Do you know someone who has a lived mental health experience and would be an excellent candidate for the Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) profession? For the latest application window for the Certified Peer Specialist Training Program, check this page. In addition, all applicants must attend a Story-Telling training in order to apply for the CPS training. See our calendar for upcoming training dates. Story Telling Training is a FREE resilience and recovery-oriented training recognizing that the stories of individuals, their recovery processes and the experiences of their family members are critical tools in moving system transformation forward. Story Telling Training offers many helpful tools for sharing personal and challenging experiences in an inspiring, resilience and recovery-oriented way. Story Telling Training is a gateway for those who want to become active stakeholders and change agents throughout the behavioral health system and in their communities at large.
2019's Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM) theme is “Awareness + Action” #AwarenessPlusAction To help raise awareness of problem gambling, we're sharing some Frequently Asked Questions from the National Council on Problem Gambling: WHAT IS PROBLEM GAMBLING? Problem gambling–or gambling addiction–includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits. The essential features are increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences. In extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide. ISN'T PROBLEM GAMBLING JUST A FINANCIAL PROBLEM? No. Problem gambling is an emotional problem that has financial consequences. If you pay all of a problem gambler’s debts, the person will still be a problem gambler. The real problem is that they have an uncontrollable obsession with gambling. WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE BECOME PROBLEM GAMBLERS? Anyone who gambles can develop problems if they are not aware of the risks and do not gamble responsibly. When gambling behavior interferes with finances, relationships and the workplace, a serious problem already exists. HOW CAN A PERSON BE ADDICTED TO SOMETHING THAT ISN'T A SUBSTANCE? Although no substance [...]
Upcoming holidays like Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day, that are often associated with alcohol, can pose a challenge to people in recovery, as well as to those who are avoiding alcohol for a variety of reasons (i.e., diabetes, depression, pregnancy, taking medication.) With alcohol and tobacco use being the two most common substance use and addictive disorders, it is important to recognize that events celebrated with alcohol can potentially affect health and well-being. For some people in recovery, environmental triggers - such as being around people who they would typically drink with, or being in a place where they used to drink or other people are drinking - can be quite a challenge. Both direct pressure (someone offering you a drink) and indirect pressure (just being around other people who are drinking) can contribute to the tension of celebrating these famous holidays. Thoughts of ‘having just one’ or, ‘a drink will ease my anxiety’ are not uncommon thoughts, and if not managed, impulsive behavior can lead to excessive drinking, and a lapse in sobriety or avoidance of alcohol. Here are some ways to manage events such as Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day often associated with alcohol: Avoid it. In some situations, particularly these upcoming holidays where events are often centered around drinking, your best strategy may be [...]
National Eating Disorders Awareness week highlights the movement toward inclusivity of all individuals and communities who are affected by eating disorders. Eating Disorders Awareness week is an opportunity to start the conversation around eating disorders, to learn, connect with others, share stories, and get support. So what is an eating disorder anyway? First, eating disorders are NOT a lifestyle choice. They are complex mental illnesses with serious medical complications and can be life threatening. It is estimated that 20 million women and 10 million men in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Eating disorders do not discriminate, as they affect people of all ages, race, ethnicity, body sizes and genders. We don’t know for sure what causes an eating disorder, but there seems to be biological, psychological, and social risk factors that combine to form the perfect storm for an eating disorder to develop. These include, but are not limited to the following: Diabetes and Eating Disorders Diabetes is a chronic illness with treatment that involves reading food labels, counting carbohydrates, focusing on portion sizes, and maintaining a healthy body weight. Along with a diabetes diagnosis comes an increased risk of mental health issues like anxiety and depression, which may contribute to feeling [...]