. People are now sharing the same space with spouses, partners, children, and pets but are still expected to maintain the same amount of productivity and communication as if they were in the office. To make up for lost time, people may be working longer hours and struggling to establish boundaries between “work” and “home”. These new challenges and change in routine can lead to chronic stress and an increased risk for burnout.</p> <p>One popular phrase circulating on social media states, “You are not working from home; you are at your home during a crisis trying to work.” The last five months have been an unrelentless roller coaster of information, stress, and anxiety. A certain amount of stress is healthy and is intended to help your body react quickly and effectively to a high-pressure situation. However, chronic stress, a state where you’re perpetually reacting with the fight or flight response, can pose serious concerns for your physical and mental health and lead to burnout.</p> <p>As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), burnout is a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. Burnout is specific to the workplace, and there are three primary signs of burnout.</p> <ol> <li><strong>Exhaustion</strong> – Restlessness, depleted energy, irritability, negative impact on relationships with family and coworkers</li> <li><strong>Personal Efficacy </strong>– Confidence in one’s ability to succeed, doing the bare minimum, easily distracted, just going through the motions</li> <li><strong>Cynicism </strong>– Withdraw from work activities, reduced feelings of empathy and responsibility towards coworkers and work, resentment and hatred towards coworkers and work</li> </ol> <p>Unfortunately, burnout doesn’t tend to go away without some type of intervention. Understanding the source of your stress or burnout can help you identify solutions for how to reduce its impact and return to a greater sense of ease.</p> <p>This may include learning techniques for stress or workload management, taking a personal day to recover, or taking a vacation to recharge. It may be time to think about changing managers, teams, or projects, or seeking out other positions or responsibilities within the organization.</p> <p>During these tumultuous times, it is completely understandable to be feeling burnt out. If you feel like you may be on the verge of burnout, please don’t hesitate to have that conversation with the appropriate person at your organization. Now is the time to challenge your understanding of burnout and how it applies to you, your manager, or your co-workers in an office or remote environment.&nbsp; For more information, you can access MHA’s <a href="https://mhanational.org/employeesupportguide">Employee Support Guide</a> at <a href="https://mhanational.org/employeesupportguide">https://mhanational.org/employeesupportguide</a>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/covid19" hreflang="en">COVID19</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/workplace-wellness" hreflang="en">workplace wellness</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17746&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="DCq8Lq6Rvd2YrQ3YE1GFe7zfFnaA8J5A1ymZ0TrFvkE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 16 Sep 2020 14:11:41 +0000 JCheang 17746 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/can-i-really-be-burnt-out-because-working-home#comments There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Kid https://www.mhanational.org/blog/theres-no-such-thing-bad-kid <span>There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Kid</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-09/pexels-ketut-subiyanto-4544902.jpg" alt="Man with glasses consoling a child with a pout." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Mon, 09/14/2020 - 12:06</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">September 14, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="MsoNoSpacing"><em>By Emily Skehill,&nbsp;Program Manager of Public Education and Awareness at Mental Health America</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><a href="https://www.mhanational.org/back-school">Back to school</a> is often an overwhelming time as students and families transition to new routines. With the uncertainty of COVID-19 and how it will impact the upcoming school year, this fall may be especially difficult on kids. <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/think-better/201111/how-structure-improves-your-childs-brain">Children rely on the structure set for them by adults</a> to help them self-regulate their actions and emotions. With typical school routines looking anything but familiar, we can’t overlook the fact that they will have a big impact on student behavior.</p> <p>Many children have occasional temper tantrums or outbursts—they’re a normal part of child development and can often be handled in the moment. But some kids repeatedly lash out or defy instructions and known classroom expectations. It’s not uncommon for these kids to be labeled as troublemakers, kids with behavior problems, or just “bad kids”.</p> <p>Before coming to MHA, I worked with elementary and middle school students and always connected with the more defiant kids. Someone once commented that I worked magic with them, but it wasn’t magic—just understanding. While a child’s actions may very well be intentionally disruptive, there’s probably an <a href="https://childmind.org/article/disruptive-behavior-why-its-often-misdiagnosed/">underlying reason as to why they’re acting out</a>, like anxiety, trauma, or frustration. Once you understand the behavior, you can usually find a way to get the student on your side.</p> <p><strong>Misbehavior is often a sign of an unmet need.</strong></p> <p>All behavior is a form of communication. Just as being quiet and looking at the front of the room signals a student is engaged, disruptive behavior signals that something isn’t working. A young kid might not be able to explain to you what they need—they may be embarrassed, unable to put it into words, or may not even know themselves. They might even be prompting you to ask what’s going on. It’s hard for kids to initiate seeking help, so if something is happening in their personal life (like they’re being bullied or they don’t feel safe at home), they may only tell you if you ask. As a teacher (or parent acting as a teacher), it’s your responsibility to get to the bottom of what’s going on and help them to succeed.</p> <p>I once went to pull a fifth grader out of class for some reading help, and she refused to get up from her seat. She wouldn’t look at me, and besides a few snide comments, she wouldn’t say much either. I almost dropped it (maybe she wanted to participate in what the rest of the class was doing?). But I pushed a bit more—she had misplaced the book we were reading and was scared to tell me. I said, “Oh! No big deal. Let’s go grab a copy from the library for now, and we can look for yours later.” I got a big smile and one of the most productive reading sessions we’d had together.</p> <p><strong>Behavior is functional.</strong></p> <p>Kids don’t usually repeat behavior if they aren’t getting something out of it. Often, it’s attention. Maybe they don’t get it at home, or they don’t feel seen in the classroom. Outbursts can also be a way that children release energy, especially if they’re feeling confined or trapped in their current setting. Think about what a student is getting from their misbehavior and try to give them that same result before they act up.</p> <p>I worked with a second grader who would have full blown meltdowns multiple times a day. Every time, he’d be sent to the principal’s office and come back a few minutes later much calmer. We started giving him tasks throughout the day—things like returning a book the class had borrowed or bringing a note to the office. Once he had those regular breaks from sitting in the classroom, the outbursts subsided.</p> <p><strong>Behavior may be patterned.</strong></p> <p>If you feel like you’ve done everything with a student but are still struggling with their behavior, look for patterns. Maybe it’s related to a day of the week (John is angry on Mondays after spending the weekend with his mom who he doesn’t get along with), a subject (Sarah always ask to go to the bathroom when it’s time for writing), people (Jamie shuts down whenever a male teacher enters the room), or a number of other variables.</p> <p>When I was in first grade and the fire alarm would go off, I would immediately start crying. It didn’t matter if I knew it was a planned drill; the second I heard that noise, tears would form. I wasn’t trying to get cause problems or get special attention—I was scared of getting lost in the rush or being left behind. My teacher gave me a permanent job: “fire drill line leader”. While everyone else scrambled into line, I would go straight to the door and stand next to her. Problem solved.</p> <p><strong>But I don’t want to give in if they just want attention!</strong></p> <p>Why not? They’re telling you exactly what they need! If a student wants attention and knows they can get it by interjecting silly comments, then that’s how they’re going to go about it. Of course, you don’t want to reinforce inappropriate behavior, but giving them attention doesn’t have to mean acknowledging their disruptions. Maybe you ignore their mid-lesson remark, but later in the day ask them to read their creative story to the class as an example or praise them for helping out a friend. Kids don’t crave specifically negative attention; if they’re seeking it out, giving them positive attention instead can still meet their needs while encouraging better behavior.&nbsp;</p> <p>After physiological needs like air, food, and water, the most crucial human need is <a href="http://www.changekidslives.org/actions-4/">safety and security</a>. This includes things like predictability, control, and emotional security. By building a strong relationship with your students and gaining their trust, you can help meet those needs for them and in turn, have a happier and more productive classroom. Don’t forget that you and your students—even the toughest ones—are on the same team.</p> <p>As you prepare for this school year’s unique challenges, check out <a href="https://www.mhanational.org/back-school">MHA’s 2020 Back to School toolkit</a>. It’s themed Coping During COVID and has resources to help students, teachers, and parents stay mentally healthy while navigating this transition.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/kids" hreflang="en">kids</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/youth-mental-health" hreflang="en">youth mental health</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/youth" hreflang="en">youth</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-113562" class="comment-wrapper comment js-comment by-anonymous clearfix"> <span class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1600439494"></span> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> </article> <p class="comment__author"><span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Patti (not verified)</span></p> <p class="comment__time">Mon, 09/14/2020 - 19:51</p> <p class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/113562#comment-113562" hreflang="en">Permalink</a></p> </footer> <div class="comment__content"> <h3><a href="/comment/113562#comment-113562" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Great read. Thank you for…</a></h3> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Great read. Thank you for putting some things in perspective.</p> </div> <nav><drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=113562&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="mcb9Lj1AJDfAyXlXGTwv3Pz0WEGtF8AGgkUlgpR2XCY"></drupal-render-placeholder></nav> </div> </article> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17743&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="WmiYsLB-8WuKFkB54U5LMLZl-i6ifuoU162KqpeV8bo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 14 Sep 2020 16:06:27 +0000 JCheang 17743 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/theres-no-such-thing-bad-kid#comments Know the Signs: Help Prevent a Loved One’s Suicide https://www.mhanational.org/blog/know-signs-help-prevent-loved-ones-suicide <span>Know the Signs: Help Prevent a Loved One’s Suicide</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-08/mixkit-two-people-holding-hands-480-desktop-wallpaper.png" alt="Pink illustration with two hands holding each other." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 08/27/2020 - 11:48</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">September 08, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="MsoNoSpacing"><em>By Wendy Martinez Farmer, LPC, Crisis Solutions Lead, Beacon Health Options</em></p> <blockquote> <p><strong>A true story by a Beacon Health Options employee</strong><br /> <em>Anna was one of the most talented and creative people I had ever known, and just about everyone who met her felt the same. She was a perfectionist to a fault, and there was seemingly nothing that she did not do well. The one person who did not see this though was Anna herself. As I got to know Anna, she shared more and more about her struggle with depression from the time that she was a small child as well as her persistent feelings of not being good enough and not really fitting in. Eventually she had to be hospitalized and underwent electroconvulsive therapy. It was after this treatment that her symptoms finally began to improve, and this improvement would follow her through her final weeks. She was able to do things, without it seeming like such an effort, that she had not felt like doing in a long time. She went camping with friends, started planning a vacation for the upcoming summer with her family, and began talking about pursuing her doctoral degree. Sadly, these plans would never come to be. The details about her final day are not known to me, as I was not with her. Many people were truly shocked because they had not been aware that Anna was struggling with anything.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Unfortunately, the story of Anna is not unique or unfamiliar to many people. Often, the friends and families of people at risk for suicide have no idea of that risk. It’s only when there is death by suicide that people learn of the lifelong pain and anguish their loved ones suffered. Sadly, many loss survivors are left with lingering questions and often, crippling guilt.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>How did I not know? How could I not have seen it? Why didn’t I do anything? </em></p> <p>While behavioral health professionals have shared with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers that everyone can play a role in suicide prevention, we have fallen short when it comes to teaching practical ways to identify those at risk and how intervene which has left survivors feeling shame. &nbsp;</p> <p>Recognizing September as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Beacon wants to shed light on the warning signs and provide tips on what you can do to help.</p> <p><strong>Warning Signs for Suicide </strong></p> <p>Individuals at risk for suicide may not communicate about their thoughts or intentions directly, but the following situations indicate your loved one may be at risk:</p> <ol> <li>A person thinking about suicide may talk about having no reason to live. Depression – <a href="https://www.health.com/condition/depression/15-myths-and-facts-about-suicide-and-depression?slide=a560875a-7cf0-48e8-9e8c-921738689665#a560875a-7cf0-48e8-9e8c-921738689665">the number one cause of suicide</a> – is often related to a sense of loss and hopelessness. Listen to the person to see how&nbsp;they talk about dealing with detrimental events piling up.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A person may appear to be preparing for some kind of end or departure from routine. For example, a friend calls late at night to apologize for a rift that occurred years ago. A co-worker trains a colleague to do his job. Be on the alert if someone you know starts tying up loose ends.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Your loved one might talk or joke about different methods to&nbsp;die by&nbsp;suicide or you may find out they are researching suicide. Take all talk of suicide seriously. Pay attention. Is this person dealing with many difficulties?</li> </ol> <p><strong>How you can respond</strong></p> <ol> <li><strong>Ask the question</strong><br /> If you are concerned that your loved one may be thinking of suicide, the most important thing you can do is ask the question.&nbsp; It is not easy, but most of the time individuals in such great pain are relieved that another person is willing to talk about such a difficult subject. There is no evidence that talking about suicide will cause suicide. It often prevents it. &nbsp;A good way to start is by saying something like “I have noticed you have had a lot of very stressful events in your life lately. Sometimes people in your situation think of suicide.&nbsp; Are you thinking of suicide?”<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Listen to keep them safe</strong><br /> Be prepared to listen to their story.&nbsp; Talk to your loved one in a warm, nonjudgmental way. Say you care and want to help and give assurance you will follow through with your support. Make sure you ask them if they have already done something to harm themselves or have made a specific plan.&nbsp; If they have already set a plan in motion, seek the support of emergency services (911).&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Seek help</strong><br /> Remind the person they are not alone and reaching out shows courage. Many people have reached the same point in their lives but have managed to find their way back to a meaningful life. You and others are there to help and treatment for behavioral health is available and can be effective.&nbsp;</li> </ol> <p>Most of us are not mental health professionals, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help a loved one who may be thinking of suicide. The most important thing you can do is to help your loved one get the care they need.</p> <p><strong>If you or your loved one is in a crisis and need help immediately, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text MHA to 741741. These services are confidential, free and available to all.&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/suicide-prevention" hreflang="en">suicide prevention</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17686&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="KJiST1Qkoqjzc4UC2VsWC7A3KuFcX_1LAg2_1VSMjHs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 27 Aug 2020 15:48:09 +0000 JCheang 17686 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/know-signs-help-prevent-loved-ones-suicide#comments When a Frontline Nurse Contracted COVID-19 https://www.mhanational.org/blog/when-frontline-nurse-contracted-covid-19 <span>When a Frontline Nurse Contracted COVID-19</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-08/woman-in-yellow-protective-suit-wearing-white-face-mask-3992948.jpg" alt="Woman in face mask and PPE" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 08/27/2020 - 12:16</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">August 31, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Victoria Renard, Vice President of Development at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>As the VP of Development at Mental Health America (MHA), I introduce myself as the person lucky enough to work with incredibly talented people developing programs to help empower individuals with their mental health and finding connections in the world to others interested in that work. I shorthand that by saying I’m the VP of Connections.</p> <p>Today, I want to make a connection on a very personal level and bring you the story, a very real story of my own brother-in-law. His story conveys both the physical and mental health challenges of frontline health care workers as they care for people with COVID-19.</p> <p>I turned to him and my husband, both nurses, as MHA began developing our COVID-19 relief resources for these vital members of our community. Individuals who put their lives and their families lives at risk – to serve us.</p> <p>What he shares, and he has given me permission to share this, expresses exactly the real world situation health care workers are in. Every single part.&nbsp;Every single day. Continually. With no end in sight.</p> <p>In his own&nbsp;words:</p> <p>“Yeah, the greatest challenge I believe health care workers have is not about getting infected but bringing the infection back home to their families.</p> <p>“Think about my experience.&nbsp; I got sick and my wife and son got infected too because I brought it home. I remember, even in my sickness,&nbsp;waking up and watching over my son when his fever was around 103 and he was laying almost looking lifeless in bed. I kept checking on him to make sure he was still breathing.</p> <p>“My wife was not also spared...only my other son had mild symptoms of low-grade fever for about 3 days.&nbsp; After about 13 days, we all felt kind of better and boom! I decided I was going back to work.</p> <p>“I couldn't stay home [anymore] because I'm a nurse manager and I see the staffing challenges we were going through…What was actually going through my mind was, ‘what if all this is a big mistake that I will regret...what if i get infected again and take it back home? What if God healed me the first time and wouldn't spare the whole family next time because I didn't do right to go back? What if I don't survive it again? What if, what if...’</p> <p>“The torture and nightmares of the death we see now is crazy. This morning, I had a 61 year old patient, [whose] wife and sister called and I took the phone to him.&nbsp; He was eating breakfast, a little tired but doing good. The family was sooo nice and appreciative on the phone and prayed for me and thanked me for being there and helping the patients.&nbsp; By 12 noon the patient’s status had changed and had to be on ventilator.&nbsp; He was dead before 4 p.m.&nbsp; I couldn't bring myself to talk to the family after he died... unfortunately,&nbsp;I was the one to break the news.</p> <p>“It's crazy! I can't wait for this to be over.&nbsp;For the past week, I drink a glass of wine every night now to sleep. I actually now look forward to it.&nbsp; It's 5:42 p.m. I'm typing this from the bathroom because I'm about to take a shower to clean myself before saying hi to the family.</p> <p>“I just got home after leaving the house around 6:30 a.m. while everyone was still sleeping.&nbsp; My boys sleep before 8 p.m. so I have barely two hours to stay with them...not to mention that I have 2 weeks to the end of this spring semester and I have papers, case studies,&nbsp; blackboard posts and all due...but I want to be present and enjoy my 2 hours with the kids.”</p> <p>Every day, our health care workers and their families are dealing with extraordinary challenges. At MHA, we have COVID-19 relief resources specific to their needs available <a href="https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/OycVCkRl0Rt5mOrTNY_lk?domain=mhanational.org">here</a>.</p> <p>Please share the availability with everyone you know and please post links on your social media accounts. We must spread the awareness of these vital tools so they may serve the frontline health care workers who continually serve us at the risk of their lives and their families lives.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/covid19" hreflang="en">COVID19</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17687&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="655rqO_DEV6NC_rGtMQPYZoaqidY3ncTpf9_2hkzQgw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 27 Aug 2020 16:16:00 +0000 JCheang 17687 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/when-frontline-nurse-contracted-covid-19#comments