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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,…

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Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February is Dating Violence Awareness Month & 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of efforts to end Dating Violence. Enough is enough! Everyone deserves healthy relationships. We can influence change in how we treat our partners and how we respond to acts of abuse. Take ACTION and put an END to Dating Violence. Teen dating violence is remarkably common, yet it is rarely discussed. According to national statistics, 1 in 3 girls in the U.S. will experience some sort of dating violence, according to the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Are You a Parent or Guardian of a Teen? Here are 4 tips to guide your conversation about Healthy Relationships: Be open – Allow your teen to express their views of what a healthy relationship looks like. Allow them to reflect without dismissing their views. Teach your teen the signs of an unhealthy relationship – Point out unhealthy behaviors, let them know that…

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Stop Vaping

E-cigs. E-hookahs. Mods. Pens. Vapes. Whatever the name, e-cigarettes are not safe. Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. E-cigarette use among youth was recently declared an epidemic by the U.S. Surgeon General. Some e-cigarettes look like regular cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Some e-cigarettes look like pens, USB sticks, or other everyday items. Despite the “vaping” name, e-cigarette aerosol is NOT harmless “water vapor.” It can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine and ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds; cancer-causing chemicals and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead. Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said, “No one knows what’s in these products. Even the FDA doesn’t know, because they haven’t required manufacturers to submit a list of ingredients. My message to people in Philadelphia…

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Prescription Take Back Day

October 26th is National Take Back Day. Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands. That's dangerous and often tragic. That's why it was great to see thousands of people across the country clean out their medicine cabinets and turn in their prescription drugs. National Take Back Day allows you to safely and anonymously dispose of your unused, unwanted, and expired medications. In addition to prescription medications, vaping devices and liquids will be accepted at collection sites as well. Find a collection site near you. if you or someone you know is struggling with substance use or addiction, please call the National Helpline 24/7: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) Earlier this year, National Take Back Day saw the following results: Total Law Enforcement Participation: 4,969 Total Collection Sites: 6,258 Total Weight Collected: 937,443 lbs. (468.72 Tons)

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