Mental Health America Blog https://www.mhanational.org/ en Fostering a Culture of Care for Frontline Workers at MOM’s Organic Market https://www.mhanational.org/blog/fostering-culture-care-frontline-workers-moms-organic-market <span>Fostering a Culture of Care for Frontline Workers at MOM’s Organic Market</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/2022-01/IMG_4835.jpg" alt="Founder and CEO of Evolving Mind, Anthony Sartori, standing in front of a MOM&#039;s Organic Market location" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Tue, 01/11/2022 - 10:11</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">January 13, 2022 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Anthony Sartori, a member of MHA's Young Mental Health Leaders Council and Founder and Director of Evolving Minds</em></p> <p><em>This article was originally published by Evolving Minds Inc. and has been re-published on Mental Health America's website with permission. <a href="https://www.evolving-minds.org/blog/fostering-a-culture-of-care-for-frontline-workers-at-moms-organic-market">Click here to read the original article.</a></em></p> <p>The impact of COVID-19 and the growing weight of oppression toward marginalized communities have taken a toll on essential workers over the past two years. With more than 800,000 dead from COVID across the United States, frequent mass shootings, and more traumas, we work and live in an often unstable and chaotic world.&nbsp;</p> <p>With its vision of creating a culture of care, Evolving Minds launched its inaugural Connected Cultures initiative: Mindful Grocery Stores. This pilot with MOM’s Organic Market, a Mid-Atlantic grocery chain with over 20 stores and over 1,600 employees began in April 2021 at its Baltimore City Hampden location.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Employee Mental Health and Innovative Impact </strong></p> <p>In this three-month pilot, Evolving Minds aimed to build community and cultivate human connection between in-person store team members by practicing positive psychology skills, such as mindfulness, gratitude, joy and kindness, on a daily basis. Mindful Grocery Stores is an empowering model that places employee wellness directly in the hands of the employees. It is a visionary and scalable approach, a new industry benefit that essential workers can call their own.&nbsp;</p> <p>Mindful Grocery Stores invests in the mental health of hourly and store team members. Evolving Minds’ community-centered model empowers store leaders, with tangible positive psychology skills designed to bring people together – to build a work community where people feel a deep sense of belonging and a connection to the organization’s mission and values. Additionally, Mindful Grocery Stores seeks to connect team members with one another across departmental silos, with meaningful relationships that last a lifetime and create a culture where people care deeply about each other and how they are really doing.&nbsp;</p> <p>Evolving Minds’ resilience-based curriculum is designed to reduce stress and anxiety, increase resiliency and work vigor, and deepen life satisfaction and meaning. Additionally, mindfulness, gratitude, and positive psychology skills increase employee engagement, communication, and overall teamwork. Long term, the Mindful Grocery Stores pilot is intended to show a decrease in levels of absenteeism, employee work-related burnout, and an overall retention of employees.</p> <p>Evolving Minds and MOM’s are leading the way and bringing essential employee wellness tools into the work environment for all employees, including those at the store level – creating a work environment where employees are paid to practice mindfulness, joy, gratitude, and kindness skills, every day.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Systemic Approach &amp; Scalable Model</strong></p> <p>The most compelling feature of the model is its built-in adaptability to account for time, changing logistics, and organizational values. First, the Evolving Minds model embeds itself in the existing systems within MOM’s, starting with the Huddle space. The Huddle is a time before the store opens and after closing, when all employees gather for about 15 minutes for store updates. This is when trained managers will share the resilience skills and practice with the non-management team. Then, as the model settles into the existing structures, it begins to evolve and take on a life of its own, holding true to its roots while adapting with the changing culture.</p> <p>The Mindful Grocery Stores initiative is an innovative approach through the Connected Cultures program, actively demonstrating how we can care for frontline workers and prioritize their mental health. Evolving Minds welcomes the opportunity to partner with MOM’s Organic Market to create a culture of care.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>To see more about the Mindful Grocery Stores pilot, please visit the Evolving Minds website: <a href="https://www.evolving-minds.org/connected-cultures">evolving-minds.org/connected-cultures</a></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/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=21364&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="tplO32JPbhzOzBK2a3T8jiEzVvJsQf9QsR04wU3LrRQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 11 Jan 2022 15:11:43 +0000 JCheang 21364 at https://www.mhanational.org I Feel Lonelier During The Holidays https://www.mhanational.org/blog/i-feel-lonelier-during-holidays <span>I Feel Lonelier During The Holidays</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/2021-12/pexels-elina-fairytale-3811019.jpg" alt="Red ornament hanging among a sea of other festive lights." loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/bradwaye" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">bradwaye</span></span> <span>Fri, 12/03/2021 - 16:57</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">December 22, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><em>By Kat McIntosh, Manager of Global Peer Support at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>Many people experience challenges associated with loneliness and isolation during the holiday season. The COVID-19 pandemic <a href="https://blogs.bcm.edu/2020/11/11/how-to-cope-with-pandemic-loneliness-this-holiday-season/">increases</a> the risk of loneliness and depression at this time. Over <a href="https://www.valuepenguin.com/coronavirus-causing-holiday-loneliness">10%</a> of people report feeling extremely lonely closer to the winter holidays.&nbsp;</p> <p>Communities most affected by loneliness include <a href="https://mcc.gse.harvard.edu/reports/loneliness-in-america">young people</a>, <a href="https://academic.oup.com/innovateage/article/4/5/igaa048/6035206">black</a> older adults, <a href="https://doi.org/10.17226/25663">LGBTQ</a> persons, those with <a href="http://www.sense.org.uk/support-us/campaigns/loneliness/">disabilities</a>, and those from <a href="https://www.cigna.com/static/www-cigna-com/docs/about-us/newsroom/studies-and-reports/combatting-loneliness/cigna-2020-loneliness-factsheet.pdf">lower-income</a> communities.&nbsp;</p> <p>There are many reasons someone can experience loneliness right now. Many can experience survivor’s guilt as they cope with the loss of loved ones. Additionally, not everyone feels loved and supported. The holidays can often bring many triggers and negative emotions.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you are experiencing more feelings of loneliness right now, know that it’s ok.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Try to be kind to yourself as you navigate these feelings.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>It’s ok to feel angry or confused about how to cope with these big feelings. Offer yourself expressions of love and kindness.</p> <p><strong>Check-in with yourself.</strong></p> <p>Now might be a good time to check in with yourself about what you need. You can call a friend or family member. You can also take a walk or practice mindfulness.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Families can have many forms or traditions.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>There are different ways to have a family. <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/19/7346/pdf#:~:text=%E2%80%9CChosen%20family%E2%80%9D%20is%20a%20term,(bio%2Dlegal)%20ties.">Chosen families</a> are family groups created by choice rather than by biology or legality. It’s ok to spend time with someone you consider your chosen family. You can also begin creating new family traditions.</p> <p><strong>Attend a support group.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Peer support allows you to find someone who shares your lived experience. This lived experience can be a mental health diagnosis. It can also include age, gender, sexual orientation, race, language, or disability. You can find a list of peer support groups on Mental Health America’s new <a href="http://mhanational.org/iamnotalone">IAMNOTALONE</a> site. Visit mhantional.org/IAMNOTALONE.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="https://iamnotalone.mhanational.org/"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="1cccf5ad-fd38-4d33-b728-c7a1f7cedf49" height="171" src="/sites/default/files/iana%20blog%20bottom.png" width="512" /></a></p> </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=21344&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="ydB5LAYrE7r_KwOKgDPT7X2EyKWr9MmZUcDrivayGKQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 03 Dec 2021 21:57:25 +0000 bradwaye 21344 at https://www.mhanational.org 5 Company Policies That Support Working Parents https://www.mhanational.org/blog/5-company-policies-support-working-parents <span>5 Company Policies That Support Working Parents</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/2021-12/child-g30703b283_1280.jpg" alt="Young girl sitting in parents lap while they are on a laptop." loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/bradwaye" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">bradwaye</span></span> <span>Fri, 12/03/2021 - 16:46</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">November 21, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><u><em>By Taylor Adams, Director of Workplace Mental Health at Mental Health America</em></u></p> <p>Mental Health America (MHA) is proud to recognize November as National Family Caregivers Month — a time to celebrate the contributions of caregivers and provide them with the tools they need for their mental health. In 2021, MHA is focusing on parents. As part of MHA's workplace mental health initiatives, we want to celebrate and share how companies support employees and their families.</p> <p>MHA spoke with Michele Granitz, the Head of Benefits at the <a href="https://www.nationallife.com/">National Life Group</a>, a life insurance company and 2021-22 Platinum Bell Seal Recipient, to better understand their policies that support working parents and caregivers. National Life recognizes employees' individuality with a wide array of benefits with programs focused on physical, mental, and financial well-being, "We want to help our employees achieve security for themselves and their families."</p> <p>&nbsp;Here are five company policies and practices that every employer should consider:</p> <ol> <li aria-level="1"><strong>Understand your organization's employee populations and workforce needs.</strong><br /> <br /> The first step in addressing caregiver issues at work is understanding what the issues are. Employers often survey their employees on engagement, team collaboration, and mission alignment. These surveys are also an opportunity for employers to ask about specific work-life balance needs and benefits that improve staff productivity and loyalty. As a first step, National Life sought to understand how to best support their working parents through surveys and verbal conversations:<br /> &nbsp; <blockquote><em>At National Life, we realized we needed to do more to support our employees, particularly parents. Through surveys and conversations, we went through a revamp of our leave policies. Our policies for the birth, adoption, or placement of a child were not allowing for enough time for the parents to bond with their child(ren). We realized through conversations that we missed the mark for parents who had a child with an illness or disability. Some of our employees told us they were using their paid time off to care for their child(ren). Other employees were asking if they could donate time to help these parents.</em></blockquote> <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li aria-level="1"><strong>Respond appropriately to employee needs and implement meaningful policies.</strong><br /> <br /> The next step after actively listening to employee needs is to respond accordingly. Although addressing working parents’ needs is not a new issue, the U.S. is the only country among 41 nations that does not mandate any paid leave for new parents according to the Pew Research Center. [<a href="#1">1</a>] Under federal law, employers with 50 or more employees must implement a Family and Medical Leave policy that includes leave for medical concerns and guarantees an employee's position upon return. However, there are no federal regulations that require employers to provide paid parental leave for new parents. National Life not only listened to their employees but took meaningful action to better support their concerns:</li> </ol> <blockquote> <p><em>As a result of employee feedback, birth mothers now receive an additional six weeks of bonding time along with six weeks or more through short-term disability. We decided to add paid family leave to our benefits so parents could care for their child(ren) without the worry of being paid. The policy also applies to employees who need to care for a parent. We are thrilled to be able to support employees through the emotional times they may face.&nbsp;</em></p> </blockquote> <ol start="3"> <li aria-level="1"><strong>Offer benefits and perks that support working parents.</strong><br /> <br /> Every workplace is different, and the supports needed will differ across employer size and industry. Employers need to consider several options when choosing benefits or perks that support working parents with that in mind. The following suggestions range in cost but have proved to be helpful to employees with children or other caregiving responsibilities. Additional supports can include on-site child care or subsidized child care costs, adoption or fertility assistance, and remote or flexible work arrangements.&nbsp;</li> </ol> <blockquote> <p><em>To support caregivers in a pinch, National Life offers short-term backup care when the regular child or adult care is unavailable. In addition, National Life provides on-site lactation rooms for mothers and remote and flexible work options to support better work-life balance.</em></p> </blockquote> <ol start="4"> <li aria-level="1"><strong>Support work-life balance.</strong><br /> <br /> For most companies and employees, the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way we think about work-life balance. For companies that transitioned to fully remote or hybrid work environments, preparing for the day and commuting to and from work no longer separated work from home and vice versa. Promoting work-life balance in this day and age requires intention on behalf of a company to fully support the integration of personal and professional demands, including caregiving, parenting, and managing personal health and wellness. We understand that it is impossible to fully separate your home life from your work life in today's workforce.&nbsp;</li> </ol> <blockquote> <p><em>National Life educates and encourages work-life balance as part of their employee surveys and annual mental health training. In response to the pandemic and increasing burnout rates, employees were encouraged to take two consecutive weeks off to decompress and enjoy time with family and friends.</em></p> </blockquote> <ol start="5"> <li aria-level="1"><strong>Share resources that support working parents with company leadership.</strong><br /> <br /> Here are a couple of MHA resources to get the conversation about working parents' needs and employee mental health started at your company.<br /> <br /> For National Family Caregivers Month in November, MHA is focusing on parents – while not all caregivers are parents, all parents are caregivers. We've gathered a wealth of resources to help parents (and other caregivers) work through the challenges of caregiving, start conversations, deal with a crisis, and address their mental health. Learn more at <a href="http://www.mhanational.org/national-family-caregivers-month">www.mhanational.org/national-family-caregivers-month</a>.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> The Bell Seal for Workplace Mental Health is MHA's national employer certification program to recognize leading employers committed to employee mental health. The program includes a comprehensive evaluation of corporate practices that considers all facets of employee life, including employees' responsibilities as caregivers and parents. Learn more and get certified at <a href="http://www.mhanational.org/bestemployers">www.mhanational.org/bestemployers</a>.&nbsp;</li> </ol> <p>[<a id="1" name="1">1</a>]&nbsp;<a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/12/16/u-s-lacks-mandated-paid-parental-leave/">https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/12/16/u-s-lacks-mandated-paid-parental-leave/</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </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=21335&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="m6mh2mBgABuTvlPlC3Gzx_m6b0KDWtd8_KcYpUpQGbw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 03 Dec 2021 21:46:25 +0000 bradwaye 21335 at https://www.mhanational.org Peer Partners Has Seen Proven Success https://www.mhanational.org/blog/peer-partners-has-seen-proven-success <span>Peer Partners Has Seen Proven Success</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/2021-10/pexels-mart-production-7550398.jpg" alt="Four people cheering around a table." loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Fri, 10/29/2021 - 11:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">November 14, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="MsoTitle" style="margin-bottom:4px"><em>By Kat McIntosh, Manager of Global Peer Support at Mental Health America</em></p> <p class="MsoTitle" style="margin-bottom:4px">With over 100 years working on advocacy and awareness, Mental Health America (MHA) understands the unique needs of those facing mental health challenges. We believe that peer support is essential when building thriving communities<a href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1" title="">[1]</a> -- no one should have to struggle alone. This is why we created our Peer Partners program.</p> <p>MHA’s Peer Partners program is an excellent way to help people make friends and meet their social goals. We designed our program to help equip peers with the tools needed to support others in meeting their social goals using support groups. Our free, easy-to-implement program combines the strengths of peer support, psychiatric rehabilitation, and self-directed care. An added benefit of our program is that mental health organizations can increase the availability of peer support within their community.</p> <p>At the end of our pilot, we saw tremendous increases in how participants rated their quality of life.</p> <p><strong>Relationship and Connection</strong></p> <ul> <li>61% of participants felt like they had more friends and intimate relationships.</li> <li>Participants’ feelings of connection to their support network rose by over 50%.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Community and Environment</strong></p> <ul> <li>4 in 5 participants were better able to meaningfully use their environments.</li> <li>61% of participants were able to interact with others in their community in different social roles.</li> <li>There was a 72% increase in participants who were able to take part in the life of their community.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Rights, Respect, and Fairness</strong></p> <ul> <li>86% of participants felt that they were better able to exercise their rights.</li> <li>Over 70% of participants reported they felt like they received fairness.</li> <li>At the end of our program, participants reported feeling respected.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Personal Goals</strong></p> <ul> <li>Participants became more aware of their ability to set personal goals.</li> <li>They realized how many goals, in the past, were set for them.</li> </ul> <p>Access our Peer Partners program <a href="https://mhanational.org/peer-partners-mini-webinars">here</a>.</p> <div> <hr size="1" /> <div id="ftn1"> <p><a href="#_ftnref1" name="_ftn1" title="">[1]</a> <a href="https://mhanational.org/issues/position-statement-37-peer-support-services">mhanational.org/issues/position-statement-37-peer-support-services</a></p> </div> </div> </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/peers" hreflang="en">peers</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=21311&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="V60amErJhwXAJatQ39roQ3CHS9TJfDGilDNwNaDyXOo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 29 Oct 2021 15:00:44 +0000 JCheang 21311 at https://www.mhanational.org Announcing our 2021-22 Peer Partners Grant Recipients https://www.mhanational.org/blog/announcing-our-2021-22-peer-partners-grant-recipients <span>Announcing our 2021-22 Peer Partners Grant Recipients</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/2021-10/grant%20recipients%20%281%29.png" alt="Text saying &quot;Announcing Peer Partners Grant Recipients&quot; highlighting MHA logos." loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Fri, 10/29/2021 - 11:05</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">November 12, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Kat McIntosh, Manager of Global Peer Support at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>For the third year, Mental Health America (MHA) and the Center for Peer Support (CPS), announces our Peer Partners grant recipients. Congratulations go out to our affiliates Mental Health America of Dutchess County and Mental Health America of Fredericksburg on being this year’s recipients of a Peer Partners grant.</p> <p>MHA’s Peer Partners program helps those struggling with some of the biggest challenges that face us today -- isolation and social exclusion. In our pilot program, 61% of the participants wanted one thing -- to make friends. The goal of Peer Partners is to help build networks of friends and close relationships. Each recipient will receive a $5000 grant to implement a Peer Partners program in their community as well as technical support from MHA National.&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li aria-level="1"><strong>Mental Health America of Dutchess County </strong>-&nbsp; Mental Health America of Dutchess County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making sure nobody gets left behind in the community due to a lack of mental health services. Their staff and volunteers work day and night to strengthen families, overcome fear, help people dealing with anxiety, link individuals to the supports they need, provide safe spaces to heal, break down stigma, and much, much more.</li> <li aria-level="1"><strong>Mental Health America of Fredericksburg</strong> - Mental Health America of Fredericksburg improves people’s mental health and wellness through education, advocacy, and supportive services. MHAF envisions a just, humane, and healthy society in which all people are accorded respect, dignity, and the opportunity to achieve their full potential free of stigma and prejudice.</li> </ul> <p>Visit <a href="https://mhanational.org/peerpartners">mhanational.org/peerpartners</a> to learn more about our Peer Partners program.</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/peers" hreflang="en">peers</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=21312&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="AwqTulPsnQJSBucVzRGSneu8FXXU_14dkzWUSUAzeU0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 29 Oct 2021 15:05:20 +0000 JCheang 21312 at https://www.mhanational.org 3 Facts You Should Know About MHA's Peer Partners Program https://www.mhanational.org/blog/3-facts-you-should-know-about-mhas-peer-partners-program <span>3 Facts You Should Know About MHA&#039;s Peer Partners Program</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/2021-10/pexels-mary-taylor-5896916.jpg" alt="Two people walking down the street with one putting their arm over the shoulder of the other." loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Fri, 10/29/2021 - 10:05</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">October 29, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Kat McIntosh, Manager of Global Peer Support at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>Mental Health America’s Peer Partners program is a peer-driven solution to ending isolation and social exclusion. This program helps those struggling with some of the biggest challenges that face us today -- isolation and social exclusion. Isolation and loneliness are leading risk factors for overall poor health.<a href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1" title="">[1]</a> Research actually shows that loneliness can cause the same amount of damage as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.<a href="#_ftn2" name="_ftnref2" title="">[2]</a></p> <h4>PEER PARTNERS PLACES A HEAVY FOCUS ON PEER SUPPORT</h4> <p>Peer Partners combines the strengths of peer support, psychiatric rehabilitation, and self-directed care. A huge focus is placed on providing peer support. Using a peer support group model, people receive support from a peer who has been there. Participants also receive support from others in the group. This support creates a safe space to practice social skills, provides feelings of compassion and togetherness, and helps people cope with social challenges.</p> <h4>PEER PARTNERS HELPS PEOPLE MAKE FRIENDS</h4> <p>Our pilot program showed that 61% of the participants wanted one thing -- to make friends. Our Peer Partners program places value on shared lived experiences in a non-judgmental setting. Sharing lived experiences helps people feel accepted, understood, and valued. This increases their feelings of connection to their community. Over 50% of participants felt more connected to their support networks after our program using our model.</p> <h4>THE PEER PARTNERS SUPPORT GROUP MODEL IS FREE AND EASY TO IMPLEMENT</h4> <p>Anyone can start a Peer Partners program in their community. We have created a free online training for those interested in starting a Peer Partners program in their community. You can access our Peer Partners Mini-Webinars at mhanational.org/peer-partners-mini-webinars.</p> <p>Learn more about our Peer Partners program at mhanational.org/peerpartners.</p> <div> <hr size="1" /> <div id="ftn1"> <p><a href="#_ftnref1" name="_ftn1" title="">[1]</a> <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/aging/publications/features/lonely-older-adults.html">www.cdc.gov/aging/publications/features/lonely-older-adults.html</a></p> </div> <div id="ftn2"> <p><a href="#_ftnref2" name="_ftn2" title="">[2]</a> <a href="https://www.cigna.com/assets/docs/newsroom/loneliness-survey-2018-updated-fact-sheet.pdf">www.cigna.com/assets/docs/newsroom/loneliness-survey-2018-updated-fact-sheet.pdf</a></p> </div> </div> </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/peers" hreflang="en">peers</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=21310&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="q_8JVr4mrekXSV5fgYTaZ3DyDOlSge543s7cKT9jWYM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 29 Oct 2021 14:05:55 +0000 JCheang 21310 at https://www.mhanational.org Preparing for Another COVID-19 Winter https://www.mhanational.org/blog/preparing-another-covid-19-winter <span>Preparing for Another COVID-19 Winter</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/2021-10/pexels-pixabay-248023.jpg" alt="Person in a winter coat standing near a body of water with their hand on a fance." loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 10/07/2021 - 10:47</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">October 07, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Emily Skehill, Manager of Public Education and Awareness at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>If saying goodbye to this summer was harder for you than most years, you aren’t alone. <a href="https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2021-07-18/column-if-days-and-months-seem-to-be-passing-faster-or-slower-than-usual-youre-not-alone-its-covid-time">The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way many of us perceive time</a> – this October really snuck up on me, and I still feel like I’ve barely processed last March.&nbsp;</p> <p>A few weeks ago, I noticed myself feeling a bit more anxious than usual most days. I was quick to get overwhelmed when people asked me to make plans, and I constantly felt like time was moving too fast for me to catch up mentally. It was obvious that I was feeling little "off," but I had no idea why – nothing about my life had changed, and I’d been in a pretty good spot with my mental health.&nbsp;</p> <p>All of COVID-19 has been a sustained <a href="https://screening.mhanational.org/content/all-trauma-same/">trauma</a> – we've been through a lot over the last year and a half, and some of that built-up stress may be starting to surface now as we prepare to enter the end of 2021.&nbsp;</p> <h4>SAYING GOODBYE TO WARM WEATHER</h4> <p>We’ve done this whole “COVID winter” thing before, and to a much stricter degree than will probably be necessary this winter – so why do the next few months still seem so intimidating?&nbsp;</p> <p>Part of it is because we got our hopes up; we had a taste of freedom with summer 2021 and were promised that the pandemic was almost over – except now it’s not. When we came out of our first COVID-winter and entered the spring of 2021, we knew there was still a long way to go with vaccinations and slowing the spread, but it seemed like it would be under control by the fall. We were able to enjoy plenty of outdoor activities and socialization – things weren't "back to normal," but it felt like we were getting closer, and many of us clung to the idea that by the time summer was over, we’d be able to ditch masks and social distancing for good.&nbsp;</p> <p>Now, as the days are cooler and it’s getting darker earlier, there will be fewer and fewer outdoor events to attend and it’s not as easy to round up your friends for a weekday evening on the patio. This seasonal transition can be daunting even in the best of times and may feel especially intense this winter – you aren’t the only one struggling to accept the changing weather and what it might mean for your quality of life.&nbsp;</p> <h4>THERE'S STILL A LOT OF UNCERTAINTY</h4> <p>While the vaccine rollout has helped alleviate fear for many in terms of physical health, a number of populations, including children and immunocompromised folks, remain at high risk. We don’t know what variants may crop up, how they’ll impact people, or how they’ll respond to the vaccine or medical intervention. No one is expecting this winter to be as bad as last year’s, but we do know that it’s no joke – physical safety is still something that we have to pay close attention to. On top of COVID concerns, it’s also the beginning of flu season (ugh).</p> <p>This leaves us with even more questions – will I be able to spend time with my friends inside? Will there be another shutdown or full quarantine? When will the pandemic finally be behind us?&nbsp;</p> <h4>COVID-19 WINTER 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO</h4> <p>Anniversaries impact us, often subconsciously – experiencing the same time of year can bring back a lot of feelings. Within the COVID pandemic, there are a few noteworthy anniversaries. We all remember March 2020, when the pandemic first hit. You may not be thinking about the fall of 2020 as an anniversary, but this time last year, we were all gearing up for our first COVID winter – we had experienced most businesses being shut down, but we had yet to experience that during colder weather when outdoor socialization isn't as much of an option.&nbsp;</p> <p>Just because there’s no specific start or end date to 2020’s trauma of shifting from a COVID summer to a COVID winter doesn’t mean you can’t feel those same unpleasant feelings again. The familiarity of the temperature, smells, fall activities, and so many other annual markers can trigger memories of how difficult this time was in 2020.&nbsp;</p> <h4>GETTING THROUGH IT</h4> <p><strong><a href="https://mhanational.org/owning-your-feelings">Identify your feelings.</a></strong> When we’re caught up in big emotions, it’s difficult to feel anything other than completely overwhelmed. Start with figuring out what specific feelings are bubbling up inside of you – from there, you can work on coping with them.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Share your feelings with someone else. </strong>We collectively faced the initial traumas of COVID-19, but re-traumatization and struggles to adapt are happening more individually. It’s easy to feel alone in this, but remember that we’re all moving forward from similar experiences – more people than you expect may be able to relate. Make a pact with a friend to check in on each other every so often.</p> <p><strong>Allow yourself to be realistically positive.</strong> This is still a scary time and unpleasant feelings may have surfaced, but we’ve been able to process some of that already. Some healing has already been done – you already have the skills to get through this winter.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Remind yourself of the progress we have made. </strong>Feelings of anxiety are still valid, but try to remind yourself that even if things feel the same as last year, they aren’t – now, we have multiple vaccines, plans in place in case of a shutdown, and safety standards that we’re already accustomed to.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Spend time outside.</strong> Losing out on natural light plays a big role in the "winter blues." Try to get outside as much as you can (even though it may not be as pleasant in the cold) or rearrange your living space so that you’re spending more time in the sunlight. You can also start taking vitamin D supplements or purchase <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/sad-lamp">special kinds of lamps</a> to help boost your mood.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a href="https://screening.mhanational.org/content/think-ahead-mental-health-crisis-plan/">Make a disaster/crisis plan.</a></strong> The best time to create a safety plan is well before you need it – organize your thoughts so that you know what signs to look out for with your own mental health and think ahead about what helps during challenging times. That way, if it does get bad again, you're prepared to handle it.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Take a screen for depression.</strong> If you find yourself struggling beyond this initial transition period or if it’s interrupting your life, take a <a href="https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools/">depression screen</a>. If a certain time of year always impacts you – COVID aside – consider if you may be experiencing <a href="https://mhanational.org/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad">Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).</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/depression" hreflang="en">depression</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=21018&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="IJasX7uEVBYJEPQHhefUDClJEbagjAifkiAq2hygv5A"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 07 Oct 2021 14:47:12 +0000 JCheang 21018 at https://www.mhanational.org 10 Young People Changing their Communities for Mental Health https://www.mhanational.org/blog/10-young-people-changing-their-communities-mental-health <span>10 Young People Changing their Communities for 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/2021-09/ymhlc%202021-2022_0.png" alt="Headshots of the 10 members of the 2021-2022 Young Mental Health Leaders Council" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Wed, 09/29/2021 - 11:12</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">October 01, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Kelly Davis, Associate Vice President of Peer and Youth Advocacy at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>Mental Health America (MHA) is proud to announce the members of the 2021-2022 Young Mental Health Leaders Council (YMHLC). YMHLC identifies young leaders from across the U.S.&nbsp; who have created programs and initiatives that fill gaps in traditional mental health services in their communities. Through YMHLC, members connect with other leaders, share their work with MHA’s audiences, and expand their ideas into new communities.</p> <p>This year’s cohort is working to address mental health across many areas including faith, policy, research, schools, and peer support. YMHLC members will contribute to MHA’s annual Young People’s Mental Health Report and will share their ideas and initiatives with our audience throughout the 2021-2022 academic year.</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="http://www.mhanational.org/youthalerts">mhanational.org/youthalerts</a>.</p> <table align="center" border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 100%;"> <tbody> <tr> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 192px;"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="31db268e-1c51-43fb-9e3f-0d275f3e3318" src="/sites/default/files/Jaden%20Stewart%20Headshot.jpeg" width="150" /></td> <td style="width: 679px;"> <p><strong>Jaden Stewart</strong> (he/him) is an 18-year-old freshman at Kenyon College looking to make a positive change in the world by using his social media platforms to inspire others to strive for greatness each and every day!</p> <p>Currently, he's at the Division III level playing football and is in the process of working his way up the depth chart. THE PROCESS. Even with all of his accomplishments throughout high school, being a star athlete and valedictorian, he wants to make a bigger impact on people he may encounter day by day. By being a part of&nbsp; Mental Health America's Young Mental Health Leaders Council, he hopes to bring much positive energy and encouragement to people of all ages.<span lang="EN" style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="background:white"><span style="line-height:115%"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"><span style="color:#222222"> </span></span></span></span></span></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 192px;"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="928a8154-e809-4b6f-80a2-5221e44e0ff1" height="179" src="/sites/default/files/Prameela%20Boorada%20Headshot.jpg" width="150" /></td> <td style="width: 679px;"> <p><strong>Prameela Boorada</strong> (she/her) is an artist, researcher, advocate, and social-impact storyteller.</p> <p>Growing up in India, Prameela was raised on a wonderful selection of fables, mythology, biographies, and experiences. Moving to the United States opened a portal to identity and existential crises. She started college at 16 and graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Psychology. Through college, she suffered from depression, social anxiety, panic attacks, self-harm, and suicidal ideation. In an attempt to find healing and community, Prameela got involved with on-campus mental health advocacy. That passion stayed with her well beyond college -- in fact, it compelled her to quit her corporate job to learn more about digital well-being and social impact entrepreneurship. During this time, she did a fellowship with HeadStream Innovations where she researched how visibility and vulnerability on social media can impact well-being. She published a digital magazine featuring stories from 22 entrepreneurs/advocates/artists.</p> <p>Alongside this project, Prameela got involved in grassroots advocacy through MannMukti. Given the stigma around mental health in South Asian cultures, her primary focus was on creating a space for youth to discuss mental health concerns safely. In June 2021, she launched MannMukti’s nationwide Youth Fellowship Program. It’s a six-month program featuring lectures from educators/activists, 1:1 mentorship from mental health professionals, and support to build a social impact project. The inaugural cohort has 18 students with a plan to expand the cohort size in 2022.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 192px;"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="cda5bc1a-7c3f-4789-83fd-062397ef06fd" src="/sites/default/files/Mahmoud%20Khedr%20Headshot.png" width="150" /></td> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 679px;"> <p class="text-align-left"><strong>Mahmoud Khedr</strong> (he/him) is, above all, human-first. He’s a proud Egyptian immigrant passionate about building equitable and scalable solutions empowering underserved communities addressing mental health and education. For the last 10 years, he’s been working at the intersection of technology, government, health, and social impact. He is a social entrepreneur who is currently the co-founder and CEO of FloraMind, an organization with the vision of empowering young people to flourish through the most diverse mental health movement. Mahmoud previously worked at Facebook, Google, Echoing Green, and the NYC Mayor’s Office of Tech &amp; Innovation. Everything Mahmoud has been involved in throughout his career has been to end unnecessary suffering and empower people to flourish.</p> <p class="text-align-left">As a global advocate and speaker on mental health, youth empowerment, and social entrepreneurship, Mahmoud has received fellowships, awards, and recognition from former President Bill Clinton, General Colin Powell, Forbes, and Stanford d. School. In 2019, he delivered his TED talk, “How Toxic Positivity Leads to More Suffering.”&nbsp;</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 192px;"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c62c16cc-8bbb-454d-8f8d-521a798e0b90" src="/sites/default/files/Sophie%20Szew%20Headshot.jpeg" width="150" /></td> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 679px;"> <p class="text-align-left"><strong>Sophie Szew</strong> (she/her) is a Jewtina and mental health warrior from Los Angeles who is passionate about advocacy and social justice on all fronts. Since recovering from an eating disorder in 2019, her writing (both poetry and personal narratives) has been published in a number of outlets, including FEAST, the Dillydoun Review, Channel Kindness, Jewtina y Co, and Detester Magazine, among others. She was also the inaugural poet to the Mayor of Beverly Hills. This year, she founded the <a href="https://www.youthlatinxleadership.org">Youth Latinx Leadership Conference</a>, a student-run organization that connects Latinx student leaders to the resources to succeed as future changemakers. She was able to help connect over 500 foster families to undocumented and unaccompanied child immigrants. She also spends her time bringing awareness to issues that affect BIPOC communities through her work with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation and her Congressional internship!</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 192px;"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="bf5c6ae7-8895-4c6d-986e-1e221f3ad729" src="/sites/default/files/Anthony%20Sartori%20Headshot.jpg" width="150" /></td> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 679px;"> <p class="text-align-left"><strong>Anthony Sartori</strong> (he/him) strives to bring people together. After earning a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland, Anthony led mindfulness programs at an outpatient clinic for youth with mental health challenges. In March of 2020, he launched Evolving Minds with a purpose: to connect. He’s raised over $20,000, developed impactful mental health programming for students, educators, and businesses, and has graduated over 400 alumni. He currently leads the development of mindfulness content for health care workers with Vitalize and sits on the Equity and Interdependence Committee at iBme.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="161bf8eb-5f00-4d17-b52f-7658ec6c5801" src="/sites/default/files/Joseph%20Sexton%20Headshot.jpg" width="150" /></td> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 679px;"> <p class="text-align-left"><strong>Joseph Sexton</strong> (he/him) is a 20-year-old junior at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, where he is studying Psychology; Statistics; and Medicine, Health, &amp; Society with a concentration in critical psychiatry. A Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship recipient, Joseph has centered his advocacy around a need for systemic reform, specifically through policy efforts and a deep commitment to research. He leads a Mental Health Policy Working Group that brings students together to learn about and advocate for policies relevant to mental health outcomes, and he also serves as a Rising Leader for the Tourette Association of America, speaking for the rights and awareness of those with tic disorders.</p> <p class="text-align-left">For his research on suicidal thoughts and behaviors, Joseph was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship in April 2021, recognizing high talent and potential for impact in science. He believes the commercialization of academia and medicine endangers American mental health and is fervently committed to open science and psychiatric reform, working to clean and publicize CDC data on suicides from 1960 to 2020 through his forthcoming U.S. Suicide Compiler project. In conjunction with Mental Health America of the MidSouth, Joseph is also organizing the inaugural Vanderbilt Critical Psychiatry Conference to bring together academics, clinicians, and students in order to understand what is and is not working in the current state of biological psychiatry. He plans on pursuing a career in academia, researching and teaching clinical psychology.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 192px;"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c4a018ca-6e34-4472-8e06-a9914f16c351" src="/sites/default/files/Catherine%20Delgado%20Headshot.jpg" width="150" /></td> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 679px;"> <p class="text-align-left"><strong>Catherine Delgado</strong> (she/her) is an 18-year-old from San Diego, California, and uses she/her/hers pronouns. She is a first-year Public Health student at George Washington University. Growing up, Catherine watched those closest to her struggle with their overwhelming stress, anxiety, and desire to self-harm. She believed that an unwillingness to hold safe conversations about mental health prevented young students from developing the life skills needed to support themselves emotionally throughout their lifetime. It became Catherine’s mission to tackle the educational system and create strong mental health support for all students.</p> <p class="text-align-left">This mission led Catherine to found the Student Wellness Education And Resources (SWEAR) Committee at the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). A student-led mental health advocacy group, the SWEAR Committee is leading the effort for formal mental health and wellness curriculum development. SWEAR’s biggest achievement is the passing of a resolution with the SDUSD Board of Education to provide comprehensive, research-based mental health education on an annual basis to all secondary school students at SDUSD. Catherine is now part of the committee that is designing the curriculum for implementation within middle and high schools.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 192px;"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="84800215-9634-420c-9c5c-a24d9657528e" src="/sites/default/files/Melanie%20Zhou%20Headshot.jpg" width="150" /></td> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 679px;"> <p class="text-align-left"><strong>Melanie Zhou</strong> (she/her) is a sophomore at Stanford University studying Computer Science and Creative Writing. Seeing a counselor 10 years after a traumatic childhood experience helped her recognize the need to destigmatize the mental health conversation. In the next few years, she hopes to see her nonprofit, Oasis, expand to schools across Colorado while partnering with mental health programs that are proven to help students. She serves as the Youth Commissioner on the Governor’s Commission on Community Service of Colorado. In her free time, Melanie loves to hike, swim, and skydive.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="49e489a4-1657-4d68-bec1-b504e824bd1e" height="179" src="/sites/default/files/Bre%20Kennedy%20Headshot.jpg" width="150" /></td> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 679px;"> <p class="text-align-left"><strong>Breanna Kennedy </strong>(they/them) has suffered with mental illness since 6th grade alone due to growing up in an environment where mental illness was often ignored, stigmatized, and even considered taboo. They want to make sure other individuals and youth do not feel alone or silenced during their mental health journey.</p> <p class="text-align-left">Breanna is currently a sophomore Pre-Veterinary Sciences Biology major at the University of South Carolina-Aiken (UofSC). Breanna currently works on campus at their Wellness Center as aStudent Coordinator for IMPACT Community Service. They also serve asUofSC Aiken Circle K International President in order to not only serve their school, but also their community.</p> <p class="text-align-left">In addition, they serve as the co-Director for Enrichment for Yellow Tulip Project, a nonprofit that seeks to eliminate the detrimental stigma that often surrounds mental illness and to open safe spaces for individuals to talk about their experiences with mental illness. They are currently working on events at UofSC Aiken and the local Boys' and Girls' Club in order to teach students and children the importance of mental health and also fun activities that allow them to practice self-care, self-love, and self-growth. Breanna is very excited to smash the stigma of mental illness and change lives.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 192px;"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="af1a1b2c-1f5a-4790-860d-3e48a002af11" src="/sites/default/files/Marissa%20Byers%20Headshot.jpg" width="150" /></td> <td class="text-align-center" style="width: 679px;"> <p class="text-align-left"><strong>Marissa Byers</strong> (she/her) is a future eco-therapist who is passionate about connecting people with the natural environment to improve mental health and well-being. She graduated from Butler University with an Environmental Studies degree in 2018 and is currently pursuing her Masters of Social Work at IUPUI in Indianapolis. Her current collaborative work aims to help college students take advantage of the natural resources around them and get outside to connect with themselves, others, and their environments!</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=19740&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="D2K3Ap6G4Do9R5B_1JdLdV1CuTWUyVSzvPeYvkimXRE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 29 Sep 2021 15:12:11 +0000 JCheang 19740 at https://www.mhanational.org 7 Ways to Support You and Your Family’s Mental Health When Returning to Work https://www.mhanational.org/blog/7-ways-support-you-and-your-familys-mental-health-when-returning-work <span>7 Ways to Support You and Your Family’s Mental Health When Returning to Work</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/2021-09/7-Ways-to-Support-You-and-Your-Familys-Mental-Health-When-Returning-to-Work-1024x512.jpg" alt="A family with colorful puzzle pieces superimposed on the images of the family." loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Tue, 09/21/2021 - 13:49</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">September 21, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><a href="https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/support-you-familys-mental-health-when-returning-to-work/"><em>This article was originally published by FlexJobs and has been re-published on Mental Health America's website with permission. Click here to read the original article.</em></a></p> <p>Well over one year ago, the pandemic shifted the way in which people work and live, with no shortage of “pivot” situations. Employers and employees alike are constantly adapting to the changes brought on by the pandemic, including returning to a physical workspace or a revised schedule. In addition, employees who are also parents are grappling with their children returning to the classroom.</p> <p>We may not have complete control over these changes. However, we&nbsp;can control how to best respond to these changes, particularly when it comes to our mental health and the well-being of family. Below are seven ways in which you can support you and your family’s mental health during this time.</p> <h4>1. (OVER) COMMUNICATE WITH COWORKERS AND FAMILY</h4> <p>Frequent and effective communication will continue to be an important skill for employees at work and at home. As employees&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/key-parts-of-your-return-to-work-after-a-long-break/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">return to work</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/go-back-to-work-kids-go-back-to-school/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">children return to school</a>, be sure to&nbsp;communicate your schedule, obligations, and expectations with your supervisor, your team, and your family members. Clear communication on all fronts can help alleviate some disorganization, forgetfulness, and anxiety for employees and their families.</p> <h4>2. ADJUST HABITS TO MEET NEW DEMANDS</h4> <p>With a shift in physical workspace or schedule, it is time to&nbsp;reestablish the healthy habits that helped you&nbsp;stay engaged and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/remote-work-from-home-tips/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">productive while working from home</a>. For example, it may be helpful to budget time for lunch and short breaks during the workday, represented by blocks on your calendar or a temporary away message on communication channels. In addition, set an example for your peers and family by modeling and practicing self-care. Examples of self-care include staying organized and prioritize taking frequent breaks; practicing meditation, breathing, or expressing gratitude; or meeting someone for coffee.</p> <h4>3. ASK FOR WHAT YOU NEED AT WORK</h4> <p>If you are&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/employer-make-me-return-to-work/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">returning to a physical workplace</a>, it might be the right time to&nbsp;ask your employer for flexibility in your schedule or to work from home one day a week, if possible. Research shows that employees who work flexible schedules are more productive and loyal to their employers.&nbsp;In addition, asking your manager for support can include regular check-ins, increased opportunities for bidirectional feedback, and the ability to talk openly about stressors. Help your manager understand your needs so that they can provide the appropriate support.&nbsp;</p> <h4>4. RECONNECT WITH COWORKERS YOU TRUST</h4> <p>According to past reports, having positive relationships with coworkers and supervisors is the top reason employees feel satisfied at work. Connection will be crucial as workplaces return to normal.&nbsp;Seek out opportunities to reconnect with your manager, team, and coworkers. Examples include scheduling coffee dates or happy hours—any activity that is in person (while maintaining physical safety measures). If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed at work, talk to a trusted coworker about it. It’s likely that your coworker is also dealing with their own pressures and can share similar concerns.</p> <h4>5. CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES</h4> <p>Children and teens pick up on anxiety and tension in adults around them.&nbsp;Be open about your own feelings, and lead by example in how you deal with them by modeling healthy behaviors and coping skills.&nbsp;If you are experiencing the common signs or symptoms of a mental health condition, it could be helpful to take an anonymous and confidential&nbsp;<a href="https://screening.mhanational.org/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">mental health screening</a>&nbsp;online. MHA has&nbsp;<a href="http://mhascreening.org/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">10 online screening tools</a>, including one that is youth-focused and one for parents. Once you get the results, MHA will provide you with more information and help you to figure out next steps. Addressing the early signs of mental health conditions can dramatically increase the likelihood of positive outcomes and recovery.</p> <h4>6. RESEARCH MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT AT YOUR WORKPLACE</h4> <p>Many companies offer resources through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or similar wellness program, which can save you precious time by providing guidance on issues like where to find a daycare center and caretaking for an elderly parent, as well as referrals to mental health and other services. In addition,&nbsp;be familiar with options for support available through your child’s school to help accommodate them if they are struggling emotionally or academically.&nbsp;You are your own and your child’s best advocate!</p> <h4>7. GET PROFESSIONAL HELP IF YOU NEED IT</h4> <p>Chatting with friends and family can be important to your success at home—or at work—and can even improve your health. People with stronger support systems have more aggressive immune responses to illnesses than those who lack such support. Don’t let stress stand in the way of your health and happiness. If you are persistently overwhelmed,&nbsp;<a href="https://screening.mhanational.org/content/how-do-you-treat-mental-illness/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional</a>.&nbsp;Asking for help is not a sign of weakness—taking care of yourself is a sign of strength.</p> <p>If you are interested in learning more about how to care for your child’s mental health, download MHA’s 2021&nbsp;<a href="https://www.mhanational.org/back-school" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Back-to-School Toolkit</a>: “Facing Fears, Supporting Students.”&nbsp;The toolkit aims to help students, parents, and school personnel recognize how feeling unsafe can impact mental health and school performance, and what can be done to help young people who are struggling with their mental health.</p> <p>If you’re looking at returning to work, a flexible job can help with finding a healthy work-life balance. FlexJobs has over 50 career categories hiring for a range of flexible and remote jobs.</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/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=19723&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="4gHTKBcUrko86IvgbRXdnIwTyFW4Gz6PrhXJE_BTwiw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 21 Sep 2021 17:49:49 +0000 JCheang 19723 at https://www.mhanational.org I Finally Got my Bipolar Disorder Under Control and Then Started Experiencing Uncontrollable Movements https://www.mhanational.org/blog/i-finally-got-my-bipolar-disorder-under-control-and-then-started-experiencing-uncontrollable <span>I Finally Got my Bipolar Disorder Under Control and Then Started Experiencing Uncontrollable Movements</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/2021-08/caleb-george-VL9ugqp_mko-unsplash.jpg" alt="Person looking out the window" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 08/19/2021 - 13:18</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">September 15, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Angi, Full-time child-care worker (last names have been omitted to protect identities)</em></p> <p>When I was in my early 20s, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder but looking back, I definitely started showing symptoms in my teens.<sup>1</sup> It took me years and a lot of trial and error to find the right antipsychotic treatment regimen that worked for me, but then I started to experience the uncontrollable movements of tardive dyskinesia (TD).<sup>2</sup></p> <p><em>Learn about TD: <a href="https://mhanational.org/conditions/tardive-dyskinesia">https://mhanational.org/conditions/tardive-dyskinesia</a></em></p> <p>When&nbsp; I first started experiencing TD, I thought I had restless leg syndrome because my legs and hips would not stop moving.<sup>3 </sup>My hips would thrust uncontrollably, and I couldn’t sleep at night. During the day, the movements were so bad I couldn’t even sit down. Then TD started in my face – it caused twitching and long, involuntary blinking that would make me scrunch my face into a weird position. I felt very frustrated because I could not control what was happening to me!<sup>4</sup></p> <p>The TD movements were disruptive and embarrassing.<sup>5 </sup>I was self-conscious and thought people were staring at me when I left the house. My family and I didn’t know what to do, and I was becoming depressed.</p> <h4>My Diagnosis</h4> <p>Eventually, I found a psychiatrist who immediately recognized the uncontrollable movements in my legs and face as TD. This was the first time I had ever heard of TD, but it was comforting to know what I was going through was a medical condition.&nbsp;</p> <p>When my doctor wanted me to try a medication for TD, I was very hesitant. The thought of possibly changing my medications or adding another was scary. I didn’t want to take another medicine because I didn’t want anything to jeopardize the progress I’d made with my bipolar disorder. I put off treatment and told my family I would start taking medicine when the movements got worse.<sup>6</sup></p> <p><em>For more on TD visit: <a href="https://www.tardiveimpact.com/">https://www.tardiveimpact.com/</a> </em></p> <h4>My Treatment Journey</h4> <p>One day, my husband and sister sat me down and said it was time for me to consider treatment for my TD. It had been six months, and my TD was now impacting my life. I realized my family was right. After several conversations with my doctor and encouragement from my family, I decided to start TD treatment. Now I feel so much better, and my symptoms have improved.<sup>7 </sup>Luckily for me, I also didn’t have to make any changes to my current bipolar medication regimen. I have regained my confidence and don’t feel as embarrassed to go out anymore. With TD under more control, I have one less thing to worry about.</p> <p>Getting a mental health condition under control is tough, and TD symptoms can be frightening. To anyone currently living with a mental health condition and experiencing uncontrollable movements, I would encourage you to talk to a doctor. There may be treatment options available to help you.<sup>8</sup></p> <p><em>For more information about Tardive Dyskinesia and medications that may help, visit:</em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://screening.mhanational.org/content/what-tardive-dyskinesia/">What is tardive dyskinesia?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://screening.mhanational.org/content/how-do-you-treat-tardive-dyskinesia/?ref=45">How do you treat tardive dyskinesia?</a></em></li> <li><em>For more resources on TD visit <a href="https://www.tardiveimpact.com/">TDImpact.com</a></em></li> </ul> <hr /> <p class="MsoEndnoteText"><sup>1</sup>Bipolar Disorder in Teens: How to Spot the Signs and Symptoms. Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital. <a href="https://www.houstonbehavioralhealth.com/blog/bipolar-disorder-teens-signs-symptoms">https://www.houstonbehavioralhealth.com/blog/bipolar-disorder-teens-signs-symptoms</a>. Accessed August 2021.</p> <p><sup>2</sup>Tardive Dyskinesia. Medline Plus. <a href="https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000685.htm">https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000685.htm</a>. Accessed August 2021.</p> <p><sup>3</sup>Warikoo N, Schwartz T, Citrome L. Tardive dyskinesia. In: Schwartz TL, Megna J, Topel ME, eds. Antipsychotic Drugs: Pharmacology, Side Effects and Abuse Prevention. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc; 2013:235-258. Accessed November 2019.</p> <p><sup>4</sup>Tardive dyskinesia (TD). Mind website. <a href="https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/tardive-dyskinesia-td/about-tardive-dyskinesia/">https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/tardive-dyskinesia-td/about-tardive-dyskinesia/</a>. Accessed August 2021.</p> <p><sup>5</sup>Sharing the impact of tardive dyskinesia. NAMI website. <a href="http://notalone.nami.org/post/97568253959/sharing-the-impact-of-tardive-dyskinesia">http://notalone.nami.org/post/97568253959/sharing-the-impact-of-tardive-dyskinesia</a>. Accessed November 2019</p> <p><sup>6</sup>Finding the Right Medication. International Bipolar Foundation. <a href="https://ibpf.org/articles/finding-the-right-medication/">https://ibpf.org/articles/finding-the-right-medication/</a>. Accessed August 2021.</p> <p><sup>7</sup>Tardive dyskinesia. Baylor College of Medicine website. <a href="https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/care-centers/parkinsons/conditions/tardive-dyskinesia">https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/care-centers/parkinsons/conditions/tardive-dyskinesia</a>. Accessed November 2019</p> <p><sup>8</sup>Tardive dyskinesia. NAMI website. <a href="http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Related-Conditions/Tardive-Dyskinesia">http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Related-Conditions/Tardive-Dyskinesia</a>. Accessed December 2019.</p> <p class="text-align-right">&nbsp;</p> <p class="text-align-right">TD-40888<br /> September 2021</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/tardive-dyskinesia" hreflang="en">tardive dyskinesia</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=19689&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="fWMFQizwVND_apHVABZ0FZdvqVPlqwNXiw2q71jmySw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 19 Aug 2021 17:18:08 +0000 JCheang 19689 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/i-finally-got-my-bipolar-disorder-under-control-and-then-started-experiencing-uncontrollable#comments