Nori-Lynn Truscott

  • What is your role at HCA+Georgia HOPE?
    • I work as a therapist and group facilitator as part of the Accountability Court team.  I also provide therapy services for a few adult DFCS clients. 

  • Tell us what led you to HCA+GH? 
    • When I first moved to Georgia in 2018 I posted on a Georgia therapist list-serv that I was new to the area and gave a description of the type of work I was hoping to find.  Someone currently working at Turning Point (now HCA) saw my post and invited me to come in for an interview—as they say the rest is history!

  • How do you encourage a client about the importance of self-care that doesn’t have any self-care habits?
    • As a therapist I know the importance of true self-care both for myself and my clients.   I also know that many people see self-care as being “selfish” and a big no-no for a lot of us.  I’m big on metaphors so I may talk about what you should do if you are on a flight with children and the oxygen masks drop—whose do you put on first?  Many clients are surprised that they have to put their own mask on first—but when I ask them to think about why most will realize that if they pass out they can’t help their children.  Once that is understood people tend to be more open to creating a self-care routine that will help them reach their personal goals as well as be the best parent or partner they can be

  • What do you enjoy most about your role at HCA+GH? 
    • Being a therapist is not just a job for me—it my way of giving back.  This is a second career that I began at an age most people are thinking seriously about retiring.   I believe providing help where help is so deeply needed (even if not always wanted!) is a way to help make the world a better and safer place for all of us.

Self-care is a wonderful way to promote mental wellness and a healthier relationship with oneself. Self-care can mean many different things, and may look different for everyone. There are eight different categories of self-care: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, personal, environmental, financial, and work/school/caregiving. (, 2022)

Examples of each category of self-care include:


-sleep or rest

-stretching, walking, or exercise that feels good

-keeping medical appointments

-eating healthy

-getting fresh air


-journaling or talking it out

-stress management 

-making art

-listening to music 




-time with others

-healthy boundaries 

-balancing alone and social time

-positive social media

-asking for help



-prayer or meditation




-listening to yourself


-treating yourself

-trying something new

-getting to know yourself



-stability and security

-cleaning and organizing

-comfy space


-money management/budgeting


-seeking help if needed

-“fun” money

-paying bills


-time management

-feeling productive and valued

-learning and developing skills

-break time


July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. This aims to bring awareness to the unique struggles that racial and ethnic minorities communities face in regards to mental health in the United States. Some of these struggles include: less access to higher-level mental health care, discrimination/racism, more vulnerability to being uninsured, less access to culturally competent service providers, language/communication barriers, fear or mistrust of treatment, socioeconomic status, and reduced access to mental health services (Mays, V., et al, 2017)

Why is it important to break the stigma of mental health for minority communities in mental health? Stigmatization can cause a major impact on mental health. This harmful experience can cause stress, trauma, grief, and other negative emotions that may express themselves in negative mental health outcomes. 

How to contribute to raising awareness and combating stigmatization:

-Bring awareness to the use of stigmatizing language around mental illness

-Educate friends, family, and colleagues about the unique challenges of mental illness 

within minority groups

-Become aware of your own attitudes and beliefs towards minority communities to reduce negative assumptions

-Know the facts and educate yourself

-Consider donating or volunteering at local organizations geared towards the breakdown of stigmatization of mental health 


Mays, V. (2017) Perceived discrimination in healthcare and mental health/substance abuse treatment among Blacks, Latinos, and Whites.

Racial/ethnic, gender, and sexual minorities often suffer from poor mental health outcomes due to multiple factors including: inaccessibility of high-quality mental health care, cultural stigma surrounding mental health care, discrimination, and lack of awareness on mental health. (American Psychiatric Association, 2022)

Additional barriers for minorities include:

-Different cultural perceptions about mental illness and well-being

-Racism and discrimination

-Being more vulnerable to being uninsured

-Cultural differences in help-seeking behaviors

-Language or communication barriers 

-Fear and mistrust of treatment

Often times, service providers may apply the same cultural lens to minorities as they do to non-minorities which can limit mutual understanding, result in inaccurate diagnoses, and hurt rapport building and trust. 

The following graphics showcase some of these disparities (Simmons University)

How do we address this issue?

-Greater emphasis on culturally competent services

-Increase awareness of and combat sigma surrounding mental illness in minority 


-Increase research efforts that examine relationships between minorities and mental health services

-Create and support more programs that focus on improving culturally competent services

References & Resources

American Psychiatric Association,

Simmons University,

How we approach relationships as adults has much to do with what our childhood relationships looked like with parents, or primary caregivers. According to the Attachment Theory by John Bowlby, there are four attachment styles: secure, avoidant, anxious, and anxious-avoidant with the secure attachment style being the healthiest and, typically, most successful. 

Signs of a secure attachment style in childhood include:

-Demonstrating distress when separated from parent/caregiver but can be calmed down.

-Showing relief or joy when reunited with parent/caregiver

-Allowing the caregiver to console them when under distress

-Exploring their environment and taking risks, feeling comforted by knowing their caregiver will be there to support them. 

Signs of a secure attachment style in adults include:

-Being able to self-regulate emotions 

-Being able to cope with feeling or being alone

-Communicating and expressing when support is needed or emotional connection is 


-Working through challenging times in a relationship proactively

-Knowing when to end a relationship or set boundaries when people they care about are emotionally unavailable

How to foster a secure attachment style in childhood and adulthood:


-Set routines and help child experience predictability 

-Healthily express a range of emotions and illustrate the importance of feelings 

-Encourage child to talk about emotions and feelings 

-Set obtainable expectations to help build self-esteem

-Keep their word and follow through with what they say they will do 

-Self-regulate their own emotions


-Actively work on relationship with yourself

-Purge toxic or counterproductive relationships 

-Build your self-esteem

-Healthily express your emotions

-Work on healing past negative experiences in therapy

Khayla Smallwood

Therapist and Team Lead for Region 3

What is your role at Georgia HOPE?

I am a Therapist and Team Lead for Region 3

What led you to Georgia HOPE?

Georgia Hope has well-rounded services with the collaboration of skill-building, therapy, and medical services. I wanted something that gave clients the most support.

How would you help a client that is processing the loss of a family member?

When processing grief with clients I try to keep three things in mind: be sure that I meet the client where they are, provide resources because grief continues after the session, and remove all expectations because all feelings and responses are valid.

What do you enjoy most about your role at GH?  

My clients are always my why, but my Region has been so supportive and it feels like a family. I love work environments that are so healthy that they don’t feel like work!

Community violence has been recognized as a major public health problem impacting both youth and adults. Some studies show that between 50% and 96% of urban youth have witnessed some type of community violence in their lifetime. Exposure to community violence is associated with a variety of emotional and behavioral problems including: PTSD, anxiety, depression, internalizing symptoms, suicidal behaviors, antisocial behavior, social withdrawal, substance use, and academic problems.

What is community violence? Community violence is the violence that happens between unrelated individuals, generally outside the home. Some examples of community violence can be:



-Fights among groups

Ways we can prevent community violence:

-Changing social norms through street outreach/violence interruption programs 

-Changing the physical environment through Crime Prevention organizations

-Preventing future risk and lessening the harms of violence exposure through hospital- community partnerships

-Strengthening economic support through job training and job programs

-Connecting youth to caring adults and activities such as mentorships

Ways to cope with community violence:

Know the facts. Do not get caught up in rumors!

Minimize media. Its okay to take a step back from the news for a mental and/or emotional break. Reading or watching the news too much can make you feel worse. 

Make a plan with loved ones. Talk with friends and family about what to do in case of an emergency. Having a plan can help you feel more at ease and in control. 

Distract yourself. Do things that you can control like working, exercise, socializing with f riends/family, etc.

-Be healthy. Stress can affect your health, so take care of your body with adequate meals, exercise and sleep!

By: Megan Eckles

What is PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is triggered by a traumatic event through experience or witnessing (Mayo Clinic, 2022).

In the DSM-5 there is a distinction between PTSD in those 6 years of age and up, and those under the age of 6.

Experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, does not meant that a person will automatically develop PTSD. 

What does PTSD look like?

  • Adults-NAMI (2022) notes that PTSD characterized generally by 3 categories:
    • Re-experiencing type symptoms- which can include flashback, intrusive thoughts, and bad dreams
    • Cognitive and mood symptoms- issues with recalling the evet and/or negative thoughts about self
    • Arousal symptoms- the state of hypervigilance or exaggerated responses
  • Children 
    • According to Stanford Children’s Heath (2022), children and teens with PTSD feel a lot of emotional and physical distress when exposed to situations that remind them of the traumatic event. Some may relive the trauma repeatedly.
  • Children (under the age of 6)
    • Re-enacting the event 
    • Nightmares about the event


Treatment for PTSD is similar for both adults and children

  • Psychotherapy
    • Cognitive therapy 
    • Exposure therapy
    • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Medication 
    • Antidepressants
    • Anti-anxiety medication

Seeking help with PTSD symptoms as soon as possible is helpful for both client and family. 

When someone you know has PTSD:

  • Be aware and learn more about PTSD
  • Notice symptoms and warning signs, such as withdrawal or suicidal thinking 
  • Seek personal help or therapy 
  • Have a safe place if a loved one becomes abusive or violent 


By: Hailey Robertson

In the United States, 1 in 5 adults experience a mental health problem each year ( The top 3 mental health diagnosis in men are Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Substance Use Disorder. 


  • Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. (
  • Over 6 million men suffer from depression each year. Men typically experience symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, loss of interest in work, rather than feelings of sadness or worthlessness. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that occurs following witnessing or experiencing a terrifying event (
  • According to the VA, six out of every 10 men experience at least one traumatic event in their lives. PTSD can develop weeks, months, or even years after the experience. 
  • Trauma related accidents are more likely to occur in men than women.

Substance Use Disorder: 

  • Substance Use Disorder is characterized by excessive use of psychoactive drugs, such as alcohol, pain medications, or illegal drugs. It can lead to physical, social, or emotional harm.
  • According to the CDC, men are twice as likely to binge drink than women. 
  • One in 5 men develop alcohol dependency during their lifetime. This results in men having a higher rate of alcohol-related deaths. 

Resources for help: 

  • Psychiatry: A psychiatrist can allow you to get the medications needed to treat your disorder. 
  • Therapy: A therapist can allow you to process your diagnoses and receive techniques available to use for treatment  
  • Support: A Client Support Specialist can allow you to build skills needed to help reduce the effects of your disorder 

Resources & References

By: Megan Eckles

According to NAMI (2022) LGBTQI stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex. This community of people make up a wide range of gender identification and sexual orientation. 

The Facts:

  • Those in the LGBTQI community are twice more likely to experience a mental health condition, compared to that of heterosexuals
  • According to a 2013 survey, 40% of LGBTQI adults have experienced rejection from a family member or a close friend (NAMI, 2022). 
  • A 2019 school climate survey showed that 86% of LGBTQI youth reported being harassed or assaulted at school, which can significantly impact their mental health (NAMI, 2022).
  • High school students who identify as LGBTQI are four times more likely to attempt suicide compared to peers who identify as heterosexual.
  • 40% of adults who identify as transgender have attempted suicide, compared to the 5% of the general US population.

How can you help?

  • The Trevor Project- this program offers 5 key programs to help fight against suicide in the LGBTQI community. The programs include:
    • Crisis Services 
    • Peer Support
    • Research
    • Public Education 
    • Advocacy
  • SAIGE (Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities)- is a division of the American Counseling Association, that strives to educate and help those in the LGBTQI community. They offer courses and certifications for mental health professionals. 

Hotline Numbers 

  • LGBT National Hotline- 888-843-4564 Provides confidential peer support, information, local resources and more, for all ages.
  • LGBT National Youth Talkine- 800-246-7743 Provides youth with confidential peer support, information, local resources and more, for callers though age 25. 
  • LGBT National Senior Hotline- 888-234-7243 Provides senior callers, ages 50+ confidential peer support, information, local resources and more.