Monday, January 04, 2021

January is National Mentoring Month

January is National Mentoring Month, where we celebrate mentors and the power of helping others.

Being a mentor means offering guidance and hope. And there are few relationships in life that are more influential than those between a mentor and a young person. 

I've had many mentors in my life growing up. A person who took a unique interest in me, fostered my growth and guided me onward.

I've also been a mentor to many. The experience has been so rewarding and meaningful to me. In fact, research shows that mentoring is an extraordinary experience for all involved.

Be mentor.

Change a life.


And transform your own.


Wednesday, December 02, 2020

How to Stay Positive During the Holiday Season


I came across this post from Positive Perspectives years ago, but it's still so relevant. Check out Lucy MacDonald's book, Learn to Be an Optimist, for even more positive ways of coping.

Whatever holiday on your calendar in December - Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa - it is sometimes is a challenge to stay positive in the midst of the commercialism and general hub-bub. Here are a few ways to stay positive during the holidays:

1. Avoid overscheduling yourself. Use an agenda to keep track of your holiday commitments so that you can physically see what you are committing yourself to. Along with your commitments to others make sure to include some downtime for yourself - even if it is half an hour here and there. Knowing that you have some personal time will help you to stay positive.

2. Lower your expectations. Don’t strive for perfection, good enough is okay. Don’t expect your family to be perfect during the holidays. Be realistic about who they are and what your relationship is like with them all year around. That is especially true of blended and step-families.

3. Make a budget and stick to it. The price of the gift is not equal to how much you love them. Focus on the people that you care about instead of the stuff that really doesn’t matter. Beware of the joy-to-stuff ratio: more stuff does not equal more joy.

4. Spread your socializing in the months after the holidays. Don’t try to pack a year’s worth of socializing into a few weeks. Start a new tradition with friends and make a date with friends for mid January or early February.

5. Get as much sleep as you can. Schedule one or two pajama days for yourself or for the whole family - stay in your pj's and stay home and give yourself permission to rest and enjoy some time together without rushing about.Holidays are for celebrating what is truly important to you, your family, and friends. Make it the holiday you want it to be and chances are you will keep a positive attitude. 



Wednesday, November 04, 2020

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day 2020




In 1999, Senator Harry Reid, a survivor of his father’s 1972 suicide, introduced a new resolution into the US Senate. With its passage, the US Congress designated the Saturday before Thanksgiving as National Survivors of Suicide Day - an awareness day that reaches out to thousands of people who have lost a loved one to suicide.


National Survivors of Suicide Day has evolved into a global awareness day called International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day thanks to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. 

Sometimes called "Survivor Day," this November 21st will find children and adults affected by suicide loss gathering around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and heal. 

To find a local Survivor Day event near you, link here
Every 40 seconds, someone dies by suicide. 
Every 41 seconds someone tries to understand that loss. 

If you need help, are suicidal or feeling hopeless, please dial 988 
or 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741 

Thursday, October 01, 2020

October 4th -10th is Mental Health Awareness Week

 


In 1990, Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in recognition of the National Alliance on Mental Illness  campaign to raise mental illness awareness. 

Since then, mental health advocates across the country have joined NAMI in the effort to educate the public about mental illness.

Mental Illness Awareness Week runs from October 4 – 10 and year’s theme is  What People with Mental Illness Want You to Know.” 

Please watch my TEDx talk about what I'd like you to know about depression from my personal and professional view:




Tuesday, September 08, 2020

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day


Thursday, September 10, 2020 is World Suicide Awareness Day. 

Every 40 seconds someone in the world dies by suicide. This means suicide is responsible for almost one million deaths every year across the globe.

Another way to look at this is how Dr. Catherine Le Gal├Ęs-Camus, from the World Health Organization , describes the rate of suicide each year: "Worldwide, more people die from suicide than from all homicides and wars combined."

Click here for warning signs you can learn about. 


Psych Central offers a great list of suicide resources as does the International Association for Suicide Prevention

URGENT TELEPHONE CELL PHONE CONTACT

Lifeline is open 24 hours a day, every day, to help you or someone you love find help.

1800 273 TALK   

1800 273 8255

URGENT CELL PHONE TEXT CONTACT

If you would rather text than talk, the Crisis Text Line is available 24 hours a day, every day. 

Text HELLO to 741741 to connect 


Sunday, August 02, 2020

August is "National Make a Will Month"


Studies show that 75% of parents don't have a will. While many think they're 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. 




Wednesday, July 01, 2020

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month



July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. 

This awareness day was named after mental health activist and author Bebe Moore Campbell - and focuses on building awareness about the importance of mental wellness and effective mental health care for minorities. 

According to research, minorities are less likely to receive a mental health diagnosis, less likely to receive treatment for mental illness, have less access to and availability of mental health services and often receive a poorer quality of mental health care. More specifically:

To learn more about the needs of mental health services for diverse populations, or for where can find local activities celebrating this month, please go to the National Alliance on Mental Illness

Monday, June 08, 2020



Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur in children and adults who've experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. PTSD can also occur for new moms.

PTSD can result from a natural disaster, accident, physical/sexual/emotional abuse, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other types of violent personal assaults. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a  treatable mental health disorder. 

Here are some of the hallmark symptoms:
  • Intrusive memories: Upsetting dreams or reoccurring flashbacks about the event.
  • Avoidance: Avoiding the memory of the event, or places and people that remind you of the event.
  • Negative changes in thinking or mood: Feeling numb or sad, having low self-esteem, and feeling hopeless about the future.
  • Changes in emotional reactions: Irritable, angry outbursts, feeling guilty or ashamed, and/or being easily frightened.
  • Substance Use: Reliance on substances such as alcohol or drugs to cope with PTSD symptoms.

Facts About PTSD
  • An estimated 70% of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives.
  • Upwards of 40% of girls and boys experience at least one trauma as a child or adolescent. 
  • Postpartum Post Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs in about 9% of new mothers.
  • Among people who are experience or witness a severe traumatic experience,  60 – 80% will develop PTSD.
  • An estimated 1 out of 10 women will get PTSD at some time in their lives. 
  • Studies estimate that 1 in every 5 military personnel experiences PTSD.
  • PTSD increases the risk for suicide, especially if it is undiagnosed or untreated.

Link here for PTSD tools and resources