Monday, September 17, 2018

September is National Service Dog Month

Originally known as National Guide Dog Month, "National Service Dog Month" was first established in 2008 by actor and animal activist, Dick Van Patten. 

Inspired by what was a life-changing visit to The Guide Dogs of the Desert in California, Van Patten launched a fundraising drive to benefit guide and service dog training schools throughout the country  - and create an awareness month for the campaign.

Service dogs provide companionship, inspire confidence, and live to serve, protect, and assist their handlers. There are different kinds of trained animals, including guide dogs, emotional support pets and assistance animals. Many help children and adults perform daily living skills, overcome physical limitations, accomplish lifelong goals, embark on adventures and cope with mental illnesses.

Service dogs, and other service animals, have a long and rich history in the mental health field. One type of highly trained service dogs are specifically called Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSD). These canines help their humans who struggle with psychiatric disabilities including PTSD, bipolar disorder, anxiety and severe depression.

PSD's are trained to assist in medical crises and provide treatment and security for their owners, including reducing anxiety, interrupting depressive episodes and preventing their handlers from reacting unfavorably in stressful situations. PSD’s can assist with  "deep pressure therapy" to minimize anxiety or self-harm by applying weight and pressure to an owner's body. Thus, calming the owner or helping the owner ground themselves in a more positive moment.

Animals are amazing creatures. And those that offer these highly trained services are worthy of celebration not just this month – but every month.

Sunday, September 02, 2018


Did you know that over 1 million people die by suicide each year? 

That's a death by suicide very 40 seconds.

Suicide is THE most preventable kind of death. 

Education, resources, intervention and outreach can help children and adults who struggle with staggering sadness, hopelessness and despair.

One of the most far-reaching campaigns is World Suicide Prevention Day. 

This health education program is sponsored by The International Association for Suicide Prevention, The World Health Organization, The United Nations and many grass root organizations and agencies every year on September 10th.

To learn about the warning signs for suicidal behavior go here.

For suicide resources in the USA use this link 

and for worldwide referrals go here.

Friday, August 10, 2018

August is National Make A Will Month

Studies show that nearly 75% of parents do not have a will. While many may think they are too young, don't have enough money or that their property will automatically go to their next of kin, all three common assumptions are wrong.
Life can end unexpectedly in an instant and, without a plan in place, grieving relatives can be tied up in court for years in the process of acquiring and dividing an estate's assets.
In honor of National Make-A-Will Month this August, LegalZoom suggests three reasons why everyone over 18 should prepare a will:
  1. Children. If you have minor children, you need to specify guardians so that you, and not the court system, will determine who would raise your children.
  2. Property. Recording your wishes for the distribution of your assets and property not only ensures that your decisions are honored but it can also help your family avoid destructive conflicts over these issues.
  3. Final decisions. Grieving the loss of a loved one is hard enough to handle. Sparing your loved ones the stress and anxiety of determining how you would like to be honored and remembered can be avoided with a will.
While it can feel a bit unsettling to think of these things, making a will gives you peace of mind and helps your loved ones understand your wishes. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Every year, the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health will join partners at the federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels to help raise awareness about mental illness and its effects on racial and ethnic minority populations. 

  • Over 70% of Black/African American adolescents with a major depressive episode did not receive treatment for their condition. 
  • Almost 25% of adolescents with a major depressive episode in the last year were Hispanic/Latino. 
  • Asian American adults were less likely to use mental health services than any other racial/ethnic groups. 
  • In the past year, nearly 1 in 10 American Indian or Alaska Native young adults had serious thoughts of suicide. 
  • In the past year, 1 in 7 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander adults had a diagnosable mental illness.

There's no shame living with a mental illness. Treatment can bring recovery and well-being. 

Monday, June 04, 2018

Understanding Bullycide and Tips for Prevention

Bullying and suicide, more commonly called "bullycide," is defined as a death by suicide where bullying is the causative factor. Bullycide was coined in 2001 by journalist ,Neil Marr, and anti-bullying specialist, Tim Field, in the book, Bullycide: Death at Playtime. Bullycide often occurs with children who cannot cope with the chronic abuse of bullying, and seeing no other way to escape it, die by suicide to end the suffering.
Read more here...

Monday, May 07, 2018

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month, which began in May1949, is highlighting the connection between mental and physical health as this year's theme. 

When we consider well-being, we must look at not just physical health, but emotional health as well. Research shows how a healthy lifestyle may help prevent onset of or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic problems. It can also help people recover from many mental illness disorders. Eating healthy foods, managing stress, exercising, and getting enough sleep can go a long way in making you both physically and mentally well.

Last year, Mental Health Month materials were seen and used by more than 230 million people, with more than 10,000 entities downloading Mental Health America’s Mental Health Month toolkit

To join the conversation on social media, use the hashtags #4Mind4Body and #MHAM2018