It is important for us not to judge others' reactions to the fear and stress they experience. Everyone is living the ongoing pandemic differently and everyone has different levels of coping. Strive to be more forgiving and open to the differences and needs of others. Together we can move through the difficulties, fears, and anxieties we are experiencing, and with each other's help, we can find hope and healing from this international ongoing pandemic
Being stalked is a frightening and traumatic experience. SPARC reports that stalking victims suffer much higher rates of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and relationship issues than people in the general population. One thing you as a community member can do is become an ally for those who are experiencing stalking. Offer to assist them in finding resources or accompany them to local law enforcement to seek a protection order. Reinforce that they deserve to be in a healthy relationship where personal boundaries are respected.
According to HumanTraffickingHotline.org, human trafficking can happen to anyone, but we also know that some people may be more vulnerable than others.
A recent research study has found that over the past two years, as we try to cope with all of the disruptions and changes related to COVID-19, cell phone and social media use has skyrocketed. Social media is a way to stay in touch with friends and family. Owning and using a mobile phone is almost necessary in our culture with many occupations requiring smartphone accessibility. Sixty-nine percent of adults and 81% of teens use social media–so what does that mean for our brains?
The supermarket might provide the ham for the table and the ribbon to tie up boxes, but a designer purse or an XBox gift card won’t offer our kids the same valuable gifts that will keep hearts happy beyond the New Year.
For many of us, the holidays are a season of peace, joy, gratitude, and family, but reality often looks quite different...Family dysfunction, past trauma, anxiety and other mental illness, loneliness, finances, grief--these are only a few of the stressors that can quickly pile up for anyone during this time of year. For those people living with a substance use disorder, these many stressors may compound and overwhelm the addicted brain and the person in recovery, making it an especially difficult time of year to stay sober.
The way we celebrate the holidays causes stress, current events are stressful, and COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc on our communities’ mental and physical health.Ask yourself…How are you sleeping? Do you feel a sense of panic? Do you have racing thoughts? Are any bad memories replaying themselves?If your answer to any of those questions was yes, your body is having a stress-response to the things that are causing fear or worry in you. While so many of our stressors may be out of our control, we can still be intentional about our exposure to controllable stressors and how we manage our responses to stress. According to the Good News Science Center, repeatedly consuming negative news stories is detrimental to your health. It keeps you in a constant state of alert (stress!), which is damaging to your body. It can lead to distrust and negative feelings about other people and communities.
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and the readiness to show appreciation and return kindness. Harvard Medical School writes, "The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. Gratitude encompasses all of these. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what you receive...tangible or intangible.
Research shows that performing acts of kindness positively impacts mental health by increasing the neurotransmitters in the brain that make us feel satisfied and good: Acts of kindness can increase the hormone that makes us feel connected to each other and helps us trust each other, ”A study in the journal Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science found that people who practiced a-kindness-mindset lowered their stress hormones by 23%. Try practicing random kind actions towards others every day and see what a difference it makes.
If you are in a circumstance in which you are being abused and anyway physically, emotionally, verbally, or sexually reach out for help by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800.799.7233. Visit www.safehavenofashland.org for more information about Ashland County domestic violence resources.
The delta variant, vaccine mandates, and other news is creating a heightened sense of anxiety for all of us. One way to reduce anxiety is to engage your hobbies and interests. In tense times, it’s important to double down on the hobbies and interests that nourish your spirit. Often, it’s these things that define us as individuals and bring meaning to our lives. Whether it’s playing a sport, caring for a pet, an artistic or musical endeavor, home improvement projects, or spending time in nature, make sure you are engaging in these essential activities as it strengthens your ability to cope with the stress of difficult times.
Recovery is defined as a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. Often underneath an addiction is the experience of childhood trauma in the form of abuse, neglect, loss, or lack of a stable home life. People use substances to cover up the pain that results from the memories. If you are experiencing an addiction to drugs or alcohol please reach out for help. Healing is absolutely possible and there are caring people ready to help you on that journey.
Governor DeWine has declared August 31 Overdose Awareness Day. If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs of any kind, you already know that recovery is going to require change. You may fear both the physical and emotional withdrawal you'll experience from not having the substance... Recovery is within your reach. There are amazing medical and behavioral health supports in our area that will help you be successful. The first step is to talk to a safe and trusted support person, and tell them you need help. Take that first step and you'll find there are caring people who will go the rest of the journey with you.
This school year is starting off with more COVID challenges. There are a couple things we, as parents, need to keep in mind to help ourselves manage the stress and not pass our anxiety on to our kids. The first-to remember is, modeling is the greatest form of teaching... so ANXIOUS PARENTS MAKE ANXIOUS KIDS. This leads to my second point... parents, you need to practice your own mental-health-self-care. Take time every day to talk to your closest friends, read, exercise, or engage in your favorite hobby. By recharging your battery you’ll be able to share your calm with your children.
The 21-22 school year is beginning. This can be a time of anxiety and fear for many. Starting a new grade or at a new school brings many uncertainties. Uncertainty is a part of life. Rather than fear new experiences, learn to manage your anxious thoughts. Practice expressing your fears out loud or on paper. Journal, write letters, or share your feelings and frustrations with people you trust. Find new and positive ways to look at the changes ahead. You will get through this and be a stronger, wiser person on the other side.
It's important for parents to know that helping your children grow up emotionally-healthy does not require an advanced degree. Parents or caregivers: you have all you need to help your kids grow up emotionally resilient. Giving them structure, encouragement, pointing out their strengths, and openly showing them your unconditional love will go far in them becoming healthy-mature adults. If you're struggling as a parent, don't be afraid to ask for help. Programs like Appleseed’s SPARK program or your local Help-Me-Grow program are designed to help you be successful.
July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. The American Counseling Association writes: Minority Mental Health Month is a nationwide effort developed by Mental Health America to “shed light on the multitude of mental health experiences within Black, Indigenous, People of Color and others that face disproportionate inequities due to systemic barriers and historical adversity.” Marginalized, oppressed, and disenfranchised people have unique concerns, trauma, stress, obstacles, and challenges because of historical experiences, cultural differences, and social disparities.
What is forgiveness? According to the Mayo Clinic forgiveness involves “a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge.” It is not forgetting the act that hurt you. However, forgiving can lessen the offense’s hold on you and take away the remaining control the person who hurt you has on you.
Appleseed earned the 2021 Platinum Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, a service of Candid. By sharing metrics that highlight the progress that Appleseed is making toward its mission, the organization is helping donors move beyond simplistic ways of nonprofit evaluation such as overhead ratios.
Everyday you are a new person. You've just completed 24 more hours of a lifetime of learning and growing. Today you can make different choices. Remember to catch yourself in-self-talk that uses words like “never” or “always” and then remind yourself that you are a new person today and you are going to be kind to yourself and make a positive difference in the world.
Appleseed Community Mental Health Center (“Appleseed”) is offering FREE events throughout May aimed at reducing the impact of COVID-19 and other mental health stressors. You do not need to be a current or past client of Appleseed to benefit from these events!
Like every story, there is a beginning, middle, and end. My story has a beginning that no person would ever dream of. My middle, although lengthy and devastating, is what keeps me different from anyone else. My ending is not only another beginning but also what holds me together most days. Some of us wish for an ending so that things can be over just to be able to move on. I wish for an ending in a way that means I get to start a new chapter because that means more healing and more time. Let’s face it, that’s really what we need.
Mental health and wellness requires we take a holistic approach. As Mr. Miyagi said in the 1st karate kid movie, “our whole life is a balance”. To be truly mentally healthy, we need to make sure that we are taking care of our mind, body and spirit. We do that through activities and exercises that connect us to those domains of our life. For instance, reading strengthens and relaxes our mind, hiking strengthens our body, and faith practices strengthen our spirit. By using a holistic approach we can handle life and stresses much more effectively. Holistic Behavioral Healthcare is part of our mission at Appleseed.
Spring is here. As we watch the crocus poke through the ground and enjoy more and more daylight, it's a good time to recommit ourselves to our mental health care. Do some mental health spring cleaning. Identify a habit that prevents you from being your best. It could be the habit of criticizing others or negative self-talk. Whatever it is, commit yourself to being self-aware and to quickly replacing the behavior with a healthy alternative. Plan ahead and be ready. Speak a word of praise instead of criticism or replace negativity with encouragement. With a steady effort, you can change that habit that is holding you back.
One of the things that can raise our anxiety is how we choose to think about our problems. In our modern culture we see our stressors as bad and something to be avoided. Previous generations took the position that our adversities are things that teach us life lessons and make us stronger. So let me encourage us today to examine the circumstances we are in and begin to ask “what can I learn about myself from this?” How can I use these stressors to make me a better person? By doing this I can make what was causing me anxiety into something that gives me strength.
April is sexual assault awareness month. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network reports that every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Sexual assault can range from harassment to direct physical sexual abuse. Everyone has a role to play in preventing sexual assault. There are many different ways that you can step in or make a difference if you see someone at risk. The key to keeping others safe is learning how to intervene in a way that fits the situation and your comfort level. Do what you can to interrupt the situation. A simple distraction can give the person at risk a chance to get to a safe place.
March is women’s history month. There are multiple examples of how women have taken the lead to positively impact our understanding and treatment of mental health. One such hero is Nely Bly. Nely was an investigative journalist. In 1887 she went undercover at a New York psychiatric hospital. After 10 days as an inpatient, Bly wrote about her experiences in an exposé for New York World. Her report got the attention of the state legislature and triggered new funding and reforms in the treatment of people with mental health conditions. Her report was later published in the book “Ten Days In A Mad-House”, which I highly recommend.
Some of the things that cause us stress relate to questions that do not have answers. Things like “why do bad things happen to us?” In these kinds of situations our coping skills need to focus on giving-expression to our experience and emotions. One of the best ways to do that is to explore your creative side. There are many ways to express yourself. Journaling, writing poetry or songs, drawing, painting, sculpting, playing music or building something. Find your way of creatively expressing what you are experiencing, thinking or feeling. It can provide the outlet you need to process your emotions during a difficult time.
The life of St. Patrick was full of trauma including being kidnapped and enslaved at age 16. He faced his difficulties using a forward-facing approach, a deep seated belief his life had meaning, and serving others. Here is a portion of one of St. Patrick's recorded prayers to help give you encouragement. “I arise today through God’s strength to pilot me; God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me afar, a near, alone or in a multitude.” ― St Patrick
Teen Dating Violence includes four types of behavior: Physical Violence Sexual Violence, Psychological Aggression, and Stalking. It can take place in-person or electronically, such as repeated texting or posting sexual pictures of a partner online without consent. Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name-calling, are a “normal” part of a relationship—but these behaviors can become abusive and develop into serious forms of violence. Many teens do not report unhealthy behaviors, because they are afraid to tell family and friends. If you are a teenager experiencing abusive behaviors please reach out to a trusted adult or call our Safe Haven program at 419-289-8085, 24 hours a day/7 days a week.