24-Hour Suicide Crisis & Intervention Call @ (215) 686-4420

Recovery Month: Opioid Addiction, Recovery, & Overdose Prevention

As Philadelphia continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, the city is still facing an opioid use and overdose epidemic. Every neighborhood across our city and country is affected as well as all racial and ethnic groups. Addiction to opioids can happen to anyone, no matter age, gender, income, or family upbringing. As we celebrate Recovery Month 2020, we must do all we can to support those struggling with this addiction so that they, too, can experience recovery. What exactly are Opioids?  Opioids are a class of drugs prescribed to relieve pain (often termed, 'pain killers.') Common brand names include: OxyContin® and Percocet® (oxycodone) Vicodin® (hydrocodone), and Kadian (morphine.) When appropriately prescribed by a doctor, opioids help the brain block the feeling of pain and help many people to cope with the pain caused by surgery, physical trauma, and chronic ailments. Also included in the opioids class is the illegal drug…

Continue Reading

Lived Experience

Author: Hunter Robbins, Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) September is National Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month. This is a time to highlight the work being done to prevent suicide, spread awareness about helpful initiatives, and share resources within our communities. It is also a time to remember the importance of those with lived experience. Lived experience as it pertains to suicide usually means one of two things: either you have lost someone to suicide (a survivor of suicide), or you have attempted suicide yourself and survived. Unfortunately, when we talk about suicide, those with lived experience are often left out of the conversation. Being a survivor of any traumatic experience is not easy. In 2018, there were 48,433 Americans who died by suicide, and a staggering 1.4 million who attempted suicide, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. To add to that,…

Continue Reading

Combating Social Isolation in Children During COVID-19

By Tamra Williams, Ph.D., Deputy Chief Clinical Officer—Children’s Services, Community Behavioral Health, Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services For children, one of the many consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a decrease in opportunities to interact with their peers in traditional and important ways. Restrictions on face-to-face interactions with peers and playmates and more time spent indoors translate, for some children, into stress and frustration that affects their emotional and behavioral health. From a developmental perspective, we know that play and peer interaction is important for young children. It helps with social skills, moral reasoning, and cognitive development. Moreover, children staying home 24/7 can add an additional layer of stress to parents, chipping away at their emotional reserves and ability to parent effectively. How can we combat the loss of playtime and the increased stress on parents?  Routines are important. School provides a consistent routine that is vital for…

Continue Reading

Are You Protected & Prepared?

Every day we hear more and more about the importance of using different types of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and demonstrating behaviors that help protect us from COVID-19.  During these unprecedented and most uncertain times that we are living in, we are told to cover our mouths and noses with face masks or shields, wash our hands often, use hand sanitizer, and comply with social distancing protocols to keep 6 feet apart to maintain our health as well as to protect the health of others. However, there is another tool with which we need to equip ourselves: Mental Health First Aid® (MHFA) 2.0 virtual training.  Virtual MHFA is a national certification course that provides the basic knowledge and practical skills that help to either alleviate or shield us from signs and symptoms of behavioral health or substance use challenges. Its primary goal is to help individuals increase their competence and…

Continue Reading
Close Menu