How to take care of your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

by Dr. Sosunmolu Shoyinka, Chief Medical Officer, City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) These are stressful and uncertain times. The evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic is very sudden and can be confusing. This may provoke anxiety for many people. Those with pre-existing anxiety and other mental health conditions may be particularly at risk. Individuals and teams whose work bring them in contact with infected persons may experience stress and anxiety. Other groups at risk for increased stress include the elderly, those caring for sick or vulnerable persons, and those experiencing significant changes to work, travel, or family life. Regardless of status or work function, we can anticipate that all of us will at some point experience some increased stress. At times like this, it is important to take steps to promote mental wellness and resilience. DBHIDS aligns with SAMHSA, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychiatric Association to make the following recommendations: Connect with people: Reaching out to people you trust is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety, depression, loneliness, and boredom during social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. Make phone calls frequently, FaceTime, and text to stay connected.   Relax: Calm your body often by doing things that work for you—take deep breaths, stretch, meditate, pray, or engage in home-based [...]

2021-03-16T14:31:57-04:00March 20th, 2020|Anxiety, Awareness, Depression, Pandemic, Self-Help, Stress|

Men’s Health Month: Chasing Brady

As a 35-year-old man, it’s taken me awhile to accept that my body is getting older. I have been an athlete for most of my life, participating in one or two sports each season year-round until college. When I was no longer in organized sports, I had no trouble jumping right back in. If you needed an extra for flag-football, I could jog over to the field, sprint the whole game, head home to clean up, and then go out at 10pm with friends. Now, I’m still active, but I run out of steam, recovery takes longer, my joints ache constantly, bruises never seem to heal, and if I do head out with friends I am home long before 10.  The good news is: the guys I play hockey and softball with are just as old (if not older) and facing the same challenges. If, like me, you have finally accepted that you are getting older, consider these tips to help you stay active and healthy. Get some sleep Sleep is important at any age. When we were younger sleep was not only important for recovery, but also for the growth of our brains and bodies. Most recovery happens in deep sleep, which unfortunately may be harder to reach in adulthood. Establishing a routine is helpful for falling asleep and [...]

2021-07-31T13:03:06-04:00June 21st, 2019|Awareness, Lived Experience, Self-Help|

Fast Facts: Men’s Health Month

Women of DBHIDS Supporting Men's Health Month by Wearing Blue June is Men’s Health Month - a time to raise awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.  Consider these statistics: 450,000 men die of cardiovascular disease each year (CDC). More than 700,000 men are diagnosed with a type of cancer each year; 300,000 of those cases will result in death (Men’s Health Resource Center). 230,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. It’s the second leading cause of death in men (Cancer.org)  More than 60% of adult American men are overweight or obese (National Institutes of Health). As part of an educational campaign for men’s health, The Cleveland Clinic surveyed more than 500 American men ages 18-70 about their use of healthcare resources and found:  Only 3 out of 5 men get annual physicals Over 40% of men only go to the doctor when they think they have a serious medical condition More than half of men said their health wasn’t something they talk about. It’s time for men to take a proactive approach to health - both physical and mental health. While you’re here, take a quick screening. Then review these guidelines for keeping an eye on your physical health:     

2021-01-02T21:53:39-05:00June 14th, 2019|Awareness, Men's Health, Self-Help, Stress|

Nursing & Mental Health

Happy Nurse’s Week to all of my fellow nurses out there!  I am very proud to be a nurse. It’s an amazing profession. Nursing is more than a job, though; it is a calling. It’s not just something you do, it is something you are; so it can be hard to maintain a level of separation when work is such an integral part of who you are. So how can nurses step back and make sure that they are caring for themselves in addition to the wonderful care they provide to their patients? First, let’s take a look at some facts.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI) found that hospital nurses are twice as likely as the general public to suffer from clinical depression.  That is, 9% of “everyday” citizens experience clinical depression while a whopping 18% of nurses are affected. At first I found this number alarming. But then I thought about my last shift at work.   One doctor hung up on me and another doctor walked out of a room while I was mid-question.  I was on the phone with our pharmacy trying to clarify a medication order. All the while call bells didn’t stop ringing, the other line of the phone rang off the hook, the doorbell was going off, and [...]

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