mental health tagged posts

Tardive Dyskinesia: A Personal Story About Self-Advocacy

Cariena Birchard

I was diagnosed with Bipolar I, Anxiety with Panic Attacks, and Agoraphobia in 1994. I have a long history of medications working for a year or so, then suddenly stop working. Because of this, I have been on a laundry list of medications over the last twenty-three years. I have experienced my fair share of obscure side effects that were so strange in the moment, but are sometimes a means to an end if the result is psychiatric calm. I have been on medications that caused weight gain, insomnia, excessive sleepiness, lactation, nausea, restless legs, and migraines.

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How Can Parents Help in Shared Decision Making?

Families for Depression Awareness for Care for Your Mind

Your teenager has been diagnosed with a mood disorder and the clinician is talking with her or him about treatment. What is your role as a parent in the shared decision making model? How can you participate?

At Families for Depression Awareness, we believe that parents can play an essential role in recognizing and addressing mood disorders in their children. When you’re worried about a teen in your life, you might need to take crucial actions in a crisis situation, convince a reluctant teen to go to a mental health provider, or be supportive in finding and accessing mental health care.

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What Will Help Faith Communities Address Mental Health and Erase Stigma?

Families for Depression Awareness for Care for Your Mind

This post is another in the Care for Your Mind series on the role of faith, faith leaders, and faith communities in addressing mental health concerns.

Spiritual leaders and faith communities may be where people first turn when they are grappling with a mental health issue. This is often true in the military, according to Chaplain Dianna Watkins in the CFYM post, “Where Do Service Members Get Mental Health Support? (For Many, It’s Not Where You Think.)” Service members turn to their chaplains not only for matters of faith and spirituality, she commented, but for help in addressing their mental health concerns. Working with a chaplain, Ch Watkins noted, allows service members to work around barriers to accessing care. Further, unlike many of their civilian counterparts, military chaplains receive training not only in pastoral care and theology (all have attained a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent), but also in mental health and suicide prevention.

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It’s Time to Stop Cutting Public Health Funding

Tiffany Kaszuba

Tiffany Kaszuba, Vice President Cavarocchi Ruscio Dennis Associates
Manager to the Coalition for Health Funding

CFYM continues the series on mental health funding with a look at how the sequestration is affecting access to care in local communities and shares ways your voice can make a difference.

In our last post, we took note of the federal agencies that make up the public health continuum and their contributions to mental health specifically. Together, these agencies work to prevent illness and promote wellness, provide care for the afflicted, make sure that health professionals are there when we need them, monitor the threats facing Americans, and put in place policies and procedures to protect their health. However, despite the critical work of keeping Americans both physically and mentally healthy, these agencies have scarce resources that continue to disappear as austerity maintains its hold on the federal budget.

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Who Is Making the Rules for Our Mental Health Care?

Tiffany Kaszuba

Tiffany Kaszuba, Vice President Cavarocchi Ruscio Dennis Associates
Manager to the Coalition for Health Funding

We advocate for our own medical care, we advocate to our senators and representatives for laws to improve mental health care, but are we reaching everyone who has a say in mental health care policy and delivery? In fact, most policy is developed, implemented, and enforced by regulatory agencies; there are at least a half-dozen federal agencies charged with aspects of addressing mental health.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll explain the structure and roles of some of these agencies and their programs, including how they are funded. After all, if we are advocating for improvement in the mental health care system, we need to understand what works (and what doesn’t) and what it costs.

Public health is the science and art of protecting and promoting health in communities where we live, work, and learn. Federal investment in public health dates back to 1798 when Congress first authorized the Marine Hospital Service to deliver care to the merchant seamen who were disproportionately affected by disease. Today, the Public Health Service is led by the Office of the Secretary and comprised of 11 operating divisions—including the eight agencies authorized by the Public Health Service Act and three human services agencies.

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Patient-Centered Care: Today’s Buzz Word or Opportunity for Meaningful Health Care Improvement?

Over the past several weeks, CFYM has exposed the problem of postpartum depression and offered solutions for improving the quality of maternal mental health care. This series, developed in collaboration with the National Network of Depression Centers, brought together the voices of women with lived experience, researchers, providers, advocates, and legislators to shine a light on maternal mental health—a topic usually hidden in the shadows.

In addition to exposing some startling facts around the lack of maternal mental health care, contributors also provided meaningful solutions that are effective both economically and from a wellness perspective. These programs provide training and expert consultation to health care providers and peer-to-peer support to assist moms and their families.

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A Patient’s Guide to Taking Medical Time Off Work

Paul Pendler

Paul Pendler, Psy.D., ABPP
Assistant Professor, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine,
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

When mental health issues arise, all areas of a person’s life tend to suffer—work included. Under certain circumstances, people with mental health conditions may need to seek time off from employment in order to focus on recovery and restore functioning.

If you suspect you might need time off for mental health reasons, listed below are some helpful guidelines for how to engage your practitioner and your workplace on this issue.

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Are There Alternatives to Emergency Departments when Facing a Psychiatric Emergency?

Robert Haggard

Robert Haggard, CRSS
Recovery Support Specialist
Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center, Skokie IL

The answer is a resounding yes, there are alternatives to emergency departments (EDs) for psychiatric emergencies. Person-centric, community-based crisis interventions found outside of traditional emergency departments serve a population with much-need, save lives and money, and offer hope. The Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center (TP) where I work is a viable, safe, accessible, welcoming, warm, and caring space that has provided an alternative to EDs since 2011 with an amazing 97% deflection rate from the hospitals in its surrounding area.

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