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Closing the treatment gap: Time to address inequality within mental health

By Sosunmolu Shoyinka, MD DBHIDS Chief Medical Officer Two months ago, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services and the City of Philadelphia took the occasion of Mental Health Awareness Month to remind residents -- especially during this difficult and unprecedented time of COVID-19: “You’re not alone. Help is out there.” Much has changed in the national dialogue since early May. And now Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, recognized in July of each year, gives us the opportunity to look more closely at overall mental health awareness -- and focus on the shortcomings of mental health treatment among minority groups. Mental health issues are not limited by race, gender, sexual identity, or anything else. Sadly, data suggest that access to mental health care does have limitations. This is particularly the case for minority populations. Across the United States, minority groups are less likely to have access to mental…

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15 Ways to Continue Supporting the Mental Health of Remote & On-site Teams

Almost overnight, remote work transformed from a niche benefit to the norm for millions of employees. And looking out for the mental well being of your workforce – both remote and in the office – is now more critical than ever. As many states and cities begin the 'yellow phase' of returning to work, there are still many people who will be working remotely for quite some time and will need support and guidance from their organizations and managers. COVID-19 has impacted remote and on-site teams in all sorts of ways: the cognitive load of processing the rapidly changing world in addition to work; the loss of the familiar scents, sounds, and sights of the office; our inner critics always watching us on camera in virtual meetings; the perceived need to be "on" 24/7; the cognitive dissonance of managing virtual communications; and virtual fatigue from the verbal and nonverbal demands…

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Supporting the Emotional Health of the Behavioral Health Workforce During COVID-19

From the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services As a behavioral health provider, you are likely experiencing additional challenges during the COVID-19 infectious disease outbreak. This may include concerns about your own health, your family's health, stigma from within your community, and managing the distress of people you support in your professional life. We acknowledge the risks you take every single day, and we recognize that with the COVID-19 outbreak the world feels upside down. You are shifting your office setting to telepractice, learning new technologies, determining who needs a face to face appointment and how to do that safely, and where to send people who may be in more distress. We recognize that with all the changes comes increased stress. We also recognize the increased risk and burden placed upon you and your family. If you are still needing to see people…

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DBHIDS to Speak on Shades of Blue Panel

Do you need space to unravel as you deal with the upheaval of this season of quarantine? Are you looking for "nourishment" rituals and resources that can help to acknowledge, affirm, and work through complex feelings of sadness, anger, despair, anxiety during the pandemic? Join us for this conversation on May 20th at 11am. Panelists will include: Kamela Johnson, Network of Neighbors Coordinator, Community Behavioral Health, Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual DisAbility Services Rev. Dr. Jamie Eaddy, Chaplain; Executive Director, I Just Believe; CEO, Thoughtful Transitions  Chris Petersen, Facilitator, Philadelphia Contemplatives Sarah Sweda, MS, NCC, Post-Crisis Intervention Coordinator, Uplift Center for Grieving Children Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg, National Organizer, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action Mari-Carmen Farmer, MSN, CNM, WHNP, Midwife, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital; President, Philly Metro Midwives Farida E. Boyer, MS, LMFT, Boyer Counseling Group; co-founder, The Black Brain Campaign  

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