Boundaries are identified as rules or limits that we establish to protect our security and wellbeing around others. We have to identify and express to ourselves and others these boundaries to help us feel safe and secure. Boundaries help create an environment for everyone to be themselves and meet their needs (Coppock, 2021).  

Benefits of Healthy Boundaries 

  • Conserve Emotional Energy: Setting and implementing boundaries will help you conserve your emotional energy and put you in a better mental state.  
  • More Independence and Self-Esteem: Emotional and physical boundaries will help develop autonomy and independence. Maintaining assertiveness about your boundaries will help boost your self-esteem.  
  • Better Relationships: Having the ability to create and maintain boundaries can increase respect in relationships. Relationships with your partner, family, and friends will improve by setting healthy boundaries.  

Examples of Boundaries  

  • Saying “no” without feeling guilt 
  • Taking responsibility for your actions and emotions 
  • Feeling supported by your loved ones 
  • Not feeling responsible for other people’s emotions 
  • Stating physical boundaries 

Four Tips for Practicing Healthy Boundaries 

  1. Be assertive.  

You are using assertive language to state and maintain your boundaries. Assertive language is clear and non-negotiable.  

  1. Learn to say “no.” 

Become comfortable with saying “no” and understand that you can say no without an explanation required. Learning to say “no” is a great way to maintain assertiveness.  

  1. Safeguard your space.  

Set physical and emotional boundaries and communicate these boundaries to your friends and family. Explain your emotions to your friends and family if these boundaries were to be broken.  

  1. Get support if needed.  

If you are struggling with creating and implementing boundaries, reach out to someone you trust or get professional help with creating and establishing these boundaries (Owen, 2021).  


Coppock, M. J. (2021, October 6). 8 tips on setting boundaries for your mental health – DBSA. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Retrieved December 20, 2021, from

Owen, M. (2021). Creating and Maintaining Healthy Boundaries. Naomi-Wake. Retrieved 2021, from

December 3rd is International Day of People with Disabilities. This is celebrated to recognize and value the diversity of our community and to better understand and learn from the experience of those living with a disability (International Day, 2020)

According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, disability is defined by a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (2021). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that a disability is considered a limit to everyday functions, such as but not limited to walking, hearing, concentration, remembering, or decision making (2020). 

In the United States, 1 in 4 adults have a disability this is an average of 61 million individuals. These adults are 5x as likely to experience frequent mental health distress (CDC, 2021). 

The prevalence of youth with disabilities in the United States is 1 in 10 youth. These youth with disabilities has an increased risk for mental health distress as well (Youth, 2021). 

Mental distress is defined as experiencing 14 or more unhealthy days within a 30-day time period. Frequent mental distress is often associated with poor health behaviors, mental disorders, chronic disease, and limitations in everyday life (CDC, 2021). 

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health state the following as some of the benefits to mental health services for those with disabilities (CDC, 2021).

∙      Learning and applying knowledge

∙      Managing tasks and demands

∙      Managing domestic life

∙      Establishing and managing interpersonal relationships and interactions

∙      Engaging in major life areas (education, employment, managing money/finances)

∙      Engaging in community, social, and civic life 

The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities provide the following services to help individuals improve mental health and daily life function (2021).

·      Assessment and recovery plan: Identify recovery goals

·      Physician services: Provide medication management

·      Nursing services: Monitor health issues

·      Community Support: Skill building and accessing resources within the community

·      Individual, family, and group therapy: Allows individuals the space to discuss their concerns and find solutions

·      Psychosocial rehabilitation: Help teach skills, such as illness management, daily living skills, money management, and obtaining resources 


Disabilities | (2021). Youth.Gov. Retrieved November 22, 2021, from 

International Day of People With Disabilities. (2020, October 12). International Day of People with Disabilities | About the Movement. Retrieved November 22, 2021, from 

Mental Health for All. (2020, November 30). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved November 22, 2021, from 

Mental health for adults. Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. (2021). Retrieved November 24, 2021, from

People with Disabilities | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2021b). National Alliance on Mental Illness. Retrieved November 22, 2021, from

The mental, emotional, and physiological effects of completed suicide can adversely affect many but especially those closest to the individual who completed suicide. Suicide survivors are classified as people who have lost someone they had a close social relationship with when they were alive. Survivors of suicide are at an increased risk for struggling with mental health problems such as depression. Statistics show that survivors of suicide are 1.9 times more likely to develop Major Depressive Disorder and 1.7 times more likely to attempt suicide themselves.

This indicates that increased support is needed for individuals who have lost someone they were close to through a completed suicide. Mental health services such as individual counseling and client support specialist services offered by Georgia HOPE can help a survivor of suicide. It can help them work through their trauma of losing a loved one to completed suicide as well as receive knowledge of coping skills they can utilize when experiencing negative emotions such as sadness, anger, anxiety, etc. The support offered by these services can be beneficial to improving the mental health of those who have experienced a loss due to suicide. 



Kindness builds connection and connection builds community, and with community comes togetherness, which turns to community perseverance. Togetherness is such a great protector of a community’s overall mental health. How do we get there in a society that is so individualized and separate from one another in real time? We start with being bold, intentional, and kind. One popular way that has swept America is to participate in a random act of kindness. This is where a person does something intentionally nice for somebody else, even a stranger, without expecting anything in return. Doing so makes the giver and the recipient feel good and forms a type of connection between the two that didn’t exist prior. This connection can then encourage the recipient to become the giver, and voila!  a pattern of kindness is established in the community. 

Why does kindness matter? Because it builds connection with others by increasing oxytocin, which can lead to increased energy, happiness, even an increased lifespan (Make Kindness the Norm). The kindness cycle keeps going, because when we are kind, it sparks chemicals in our brain, such as pleasure and feel-good chemicals that encourages us to keep going and encourages others to keep going, too. These moments of positive interactions and increase in feel-good brain chemicals serve as protective factors against mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, and even physical ailments such as pain and high blood pressure (Make Kindness the Norm). Kindness matters, because many people have been hurt in relationship with others, and we heal in relationship with others through positive interactions. 

What can you do today to support kindness and togetherness in your community? 


Make Kindness The Norm. (n.d.). Retrieved from


At this moment, there are 1,501,680 people in Georgia experiencing food insecurity and there are 9,499 people experiencing homelessness in Georgia (About Hunger and Homelessness). Food insecurity means that a person does not have access “to an adequate supply of nutritious, affordable food” (About Hunger and Homelessness). Homelessness means that a person does not have a home of their own. When thinking of people who are experiencing homelessness, some often think of people staying outside or in shelters, but people can also be considered homeless, if they are “couch surfing” or staying in a hotel/motel. Food, water, and shelter are our most basic necessities that make a huge impact on our overall wellbeing. They impact us physically and mentally. Food insecurity and homelessness are correlated with poor health and mental illness. In fact, 20% of the homeless population in America report having a mental illness, with 16% reporting “substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, or heart disease” (About Hunger and Homelessness). 

People experiencing food insecurity or homelessness make difficult decisions everyday regarding basic needs. The stress of these daily decisions can negatively impact mental health by increasing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Food insecurity and homelessness can also present as barriers to accessing adequate medical and mental health care. For example, choosing to pay rent or utilities over purchasing medical care or groceries. A lack of adequate nutrition and healthy coping can lead to maladaptive coping and survival mechanisms. Some people may begin to self-medicate with substances to cope with untreated mental or physical health issues or just daily stress. Some people may also turn to risky behaviors to try to meet their needs. This can become a cycle that leads to barriers of other basic needs, such as transportation, occupation, and socialization. 

A person can experience food insecurity or homelessness for many reasons, but there is a way to help overcome and that is together. If you or someone you know is experiencing food insecurity or homelessness, help is available. We can offer case management and support services to aid with accessing community resources and affordable housing, financial literacy, skills for employment, and healthy coping skills, as well as psychiatric and counseling services for people experiencing substance use or mental illness. 

Children also experience food insecurity and homelessness and their related stress. They may have an increase in physical illness, behavior problems, and difficulty in school, as well as experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Georgia HOPE can support children experiencing these difficulties by providing skills building to increase communication and social skills or coping skills, therapy to aid the child in understanding their emotions and how to regulate themselves, and psychiatric care to address further needs regarding mental health care. We can also support the child and caregiver by advocating and providing educational support by partnering with their school, if needed. 

Together we can aid in overcoming these barriers to increase overall wellbeing and quality of life. 


About Hunger and Homelessness: Move for Hunger. (n.d.).

Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) was launched nationwide in October 1987 as a way to connect and unite individuals and organizations working on domestic violence issues while raising awareness for those issues. Over the past 30+ years, much progress has been made to support domestic violence victims and survivors, to hold abusers accountable, and to create and update legislation to further those goals. 

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner and 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner.

Anyone can be an abuser. They come from all groups, all cultures, all religions, all economic levels, and all backgrounds. They can be your neighbor, your pastor, your friend, your child’s teacher, a relative, a coworker — anyone. One study found 90% of abusers do not have criminal records and abusers are generally law-abiding outside the home. 

What Traits Do Abusers Have in Common?

There is no one typical, detectable personality of an abuser. However, they do often display common characteristics. 

  • An abuser often denies the existence or minimizes the seriousness of the violence and its effect on the victim and other family members.
  • An abuser objectifies the victim and often sees them as their property or sexual objects.
  • An abuser has low self-esteem and feels powerless and ineffective in the world. He or she may appear successful, but internally, they feel inadequate.
  • An abuser externalizes the causes of their behavior. They blame their violence on circumstances such as stress, their partner’s behavior, a “bad day,” on alcohol, drugs, or other factors.
  • An abuser may be pleasant and charming between periods of violence and is often seen as a “nice person” to others outside the relationship. 

What Are the “Warning Signs” of an Abuser?

Red flags and warning signs of an abuser include but are not limited to:

  • Extreme jealousy
  • Possessiveness
  • Unpredictability
  • A bad temper
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Verbal abuse
  • Extremely controlling behavior
  • Antiquated beliefs about roles of women and men in relationships
  • Forced sex or disregard of their partner’s unwillingness to have sex
  • Sabotage of birth control methods or refusal to honor agreed upon methods
  • Blaming the victim for anything bad that happens
  • Sabotage or obstruction of the victim’s ability to work or attend school
  • Controls all the finances
  • Abuse of other family members, children or pets
  • Accusations of the victim flirting with others or having an affair
  • Control of what the victim wears and how they act
  • Demeaning the victim either privately or publicly
  • Embarrassment or humiliation of the victim in front of others
  • Harassment of the victim at work

It’s important to know the signs and seek help! You are not in this alone.

For anonymous, confidential help available 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) now.


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


ADHD Overview

What is ADHD? Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) effects 11% of children and is characterized by struggles with inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These issues with attention and focus can perpetuate other concerns such as poor school or job performance, depression, substance abuse, stress, relationship problems, and delinquency.

Early identification is essential to proper treatment of ADHD which is why knowing the symptoms is imperative. Some of the symptoms include not listening, struggling with following instructions, easily distracted, fidgeting, interrupting others, and difficulty waiting. These symptoms can also vary in severity from mild, moderate, to severe depending on how much the symptoms impact a client’s daily functioning.

For children diagnosed with ADHD, more than 75% of them will experience issues as they develop into adulthood. Early intervention is accomplished by understanding ADHD and receiving treatment through mental health services (such as services offered by Georgia HOPE) which are preventative measures that allows individuals experiencing issues with ADHD to lead successful lives.


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


Grief (Pregnancy and Infant Loss)

Everyone grieves differently and in their own way. Grief is a difficult emotion and the healing process can take time, especially when it comes to grieving our loved ones such as losing an infant before or after birth.

Grief can be overwhelming and you can experience a multitude of other emotions such as anger, sadness, depression, or guilt. You can also experience somatic symptoms such as stomach aches, susceptibility to getting colds, and trouble concentrating on tasks. Healing from one’s death, especially a baby’s, can look like a different process for women, men, and children but supporting one another’s grieving process is essential as well as reaching out for help. There are several resources available that can help provide support to women, men, and children struggling with grief including grief after the loss of an infant.

A medical provider can help individuals find treatment, a social worker can help provide support with bills and expenses, and a grief counselor can help an individual work through their grief. While these services can provide support, it is also important for you to engage in self-care especially when recovering from pregnancy. Self-care can include eating regularly with plenty of vegetables and protein, exercising daily, and sleeping for eight hours at night. Grief can largely affect mental health which is why it is so important to reach out for help!


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.


Mental Health Awareness

As a society, we have become more accepting of mental health and placed higher importance of taking care of our mental health. To effectively and appropriately care for our mental health, we must have mental health awareness which includes understanding mental health, warning signs, and wellness.

Mental health is emotional, social and psychological well-being, but an individual’s wellbeing can be negatively affected by factors such as family history of mental health struggles, life experiences (such as trauma) and biological contributions. When experiencing these adverse factors that negatively impact mental health, you will experience warning signs that alert you of mental health problems.

Warning signs include isolating yourself from others, decreased motivation to complete tasks, over or under eating or sleeping, feeling hopeless or numb, increased conflict with friends and family, mood swings, and thoughts of suicide or self-harm. If you are experiencing these warning signs, there are steps you can take to promote a positive well-being. These steps include receiving professional help from a counselor, exercise, reaching out for support from friends and family, utilizing coping skills, and engaging in self-care such as getting eight hours of sleep.

Being aware of your mental health including warning signs of mental health problems allows you to engage in wellness and preventative activities to promote positive well-being. 


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.


Voices of Georgia’s Chilren report the number of children who visited the emergency room for reasons related to suicide doubled between 2008-2018. Voices of Georgia’s Children also report 77,878 students from sixth grade to twelfth grade considered committing suicide in 2019.61,978 students reported harming themselves. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death behind unintentional injury for children ages 10-17 in Georgia. 

What leads to suicide?

There is no single cause of suicide. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many to feel isolated and alone. Suicide may be caused by untreated mental health disorders, anxiety, traumatic events, and substance use.Suicide may also be caused by feelings of hopelessness and despair. Other risk factors include previous history of suicide attempts, environment, bullying, stressful life events, access to lethal means such as firearms or drugs, and sensationalized accounts of suicide.

Warning Signs

Suicide warning signs  include a change behavior, giving away items, sudden social engagement, sudden isolation, constant talk about committing suicide, and increased use substances such as drugs or alcohol. Other warning signs include a change in mood. This may appear as depression, irritability, agitation, loss of interest, anger, humiliation and shame. 

How can you help?

Talking with someone who is considering suicide is not easy. Asking about suicidal thoughts or feelings won’t push someone into doing something self-destructive. In fact, offering an opportunity to talk about feelings may reduce the risk of acting on suicidal feelings.You can ask direct questions such as: “are you thinking about ending your life”, or “do you have access to lethal weapons or substances.” It is important to use supportive language such as “how can I help you” instead of making the person feel ashamed for having those feelings. You can provide the Suicide Hotline number 1-800-273-8255 or dial 911 in an emergency situation. Please don’t try to handle the situation alone, reach out to a professional individual that can provide adequate help and ensure the safety of the individual.

Source: Georgia Voices of Children