Make time for summer learning - even 15 to 30 minutes of reading several times a week can help students maintain the skills they learned in school.
Mental Health MonthEach year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, NAMI and the rest of the country are raising awareness of mental health. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.
In 2018, NAMI will promote the theme of "CureStigma" throughout all awareness events, including Mental Health Month.
Why this cause is important: One in 5 Americans is affected by mental health conditions. Stigma is toxic to their mental health because it creates an environment of shame, fear and silence that prevents many people from seeking help and treatment. The perception of mental illness won’t change unless we act to change it.
Campaign manifesto: There’s a virus spreading across America. It harms the 1 in 5 Americans affected by mental health conditions. It shames them into silence. It prevents them from seeking help. And in some cases, it takes lives. What virus are we talking about? It’s stigma. Stigma against people with mental health conditions. But there’s good news. Stigma is 100% curable. Compassion, empathy and understanding are the antidote. Your voice can spread the cure.
Join NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Together we can #CureStigma.
Medical identity theft is increasing at an alarming rate. Theft of your medical identify can be more profitable for criminals than the theft of a credit card.
The National Institute of Health reported "Medical identity theft negatively affects healthcare consumers, providers, and payers. At the consumer level, healthcare and financial problems resulting from medical identity theft can have devastating effects. A healthcare consumer whose medical identity is linked with another individual's medical information could encounter life-threatening experiences as a result of receiving inappropriate medications or treatment. Consumers may suffer financial consequences when healthcare services provided to the fraudulent individual are billed to the medical identity theft victim or the victim's insurance carrier."
For your protection, in January, the Counseling Center will begin using photographs to check our patients' identity. The photographs will be part of the Electronic Health Record, used for identification purposes and considered confidential Protected Health Information.
Be sure to read and understand your insurance statements. Check to be sure your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance company or Medicare matches the dates, procedures and providers for the treatment and service you have received.
For more information on Medical Identity Theft:
5 Ways to Prevent Medical Identity Theft
Understanding and Preventing Provider Medical Identity Theft
Report identity theft and get a recovery plan
Medical Identity Theft
Parents have a lot on their plate: mortgage payments, healthcare, caring for elderly parents, raising kids, just to name a few. As the new school year approaches, they face additional stressors — paying for back-to-school supplies, clothes and possibly tuition. Many parents may also be worried about their children starting a new school, changing school districts, facing a more rigorous academic year or dealing with difficult social situations. Often the fear of the unknown — classmates, teachers, the school building — is the most stressful for family members, whether it’s the children hopping on the school bus or their parents who have to wave goodbye.
“The end of summer and the beginning of a new school year can be a stressful time for parents and children,” says psychologist Lynn Bufka, PhD. “While trying to manage work and the household, parents can sometimes overlook their children’s feelings of nervousness or anxiety as school begins. Working with your children to build resilience and manage their emotions can be beneficial for the psychological health of the whole family.”
Fortunately, children are extremely capable of coping with change and parents can help them in the process by providing a setting that fosters resilience and encourages them to share and express their feelings about returning to school.
APA offers the following back-to-school tips:
Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. But people experience symptoms of mental illnesses differently—and some engage in potentially dangerous or risky behaviors to avoid or cover up symptoms of a potential mental health problem.
Sometimes people—especially young people—struggling with mental health concerns develop habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or could be signs of mental health problems themselves. Activities like compulsive sex, recreational drug use, obsessive internet use, excessive spending, or disordered exercise patterns can all be behaviors that can disrupt someone’s mental health and potentially lead them down a path towards crisis.
This May is Mental Health Month; The Counseling Center is raising awareness of Risky Business (#riskybusiness). The campaign is meant to educate and inform individuals dealing with a mental health concern understand that some behaviors and habits can be detrimental to recovery—or even mask a deeper issue—but that seeking help is nothing to be ashamed of. Take the interactive quiz at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/whatstoofar and tell us when you think behaviors or habits go from being acceptable to unhealthy.
The Counseling Center wants everyone to know that mental illnesses are real, that recovery is always the goal, and that even if you or someone you love are engaging in risky behavior, there is help. It is important to understand early symptoms of mental illness and know when certain behaviors are potentially signs of something more. We need to speak up early and educate people about risky behavior and its connection to mental illness—and do so in a compassionate, judgement-free way.
When we engage in prevention and early identification, we can help reduce the burden of mental illness by identifying symptoms and warning signs early—and provide effective treatment Before Stage 4. So, let’s talk about what is and is not risky business. Let’s understand where it’s important to draw the line, so that we can address mental illness B4Stage4, and help others on the road to recovery. For more information, visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may.
Garage Gym Planner asked 100 top fitness experts “What Would Be Your 3 Best Fitness Motivation Tips For 2017?” The experts’ top rankings were:
Identify and Track Goals - 41
Right Nutrition - 22
Get a Group / Support System - 19
Have Fun! - 19
Go Easy on Yourself -16
Plan For Fitness - 16
Think, Breathe Fitness - 15
Consistency is Key - 11
Be Accountable - 10
Stay Positive! - 10
Everyone—adults, teens, and even children—experiences stress at times. Stress can be beneficial by helping people develop the skills they need to cope with and adapt to new and potentially threatening situations throughout life. However, the beneficial aspects of stress diminish when it is severe enough to overwhelm a person's ability to take care of themselves and family. Using healthy ways to cope and getting the right care and support can put problems in perspective and help stressful feelings and symptoms subside.
Stress is a condition that is often characterized by symptoms of physical or emotional tension. It is a reaction to a situation where a person feels threatened or anxious. Stress can be positive (e.g., preparing for a wedding) or negative (e.g., dealing with a natural disaster).
Sometimes after experiencing a traumatic event that is especially frightening—including personal or environmental disasters, or being threatened with an assault—people have a strong and lingering stress reaction to the event. Strong emotions, jitters, sadness, or depression may all be part of this normal and temporary reaction to the stress of an overwhelming event.
Common reactions to a stressful event can include:
Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress
Feeling emotional and nervous or having trouble sleeping and eating can all be normal reactions to stress. Engaging in healthy activities and getting the right care and support can put problems in perspective and help stressful feelings subside in a few days or weeks. Some tips for beginning to feel better are:
Recognize when you need more help. If problems continue or you are thinking about suicide, talk to a psychologist, social worker, or professional counselor.
If you or someone you know needs immediate help, please contact the one of the following crisis hotlines:
Helping Youth Cope with Stress
Because of their level of development, children and adolescents often struggle with how to cope well with stress. Youth can be particularly overwhelmed when their stress is connected to a traumatic event—like a natural disaster (earthquakes, tornados, wildfires), family loss, school shootings, or community violence. Parents and educators can take steps to provide stability and support that help young people feel better.
Tips for Parents
It is natural for children to worry, especially when scary or stressful events happen in their lives. Talking with children about these stressful events and monitoring what children watch or hear about the events can help put frightening information into a more balanced context. Some suggestions to help children cope are:
Referenced from: The Centers For Disease Control (CDC)
In the News
Six-part Columbus Dispatch special report on suicide -- ; Silent Suffering
11.18.15 | WTVG-TV Lucas County DART Team Saves Heroin Addict’s Life
11.17.15 | Massillon Independent Deputy uses Narcan kit to revive suicidal heroin user
11.13.15 | The Atlantic A Newspaper Written Entirely by Mental-Health Patients
11.11.15 | Youth Today Prevention is Key
11.11.15 | Columbus Dispatch City to introduce needle-exchange program to combat heroin, infectious diseases
11.10.15 | Forbes DEA Maps Show Kingpin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s Cartel Controls Nearly the Entire U.S. Drug Market
11.10.15 | WKEF-TV Communities Fighting Back Against Heroin Epidemic
11.9.15 | Cleveland Plain Dealer Studies laud Ohio’s efforts to bolster independent living, reduce Medicaid costs
11.9.15 | WDTN-TV Dayton mom shares heroin road to recovery
11.9.15 | Columbus Dispatch Vivitrol: Athens County latest to try new tool to fight opiate addiction
11.6.15 | Toledo Blade (Editorial) Making OARRS easier to row
11.6.15 | Dayton Daily News Federal health officials visit Dayton to help combat drug deaths
11.6.15 | Stars and Stripes New private hospital network to help VA with mental health care for veterans
11.6.15 | NPR How do stereotypes of mental health affect us?
Knowing that there are others like ourselves can be the most reassuring and life-affirming fact we can learn. This is a place to share our stories about our Amish upbringing and how the values, lessons and rejection we were taught continue to affect our daily lives.
THADDEUS SCHLABACH (FOUNDER) I grew up Old-Order Amish in Holmes County, Ohio. Later, my family also attended the New-Order Amish and Conservative Mennonite Church. I was never baptized into the church, and completely left the community at age 21. I accepted that I was gay at a fairly young age, around 14. I struggled deeply with it for about one year, convinced I would be sent to Hell--I even contemplated suicide several times. At some point when I was 15, it just clicked...I knew who I was. I felt some guilt and a lot of judgment, but no longer feared being gay. However, I knew it was something I had to hide from my family, my friends and my community.
When my parents discovered that I was gay at 17, they burst into tears and sent me to a non-Amish, ex-gay religious counselor. It's one of my only memories I have of my parents crying. The Amish are a stoic and unemotional people. They were blindsided by my confession and had no idea what to do. They were more afraid of the other church members finding out about me than I was. To make a long story short, I'm now 29 and living in Savannah, Georgia. In 2005, I met the love of my life and have been married to Jeffrey Garris for nearly five years. He's a writer, and he has encouraged me to start this website. I still struggle with issues of openness and feeling judged, but with a patient husband by my side I'm living a wonderful life. My parents have never met my husband and remain reluctant to do so. I think their emotional distance is even harder on him than on me.
All photographs are compliments of our Counseling Center "family and friends". Enjoy the talent!