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.
A chronic disease characterized by uncontrolled drinking and preoccupation with alcohol.
Symptoms include a strong need or urge to use alcohol. Those with alcohol use disorder may have problems controlling their drinking, continue to use alcohol even when it causes problems, or have withdrawal symptoms when they rapidly decrease or stop drinking.
What can be done to prevent alcohol misuse?
Parents and guardians play an important role in giving kids a better understanding of the impact that alcohol can have on their lives. Not only are conversations important, but it is equally important for guardians to know the risk and protective factors for adolescent alcohol use and misuse. Check out the free resources on the SAMHSA website for parents. https://www.samhsa.gov/underage-drinking/parent-resources and https://www.samhsa.gov/prevention-week
It is also important for all adults to understand safe drinking behaviors. NIAAA defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking alcohol that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 percent – or 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter – or higher. For a typical adult, this pattern corresponds to consuming 5 or more drinks (male), or 4 or more drinks (female), in about 2 hours. SAMHSA defines heavy alcohol use as binge drinking on 5 or more days in the past month. Knowing U.S. standard drink (or alcoholic drink-equivalent) sizes and the number of drinks per container can help you make informed decisions about your drinking. You’ll be able to: count drinks more accurately, pace yourself better, and stay within low-risk drinking levels. Check out these two websites to better understand your drinking patterns and learn all about standard drinks. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinkinghttps://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/Tools/Calculators/drink-size-calculator.aspx
Alcohol consumption has increased significantly since the onset of the pandemic, most notably from stress, anxiety and isolation. Research has found that binge drinking, especially among women, has increased. Initially, Covid-19 restrictions prevented people from attending counseling and 12-step meetings; however, both are now extremely prevalent via telehealth and online platforms. Most U.S. States deemed liquor stores as “essential businesses” which sent the message to Americans that drinking alcohol is an essential coping mechanism. It is important for people to know how they can relieve stress without alcohol and develop healthy coping strategies such as: going for a walk, reading a book, doing a project around the house, establishing a social support, having a spiritual practice, and developing a healthy routine of adequate sleep, eating nutritious meals and getting exercise. (source: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/more-americans-are-binge-drinking-during-pandemic-how-to-cope-without-alcohol)
If you or a loved one has alcohol use disorder, treatment is essential.
Treatment involves counseling, such as behavioral therapy, and medications that reduce the desire to drink. Some people need medical detoxification to stop drinking safely. Mutual support groups help people stop drinking, manage relapses and cope with necessary lifestyle changes.
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Adjustment disorders are characterized by mild to moderate impairment and can often be felt as depression and/ or anxiety, feeling hopeless, crying, worrying also more physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach aches. In children and adolescents these symptoms can also include acting out, being more clingy and more irritable moods. This commonly occurs within 3 months of a stressor like losing a job, moving, getting married, divorce, having a baby etc. This disorder usually lasts no longer than about 6 months once the stressor has ceased.
When should I seek treatment?
When symptoms last longer than 6 months and/or your symptoms become more problematic and debilitating such as longer lasting depression and anxiety not enjoying things that you used to like doing and isolating more it is time to seek services such as therapy and possible medication. Please seek immediate help if you are feeling suicidal.
HOPE is Here
If you’re struggling with adjustment disorders or would like to refer someone you know, we’d love to speak to you further. HOPE is here. Contact us today.
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Despite being a high-risk group for depression, a lot of older adults find it hard to ask for help from their loved ones. This is especially troubling, as the older adult age group is seeing rising suicide rates. The reason why so many older adults succumb to depression is that many still believe the stigma surrounding depression and are afraid of burdening their families with their condition. For this reason alone, caregivers looking after older adults need to do all they can to help their loved ones understand that depression is anormal part of life and aging.
In this post, we’ll discuss how you can help older adults who are suffering from depression.
Be Quick to Recognize the Symptoms
It can be difficult to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression in older adults because they may be different from what we usually see in younger folks. For instance, some older adults who suffer from depression don’t have sadness as their main symptom. Instead, they may exhibit less obvious symptoms such as loss of focus or a sudden disinterest in hobbies. Another reason why it can be hard to determine if an older loved one has depression is that it can sometimes look like other prevalent conditions in the age group such as Alzheimer’s disease. In order to help an older adult gain a better grasp over their depression, you should be aware of the common signs and symptoms such as:
Feelings of despair or sadness
Feelings of inadequacy
Irregular sleeping patterns
Chronic fatigue and demotivation
Forgoing basic self-care
Encourage Them to Seek Professional Help
The core concept of depression prevents a person from wanting or being able to seek help, as this condition impacts their self-esteem and drains their energy. As such, one of your main goals when helping an loved one deal with their condition should be to encourage them to seek treatment and open up to mental health professionals. But as we’ve mentioned, a great deal of stigma is associated with mental health issues, making it difficult to convince a loved one to seek help. Thankfully, there are a myriad of mental health professionals who can help your loved one manage their depression. For one, you can employ the services of a local counselor. Counselors are tasked with helping individuals explore their feelings, acknowledge them, and eventually accept them. In addition, counselors can also help older adults find healthy coping mechanisms and self-care techniques.
You can also approach nurses who specialize in mental health to help them come to terms with their depression. As an increasingly popular career in the nursing field, nursing specialists who focus on mental health can assess, diagnose mental health disorders, and recommend necessary treatments. There are also some gerontology-focused nurses who, on top of assisting them with mental health care, can also help them cope with Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, and more. You can find them in hospitals, hospice centers, and extended-care facilities.
Support Them as Much as You Can
You should do whatever you can to show an older loved one that you’re willing to go through this process with them. There are many ways to show your support. For example, simply showing that you’re willing to listen can help raise their spirits. Always remember to avoid judgmental responses and thank them for being open with you. In addition, ensuring that they stick to their treatment plan is also another way to show support. Older adults may have difficulty remembering to take their medications and keeping their appointments, so take it upon yourself to remind them whenever you can.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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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:
Tension headaches or body pain
High blood pressure
Loss of sleep
Ways to Cope
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.
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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
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
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