Mental Health America Blog https://www.mhanational.org/ en How the Equality of Peer Support Helped Me https://www.mhanational.org/blog/how-equality-peer-support-helped-me <span>How the Equality of Peer Support Helped Me</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/2021-03/dah-party03_1.jpg" alt="Five disabled people of color with canes, prosthetic legs, and a wheelchair sit on a rooftop deck, laughing and sharing stories. Greenery and city high-rises are visible in the background." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Tue, 03/02/2021 - 09:54</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">March 05, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="cc_cursor text-align-right"><em>Photo by&nbsp;<a href="https://www.chonakasinger.com/">Chona Kasinger</a>&nbsp;for <a href="https://affecttheverb.com/disabledandhere">Disabled And Here</a></em></p> <p class="cc_cursor"><em>By Katrina McIntosh,&nbsp;Manager for Global Peer Support at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>As a Black Caribbean queer woman, inclusivity has become fundamental to my existence. My Caribbean upbringing has allowed me to exist on an island where our anthem echoes the words, “here every creed and race finds an equal place.”</p> <p>And while in its truest forms, these words are beautiful, in reality this isn’t always the truth.</p> <p>My queer body has longed for a space where I could be accepted for who I am. My bipolar experience has needed a space where I can express the complexities of being black, queer, and bipolar, and receive support and acceptance.</p> <p>This is why peer support is important to me. In my first peer support experience, I cried with over 20 other peers with different identities and lived experiences, but who all honored equality and acceptance. I was able to openly express how my illness impacts my everyday experience and find support and welcoming.</p> <p>Peer support embraces equally-shared power.</p> <p>This is one of the fundamental principles of peer support. This means that in practice peer supporters engage with their team, members, and community in fundamental ways such as</p> <ul> <li>using language that reflects a mutual relationship,</li> <li>behaving in ways that reflect respect and mutuality,</li> <li>not expressing or exercising power over those they support, and</li> <li>not diagnosing or offering medical services but offering a complementary service.</li> </ul> <p>What makes peer support different from traditional clinical or social support is that it places value on lived experience. It recognizes that the lived experiences of individuals make them experts about their own mental health journeys and in determining their own self-care. Sharing this expertise with others can be the key that unlocks a recovery journey for someone else.&nbsp;</p> <p>Peer support is valuable, whether it is informal or formal. At Mental Health America, we offer training, support, and certifications to peers who want to use their experience and expertise to help others experiencing mental health challenges.</p> <p><strong>Visit our website at <a href="https://www.mhanational.org/center-peer-support">mhanational.org/cps</a> to learn more about our NCPS certification and Peer Partners program.</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/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=19231&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="U_hzWAkag5LmSrcZ_lJiyw0jU-qiOU-CUakEhXBDbT8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 02 Mar 2021 14:54:42 +0000 JCheang 19231 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/how-equality-peer-support-helped-me#comments 5 Things Employers Need to Know from the Mind the Workplace 2021 Report https://www.mhanational.org/blog/5-things-employers-need-know-mind-workplace-2021-report <span>5 Things Employers Need to Know from the Mind the Workplace 2021 Report</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/2021-02/mind%20the%20workplace%20blog%201.jpg" alt="A woman on her laptop working with a child jumping next to her on the couch." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Fri, 02/26/2021 - 12:09</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">March 04, 2021 </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,&nbsp;Director of Workplace Mental Health at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>Mental Health America (MHA) recently released its <a href="https://mhanational.org/research-reports/2021-mind-workplace-report">Mind the Workplace 2021 Report</a> to better understand the mental health challenges that employees across company size and industry have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, MHA surveyed over 5,000 employees across 17 industries to learn more about workplace stress, burnout, supervisor support, and financial insecurity. Here are five things from the report that every employer needs to know, and steps they can take to promote a mentally healthier work environment.</p> <ol> <li><strong>Burnout is a serious mental health concern for employees.</strong><br /> <br /> If 2019 was the year that officially defined burnout, then 2020 was the year of living it. According to MHA’s report, 83% of employees feel emotionally drained from their work, and 25% of employees feel reduced professional efficacy and cynicism towards their jobs and coworkers. Of employees who strongly agreed that they feel emotionally drained by their work, 99% agreed that their workplace stress affects their mental health. If ignored, burnout can lead to more serious mental health concerns like anxiety or depression. &nbsp;<br /> <br /> An employer can help prevent or mitigate the impact of burnout on their employees by (1) educating and frequently communicating with managers and employees about the signs of burnout, (2) providing paid time off (PTO), workload management, and position flexibility to all staff, and (3) modeling healthy behaviors such as taking time off or talking openly about job stressors.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Supervisor support is critical to employee mental health.</strong><br /> <br /> Remember the expression “employees leave managers, not companies”? I would argue employees leave managers and companies (managers and company cultures can both be toxic), but there is no doubt that a fair and effective manager is crucial to an employee’s experience and well-being. I still remember the name of my first supervisor at age 17, simply because his poor and misguided management continues to motivate me to promote better workplace mental health now. Nine in 10 employees report that their workplace stress affects their mental health, but only 2 in 5 employees are receiving the support they need to help manage stress.<br /> <br /> If you are a supervisor, consider the following tips: (1) do not be afraid to provide emotional support, like asking “How are you feeling?”, (2) be flexible and realistic about your expectations for direct reports, (3) stay connected with coworkers, particularly in high-stress or remote work environments, and (4) practice self-care, because you deserve emotional support too.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Changing work environments and routines are affecting employee engagement.</strong><br /> <br /> Work environments have drastically changed over the last year, including the addition of personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing in workplace settings, and shifts to remote work environments. Employees may also have lost childcare services, are homeschooling their children, or are sharing a workspace with spouses, partners, or parents.<br /> <br /> MHA’s 2020 survey results reveal that over 65% of employees find it difficult to concentrate because of their work environment, compared to 46% of respondents in 2018. Also, over 56% of employees reported that they spend time looking for a new position, compared to 40% of respondents in 2018. Fortunately, employees who feel acknowledged and accepted at work are less likely to seek out other employment opportunities.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Most employers are not providing a safe environment for employees who live with mental health conditions.</strong><br /> <br /> For employees who live with mental health conditions, this report’s findings likely come as no surprise. Mental illness in the workplace is often misunderstood and kept quiet, which isn’t exactly conducive to creating a welcoming environment for the people who navigate these issues daily. Over 56% of employees did not feel like their employers provide a safe and welcoming environment for employees who live with mental illnesses. Less than 5% of respondents strongly agreed with this statement. Five percent!<br /> <br /> Creating a welcoming environment for employees who live with mental health conditions requires a change in culture, and changing culture requires thoughtful leadership and substantial investment. If your workplace is interested in an assessment of its mental health practices, check out MHA’s <a href="https://mhanational.org/bestemployers">Bell Seal for Workplace Mental Health</a> at <a href="http://www.mhanational.org/bestemployers">www.mhanational.org/bestemployers</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Employees are feeling the financial strain of the COVID-19 pandemic.</strong><br /> <br /> According to the report, 58% of employees worry about not having enough money to pay for their living expenses, and 2 in 3 employees cannot save for an emergency. In addition, 34% of employees cannot afford their health care costs. Federal and state minimum wage legislation and poverty guidelines have historically failed to meet employees’ realistic financial needs. Economic insecurity is a well-documented socioeconomic determinant of health, and the pandemic’s effects on employee well-being only reinforces the need to alleviate position and financial insecurity for employees through policy change.<br /> <br /> In 2020, Congress passed a series of COVID-19 relief packages to alleviate the economic fallout of the pandemic. Unfortunately, the stimulus payments to individuals served as a temporary and inadequate solution for systemic wage and income equality. MHA supports systemic change in minimum wage and income equality policy to ensure all employees feel financially secure, especially in the event of a traumatic event or emergency, such as a global pandemic.</li> </ol> <p><strong>To learn more about the 2020 survey findings, download the full <a href="https://mhanational.org/get-involved/download-mind-workplace-2021-report">Mind the Workplace 2021 report</a>. </strong></p> <p><strong>If your organization is ready to make mental health a priority for your employees, check out <a href="http://www.mhanational.org/bestemployers">MHA’s Bell Seal for Workplace Mental Health</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=19227&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="hyib0-s9uQy_56Fprdf1AtYq_iCBlthmwuJ4ThwPOsQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 26 Feb 2021 17:09:33 +0000 JCheang 19227 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/5-things-employers-need-know-mind-workplace-2021-report#comments Love Milestones and the Inevitable Roadblocks https://www.mhanational.org/blog/love-milestones-and-inevitable-roadblocks <span>Love Milestones and the Inevitable Roadblocks</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/2021-02/road.png" alt="Road" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Mon, 02/22/2021 - 15:50</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">February 25, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p style="border:none"><em>By Morgane Freeman, Marketer/Podcaster/Mental Health Advocate</em></p> <p>We all have an age in our heads when we know we will supposedly have our life together. That is the age when we will have the job we always wanted, the home of our dreams, the earth-shatter romance, etc. (Mine is 35, which is just four years away.) As we strive to reach these milestones, there will inevitably be some roadblocks hindering the journey.&nbsp;</p> <p>If 2020 has taught us all anything, it’s to be flexible. The milestones of love and happiness are different for everyone. And the lessons are just as unique. Perhaps your journey leads you to an occasionally challenging but blissful romance that lasts a lifetime. Maybe it leads to divorce and then a more joyful marriage - or it might lead to a fulfilling single life in your 50s. Wherever life takes you, the following milestones are likely to occur. Personally, I’ve experienced each of these in one way or another.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Your First Crush</strong></p> <p>There is a special someone that has your eye. You get butterflies when that person smiles at you. You feel like you can do just about anything in the world. But what if they are smiling at the person behind you? So, your crush doesn’t like you back? You receive a no to your homecoming date invite? (That last one is very personal.) Or, what if they have another special someone in their life? Well, they were not for you—no need to waste time fantasizing about the what-ifs. Your crush can just be a crush. It lets you know your heart is ready and willing to explore a new relationship with someone.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Your First Fight</strong></p> <p>Disagreements are common in any relationship, even friendship. Arguments are bound to happen. The emotion of a debate reveals the passions and concerns of your partner.&nbsp;However, what if you never really fight? Perhaps you or your partner are walking on eggshells about your true feelings. Not being open and honest reasonably early in a relationship might lead to a significantly damaging fight down the road. This can quickly disrupt and possibly ruin your relationship. Having a passionate discussion is powerful. It puts your communication skills to the test, allowing you and your partner to engage in an otherwise uncomfortable conversation by addressing both parties’ feelings.</p> <p><strong>Your First Trip</strong></p> <p>Though traveling isn’t quite a thing at the moment, taking time away from your regular routine can show you a new side of your partner. Sharing a romantic getaway with your sweetie might seem like well...a pleasure cruise. But it also might turn into a nightmare. You’ll quickly learn if your partner is a plan-ahead kind of person or a take-things-as-it-comes type of person. No fun in the sun with your partner? Fear not; it just may not be in your budget or your relationship’s journey.</p> <p><strong>Proposal/Wedding Planning</strong></p> <p>I once was told that the months or days after a proposal are likely the happiest you’ll ever be in a relationship. You both know where you stand. It’s a genuine and honest place, hopefully. You two feel like you can take on the world. Until friends, family, and your past get involved. Wedding planning is stressful enough as it is - without adding in outside opinions. If the dating relationship doesn’t end with a proposal but ends in heartbreak, once the tears dry, your heart will feel normal again. Consider all the lessons you’ve learned from your partner. Perhaps you learned how you wanted to be treated or not be treated. You’ve learned what you love in a partner and what you could do without. You’ve grown and evolved as a person as well.</p> <p>Whether you reach these love milestones or not, you’ll develop your cadence. Romantic comedies will have you viewing romance through a rose-colored filter when in fact, love is a commitment—a long-term relationship and friendship with your partner. As you hit or miss the aforementioned milestones, you are a step closer to your happy place. It might not be every day filled with love and bliss, but you’ll find your rhythm in love and happiness.</p> <p><em>Morgane Freeman, MS, is a Social Media Specialist in the Financial Industry. She has a BA in Communications from Wilberforce University and MS in Marketing from SNHU. Morgane resides in the Kansas City, MO area. In her free time, she’s the host of <a href="https://www.youngblackmrs.com/">Young Black MRS</a>, a wife, plant-based cook, and a mental health advocate.&nbsp;</em></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/relationships" hreflang="en">relationships</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=19222&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="QG3WpaSzBGLBGL3K4z8xAS94whAd1Ai91oCX-4n5K8o"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 22 Feb 2021 20:50:04 +0000 JCheang 19222 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/love-milestones-and-inevitable-roadblocks#comments Confronting Barriers and Systemic Racism to Address Mental Health Among Black Youth https://www.mhanational.org/blog/confronting-barriers-and-systemic-racism-address-mental-health-among-black-youth <span>Confronting Barriers and Systemic Racism to Address Mental Health Among Black Youth</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/2021-02/A%20non-binary%20student%20taking%20notes%20in%20class.jpg" alt="A non-binary student taking notes in class" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 02/18/2021 - 12:13</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">February 23, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Erlanger Turner, Ph.D., Executive Director, <a href="https://www.therapyforblackkids.org/">Therapy for Black Kids</a> and Nekolas Milton, M.S., Doctoral Student at the University of San Francisco</em></p> <p>Historically, seeking therapy in the Black community has been a taboo subject. Due to more conversations on social media, celebrities disclosing their own mental health, and more Black professionals entering the field, we have seen the tide turn.</p> <p><strong>Racism is a Factor</strong></p> <p>Black Americans are becoming more open to seeking therapy, but some challenges remain. For example, racism is pervasive in America and this can cause challenges navigating the mental health system. When we consider racism, it is important to understand that racism occurs in many forms. Several types of racism have been described that may impact access to care among the Black community: individual-level racism, which is synonymous with racial prejudice (assuming that one’s self is superior to other races); institutional racism, which is revealed in and practiced within organizations and institutions leading to discrimination of groups of people; and cultural racism, which is seen in the assumed superiority of a language or dialect, values, beliefs, worldviews, and cultural artifacts dominate in a society (Jones &amp; Neblett, 2019; Turner, 2019).</p> <p><strong>Accessibility, Availability, and Appropriateness of Services Are Additional Barriers</strong></p> <p>In addition to the impact of racism on access to services, other barriers may influence use of treatment among Black families. Some research (e.g., Turner, 2019; Turner, Malone, &amp; Douglas, 2019) has noted the role of multiple factors associated with treatment seeking, including accessibility factors (structural variables that may influence an individual’s ability to access treatment), availability factors (examines access to culturally competent services), appropriateness factors (examines how individuals view mental health problems as requiring treatment), and acceptability factors (captures variables such as stigma and cultural mistrust).</p> <p>Over the last year, the pandemic and racial injustice may have amplified these barriers and placed more Black youth at increased risk for limited access to therapy. It may be particularly difficult for Black parents to feel comfortable seeking therapy from a non-Black therapist due to mistrust. It is more important than ever for the mental health community to understand these barriers and transform systems to ensure the needs of Black youth are met.</p> <p><strong>The Impact of COVID-19 on Black Youth </strong></p> <p>While anxiety, depression, and suicide in children and teens in America have been rising in the last few years, the current COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these numbers. In regards to depression,&nbsp; <a href="https://www.mhanational.org/issues/state-mental-health-america">9.7% of youth in the U.S. have severe major depression, compared to 9.2% in last year’s dataset.</a> While this is true across the board, certain historically marginalized groups have felt the brunt of the impact. While white youth still die by suicide at a higher rate, <a href="https://mhanational.org/sites/default/files/2021%20State%20of%20Mental%20Health%20in%20America_0.pdf">the rate of Black youth suicide is increasing faster than any other racial or ethnic group.</a></p> <p>Black children and adolescents are overrepresented among families with social inequities. The pandemic-related physical health, mental health, economic and social consequences increased stress in black families. Some factors contributing to increased mental health concerns are listed below:</p> <ul> <li>Black Americans are more likely to know individuals who have died from COVID-19. <a href="https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/mental-health-disparities-among-black-americans-during-covid-19-pandemic">This includes a disproportionate number of Black youths who have experienced the loss of a loved one.</a></li> <li>Black youths may have adverse experiences in the home. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7306718/">There is a well-known impact of unemployment and increased financial strain that contributes to child neglect and domestic violence.</a></li> <li>The lack of social connectedness can <a href="https://www.childrensmn.org/2020/07/16/covid-19-trauma-mental-health-struggles-among-black-teens/">exacerbate anxiety and depression among children and teens</a>.</li> </ul> <h4>Tackling Current Approaches to Training&nbsp;&amp; Treatment to Improve Care</h4> <p><strong>“Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask First”</strong></p> <p>As mental health providers, we are not exempt from feeling the effects of COVID-19. It is important that we are checking in with ourselves to<a href="https://mhanational.org/blog/can-i-really-be-burnt-out-because-working-home"> prevent burnout</a>. This is especially true at the trainee stage. &nbsp;When you travel on a plane, you hear the instructions from flight attendants: “should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others.” The same concept goes for working with Black youth and other historically marginalized groups. While “putting on your oxygen mask first” can mean engaging in self-care practices, it also can mean doing your own homework to better serve Black youth.</p> <p><strong>Recognize and Mitigate Racial Trauma</strong></p> <p>Mental health providers have an important role to play in helping to mitigate and heal the impact of racial trauma on Black communities in the context of COVID-19. Recognizing what is racial trauma can be a first step. Many accounts from student trainees, colleagues, and professionals <a href="https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/bc1/schools/lsoe/sites/isprc/racialtraumaisreal.pdf">demonstrate a lack of awareness, knowledge, and the practical skills necessary to competently address racial trauma in mental health settings. </a>To our knowledge, few training programs explicitly cover this content in their coursework. This often places the burden on professionals to learn after entering the field. Furthermore, it can lead to a risk of inadequate care for Black youth.</p> <p>In our view, it is important that institutions are implementing new procedures, training, and decisions in response to improving care with historically marginalized groups. When providing clinical care, it is critical to consider <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2020-41729-001.pdf">cultural identity, with a focus on inherent strengths and previous experiences of resiliency of the individual and their community.</a> It is important to establish a <a href="https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/bc1/schools/lsoe/sites/isprc/racialtraumaisreal.pdf">Racism Recovery Plan (RRP)</a> to learn how to identify, cope, and manage racial trauma.</p> <p><strong>Broaden Treatment Approaches with Black Youth</strong></p> <p>Regarding treatments and interventions, we urge mental health professionals to also broaden their approaches to treatment with Black youth. Given the limited diversity of the profession, it is important for all therapists to improve their ability to work with diverse therapy clients. The field generally focuses on cultural competence through increasing awareness around biases and cultural differences. Williams (2019) articulates that simply teaching facts about cultural differences between racial and ethnic groups is not adequate to achieve cultural competence. Training at the graduate level and post-graduate level should move to more experiential activities.</p> <p>Experiential activities can help to reduce inter-racial anxieties through disconfirmation of cognitive distortions and habituation to feared stimuli such as talking about race (Williams, 2019). Finally, more work needs to be done on examining the use of culturally appropriate treatments based on principles within Black psychology that integrate the whole person, spirituality, and community (Belgrave &amp; Berry, 2016).</p> <p>If we truly want to transform the system and meet the needs of underserved communities, we must begin to shift our approaches to training and educating mental health providers.</p> <hr /> <table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="1" style="width: 150px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td class="text-align-center"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="be593aa6-5bd6-42d3-bada-ce6e3aa192c5" height="171" src="/sites/default/files/Dr.%20Earl%20Turner%20Headshot%202021.png" width="133" /></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><em>Erlanger “Earl” Turner, Ph.D. (He/Him) is a licensed psychologist and an assistant professor of psychology at Pepperdine University. He is also Executive Director and Founder of <a href="https://www.therapyforblackkids.org/">Therapy for Black Kids</a>. His research focuses on mental health among racial and ethnic communities, access to behavioral health services, and the impact of racism on mental health. He has served in numerous roles within the&nbsp;American Psychological Association (APA) including served as the 2017 Chair of the APA Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interests and on the Board of Directors for APA Division 53 (Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology). Dr. Turner is also the Past-President of the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice and is the first African American male to serve in that role. </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="1" style="width: 150px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td class="text-align-center"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="cf878d60-794f-4c52-a1ea-0a7ca28691b1" height="212" src="/sites/default/files/Neko%20Milton%20photo%20(1).JPG" width="150" /></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><em>Nekolas “Neko” Milton (He/Him) is a PsyD candidate at the University of San Francisco. He is currently completing his predoctoral internship at the Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology (CMTP) at Boston Medical Center and the Boston University School of Medicine. He is currently the student representative on the APA Division 37 Board of Directors. His clinical interests include working with infant and early childhood mental health. He will be a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA TIES for Families providing culturally responsive trauma-informed care to foster/adoption youth. His research interests include cultural identity development and mental health concerns among Black and Deaf communities. Neko's future goals include providing culturally competent services as a health service psychologist working in an integrated hospital setting or community mental health center, with a focus on providing services to underserved populations. </em></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Sources</strong></p> <p>Belgrave, F. Z., &amp; Berry, B.M. (2016). Community approaches to promoting positive mental health and psychosocial well-being. In A.M. Breland-Noble, C.S. Al-Mateen, &amp; N.N. Singh (Eds.), Handbook of mental health in African American youth. Springer International Publishing.</p> <p>Jones, S.C.T., &amp; Neblett, E.W. (2019). The impact of racism on mental health of people of color. In M. Williams, D. Rosen, &amp; J. Kanter (Eds.), <em>Eliminating race-based mental health disparities: Promoting equity and culturally responsive care across settings</em>. New Harbinger Press.</p> <p>Turner, E.A. (2019). <em>Mental health among African Americans: Innovations in research and practice</em>. Rowman &amp; Littlefield.</p> <p>Turner, E.A., Malone, C., &amp; Douglas, C. (2019). Barriers to mental health care for African Americans: Applying a model of treatment initiation to reduce disparities. In M. Williams, D. Rosen, &amp; J. Kanter (Eds.), <em>Eliminating race-based mental health disparities: Promoting equity and culturally responsive care across settings</em>. New Harbinger Press.</p> <p>Williams, M. T. (2019). Cultural competence 101: Teaching about race and racism. In M. Williams, D. Rosen, &amp; J. Kanter (Eds.), <em>Eliminating race-based mental health disparities: Promoting equity and culturally responsive care across settings</em>. New Harbinger Press.</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/bipoc-mental-health" hreflang="en">BIPOC 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=19220&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="BUdAoUHR_kq_Hs2SWHRvQ1Mp2Ppy3zgN7QvWN7mAyYc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 18 Feb 2021 17:13:58 +0000 JCheang 19220 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/confronting-barriers-and-systemic-racism-address-mental-health-among-black-youth#comments Mental Health America Turns 112: A Hopeful Birthday https://www.mhanational.org/blog/mental-health-america-turns-112-hopeful-birthday <span>Mental Health America Turns 112: A Hopeful Birthday</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/2021-02/pexels-spemone-226718.jpg" alt="Pink balloons facing the sky" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 02/18/2021 - 14:07</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">February 19, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p style="margin-bottom:11px"><em>By Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO</em></p> <p>Mental Health America (MHA) is celebrating its 112th birthday. There were times in our history when we could not have imagined getting to this day. But not only are we still here, we find ourselves emerging from one of the most consequential years in our history.</p> <p>That is worth more reflection. But first think about who we were in 1909 when MHA was founded by a young, white man with lived experience. Much of Clifford Beers’ vision is still relevant today – that all children should have access to mental health screening and services, that prisons should not be used as mental health facilities, and that mental health professionals, not sheriffs and police, should manage mental health programs.</p> <p>Otherwise, our society was very different in 1909. We were still a decade away from women gaining the right to vote and a century away from women serving at the highest levels of our legislative and executive branches of government. And in much of the country the mental health service delivery system – already segregated from the general health care system – was further segregated by race.</p> <p><strong>It is impossible to think about our history without understanding the distance we have traveled.</strong></p> <p>Today, young people still use our resources more than any other group. But it is young women – not young men – who are driving so much of our work. As a group, women have brought awareness of mental health forward in recent years. And they are challenging men to catch up.</p> <p>And today, we understand that the racist and discriminatory systems that we often took for granted through much of the last century have left an indelible mark on our society’s mental health. While all racial and ethnic groups have experienced the loneliness, financial stress, grief, loss, and worry that have characterized this past year, different population groups are experiencing these things far differently.</p> <p>How they respond is not only due to the “free” choices they make today, but also to the choices that have been made by generations of policy leaders that resulted in inequitable and discriminatory systems that limited access to affordable, appropriate, high-quality services and supports.</p> <p><strong>Still, this past year has challenged all our prior notions of “normal.”</strong></p> <p>What that has done is to draw attention our way. It is pushing more people than ever to talk about mental health. It is pushing employers to support employee mental health. It is pushing media to report on mental health. It is pushing communities to protect mental health.</p> <p>And, most importantly, it is pushing policy leaders to invest in mental health.</p> <p><strong>On this MHA birthday, we have more reason for hope.</strong></p> <p>This is because in the worst of years we can see more clearly all that needs to be done to build a better foundation for our current and future generations. And this truly has been one of the worst of years for all too many people. So, our eyes are now opened wide and we can see just how weak the foundations of our systems have been. &nbsp;</p> <p>At MHA, we have been working on changing that by building some new foundations that we hope will prove to support more equitable structures over time. And we have reason to celebrate because so many people are working together with us in realizing our vision. Together, we are looking forward to better systems and structures on the horizon. Happy birthday, MHA!</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/mental-health" hreflang="en">mental health</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/mental-health-policy" hreflang="en">mental health 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> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19221&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="UBvyiymXw4zEat7kZs-I-D78aA1zYqcSMYcDBXAEnjs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 18 Feb 2021 19:07:32 +0000 JCheang 19221 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/mental-health-america-turns-112-hopeful-birthday#comments Communities are taking the journey to mental wellbeing https://www.mhanational.org/blog/communities-are-taking-journey-mental-wellbeing <span>Communities are taking the journey to mental wellbeing</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/2021-02/pi2.jpg" alt="Students holding hands in a circle" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Wed, 02/17/2021 - 14:40</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">February 18, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Ruben Cantu and Christine Williams, The Prevention Institute</em></p> <p>Five years ago, a diverse group of community-based coalitions in neighborhoods across the country began to explore how they might better support mental health and wellbeing for boys and men of color and for military service members, veterans, and their families. These</p> <p>coalitions from cities like Honolulu, Boston, and New Orleans and rural areas in states like South</p> <p>Carolina and Nebraska began transforming their communities as part of the <a href="https://preventioninstitute.org/making-connections-backpack">Making Connections for Mental Wellbeing</a> initiative, which was facilitated by Prevention Institute and funded by Movember. The sites formed a community of practice where different groups of people facing unique challenges could share and grow together.</p> <p>At a time when communities throughout the country are experiencing intensified social isolation because of the coronavirus pandemic, the types of community-based solutions that were developed through the Making Connections initiative could provide a much-needed respite. While traditional approaches to supporting mental health focus on counseling and therapy that take place inside clinic walls, the Making Connections coalitions took on conditions in the community that put men and boys’ mental health at risk. The results have been truly inspiring.</p> <p>Young men of color became recognized as respected community leaders, successfully advocating for improvements like bike paths and community gardens. Veterans transformed how health systems and the larger community understand and support them and their families. And the men and boys who engaged in the work forged life-changing connections with one another and with their communities.</p> <p>As a young man from Making Connections in Albuquerque’s International District (MC:ID) put it: “I feel like I have more of a bond with the community now. I used to not care about it. I used to be like, ‘I can't wait to get out of here’…and now I want to make it better so the next generation doesn't have to deal with the problems like I have.”</p> <p>The Making Connections community coalitions developed a rich diversity of approaches for building community capacity and resilience, such as creating shared spaces, advocating for policy change, supporting civic and community engagement, and others. While each Making Connections site developed strategies that reflected their own priorities and strengths, a number of common currents and discoveries emerged. Below are some examples from the Making Connections community coalitions.</p> <p>To learn more about their work, take a look at the new <a href="https://preventioninstitute.org/making-connections-backpack">Making Connections Backpack</a>, a toolkit filled with strategies and lessons learned from five years of the Making Connections initiative. <strong>The backpack can serve as a guide for any organization or community that wants to create gender- and culture-relevant community-level approaches to improving mental health and well-being.</strong></p> <table border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 450px;"> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="cb2e50de-f900-44ae-8bf2-a5c20ce04418" height="302" src="/sites/default/files/pi1.png" width="404" /></p> </td> <td style="width: 285px;"> <p><strong><a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/t_GsCW6l96txDzvTKeBMZ?domain%3Dyoutube.com&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1613586558859000&amp;usg=AFQjCNF0ywG9hzZT1wt6xoXRiWZrbhH6Zw" href="https://youtu.be/UVlSkGEz9LI" target="_blank">MC:ID (Making Connections International District)</a>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>Albuquerque, New Mexico&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Vision: For young men of color in the International District to be leaders who experience social and emotional wellbeing in a safe and healthy community with access to systems that work with and for them. &nbsp;</p> <p>“MC:ID has made me a leader in my community …I'm an asset in my community and knowing that I can make change and make my community a better place.” – Youth Partner&nbsp;</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width: 450px;"> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ed4e9b6a-e9c7-4233-8e25-365894b8fc22" height="279" src="/sites/default/files/pi2.jpg" width="419" /></p> </td> <td style="width: 285px;"> <p><strong><a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/cbtqCXD09DiGOB3UktZaX?domain%3Dyoutube.com&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1613586558859000&amp;usg=AFQjCNEtiUHFoQgETud_A95P38VnAg3IuA" href="https://youtu.be/WcX3ISreES4" target="_blank">Making Connections Chicago</a>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Vision: For men and boys to thrive in their communities with a sense of belonging, ownership, and safety.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>“Being involved in Legends [of Lawndale] positively affects my health, it makes me feel good, I get to do things that are physically healthy, and I get to help out our kids. It also gives me a chance to stay connected socially to guys I really care about (the other mentors) and to pass on things I’ve learned through the years to them.” – Legends of Lawndale Mentor&nbsp;</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width: 450px;"> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f9e548ff-9497-4fa3-8e19-69a58eb865bd" height="284" src="/sites/default/files/pi3.png" width="424" /></p> </td> <td style="width: 285px;"> <p><a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/GKbeCYEn9EhgAkPCMMlnQ?domain%3Dmakingconnections.movemberprojects.com&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1613586558859000&amp;usg=AFQjCNHMGsWnAaqgmeACVX0FbPYTeYBOAw" href="https://makingconnections.movemberprojects.com/previously-funded/florence-sc/" target="_blank"><b>Making Connections Florence, South Carolina</b></a><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p>Vision:&nbsp;Sustainable spaces for belonging and community to encourage healthy and positive lifestyles among veterans and youth boys.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>“The ‘Veterans With Hope’ in itself is impacting the social wellbeing of our veterans and are not only giving them a medical home but a well-needed place for our veterans to come together to communicate how they know best, with like-minded cohorts.” -&nbsp;<a>Service Member Family Care (SMFC) Veteran Advisor (TAA)&nbsp;</a>&nbsp;</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width: 450px;"> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="829ab830-12c8-4d0b-a6e0-d0b5d5d570cc" height="316" src="/sites/default/files/pi4.png" width="476" /></p> </td> <td style="width: 285px;"> <p><a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/E6rFCZ6o96txQPyTPahjE?domain%3Dyoutube.com&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1613586558859000&amp;usg=AFQjCNH5P94C0GleKFXJzOHzm4LSZrViGA" href="https://youtu.be/jREcitpvkyg" target="_blank"><b>Kalihi Valley Instructional Bike Exchange (KVIBE), Honolulu, Hawaii</b></a><i>&nbsp;</i></p> <p>Vision:&nbsp;For every young man and boy in Kalihi to have a place where they can be loved, heal with kuyas (elder brothers), and uplift one another as change agents and community leaders.&nbsp;</p> <p>“I love how we were able to connect with one another in such a small amount of time. I also liked being able to explore the health field and understand the community I call home. I learned that you can't help people unless you get to know them first.” -Kalihi Valley youth&nbsp;</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width: 450px;"> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c214a97a-6e7b-4ed6-8dd0-8352e39870f4" height="341" src="/sites/default/files/pi5.jpg" width="512" /></p> </td> <td style="width: 285px;"> <p><a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/_fmAC1wnvwSOqnKty05ZU?domain%3Dyoutube.com&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1613586558859000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFYyuRUNyjryPCJIHO6yAyxvsFN0Q" href="https://youtu.be/tG5J5SZe_vA" target="_blank"><b>Making Connections Kankakee, Illinois</b></a><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p>Vision: Student veterans thriving with the support of their college, community, and one another.&nbsp;</p> <p>“The Veterans Center promotes camaraderie, something that is drilled into everyone that has served in any branch of the military. It has given me a renewed meaning to the phrase "No soldier is left behind or forgotten."&nbsp;-veteran and community college student&nbsp;</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width: 450px;"> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f132cca5-b8fb-43da-9c63-af0609ec7ffe" height="214" src="/sites/default/files/pi6.PNG" width="243" /></p> </td> <td style="width: 285px;"> <p><a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/GU_wC2kowkF68KAs0oZGE?domain%3Dvimeo.com&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1613586558859000&amp;usg=AFQjCNGBu3fQVwv5Izyn_8prnwbuio5Fyw" href="https://vimeo.com/412081974" target="_blank"><b>MCNOLA</b></a><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p><b>New Orleans&nbsp;</b></p> <p>Vision: To create community for boys and men of color to have better mental health and wellbeing outcomes.</p> <p>“It takes a community to come together and fix these problems.” –St. Roch neighborhood community membe</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width: 450px;"> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c54a75f7-3266-4f76-a598-f356c50e3fa9" height="162" src="/sites/default/files/pi7.PNG" width="271" /></p> </td> <td style="width: 285px;"> <p><a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/gfmuC31px1Sx27VTOEbnK?domain%3Dyoutube.com&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1613586558859000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFhEEQaIbMuA7bN5SyoD8K-7P2rRw" href="https://youtu.be/x_ZnYJr5aNc" target="_blank"><b>Oklahoma City</b></a><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p>Vision: To empower American Indian men and boys to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit.&nbsp;</p> <p>“Hope Squad works because you have a group of kids who are eager to help others. They’re trained to be the ears and eyes of their peers.” Anadarko Hope Squad member&nbsp;</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><em>Prevention Institute was founded in 1997 as the national center for developing and advancing the practice of primary prevention. We strive to shift the overarching mindset and approach to health from one that focuses solely on treating sick individuals, to one that prevents chronic conditions, violence and injury before they occur. We are building a movement to transform communities to support equity, health, and safety in the first place.</em></p> <p><em>Ruben Cantu and Christine Williams work at Prevention Institute, a national nonprofit that coordinates the&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/5RkDC4xqyxU6lYGsXfoeQ?domain%3Dpreventioninstitute.org&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1613586558859000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFaQO0GNw599KS1QlSRRCx4m2e9mw" href="https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/5RkDC4xqyxU6lYGsXfoeQ?domain=preventioninstitute.org" target="_blank">Making Connections for Mental Health Among Men and Boys</a>&nbsp;initiative.</em></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/prevention" hreflang="en">Prevention</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/mental-health" hreflang="en">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=19219&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="myl8bHlNmx4UJVI7BsTPYpkKKVdxBONDpD6jQHo5W-k"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 17 Feb 2021 19:40:47 +0000 JCheang 19219 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/communities-are-taking-journey-mental-wellbeing#comments 6 Major Takeaways from MHA’s 2020 Screening Data https://www.mhanational.org/blog/6-major-takeaways-mhas-2020-screening-data <span>6 Major Takeaways from MHA’s 2020 Screening Data</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/2021-02/pexels-keira-burton-6084481.jpg" alt="Woman in pink hijab and face mask looking over subway rails" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Fri, 02/12/2021 - 10:13</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">February 12, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Whitney Ball,&nbsp;Associate Director of Marketing and Outreach at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>It is safe to say that 2020 was quite a year! We faced a global pandemic, racial unrest, and a volatile election year, all while trying to cope with our everyday responsibilities and stresses. Our mental health did not go unscathed. Last year alone, nearly 2.5 million people <a href="https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools">completed a mental health screening on Mental Health America’s (MHA’s) website</a>, which is more than double the number of screens from 2019.&nbsp;</p> <p>The results of these screenings reveal that mental health concerns are on the rise. The MHA team has analyzed the data to understand better the crisis facing our country and the importance of focusing on mental health efforts in this new year. Below, we're sharing six significant takeaways from our 2020 screening data.&nbsp;</p> <h4>Children and Adolescents are Facing a Mental Health Crisis&nbsp;</h4> <p>With the shutdown of schools, a move to virtual learning, and isolation from peers -children, and adolescents navigated considerable change in 2020. There is no doubt that it impacted their mental health. Seventy-seven percent of those who took the <a href="https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools/youth/?ref">Youth Screen</a> on the MHA site scored at risk for emotional, attentional, or behavioral difficulties. Furthermore, 62% of all 11- to 17-year-olds experienced thoughts of suicide or self-harm on more than half the days, to nearly every day of the week. This data sheds light on the crisis facing our youth and the dire need for more support now.&nbsp;</p> <h4>Anxiety and Depression are on the rise.&nbsp;</h4> <p>The year's screening data reflects the change and unrest we faced as a country. More than a half a million people screened exhibited anxiety in 2020, and 79%&nbsp; of those were experiencing moderate to severe anxiety. Additionally, the number of people screened who had signs of depression increased dramatically. More than 2,500 people a day indicated symptoms of depression. Nearly 85% of those screened – about 800,000 people – had moderate to severe depression. We know these mental health concerns are not going away, and we must focus on getting people the support and resources they need.&nbsp;</p> <h4>There is an Increase in Psychosis Symptoms.</h4> <p>Anxiety and depression are not the sole concern facing screeners. Nearly 250,000 people seeking support took a psychosis screen in 2020 – twice as many as took one in 2019. Of those who took the screen, over 76% scored at risk for psychosis. In November and December, the proportion of people scoring at risk for psychosis reached the highest levels recorded in 2020. This was over five points higher than the percentage of people scoring at risk in 2019. The increase in psychosis highlights the need for mental health services and support across the entire spectrum.&nbsp;</p> <h4>Loneliness and isolation are significantly impacting mental health.&nbsp;</h4> <p>The mental health toll of COVID-19 cannot be ignored, particularly around loneliness and isolation. Throughout 2020, feelings of loneliness and isolation were cited by screeners as a significant reason for their mental health struggles. Among individuals who screened positive or moderate to severe for a mental health condition in 2020, 71% reported that one of the top three things contributing to their mental health concerns was loneliness or isolation. With new variants of COVID-19 threatening our country, the isolation piece seems far from over. We must continue to prioritize mental health and provide people with the resources to cope with loneliness.</p> <h4>There is an increase in people seeking help for the first time.&nbsp;</h4> <p>For many individuals, the challenges of 2020 left them dealing with mental health problems for the first time. Sixty-four percent of people who screened at risk for a mental health concern had never received treatment or support before. That was a seven-point increase from 2019. While it is good to know that people are reaching out for help rather than suffering in silence, the data highlights the need for increased resources, as the number of people dealing with mental health challenges continues to rise.&nbsp;</p> <h4>The past year has affected people's mental health unequally.&nbsp;</h4> <p>The events of 2020 had profoundly different mental health impact on racial and ethnic groups. Thirty percent of Black people seeking support – the highest percentage of any group – cited financial problems as a reason, compared to only 24% cited by the entire help-seeking population. Seventy-four percent of Hispanic/Latinx help seekers cited loneliness or isolation, compared to&nbsp; 71% of the whole screening population. Thirty-nine percent of Native American people seeking support named loss or grief versus 28% of the entire population, and 63% cited past trauma as their reason for a mental health concern, compared to 53% of the whole population. This data shows us that we cannot ignore the racial differences when discussing the mental health impact of 2020, and we need to develop supports for communities of color.&nbsp;</p> <p>2020 forced us to cope with copious amounts of change and challenges. The data tells us that mental health concerns are on the rise in our country and that so many people are searching for support. Unfortunately, our struggles do not disappear with the end of 2020. As we continue to face challenges like an ongoing global pandemic, we must focus on supporting all communities' mental health.&nbsp;</p> <p>Access the full report and 2020 data on&nbsp;<a href="https://mhanational.org/mental-health-and-covid-19-what-mha-screening-data-tells-us-about-impact-pandemic" target="_blank">MHA's website</a>&nbsp;and check in on your mental health by taking one of our 10 online, confidential&nbsp;<a href="http://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools/" target="_blank">mental health screenings</a>.&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/screening" hreflang="en">Screening</a></div> <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=19209&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="_PEO-QdoSB-R_Tmmrd8qlGsa6hPPLowYEhvC18suJyw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 12 Feb 2021 15:13:57 +0000 JCheang 19209 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/6-major-takeaways-mhas-2020-screening-data#comments Why Are Authorized Generic Drugs Crucial for Mental Health? https://www.mhanational.org/blog/why-are-authorized-generic-drugs-crucial-mental-health <span>Why Are Authorized Generic Drugs Crucial 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/2021-01/Picture4.jpg" alt="Three pills on a yellow background" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Mon, 01/11/2021 - 16:54</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">January 19, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Joe Graedon, <a href="https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/">The People’s Pharmacy</a></em></p> <p>Few health professionals are familiar with the concept of authorized generic drugs, and people receiving treatment are even less aware of this category of medications. That’s because most people have only heard of brand name medicines or their less expensive generic counterparts. But authorized generic medications represent a valuable option, especially for mental health conditions.</p> <p>Let’s take a look at three different types of medicine.</p> <p><strong>Brand Name Drugs</strong></p> <p>A brand name drug is when a pharmaceutical company develops a unique compound called an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). The manufacturer patents that product along with the process that will turn it into a pill, patch, spray, ointment or injectable. Once the clinical trials are completed that prove to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s satisfaction that the drug is “safe and effective,” the company has a finite period of time to market that medicine exclusively with no competition.</p> <p><strong>Generic Drugs</strong></p> <p>Once the patent runs out on a brand name medicine, generic drug manufacturers can create a copycat version, but they have to do this through reverse engineering. That’s because brand name companies do not have to reveal their “secret sauce” with generic drug companies. Once a company has developed a version to mirror the brand name product, it must be tested against the original brand name drug. If the generic company can demonstrate “bioequivalence,” the FDA grants approval. Bioequivalence means that the generic medication gets into the bloodstream in a similar manner to the original brand name medication.</p> <p><strong>Authorized Generic Drugs</strong></p> <p>The third category of medications that has remained under the radar for many people is authorized generic (AG) drugs. When the brand name company loses its patent on the active pharmaceutical ingredient, it can still keep the manufacturing process a secret, just as the Coca-Cola company carefully guards its own special recipe. In some cases, the brand name company makes the authorized generic on its own production lines with its original ingredients and process. In other cases, it provides the recipe to another company so that the resulting product is in fact a faithful copy of the original, but it is still considered to be an authorized generic version of the drug.</p> <p><strong>Why Should You Care About Authorized Generics?</strong></p> <p>Finding the right medication at the right dose to control mental health symptoms can be a long and difficult journey, but can often drastically improve quality of life as part of a treatment plan. While not all people will start with a brand name medication, many will, but costs can become an issue. When costs become an issue, one of the first steps typically taken is to switch to a generic version of a medication. While plenty of people will have no problem switching to a generic, others may notice that it doesn’t work as well or in some cases can experience side effects or reactions to the different ingredients (like dyes and fillers) used in generic medications.</p> <p>A woman named Kimberly reached out to The People’s Pharmacy to share her dilemma:</p> <blockquote> <p>“I have been taking [a generic benzodiazepine medication] for over two years and they had always been green. A few months back, the pharmacy started giving me blue pills. They don’t work like the others and trigger my migraines. I just found out they have corn as a filler, and I am sensitive to corn! Now what do I do?”</p> </blockquote> <p>If available, an authorized generic drug can make treatment more affordable while avoiding adverse effects or reduced effectiveness for people who have trouble with generics. My organization, The People’s Pharmacy, has heard from many individuals over the last decade that has raised concerns about generic drugs, especially in the field of mental health, so we feel it is important to raise awareness about authorized generics.</p> <p><strong>What Can Consumers Do?</strong></p> <ol> <li>If you detect differences in your reaction between a brand and generic medication, or even different types of generics for the same medication, let both your prescriber and the pharmacy know.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Get informed. Find out if your medications are available as authorized generics at <a href="http://www.authorizedgenericmedicines.org/product-finder">www.authorizedgenericmedicines.org/product-finder</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>When possible, ask both the doctor and the pharmacy for your prescription to be filled with an authorized generic (it should cost the same as a generic). Your doctor can specify a particular manufacturer.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you experience a serious adverse event, product quality problem, or difference between how medications that are supposed to be “the same” are working, let the FDA know. You can report problems through the FDA’s MedWatch program at <a href="https://www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch-fda-safety-information-and-adverse-event-reporting-program">https://www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch-fda-safety-information-and-adverse-event-reporting-program</a>.</li> </ol> <hr /> <p>Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show&nbsp;and website (www.PeoplesPharmacy.com). In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”</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/mental-health" hreflang="en">mental health</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/mental-illness" hreflang="en">mental illness</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=19185&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="UJmPqQk01Q6hJIuTpSmsw9ce_1Jrr3vdrUh1AQXw1jQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 11 Jan 2021 21:54:18 +0000 JCheang 19185 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/why-are-authorized-generic-drugs-crucial-mental-health#comments 4 Ways to Uplift Men in Employee Mental Health Programs https://www.mhanational.org/blog/4-ways-uplift-men-employee-mental-health-programs <span>4 Ways to Uplift Men in Employee Mental Health Programs</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/2021-01/chatting.png" alt="Man chatting with a coworker" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Mon, 01/11/2021 - 15:21</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">January 13, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p style="margin-right:-6px"><em>By Matt Resteghini, Chief Marketing Officer of Total Brain</em></p> <p>When it comes to dealing with stress, men <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0146167294204009">tend to focus on fixing problems</a>. A problem-focused approach to managing stress and anxiety is often successful, except when the source of the stress cannot be eliminated – think global pandemic.</p> <p>Amid the robust resurgence of COVID-19, recent findings from the <a href="http://www.totalbrain.com/mentalhealthindex">Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition</a><a href="#_edn1" name="_ednref1" title="">[i]</a> illustrates that women have been bearing the emotional brunt of COVID-19. However, brain assessments taken in August through October reveal a troubling new trend. Men’s mental health is declining. Men’s risk of depression is up 69% (154% greater risk than in February); and risk of general anxiety is up 55% (66% greater risk than in February). Between September and October, risk of PTSD went up 68%&nbsp; (74% greater risk than in February) and the ability to focus declined 20%. The data show men’s mental health risks are nearing levels not seen since the onset of the pandemic.</p> <p>According to Michael Thompson, president and CEO, National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, a Mental Health Index partner, “The impact of the pandemic on mental health is starting to even out across the gender gap. While men may have been less impacted environmentally over the last eight months, their passive approach to coping may be catching up with them as the pandemic endures.”</p> <p><a href="https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/men-and-mental-health/index.shtml#:~:text=and%20Mental%20Health-,Overview,women%20in%20the%20past%20year.">Research</a> has shown that men with mental illnesses are less likely to have received mental health treatment than women in the past year. And participation in workplace mental health and wellness programs reflects a similar reality. A <a href="https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/ebsa/researchers/analysis/health-and-welfare/workplace-wellness-programs-services-offered-participation-and-incentives-report.pdf">report</a> commissioned by the U.S. Department of Labor revealed that the higher the percentage of female employees, the more likely a company is to offer wellness programs. &nbsp;</p> <p>With men’s risk of depression alone up 154% when compared to before the pandemic, increasing efforts to engage male employees in workplace mental health initiatives have never been more critical. Here are 4 key considerations when seeking to uplift men in the mental health conversation:&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><strong>Lead: Are you leading by example? </strong></li> </ul> <p>Destigmatizing mental health among employees, especially men, is critical to ensuring the success of workplace mental health initiatives. Executives and management teams must set the tone and lead by example – participating in mental health programs and opening up about their own anxieties and stress. Leaders, especially male executives who can best address stigma related to social norms expected of men, must be willing to talk about how they are supporting their own mental health including using internal and external corporate resources.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Encourage: Do you encourage time for mental health self-care during the work week? &nbsp;</strong></li> </ul> <p>In a survey by <a href="https://www.optum.com/content/dam/optum/resources/whitePapers/100819_OptumHealth_Gender-Worksite_Engagement_Final.pdf">Optum</a>, a global pharmacy benefit manager and care services group, half of men cited work demands for their lack of participation in workplace wellness initiatives. To counterbalance this argument, encourage employees to participate in mental health self-care activities each week – a walk, an open forum, digital brain exercises, meditation. Make sure employees understand that time taken for mental health is not frowned upon.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Offer: Do you offer anonymized self-care solutions? </strong></li> </ul> <p>Men don’t want to ask for help, especially not from their boss.&nbsp; To engage men, it is important to offer self-help programs that are safe and secure and not visible to management and peers. Men are fixers. They want to fix their problems without publicly asking for help.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Use: Are your program communications materials using gender responsive language? </strong></li> </ul> <p>Social pressures and stigma to conform to gendered behavior are strong barriers for men.&nbsp; But by reframing language around your mental health program, you may find that men will respond more positively.&nbsp; Instead of focusing on mental health support and therapy, emphasize self-help, achievement and skill building. &nbsp;</p> <p>Numbers don’t lie. Data from the Mental Health Index tell an alarming story. Architects of mental health and wellness programs should evaluate their programs and see who has been excluded and include them in the planning of future programs and activities. An internal audit of mental health and wellness programs should also include other marginalized identities in the workplace, such as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ+ individuals. Removing barriers is essential to decreasing healthcare costs and absenteeism and increasing employee job satisfaction, productivity and performance in this era of COVID-19 and well beyond.</p> <p>For more information about the U.S. Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition visit <a href="http://www.totalbrain.com/mentalhealthindex">here</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/resteghini.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 0px 15px 15px 0px;" width="100" />Matt Resteghini is the chief marketing officer of <a href="http://www.totalbrain.com">Total Brain</a>, a <a name="_Hlk46848671">mental health and brain performance self-monitoring&nbsp;and self-care platform.</a>&nbsp; Resteghini previously served as SVP of Marketing at Monster, a Randstad Digital Ventures company.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <hr size="1" /> <div id="edn1"> <p><a href="#_ednref1" name="_edn1" style="float:left;align:left;" title="">[i]</a> The Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition by Total Brain contains data drawn from a weekly randomized sample of 500 working Americans taken from a larger universe of Total Brain users. They include workers from all walks of life and regions, job levels, occupations, industries and types of organizations (public vs. private). Assessment questions are identical to Total Brain’s standard assessments.</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/mens-mental-health" hreflang="en">men&#039;s 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=19184&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="CQyz80SBHwc9exOL8UiFa-dnQf2h3FY_P__q8ymZsB4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 11 Jan 2021 20:21:39 +0000 JCheang 19184 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/4-ways-uplift-men-employee-mental-health-programs#comments Mental Health America’s Holiday Gift Guide https://www.mhanational.org/blog/mental-health-americas-holiday-gift-guide <span>Mental Health America’s Holiday Gift Guide</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/2020-12/pexels-pixabay-17796.jpg" alt="Colorful gifts in a pile" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Fri, 12/11/2020 - 15:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">December 11, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Whitney Ball, Outreach and Marketing Manager at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>The holiday season is in full swing, which means many of us are on the hunt for the perfect gifts for friends and loved ones. We want to make it a little easier, so we have pulled together a gift guide featuring some of our most popular online <a href="https://store.mhanational.org/">MHA Store</a> items! We think you will find something for everyone on your list. Every purchase helps support our public education and awareness efforts. Score some awesome gifts and support an important cause without having to leave your couch.</p> <p><img align="left" alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="8aa6a0e0-4e83-46c6-949b-3d127958f30c" height="139" src="/sites/default/files/MHA%20pet%20tag.jpg" style="padding: 10px; float: left" width="139" /><strong>For the animal lover</strong></p> <p>If you are searching for the perfect gift for the person who is always sharing photos of their pet on social media, look no further. Our <a href="https://store.mhanational.org/collections/accessories-and-extras/products/mha-pet-tag">Mental Health Pet Tag</a> is the ideal thing to grab. Help them acknowledge all the support and love their animal has provided during this challenging year - because snuggles really do help with struggles.</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="607c3cec-5483-4162-8426-7f5e4e641be9" src="/sites/default/files/kids%20shart.png" style="padding: 10px; float: left" width="139" /><strong>For the young mental health advocate&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>The <a href="https://store.mhanational.org/collections/shirts-and-other-clothing/products/mental-health-advocate-in-training-kids-shirt">Mental Health Advocate in Training Shirt</a> is a must for the young mental health activist on your list! The bright green color makes it a fun addition to any wardrobe, and it can help inspire them to keep fighting for change. When gifting, make sure to share that the shirt's purchase helps support MHA's advocacy efforts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c955ecaa-296b-44e9-a5e9-133dbf03224b" src="/sites/default/files/computer%20with%20stickers.jpg" style="padding: 10px; float: left" width="139" /><strong>For the technology enthusiast</strong></p> <p>If you are wondering what to get the person who is always on their phone or laptop, we recommend you check out our <a href="https://store.mhanational.org/collections/stickers-and-magnets">sticker collection</a>. They make a fun addition to any tech gear, and they provide important mental health reminders. With lots of options, there is a sticker for everyone.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="b3f0e145-1c18-46e4-ae05-31e6849f7abf" src="/sites/default/files/Hate%20is%20not%20a%20mental%20illness-%20shirt.jpg" style="padding: 10px; float: left" width="139" /><strong>For the dedicated activist</strong></p> <p>Check out our <a href="https://store.mhanational.org/collections/shirts-and-other-clothing/products/hate-is-not-a-mental-illness-shirt">Hate is Not a Mental Illness Shirt</a> for anyone on your list who is ready to make a statement. This shirt was created after too many people continued to use mental illness as a scapegoat for violence, and it is sure to be a favorite for any fellow activist.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="11a85a0f-7037-4ccf-9ba1-f49acaef3293" src="/sites/default/files/Bell%20Bracelet-jewelry.png" style="padding: 10px; float: left" width="139" /><strong>For the fashionista</strong></p> <p>Our <a href="https://store.mhanational.org/collections/accessories-and-extras/products/bell-bracelet">Bell Bracelet</a> and <a href="https://store.mhanational.org/collections/accessories-and-extras/products/pura-vida-bracelet">Pura Vida Bracelet</a> make the perfect gift for the trendy mental health advocate. They add a fun flair to any outfit, and they serve as reminders that it is ok to fight mental health challenges in the open.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If you still are not seeing the perfect gift for your friend or loved one, have no fear! We have many more options in our online store. Whether it's our <a href="https://store.mhanational.org/collections/shirts-and-other-clothing/products/mh-definition-shirt">Mental Health Definition Shirt</a> or our <a href="https://store.mhanational.org/collections/pins-and-buttons/products/fight-in-the-open-pin">Fight in the Open Pin</a>, we are sure you can find something everyone will love. You can also shop our <a href="https://shop.idontmind.com/">I Don't Mind store</a> for even more options. Most of our items are only available directly through us, so you can score something unique while also supporting an important cause. That is a win-win!</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/mental-wellness" hreflang="en">mental 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=19166&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="_7RJ302P9XxV1R8dwD3FdyZMzzhOVc2uW9PGz3CBmIo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 11 Dec 2020 20:28:25 +0000 JCheang 19166 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/mental-health-americas-holiday-gift-guide#comments