Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, was created in honor of Bebe Moore Campbell. Campbell became an advocate of mental health for minorities after being diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Campbell fought to bring attention to the lack of access to mental health care facilities  and other resources by minorities. Campbell also fought to end the stigma of mental health disorders in the African American community. Campbell lost her battle to cancer in 2006. 

In 2008, the US House of Representatives designated July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, which is now known as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. This resolution promotes improved access to mental health treatment and services and to promote public awareness of mental illness. 

According to the Office of Minority Health within the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, roughly two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek treatment. Minority racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. are even less likely to get help when struggling with a mental illness (souce: https://www.ncdhhs.gov)

Multicultural communities often face unique issues when receiving care for mental health. Barriers to treatment include discrimination, lack of access of health coverage, and cultural stigmas surrounding mental health. 

While there have been improvements in healthcare for minorities, we still have a long road ahead of us. How can we bridge the gap? It starts with educating ourselves on the needs of our communities. Informed discussions can help combat the stigma of mental health issues that minorities are faced with. 

HOPE IS HERE

If you’re struggling with mental health issues or would like to refer someone you know, we’d love to speak to you further. HOPE is here. Contact us today.

We live in a very high-pace and competitive world.  Most individuals wear various “hats” that carry with them any number of high-stress, task-oriented obligations. It is not surprising that so many of us deal with worry, stress and anxiety that result in burn out, fatigue and lower productivity.  Add the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that continues to cause uncertainty and fear in our world today.  It is understandable that more individuals than ever need to feel psychological and emotional relief.

According to Google, searches for “self-care” have increased since 2015. In fact, one author reported a 250% increase in self-care searches during the pandemic year of 2020 and into 2021.  Self-care is the intentional act of taking care of yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. It includes everything related to staying physically healthy, including hygiene, nutrition, and seeking medical and mental health care when needed. It is all the steps an individual can take to manage stressors in their life and take care of their own health and well-being. Self- care is a tangible goal that everyone can control, personalize and cultivate.  

Self-care is anything that helps you feel nourished. Self- care is yours to explore and develop based on what helps you thrive and grow!  Taking a trip, spending time alone or with family, exercising, engaging in mindfulness exercises, spending time in the outdoors, and so on, are all examples of self-care. Self-care requires you to check in with yourself and truly ask “how am I feeling”? It is important to recognize when you need to take a break from work or other responsibilities. Self-care does not have to cost a thing.  It can be something as simple as stepping outside, taking a breath or going for a walk. 

Engaging in self-care can be difficult. It is easy to put the needs of others before yourself. Many in the medical and mental health fields found themselves in high demand and giving of themselves to meet other’s needs at a greater capacity than ever before. Teachers were adapting to virtual classrooms and engaging their students in a way they had never done in the past.  Students were trying to learn from home, away from friends, teachers and coaches. Parents found themselves working from home with their children home or trying to find childcare so they could work and still provide the basic needs for their family.  Finding time for self-care became a challenge and many found themselves battling mental health and emotional needs they were not expecting. 

Through these challenges, one thing is clear, we must engage in self-care in order to maintain wellness and continue to be there for the people who need and depend on us. In order to do this effectively, we must take care of ourselves.  It is not optional.   Reduced stress levels, improved health, increased productivity and higher self-esteem are all benefits of self-care.  The practice of self-care also increases positive thinking, improves sleep, and reduces other emotional or physical needs. Remember you cannot pour from an empty cup. As you open yourself up to self-care, what it is, and the importance of it, strive to reconnect with yourself and what you really want out of your life.  Make self-care a priority and a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. 

(https://professionalbeauty.co.uk/site/newsdetails/searches-for-self-care-soar-during-covid-19).  

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Disorder is a disorder in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event.The condition may last months or years, with triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions.According to the American Psychiatric Association, PTSD has been known by many names in the past, such as “shell shock” during the years of World War I and “combat fatigue” after World War II, but PTSD does not just happen to combat veterans.

Who is affected by PTSD?

 According to the American Psychiatric Association,PTSD can occur in all people, of any ethnicity, nationality or culture, and at any age. PTSD affects approximately 3.5 percent of U.S. adults every year, and an estimated one in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime. Women are twice as likely as men to have PTSD. Three ethnic groups:U.S. Latinos, African Americans, and American Indians  are disproportionately affected and have higher rates of PTSD than non-Latino whites.

What are signs and symptoms of PTSD?

Symptoms of PTSD fall into four categories: intrusion, avoidance, changes in mood and changes in reactivity. Someone with PTSD may experience intrusive thoughts about the incident or event. The person may feel as if they are reliving the event again. This person may also avoid talking about the event or avoid experiencing reminders such as people, places or activities. This person may also experience a host of emotions such as anger, sadness, confusion or feel anxious. Rapid changes in mood and reactivity include anger outbursts, irritability and engaging in reckless behavior.

Treatment of PTSD

If you believe that you or someone you know is experiencing PTSD, it is important to receive a formal diagnosis.Psychotherapy and medication if needed, are the two most common ways to treat PTSD. Trauma-focused Psychotherapies are the most highly recommended type of treatment for PTSD. “Trauma-focused” means that the treatment focuses on the memory of the traumatic event or its meaning.It is important to work with your therapist or physician to develop a realistic plan to improve your symptoms, increase your self-esteem and to develop healthy coping skills. 

If you are experiencing a crisis or suicidal thoughts please contact the Crisis Hotline 200-273-8255. Remember that you do not have to go through this alone.

HOPE IS HERE

If you’re struggling with PTSD or would like to refer someone you know, we’d love to speak to you further. HOPE is here. Contact us today.

June is Men’s Mental Health awareness month. So what do we know about men’s mental health? There are 151,781,326 Million men in the U.S of these 6 million suffer from mental illness. Five major mental health illnesses seen in men are depression, anxiety, bipolar depression, psychosis and schizophrenia. 

Suicide is the highest in males over 85 and was the 7th leading cause (2.2%) of all male deaths in 2011. Gay males are at an increased risk of attempts especially before the age of 25. Four times as many men as women die by suicide. In 2010 there were 38,364 and over ¾ or 79% of males died by suicide. 

1 in 5 men suffer from alcohol dependance, homosexual men have higher rates of substance use than heterosexual men and male veterans experience twice as much substance use as women. 

One possible cause of depression, stress and moods wings in males is low testosterone. Studies show that testosterone levels begin to drop around the age of 30 in men. Getting your check ups can help determine if this could be the cause of some of your mental health symptoms.

Men are less likely to seek mental health treatment because of social norms, reluctance to talk and downplaying symptoms. It is important that men seek mental health treatment when needed you are not weak it is okay to ask for help that is a sign of strength. Men carry a lot of pressure on them caring for the family worrying about bills their careers etc. Having someone to talk to can go a long way to help your mental health as well as physical health. 

HOPE IS HERE

If you’re struggling with mental health or would like to refer someone you know, we’d love to speak to you further. HOPE is here. Contact us today.


Happy June — Happy Pride Month! This month, let’s celebrate the impact lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals have had on American history and culture. Mental healthcare providers are uniquely positioned to combat the stigma these and many other communities face. Pride month helps us remember to have hard conversations about the mental health needs of sexual and gender minorities. LGBTQ youth have higher rates of depression, anxiety, suicidality, and substance abuse rooted in trauma and an over lack of acceptance by loved ones and/or society.

Pride Month began with the Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, NY, which was the tipping point of the gay liberation movement in the United States. This year, Georgia HOPE is proud to turn attention to diversity in sexual and gender identities. We will learn affirming practices to use and create space to discuss or ask questions. Let’s start by getting updated on the communities that celebrate Pride Month. The graphic below is not complete; there are other sexual and gender identities/expressions to be added.

Here are some resources to encourage our collective learning during this Pride Month:

  • The Gay BCs of LGBT+: An Accompaniment to the ABCs of LGBT by Ashley Mardell

·         Link to resources on current legislation surrounding lgbt+ issues

·         State-by-state and nation-wide

·         An educational resource that provides extensive sex education that is not required or taught in the public schools

·         The primary target audience is children, but it can also be used by adults to learn about sex ed. In particular, the site provides information on how to teach/talk about these topics such as healthy relationships, puberty, sexual orientation, and gender identity, etc. with children. 

·         Provides “bias-free” language when referring to people of different racial (and some ethnic) backgrounds

Stay tuned for our monthly EDI Training on affirmative practices in working with LGBTQ populations! Feel free to reach out with questions.

HOPE IS HERE

For more info and educational resources on the LGBTQ community, we’d love to speak to you further. HOPE is here. Contact us today.

One out of eight people deal will mental health symptoms in the United States. However, mental health is still stigmatized in popular culture. May is mental health awareness month and we are working hard to bring attention to and educate the public about mental health.

This month, please help us in our endeavors by doing the following:

  1. Educate yourself and loved ones about what mental health truly looks like. In the TV and media, people with mental health diagnoses are often portrayed as “evil, deranged, or helpless”. The reality is that people with mental health issues are far more often likely to be the victim of a violent crime than the aggressor and have steady incomes and fruitful personal lives.
  2. Use person-centered language when discussing mental health. Individuals are so much more complex and varied than their diagnoses. Individuals with schizophrenia are more than “schizos” or “crazies”. 
  3. Call your local politicians. Mental health still needs advocates to ask for support for and to create new resources in our communities to address mental health. 
  4. Share your story. Make mental health something that is talked about with friends and families. Help bring mental health into the forefront of our wellness initiatives by sharing your experiences to help others feel less alone. 

HOPE IS HERE

If you’re struggling with mental health or would like to refer someone you know, we’d love to speak to you further. HOPE is here. Contact us today.

 Child Abuse Prevention  

According to the Children’s Bureau 2019 Maltreatment Report, approximately 2 million children received prevention services in 2019. Approximately 1.3 million children received post-response services (such as family preservation, family support, or foster care) because of needs discovered during an investigation or alternative response.

During Federal fiscal year 2019, fewer than one-quarter (22.9 percent) of confirmed maltreatment victims were removed from their homes because of an investigation or alternative response. Child maltreatment has significantly increased since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

At least 1 out 7 children is a victim of child abuse. The COVID-19 pandemic brought isolation for families across the state of Georgia. This makes it harder for people to recognize and report child neglect.The Georgia Division of Family and Child Services reports the number of child neglect and abuse reports dropped significantly when the pandemic began.  Unfortunately due to the pandemic child abuse may go unreported. Now, the numbers are starting to go back up.

What are the signs to look for?

According to the Child Welfare, signs of child abuse or neglect may include: withdrawal from friends or usual activities,changes in behavior such as aggression, anger, hostility or hyperactivity or changes in school performance. Children may show signs of depression, anxiety or unusual fears, or a sudden loss of self-confidence.An apparent lack of supervision.Frequent absences from school. It is also important to recognize that some children may not exhibit any of these signs, if they are being coached by their parents or guardian. 

How can you help? 

When reporting child abuse or neglect remember that it is not your job to investigate before reporting.If you suspect child abuse or neglect, you can make a report to your local Department of Family and Children Services office. You can make a report via phone, email, online or by fax. To make a report by phone you can call Centralized Intake at 1-855-422-4453. A report can be made 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. To make a report online you can email the completed Mandated Report attached to CPSIntake@DHS.GA.GOV. You will receive an auto-reply stating that the CPS report has been received. You can fax the completed Mandated Report to 229-317-9663. Faxed reports convert to a PDF (Adobe) format and are automatically forwarded to the CPSIntake@DHS.GA.GOV e-mail box.If you are a mandated reporter, you may also submit a child abuse referral online by visiting https://cps.dhs.ga.gov/Main/Default.aspx.

HOPE is Here

If you know someone who is struggling with child abuse and would like to refer someone you know, we’d love to speak to you further. HOPE is here. Contact us today.

suicide resources

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, anxiety and depression are rising. There are many concerns being raised about what is being called the “shadow pandemic,” a mental health crisis caused from the Coronavirus pandemic, and suicide rates are on the rise. But together, there is HOPE.

Suicide is Preventable: Ask, Listen & Tell.

Statistics

In the state of Georgia 1 person dies by suicide every 6 hours (State Fact Sheets, 2019).

In 2017, in America:

  • 47,000 died by suicide
  • 1.4 million attempted suicide
  • 3.2 million made a plan
  • 10.6 million adults thought about suicide (Preventing Suicide, 2019)

Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native and non-Hispanic White populations are more likely to die by suicide (Preventing Suicide, 2019). Middle-aged White males are more likely to complete suicide (Suicide Statistics, 2019). More than half of all suicide deaths occur by firearm (Suicide Statistics, 2019). Veterans and military personnel, as well as construction workers and people in the arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media field experience disproportionate suicide rates (Preventing Suicide, 2019).

warning signs

Warning Signs

  • Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves
  • Talking about feeling empty, hopeless, or having no reason to live
  • Making a plan or looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching for lethal methods online, stockpiling pills, or buying a gun
  • Talking about great guilt or shame
  • Talking about feeling trapped or feeling that there are no solutions
  • Feeling unbearable pain (emotional pain or physical pain)
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Using alcohol or drugs more often
  • Acting anxious or agitated
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Changing eating and/or sleeping habits
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Taking great risks that could lead to death, such as driving extremely fast
  • Talking or thinking about death often
  • Displaying extreme mood swings, suddenly changing from very sad to very calm or happy
  • Giving away important possessions
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family
  • Putting affairs in order, making a will (Suicide Prevention, 2019)

cope

How to Cope

  • Talk with a friend or family member
  • Put away firearms, sharp objects, medications, drugs and alcohol, car keys, or any other lethal means
  • Eat a meal
  • Go for a walk or exercise
  • Take a nap
  • Do a chore

help

How to Help

  • Foster a safe environment for open dialogue about suicide
  • Reduce access to lethal means
  • Ask how you can support them
  • Provide a referral to appropriate care (mental health professional, doctor, emergency care)

Resources Available

As a reminder, you never have to suffer alone. There are resources available for you.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Georgia Crisis & Access Line: 1-800-715-4225

GMHCN Warm Line: 888-945-1414

CARES: 844-326-5400, Call or Text 8:30AM-11:00PM for Substance Use Crisis Text Line: 741-741

Georgia HOPE

  • Call: 706-279-0405 Ext. 149
  • Text: 706-847-4871
  • Email: info@gahope.org
  • Visit: GaHOPE.org
  • Contact Us Online

American Foundation for Suicide Preventions: https://afsp.org/

Suicide Prevention Resource Center: https://www.sprc.org/populations

#HOPEisHere

 

References:

  • Preventing Suicide. (2019, September 5). Retrieved April 1, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/fastfact.html
  • State Fact Sheets. (2019, October 11). Retrieved April 3, 2020, from https://afsp.org/about-suicide/state-fact-sheets/#Georgia
  • Suicide Prevention. (2019, July). Retrieved April 2, 2020, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml
  • Suicide Statistics. (2019, April 16). Retrieved April 3, 2020, from https://afsp.org/about-suicide/ suicide-statistics/

June is LGBT awareness month, and we wanted to take the time to highlight the mental health needs of our LGBT community. When referencing LGBT we are referring to a community consisting of individuals identifying as “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.” According to the US Institute of Medicine this also refers to a broad coalition of groups that are diverse with respect to gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. It is important as a society to understand the potential mental health struggles of our LGBT community members as awareness is the first step to positive change. 

Here are some quick facts about youth members of our LGBT community: 

  • Transgender youth are much more likely than their non-transgender peers to experience depression – nearly 4x the risk (Reisner 2015 study)
  • LGBTQ teens experience more depression symptoms than their hetero peers (Marshal 2011)
  • In a 2016 – 2017 survey from Human Rights Campaign (HRC), 28% of LGBTQ youth (including 40% of transgender youth) said they felt depressed most or all of the time during the last 30 days.   Compare that to only 12% of non-LGBTQ youth (HRC Foundation 2017)
  • 60% of LGBQ youth reported being so sad or hopeless they stopped doing some of their usual activities (Kann 2016)
  • LGBQ youth are more than TWICE as likely to feel suicidal and over 4x as likely to attempt suicide compared to hetero youth (Kann 2016). According to one study, 1/3 or transgender youth have seriously considered suicide and 1 in 5  has made an attempt  (Reisner 2015)
  • A 2014 study found that LGBQ people who live in communities with more stigmatizing attitudes about their sexual orientation die an average of 12 years earlier than LGBQ people in least-prejudiced communities (Hatzenbuehler 2014)

Although these may be some hard facts to digest, there are several protective factors to be aware of that can increase the possibility of positive outcomes.   Some of these include: 

  • Ensure strong family bonds and increased support from caring adults. It has been documented that youth with affirming families report higher levels of self-esteem. 
  • Environmental support such as (positive school climate – anti-bullying policies) neutral office climates with a concentration on making a safe place for all. 
  • Social support- having the opportunity to connect with others who value diverse beliefs and can exercise empathy and compassion for the experience of another. 
  • Coping strategies- can be a wide range of tools to aid in coping with anxieties, depression and self-doubt should they arise. (mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing). Professional counseling support in gaining some of these tools can be a large asset. 

ANYONE can support another in their use of coping strategies.  Adults who work with members of the LGBT community – counselors, teachers, health professionals – can make it clear that their office is a safe space for youth. 

One of Georgia HOPE’s core values is “Acting for the whole.” We honor individuals of all diversities. We want to emphasize the month of June for our friends who are part of the LGBT community. 

Some further mental health resources to check out: 

  • NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI encourages LGBTQ people to take care of their mental health and offers help with locating mental health care providers, and tips on how to talk to a therapist.
  • Mental Health America works locally and nationally to raise awareness about mental health and ensures that those at-risk for mental illnesses and related disorders receive proper, timely and effective treatment. MHA offers unique educational materials created specifically for the LGBTQ audience.
  • The Trevor Project is a multimedia support network for LGBTQ youth providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
  • The Association of LGBTQ Psychiatrists works within the APA to influence policies relevant to the lesbian and gay community, collaborates with other organizations of gay and lesbian physicians and mental health professionals, and provides referral services for lesbian and gay patients. They offer a list of helpful links to individual and community resources.
  • The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization. They have called for “open, honest discussions about mental health with young people, a key step to reducing stigma and empowering them to seek help and support when needed.”

Want to Talk?

If you’re struggling with any mental health issues, you don’t have to go through this alone. Georgia HOPE has virtual, online programs available for everyone, so that you can get the support that you need. Please contact us here.

We are currently providing Mental Health and Substance Use services throughout the state of Georgia via TeleMental Health. We offer self-pay options as well as insurance coverage.

If you, or someone you know, are interested in services, you can submit a referral online to us to start the first steps or call us at 706-279-0405.If you’re interested in learning more about our services, please contact us here.

#HOPEisHere

If you’re interested, here’s a list of ways/tips to support and help LGBTQ-owned small businesses: https://www.finimpact.com/support-lgbtq-owned-small-businesses/

References:

At Georgia HOPE, our goal every day is to create HOPE for everyone.  In 2015, Georgia HOPE became one of the first behavioral health providers in the nation to be recognized as a Patient-Centered Specialty Practice. This means that we are committed to serving the whole person. When an individual enters services with us, we begin communicating with their primary care provider to ensure that we understand how their mental health may be impacting their physical health, and vice versa. It truly does take a village. #MentalHealthMatters

Whether you’re a current client, new here, school partner, or community partner, we’re thankful to have you here! We HOPE to be able to provide you with the services that you need.

What Services Are Available?

TeleTherapy allows us to provide individual or family therapy services through a HIPAA compliant online platform in any private setting. Anywhere that you can access the internet, you can access our teletherapy services.

  • Mental Health Assessment
  • Substance Abuse Assessment
  • Individual & Family Counseling
  • Drug and Alcohol Addiction Counseling and Recovery Services
  • Eating Disorder Counseling
  • Anxiety and Depression Counseling
  • Postpartum Depression Counseling
  • Group Counseling
  • Psychiatric and Nurse Services
  • Peer Support Services
  • Psychiatric Assessments
  • Medication Evaluation & Management
  • Case Management
  • Skill Building/CSI
  • Resource Linkage
  • Parent Skills Training

Community Groups / Group Therapy allows us to offer community groups / group therapy through a HIPAA compliant secure online platform.

  • Adult Groups: For example- Women’s Prenatal & Postpartum, Health Relationships, Wellness Skills & Life Skills, and More
  • Children Groups: For Example – Self Esteem Building for Teen Girls, Anger Management, Emotional & Social Skills, and More
  • For the full list, click here.

Who Can Get Services at Georgia HOPE or Refer Others to Services?

Individuals and Families

Georgia HOPE offers mental health, substance use, and recovery services for:

  • Adults
  • Children
  • Teens
  • Couples
  • Families

Community Partners

Georgia HOPE works with community partners to connect others to mental health, substance use or family preservation services.

  • Mental Health Assessment
  • Substance Abuse Assessment
  • Individual & Family Counseling
  • Group Counseling
  • Psychiatric and Nurse Services
  • Peer Support Services
  • Psychiatric Assessments
  • Medication Evaluation & Management
  • Case Management
  • Skill Building/CSI
  • Resource Linkage
  • Parent Skills Training

School Partners

Georgia HOPE works with schools in the state of Georgia to connect school families and parents, staff, teachers, and students to mental health, substance use or family preservation services.

  • Diagnostic Assessment
  • Community Support & Resource Linkage
  • 24/7 Crisis Protocol & Support
  • Individual & Family Therapy
  • Family Training
  • Group Therapy & Training
  • Client Support Services
  • Psychiatric Care
  • Nursing Services
  • Medication Management
  • Case Management
  • Assistance with Obtaining Medicaid
  • Consultation with Teachers
  • Classroom Observation
  • Universal Prevention Initiatives
  • School & County Wide Trainings
  • Camp HOPE!

How Can You Pay for Services at Georgia HOPE?

We accept Medicaid, Amerigroup, Wellcare, Peachstate/Cenpatico, CareSource, DFCS Service Authorizations, and offer very affordable self pay rates.

What Are the Next Steps?

For more information, to take the next steps or to speak to someone directly, contact us here.