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.

Did you know that May is maternal mental health awareness month?

This month-long campaign is an effort to bring to light the mental health changes that new mothers can experience before, during, and especially after giving birth!

Most people know that some moms can experience “the baby blues” right after welcoming their new bundles of joy. The symptoms can include mood swings, crying spells, and trouble sleeping which typically start around three days postpartum and last about two weeks. However, sometimes, the symptoms can be more severe and long-lasting ranging from depression, anxiety, and even psychosis.

New moms and those that care and work with them should be aware of symptoms that can include difficulty bonding with the baby, fatigue, anger, hopelessness, panic attacks, and thoughts of self-harm or harm to others. If you know someone experiencing these symptoms or similar ones, please encourage them to seek help. Please spread the word and help us end the stigma surrounding postpartum mental health and this incorrect idea that postpartum symptoms make for bad mothers. It is a common occurrence which can be treated with therapy and/or medication. 

HOPE IS HERE

If you’re struggling with postpartum depression, anxiety or “baby blues” or would like to refer someone you know, 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.

What is stress?

A physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation

3 Types of Stress

Eustress: bursts of energy that helps get things done; loss of car keys

Distress: Occurs for short time, takes over life, causes disruption

Traumatic Stress: Result of catastrophic event; change in reality and beliefs

What stress looks like:

Emotionally

  • Anxiety/Fear
  • Overwhelmed with sadness
  • Angry
  • Too much or not enough energy
  • Disconnected; not caring about anything or anyone
  • Numb

Physically

  • Stomach aches/diarrhea
  • Headaches or other physical pains for no reason
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Sweating; having chills
  • Tremors or muscle twitches
  • Jumpy; easily startled

Behaviorally

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Increase or decrease in activity levels
  • Frequent crying
  • Using alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs or prescription medication
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Trouble remembering things
  • Lack of concentration
  • Feeling confused
  • Worrying a lot 
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Difficulty listening to others

Tools

  • Brief Relaxation Techniques throughout the workday
  • Stay aware of limitations and needs (set boundaries)
  • Take appropriate self-care measures (take moments for yourself)
  • Increase positive activities (take a walk outside, journal, etc.)
  • Connect with others
  • Practice religious faith, philosophy, or spirituality
  • Spend time with family and friends
  • Learn to “put away” stress
  • Writing, drawing, painting
  • Limit caffeine, tobacco, and substance use
  • Stay informed, but limit media exposure; even social media

Know when to seek help

  • Engaging in risky behavior
  • When symptoms last longer than 4 weeks or become severe
  • Thoughts of harming self or others

Information provided by DBHDD

HOPE is Here

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

Consistently performing healthy behaviors to start your day can create an overall calmer morning and improve mental health. Establishing routines filled with healthy habits can help you move more efficiently while using less mental energy, which decreases stress and anxiety. If you don’t already have a clear morning routine set into place, try following this list to start 2021 off right. 

  1. Be Prepared 

In order to start the day with a healthy morning routine, you should prepare the night before. Your nighttime routine will play a role in how well you sleep based on factors like sleep hygiene and environment, but it will also help you to be prepared for the next day as it can decrease stress, over-thinking, and worry, which keep you awake at night. 

Before going to bed, prepare the items you plan to use in the morning. For example, lay out your clothes, make sure bags are packed, and set-up coffee and meals. This will allow you to sleep soundly and be prepared for the day ahead. 

If it makes you feel even more secure, keep a check-list on your bedside table to remind you of the things you should accomplish before bed and when you wake up. 

  1. Wake Up To Light  

Rising with the sun increases wakefulness as exposure to bright light decreases morning grogginess. If possible, leave your blinds open while you sleep so you can get maximum exposure to sunlight in the morning. 

If that’s not an option, consider using a smart light, which gently wakes you with a custom Sunrise Alarm that supports healthy cortisol levels and allows you to create a positive mood at any time with a selection of soothing sounds and lights. This can be especially helpful in the winter months when it’s dark more often and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is more common. 

  1. Avoid Technology 

Technology should be avoided first thing in the morning. Although electronics are extremely useful in many ways, they can be harmful to your well-being if used too often. 

Electronic devices emanate blue light, which is a high-energy visible (HEV) light that can cause eye and mental health complications. Therefore, if you use electronic devices early in the morning they can cause headaches, lack of concentration, or distract you from completing your morning routine. Social media has been proven to add to anxiety and depression, which is all the more reason to reduce time on electronic devices in your morning routine

If you prefer to use devices early in the morning, there are ways you can protect yourself from the blue light they emit. 

  1. Use the Night Shift mode on your devices to alter the screen brightness and temperature, which can decrease the amount and harshness of the blue light that comes from screens. Night Shift uses the clock and geolocation of your device to determine when the sun is rising in your location, so it can automatically adjust your screen temperature. 
  1. Protect your eyes more directly with a pair of blue light glasses, which filter out harmful blue light while still letting in the more natural light from your screens. Wearing these glasses throughout the entire day will further protect your eyes and prevent devices from disrupting your sleep patterns and causing disorientation if you use them frequently. 

By combining the Night Shift mode with the blue light glasses, very little blue light will penetrate your retinas and you will be mentally healthier and happier. 

A morning routine can help individuals set themselves up for better mental health throughout the day. Create your morning routine based on your specific needs and activities. Not everyone will have the same routine—it’s about what works best for you and your mental health. 

As always, HOPE is here.

Georgia HOPE specializes in providing quality mental health and recovery services for in the state of Georgia. To learn more, enroll, or refer someone to us, contact us below:

Is it stress? Is it anxiety? Is it both?

Anxiety generally is internal, meaning it’s your reaction to stress. Usually it involves a persistent feeling of uneasiness or dread that doesn’t go away, and that interferes with how you live your life. It is constant, even if there is no immediate threat.

Stress generally is a response to an external cause, such as interviewing for a new job or arguing with a friend. It goes away once the situation is resolved. It can be positive or negative. For example, it may inspire you to study for a test, or it may cause you to lose sleep.

Both stress and anxiety can affect your mind and body. You may experience symptoms such as:

  • Excessive worry
  • Apprehension
  • Tension headaches or body pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of sleep

Ways to Cope

  • Eat healthy
  • Exercise or do some sort of physical activity
  • Create a sleep routine to get regular sleep
  • Avoid excess caffeine and alcohol
  • Identify and challenge your negative thoughts
  • Keep a journal or download a relaxation / mediation app
  • Reach out to friends and family
  • Speak to a professional

HOPE is Here

If you’re struggling to cope or the symptoms of your stress or anxiety begin to interfere with your everyday life, it may be time to talk to a professional. We’d love to speak to you further and find something that works for you. HOPE is here. Contact us today.

2020 is behind us but we have a long road ahead.

Did you know?

1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 

Source: NAMI

According to NIMH, research shows that only half of those with mental illness receive care each year.

These numbers are BEFORE the pandemic.

According to the CDC, during June 2020 amidst COVID-19, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use.

A new CDC report finds that children’s visits to emergency departments for mental health concerns have been higher than usual this year, possibly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The proportion of such visits was up 24% among those ages 5-11 and 31% among adolescents aged 12-17, compared to the same period last year.

A new study also shows 20% of Covid-19 patients developed mental illness within 90 Days.

The call to action to get help for mental illnesses is greater now than ever before. The effects of this pandemic are far reaching, and we are seeing it in actual data and proof.

Take care of your mental health

You may experience increased stress during this pandemic as well as your children. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Get the right help for you and your family.

Mental health is an important part of overall health and wellness. It affects how we think, feel, and act. Mental health plays a big role in how we handle stress, relationships and emergencies.

People with pre-existing mental health conditions or substance use disorders may be particularly vulnerable in an emergency or pandemic.  Mental health conditions (such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia) affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood or behavior in a way that affect how to function each day. These conditions may be situational (short-term) or long-lasting (chronic).

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to stress during the COVID-19 pandemic can depend on your background, your social support from family or friends, your financial situation, your health and emotional background, the community you live in, and many other factors. The changes that can happen because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways we try to contain the spread of the virus can affect anyone. Taking care of your family is important, but it should be balanced with care for yourself.

If you think you have new mental health conditions or worse symptoms, get help today.

Please see a list of helpful resources below for you and your family. We’re all in this together. #HOPEisHere

RESOURCES

For Everyone

For Communities

For Families and Children

For People at Higher Risk for Serious Illness

For Healthcare Workers and First Responders

For Other Workers

For Veterans / Military 

  • https://journeypure.com/locations/military-program/

Selected Resources for Coping with Loss

Selected Resources for Children and Parents

How to Get Help

Get immediate help in a crisis

Find a health care provider or treatment for substance use disorder and mental health

Suicide

Georgia HOPE Contact Information