Sunday, December 25, 2011

Overcoming Communication Barriers Between People

When you send a message, you intend to communicate meaning, but the message itself doesn't contain meaning. The meaning exists in your mind and in the mind of your receiver. To understand one another, you and your receiver must share similar meanings for words, gestures, tone of voice, and other symbols.

1. Differences in perception

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The world constantly bombards us with information: sights, sounds, scents, and so on. Our minds organize this stream of sensation into a mental map that represents our perception or reality. In no case is the perception of a certain person the same as the world itself, and no two maps are identical. As you view the world, your mind absorbs your experiences in a unique and personal way. Because your perceptions are unique, the ideas you want to express differ from other people's Even when two people have experienced the same event, their mental images of that event will not be identical. As senders, we choose the details that seem important and focus our attention on the most relevant and general, a process known as selective perception. As receivers, we try to fit new details into our existing pattern. If a detail doesn't quite fit, we are inclined to distort the information rather than rearrange the pattern.

2. Incorrect filtering

Filtering is screening out before a message is passed on to someone else. In business, the filters between you and your receiver are many; secretaries, assistants, receptionists, answering machines, etc. Those same gatekeepers may also 'translate' your receiver's ideas and responses before passing them on to you. To overcome filtering barriers, try to establish more than one communication channel, eliminate as many intermediaries as possible, and decrease distortion by condensing message information to the bare essentials.

3. Language problems

When you choose the words for your message, you signal that you are a member of a particular culture or subculture and that you know the code. The nature of your code imposes its own barriers on your message. Barriers also exist because words can be interpreted in more than one way. Language is an arbitrary code that depends on shared definitions, but there's a limit to how completely any of us share the same meaning for a given word. To overcome language barriers, use the most specific and accurate words possible. Always try to use words your audience will understand. Increase the accuracy of your messages by using language that describes rather than evaluates and by presenting observable facts, events, and circumstances.

4. Poor listening

Perhaps the most common barrier to reception is simply a lack of attention on the receiver's part. We all let our minds wander now and then, regardless of how hard we try to concentrate. People are essentially likely to drift off when they are forced to listen to information that is difficult to understand or that has little direct bearing on their own lives. Too few of us simply do not listen well! To overcome barriers, paraphrase what you have understood, try to view the situation through the eyes of other speakers and resist jumping to conclusions. Clarify meaning by asking non-threatening questions, and listen without interrupting.

5. Differing emotional states

Every message contains both a content meaning, which deals with the subject of the message, and a relationship meaning, which suggests the nature of the interaction between sender and receiver. Communication can break down when the receiver reacts negatively to either of these meanings. You may have to deal with people when they are upset or when you are. An upset person tends to ignore or distort what the other person is saying and is often unable to present feelings and ideas effectively. This is not to say that you should avoid all communication when you are emotionally involved, but you should be alert to the greater potential for misunderstanding that accompanies aroused emotions. To overcome emotional barriers, be aware of the feelings that arise in your self and in others as you communicate, and attempt to control them. Most important, be alert to the greater potential for misunderstanding that accompanies emotional messages.

6. Differing backgrounds

Differences in background can be one of the hardest communication barriers to overcome. Age, education, gender, social status, economic position, cultural background, temperament, health, beauty, popularity, religion, political belief, even a passing mood can all separate one person from another and make understanding difficult. To overcome the barriers associated with differing backgrounds, avoid projecting your own background or culture onto others. Clarify your own and understand the background of others, spheres of knowledge, personalities and perceptions and don't assume that certain behaviors mean the same thing to everyone.

If you would like to get custom-made advice about your communication problems, please feel free to email me at All requests will be handled professionally and your communication problem will be handled in strict confidence.

Overcoming Communication Barriers Between People

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Symptoms of Pain and Illness in Dogs

Dog owners, who recognize the early signs and symptoms of illness or pain in their dogs, will not only relieve their loved one's suffering but may also be able to save themselves an expensive trip to the veterinarian. Not only is it important to recognize these signs early to relieve pain and suffering, but it is much more effective to treat an illness when it is detected early.

The dog owner should keep an accurate and detailed account of their dog's symptoms to help the veterinarian correctly diagnose and effectively treat the dog's illness or condition. Most canine illnesses are detected through a combination of various signs and symptoms:

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Temperature, Respiratory Rate and Heart Rate

A newborn puppy will have a temperature of 94-97º F. which will eventually reach the normal adult body temperature of 101.5º F. at the age of 4 weeks old. Take care when trying to take your dog or puppies temperature as the thermometer can easily be broken off in the canine's rectum. Also any form of excitement can cause the temperature to rise by 2-3º when the dog is actually in normal health. If your dog's temperature reaches 105º or above OR 96º or below please take him/her to the emergency vet immediately!

An adult dog will have a respiratory rate of 15-20 breaths per minute (depending on such variables as size and weight) and a heart rate of 80-120 beats per minute. You can feel for your dog's heartbeat by placing your hand on his/her lower ribcage just behind the elbow. Don't be alarmed if the heartbeat seems irregular compared to a human's heartbeat, it is irregular in many dogs. Have your vet check it out and get used to how it feels when it is normal.

Behavior Changes

Any behavior changes that are not associated with a change in the household atmosphere, such as jealousy over a new pet or child may be an indication of an illness. Signs of behavioral changes may be:

o Depression

o Anxiety

o Fatigue

o Sleepiness

o Trembling

o Falling/Stumbling

If your dog shows any of these signs, he/she needs to be kept under close watch for a few hours, or even a few days, until positive signs develop or he/she has returned to normal. Do not try to exercise the dog or put him/her in any situation that may cause stress. Most veterinarians will want for you to keep track of when the symptoms first appeared, whether they are getting better or worse, and also whether the symptoms are intermittent, continuous, or increasing in frequency.


Dogs that are in pain will likely indicate that they are suffering by giving you clues as to where the area of discomfort is. For instance, a dog that has abdominal pain will continually glance toward their belly, bite or lick the area, and will not want to leave his/her bed. The dog may stand hunched over, or take the 'prayer position' which is when a dog gets down on it's forelegs with the hind legs still standing, because of the pain in her abdomen area.

Dogs can not tell you that they are hurting or cry real tears but a dog may vocalize their pain in a different way. A dog that is hurt suddenly (such as being stepped on) will cry out or wimper in pain. This also happens when an external injury or internal injury (such as an organ) is touched. Whining or vocalization that is unprovoked may be caused from an internal injury as well. Some breeds of dogs (such as the American Pit Bull Terrier) have a higher pain threshold and need to be watched more closely for signs of pain. Breeds with a high pain tolerance are more likely to endure the pain without vocalization.

Another clue to pain is a change in temperament. A dog that is in pain may show signs of aggression. Please take note of this before concluding that a dog has become vicious and let your veterinarian know so that the correct treatment can be administered. Also females in general (even humans!) have days when they are just in a bad mood for no obvious reason. Take note of days of times that these mood swings occur as well as any events that might have triggered them.

Other signs that your dog may be sick:

o Ears: discharge, debris, odor, scratching, crusted tips, twitching or shaking.

o Eyes: redness, swelling or discharge.

o Nose: runny, thickened or colored discharge, crusty.

o Coughing, sneezing, vomiting or gagging.

o Shortness of breath, irregular breathing or prolonged/heavy panting

o Evidence of parasites in the dog's stool, strange color, blood in the stool, or lack of a bowel movement (constipation).

o Loss of appetite or not drinking as much water as normally would.

o Weight Loss.

o Strange color of urine, small amount of urine, straining, dribbling, or not going as frequently as normal.

o Bad odor coming from mouth, ears, or skin.

o Hair loss, wounds, tumors, dander or change of the skin's color.

o Biting of the skin, parasites, scratching or licking the skin frequently.

The preceding article was meant to help educate you to the signs and symptoms of probable pain or sickness in your dog. If any of these symptoms occur over a prolonged period of time, please seek the help of a veterinarian. I hope that this article will help stress the importance of keeping watch over your dog's health patterns and the importance of keeping an accurate, detailed health record for your veterinarian's convenience.

Symptoms of Pain and Illness in Dogs

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Insurance Coverage for Mental Health Issues

In 1996, the Mental Health Parity Act was passed in order to protect the proper insurance coverage for Americans with mental concerns. For many citizens who receive Social Security and associated medical coverage through their work, receiving equal coverage for their mental concerns was problematic. The public perception of mental health issues is not equal to the perceptions of other bodily diseases. This varied opinion has been expressed through insurance coverage that provides limited coverage for mental issues. The Mental Health Parity Act works to redress that situation.

Many Americans suffer from mental issues that require medical attention, doctors visits, and prescription medication just like any other health concern. It is crucial that, if you receive medical benefits through your company, that your complete health concerns are covered as well. The Mental Health Parity Act worked to ensure that an equal annual or lifetime limit of expense is extended to cover mental concerns as well as medical health issues. This also includes other retained rights that may be associated with a general medical expense.

Mental Health

Though there are a few exemptions included in this Act, its purpose is to ensure that insurance providers and companies that may control that insurance do not reduce the benefits to their employees or former employees based on the nature of their illness. Mental concerns can be as detrimental to the life and happiness of a patient as medical concerns. One important restriction included in this act is an exemption for mental health-related concerns regarding substance abuse or chemical dependency.

For more information about all of your health coverage rights, please visit the website of the Indianapolis social security disability lawyers at the Hankey Law Office, P.C..

Insurance Coverage for Mental Health Issues

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An Analysis of The Relationship Between Art and Mental Health

To understand how art is utilized in mental health you'll have to think of art as a constitutive subject, an essential element in interpersonal communications. Art doesn't exist for the sake of its own existence, but for the sake of interpersonal communication. In art, both artist and observer are participants. Although it is the artist that originally imbues their work with meaning, it is the observer who discovers its meaning. It's the observer who must break the artist's work down into its disparate parts, decipher its hidden code and piece that code together into a coherent sentence or paragraph which the arts reason for existing is stated. Consciously and unconsciously, it's through art that those dealing with mental illness create insight into their existence.

It is through their art, that qualified art therapists are able to determine what underlying issues are at the root of an individual's mental illness. Thus; their art acts as an indicator/confirmation of which mental illness they may be suffering from due to certain mental illnesses' ability to affect an individual's perception and expression. Thus, the art of a mentally ill individual is capable of being utilized as a road map which assist art therapists in determining which physiological and psycho-emotive issues need to be dealt with in order to return an individual to wellness.

Mental Health

Most individuals dealing with mental illness experience some form of impairment in their ability to intentionally communicate their instinctual desires through repressed thinking. This is because individuals suffering from mental illness may lack the ego integrity ( strength of mind and connection with reality) necessary to censor and harness the energy of their instinctual desires (emotions and sensations) while transforming them into coherent thought/spoken concepts or ideas. However, artistic expression allows individuals possessing mental illnesses to express their instinctual desires in a constructive manner without being forced to censor their thoughts, feelings, or instincts in a non-restrictive pattern of expression.

This is important because censoring can cause an individual to shut down and become incapable of communicating with others due to their frustration with being unable to convey their thoughts as quickly as they emerge.

Thus; for those that are mentally ill, art or the act of art becomes a non-threatening means of communications for the mentally ill and their artistic observer/therapist. This allows a mentally ill individual to communicate freely without reservation and feel comfortable with expressing their mental landscape thoughts, feelings and dreams to the art therapist who interprets the meaning of these phenomena into a meaningful representation of their clients' inner-world; this further assist the art therapist in determining underlying issues responsible for their clients' conditions and what issues may be agitating or preventing them from returning to health.

Thus, it's after the creation of art as a finished product that an observer/art therapist becomes a participant in the client's artistic process through attempting to discover both its latent and manifest meaning. It's through joint participation of artist/client and observer/therapist that both are brought together in developing its meaning. It's through this process that the artist/client is given value or validation by the participating observer/therapist and that both process and observer are internalized by the artist; the client takes the therapist and their reaction to their art into themselves and is either positively or negatively affected by it. Thus; the therapist's reaction to their art will either assist in returning the client to health or delay it. In short, a therapist reaction to their client's art and their ability to praise and/or critique appropriately will assist their client in developing insight, self-esteem and connection to reality.

Without this interpersonal process between client and therapist, art in and of itself possesses no innate value associated with a client's healing unless it is to release the instinctual energy pent-up within the psyche of those who are mentally ill through various creative outlets that de-energize the unsatisfied instinctual impulses responsible for the agitation of a client's concomitant emotional states. So to the artist/client without the involvement of process and observer/therapist, art and its creation lacks value and is discarded by the client. Without process and observer it becomes another expression of unmet instinctual desires that the artist desires to alleviate, but unable to do so becomes even more frustrated. In short, without a voice and a listener those suffering from mental illness become shut off from others and reality while experiencing frustration, and anxiety. It is through art, its process of creation and the presence of an interested observer that this is prevented and remedied.

Because art and the creation of art gains value through collective participation by both artist and observer; it becomes a constitutive subject which is internalized by both artist and observer, and then possesses the power to heal through the internalization of process and observer. It's this process that is invaluable to individuals dealing with mental illness, and brings about healing much in the same way as rationalized therapy, therapy in which disciplined rationale thought is applied, otherwise known as talk therapy where the observer/therapist and client develop insight and alleviate the client's anxieties through developing cognitive behavioral procedures that deal with the client's internalized conflicts or unanswered instinctual desires. The difference is that through art and the process of art there is an ability to create a public record of the psycho- emotive state in which both therapist and client engaged in during their time together. Thus; structured art therapy has the potential to assist the mentally ill in returning wellness as it assists them in understanding their underlying problems.

An Analysis of The Relationship Between Art and Mental Health

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Positive Mental Attitude and Health

Having a positive mental attitude is one of the important aspects of good health. Body and mind work in unity to bring health and well-being. Positive mental attitude, feelings of inner peace and happiness contribute to the proper functioning of the immune system thus protecting us from different illnesses. They can also help us to recover from serious diseases. A research found the link between the mental attitude of cancer patients and the outcome of the disease.

In early 1900s Emile Coue, a French psychotherapist, discovered that repeating positive affirmations can help people improve their health over time. In his free clinic patients were told to repeat during the day "Every day in every way I am getting better and better". This actually influenced their physical health.

Mental Health

It is not an impossible task to develop a positive mental attitude if you can approach it as any other negative habit that needs to be changed. To change a habit you need to replace it with another habit. In this case it is positive thinking.

One of the ways to develop positive thinking is repeating positive affirmations in your mind. Write down positive affirmations for your particular situation and learn them by heart. Repeat them to yourself several times a day. Whenever you catch yourself thinking negatively start repeating your positive affirmations. Keep repeating them even if you don't believe what you are saying. Persist in repeating positive affirmations and you will start believing them. You will also notice that you feel better: all of the sudden all negative emotions disappear.

Another way to change the way you feel and hence the negative thinking is doing what the old sayings, like "keep your chin up" or "smile and the world will smile with you" tell you to do! The mere fact of keeping your chin up will change the way you feel.

Exercise is an excellent promoter of positive thinking. Whenever you feel negative do some stretches, walk or run and you will notice that your negative emotions disappear. Dancing is another way to dispel the negativity.

These simple techniques can help you develop a positive outlook to life and hence improve your health. 

Positive Mental Attitude and Health

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Understanding Careers in Mental Health and Psychology

Are you interested in a career in mental health and psychology? If so, then it is important that you do your research into the career before you fully make up your mind. This field is one that many people enjoy; however, it may not be the right choice for everyone. So, before you get ready to make this important career decision, there are a few things that you need to consider. You'll no doubt want to be informed about the educational requirements, the various job positions available in the field, the salary you can expect, and perhaps a few companies that offer great jobs in the field. Once you sort out this information, you'll be better prepared to decide if this career is really for you or not.

Preparing with Education

Mental Health

If you plan on having a career in mental health and psychology, you are definitely going to need a good education. However, the education that you will need will be based on what specific job you want within the field. If you want to be a mental health counselor, then you will need a different education than a mental health nurse. Nurses who want to specialize in mental health nursing must take their regular nurse training, which usually takes 4 years for a Bachelor's degree. During that time you can choose to specialize in mental health nursing.

If you plan on being a psychologist then you will need to have a doctoral degree. If a Ph.D. in psychology is your goal, you are going to spend about 5-7 years in graduate school, which comes after you have a Bachelor's degree. So basically you will have spent about 9-11 years in higher education. Some degrees also include internships as well. If you want to become a school psychologist, dealing with students, you will need a special Ed.S. degree that focuses on both education and psychology. There are also some jobs available that only require that you have a Master's degree in psychology.

Positions Available in the Field

There are a variety of excellent positions available on the field of mental health, depending on what you are most interested in. There are counseling jobs available, jobs for nurses and nurses' aides who want to work in mental health care, and of course there are a variety of jobs available to psychologists as well. There are jobs available in clinical psychology, with specialties in neuropsychology, health psychology, and geropsychology.

School psychologists can find great jobs working in elementary schools as well as high schools and they deal with psychological and behavior problems in students. You can also find available jobs in developmental psychology as well, which deals with social, cognitive, and physiological develop that occurs in people throughout their life. Of course there are teaching jobs and research jobs available in the mental health field as well.

Pay - What to Expect

Of course the pay that you expect will highly depend on which job you pick within the mental health field. Nurses will only make between ,000 and ,000 in this field, depending on their experience and education. Psychologists that work in schools usually make around ,000 a year, those in family services usually make about ,000 yearly, and those who work with other health care practitioners make around ,000 a year. Some psychologists make as low as ,000 a year, while on the top end, others make as much as 0,000 a year.

Great Companies that Offer Jobs

If you do decide to get involved in a mental health or psychology career, no doubt you are going to be interested in finding companies that offer excellent jobs, with great pay and benefits. Whether you live in the United States or Canada, there are some great companies out there that hire people in mental health careers. A few great companies to consider in the United States include Georgia Correctional Healthcare, Range Mental Health Center in Minnesota, Bayview Center for Mental Health, Inc., in Miami, Florida, and Anne Arundel Health Systems in Maryland. There are also some great companies to consider in Canada as well, including Provincial Health Services Authority in British Columbia, Prairie North Regional Health Authority in Saskatchewan, and River Valley Health, in New Brunswick. All of these companies offer competitive salaries as well as good benefits.

Understanding Careers in Mental Health and Psychology


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Independent Consultant As a Mental Health Consultant in Early Childhood Settings

The goal of a mental health consultant who works in early childhood settings is the promotion of mental wellness and encouragement of positive social relations in children.

A 2005 study by Yale University's Ed Ziglar Center in Child development found that 6.7 children per 1000 are expelled from preschool every year, three times the rate of expulsions in kindergarten through high school. However, preschool teachers who have access to mental health consultants are about half as likely to expel a child compares with teachers who lack such support based on a report that looked at 3,898 preschool classes in 40 states.

Mental Health

Another recent study in 89 classes conducted by the Tulane University's Institute of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health link the mental health help offered there to improved behavior and learning and more cheerful classroom climates.

The mental health consultant, in early childhood or preschool settings, helps small children to learn the lifelong social and emotional skills they need. Children have to learn how to get along with people, to respond to them appropriately, and to acquire an awareness of how their actions affect other people and how other people's actions affect them. To be more specific, they need to learn cooperation, self-control, confidence, independence, curiosity, empathy, and communication. Also preschoolers need to learn how to inhibit impulsive behavior, become thoughtful, interpersonally sensitive, goal-oriented, respectful of other's space and belongings, and to develop friendships.

In addition, the mental health consultant identifies children with special needs which have often resulted from violence, abuse, prenatal substance abuse, losses due to incarcerations or death, or living in foster homes or with multiple care givers. Such experiences often has significantly affected the lives of children who display severe behavioral and emotional problems such as learning disabilities, speech or language disorders, emotional or behavioral disorders.

The mental health consultant also assist with parent support issues, including stress related issues, finding resources, acquiring job training, etc. Parent workshops and personal consultations with parents are essential in helping parents to implement some of the learning activities the youngsters are experiencing in the classroom as well as to address concerns parents may have relative to personal parenting issues and needs.

In the course of a work day, in addition to scheduled meetings with parents, the mental health consultant carries out classroom observations for assessment and evaluation, insure supportive responses in meeting the children's needs and conduct scheduled staff development workshops focused on strategies for dealing with behavioral and attention problems.

The Independent Consultant As a Mental Health Consultant in Early Childhood Settings

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Mental, Physical and Spiritual Health Benefits of Nature Photography As Your New Hobby

The primary reason you should take up adventure nature photography as your new hobby is that it promotes physical health and wellbeing. Physical health is important in all of our lives, and often it is difficult or mundane to force yourself to exercise in a repetitive routine. Many Americans suffer from obesity and a lack of physical activity is the cause for this disease. Taking up an active hobby such as adventure nature photography helps promote physical exercise in a unique and interesting manner. When I began gathering nature pictures and taking little hikes with my son in 2004, I weighed in at over 270 pounds. I was seriously out of shape, but now I weigh in at a trim 180, and have lost 90 pounds doing something fun and exciting.

Another important reason you should consider adventure nature photography is mental and spiritual health. Thousands of people suffer from anxiety and depression all over the world, and this is often caused by a lack of perspective in what really matters. If you take up adventure nature photography as your new hobby, the cares and concerns of work, school and the everyday stressful tasks of life will begin to melt away as you focus on the beauty and peaceful creation all around you. When you consider the way that God takes care of his creation, and that nature does not stress and worry about money or about what is going to happen tomorrow, we can then possibly begin to believe that he will, in his own way and time, take care of us even more than he does the animals and flowers in nature.

Mental Health

One of the greatest benefits of becoming an adventure nature photographer is that it will give you an interesting reason to spend more time with your friends and family. Loneliness can lead to depression and anxiety, and having a friend or a loved one to share a nature photography experience with helps to build and strengthen your relationship. Husband and wife, as well as parent and child relationships, are critical in all societies and cultures; as family is the primary building block of all our lives. I often will consider going to the mountains by myself, and when I picture doing this in my mind I think to myself, "I would be lonely going on my own", so I will ask my wife and kids if they want to go with me.

Although you may be concerned that you will not be able to hike if you are seriously out of shape or have another physical disability. You can begin by walking and hiking just a little at a time (such as walking in your back yard or neighborhood), and this will help you to build strength and endurance. Then again, you may be concerned that nature photography will be too expensive and you simply will not be able to afford a camera or equipment. However, quality point and shoot digital cameras are fairly inexpensive in today's market and you can obtain a high resolution digital camera that is easy to use and operate for less than a hundred dollars.

In conclusion adventure nature photography is an exciting hobby, which promotes physical health and vigorous exercise in an interesting way. When you have an interesting hobby such as nature photography, your focus will begin to see God's provision for creation and this helps you to mentally shift from monotonous daily routines, thus relieving stress and anxiety. Quality friend and family relationships are critical in all of our lives, and often an interesting reason to spend quality time together is all that we need. So, If you suffer from physical, mental or even spiritual health issues; and would like a way to spend more time with family and friends, you should consider adventure nature photography as your new found hobby.

Who knows, maybe if you take up adventure nature photography as your new hobby, it may develop into a small home business for you as well.

The Mental, Physical and Spiritual Health Benefits of Nature Photography As Your New Hobby

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Positive Mental Health - 5 Tips On How To Replace Negative Thoughts With Positive Thoughts

Developing positive mental health is essential for daily living. It will help you in every aspect of your life; such as in your home life, work life as well as social life. You already know that right, because that is why you are reading this article. What you want to know is. How do I replace my negative thoughts with positive thoughts?

For a start you will need to stop calling them, 'my negative thoughts', you could replace it with 'that negative thought' do not take ownership of them, and start taking ownership of your positive thoughts.

Mental Health

So to help you to be able to do this, I have compiled a list of 5 things you can do that will help you defeat these negative thoughts, and turn them into positive ones.

1. Take your thoughts captive. What do I mean by this? Firstly you need to start to think about what you are thinking about. Realize that you have control over what you think. You need to catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, and replace them with a more positive perspective that fits with your particular situation. Imagine you have a problem with road rage, and someone cuts you off; now take a look at your usual reaction to this situation. What usually goes through your mind? I bet it is something like, that person could have killed me, can't they drive, why don't you look where you are going you Idiot. Am I right? We need to look at the truth of the situation not just the facts. What do I mean by this? The "fact" is they cut you off but the "truth" is no one was hurt.

I used to suffer road rage, when ever any one cut me off I would yell rant and rave. One day I was driving and an old woman cut me off. I went into my usual tirade of verbal abuse, because it had become a habit, and suddenly it occurred to me, "who am I affecting by yelling at the other cars. That person is blissfully unaware that they just cut me off. Who am I hurting" it occurred to me the only person that I was hurting was me so I thought "well at least no one was hurt, and I get to see my family again" I practiced this in my mind several times a day, and the next time someone cut me off I felt my anger begin to rise, and because I had practiced it in my mind it was easier to control how I reacted. It took about three months till I finally gained victory over these thoughts but now someone cuts me off and I do not even react.

2. Rehearse and Practice: Along with taking your thoughts captive and replace them with a positive perspectives, you will need to begin to rehearse them in your mind as often as you can. Remember to look at the truth of the matter not the facts. The practice and rehearse aspect is the most important part of gaining victory over negative thoughts. You cannot successfully replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts until you break the habits that have plagued your thoughts for years. Rehearse the positive perspective with the situation that occurs in a regular basis.

3. Think of situations that usually cause you to become negative, and replace them with a positive perspective before it happen. This will prepare you to react more appropriately the next time that negative situation comes up again. Continue to practice the positive thought three to five times per day. That way when that negative situation comes up you will know the best way to react. Obviously you will not be able to think of every scenario that gets you angry, but once you do start the process you will find as you get better at doing this, it will have an overflow effect in other areas. But if you find that you have reacted really well a number of times then you accidentally blow it, it is alright, do not beat yourself up about it just remember this can happen, and it is just your old habits trying to creep in. Do not give up just because it happened a couple of times, just practice the positive perspective more often until you can think of it automatically.

4. What if you think negative thoughts about someone close to you? For example your husband or wife, and it's destroying your relationship with that person. Well you need to find something positive about that person, and think about that. Think about how to do something nice for them that you know they will appreciate. Because even if that person does not appreciate it at first, and if you continue to do nice things for them you will begin to feel better about yourself. Think about what first attracted you to them. What was it that you first liked about them? Begin to think positive thoughts even if it is something as small as you like the way the person wears their hair, or you like the clothes they are wearing. Regardless of what it is just think something positive about them. You will begin to see them in a fresh light

5. Do not beat yourself up if you blow it occasionally just get back on the horse and continue to do it. Developing positive mental health does not happen overnight. You are going to have to make it a long-term commitment, in fact, finding the positive perspective will probably have to be a life time commitment. But do not worry it does get easier as time goes on.

If you follow these tips on a daily basis you will find that you whole life will change and you will find that more people will begin to like you because you are now walking in a positive mental health. Remember take your thoughts captive i.e. think about what you are thinking about. Recognise the truth not the facts, and think about the truth of the matter, rehearse and practice the positive thoughts and perspective and make them the new habit in your thought life. Try and think of something positive about other people even if it is something little. and most importantly do not beat yourself up or give up if you blow it because everyone does occasionally. if you remember these 5 tips you will be well on your way to having positive mental health.

Positive Mental Health - 5 Tips On How To Replace Negative Thoughts With Positive Thoughts

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Monday, November 28, 2011

More Than Just a Psychiatric Facility - The Elgin Mental Healthcare Center

What is The Elgin Mental Healthcare Center? Suppose if a friend of you or someone in their family is to be treated in a mental care facility, we try to find the best facility for them. After all, the goal is for them to get well, and we believe that our choice of hospital is vital for the person's recovery. In Illinois, when we speak of psychiatric facilities, one hospital easily comes to mind. That is Elgin Mental Health Center or EMHC. As the second oldest state hospital in Illinois, this facility opened in 1872 under its former name, Northern Illinois Hospital and Asylum for the Insane. The first-ever physiological measurements of mental patients were recorded by the Elgin Papers back in the 1890s. By 1997, the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations gave EMHC its commendation for two years in a row.

How the hospital was developed can be broken down into five phases. The first phase ended in 1893. A stable leadership was responsible for the gradual growth during this period. After this phase, the hospital immensely grew to more than twice its size. This second phase, which ended by 1920, was characterized by a lot of politicking, leadership changes and power struggles in the system. For the third period, growth was more rapid. Hospital population, which reached its peak by the 1950s, increased for both geriatric and veterans. This is because the period was post World War I and World War II. By the time the third phase ended, hospital population declined. During this phase, psychotropic medications were introduced. Other milestones for this period include the development of community health facilities, deinstitutionalization, until the decentralization of decision-making and authority. This fourth phase ended until the 1980s.

Mental Health

The last phase is what some call the "rebirth." It began in 1983, when hospital census was at its lowest. Because of this, the hospital was on the verge of closure. However, the state decided to close Manteno Mental Health Center instead. During this time, the hospital was practically rebuilt. While the old buildings used a congregate model called the Kirkbride plan, new physical facilities were added such as cottages in order to adhere to a segregate plan. There are two divisions, civil and forensic. Each division has an acute treatment center, office and conference rooms which faculty and trainees can use. Forensic programs were further developed, and new affiliations with medical schools were also made. Affiliations include that with The Chicago Medical School, among others. An increase in educational activities showed that EMHC is also concerned with the education of future doctors and medical graduates. Hospital system operations were also modified. Activities of community mental health centers are integrated in the system operations. Community mental health centers refer their patients to EMHC. These community mental facilities include DuPage County Health Department, Lake County Mental Health Center, Ecker Center for Mental Health, and Kenneth Young Center.

At present, admissions are close to 1300 annually. Patients are usually African-American, Euro-American and Hispanic. The hospital holds 582 to 600 beds and about 40 full-time physicians. Just like any health facility, EMHC is harassed with problems and controversies with respect to their policies and programs. Nevertheless, Elgin Mental Health Center continues to do what it is supposed to do, and that is to provide the best treatment for their patients.

More Than Just a Psychiatric Facility - The Elgin Mental Healthcare Center

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Parents Ask - Should My 4-5 Year Old See a Mental Health Professional?

Young children are known for being irrational and unpredictable at times. A temper tantrum in the grocery store because a child wants candy is not unheard of in four and five-year-olds. Parents often wonder, however, how they can tell if their child is just pushing their limits or is really showing signs of a serious behavioral problem. While it can be hard to distinguish between bad behavior and a behavioral disorder, there are some clues that parents can use.

While average children will resist instruction from a parent, if the parent is persistent, the child will eventually allow themselves to be led to an activity. A child with a behavioral disorder will defy a persistent parent's requests continuously and begin to have a 'meltdown' if the parent does not give in.

Mental Health

Almost all young children throw temper tantrums when they are very frustrated. They may even hit, kick, or bite a parent or other authority figure impulsively. However, most children will calm down within a few minutes and can be redirected to an unrelated activity. A child with a behavioral disorder who is frustrated or disappointed will often be physically aggressive towards adults when upset, and becomes inconsolable for 20 minutes or more, often several times a day.

Four and five-year-olds are often entering the stages where they can begin to show empathy. Some children develop this late than others. Not being able to understand the feelings of others, physical aggression without remorse, and bullying are signs to watch for if a parent is worried about a behavioral disorder.

Lastly, the average child may accidentally harm an animal while playing. A child with a behavioral disorder may often be cruel to animals, causing harm intentionally.

While any of these signs can worry a parent, one or two that occur infrequently may just be a signal to watch, not a cue to call a mental health professional. However, if a child begins showing more than one or two of these symptoms, and they become more frequent, a call to a mental health professional is in order.

Do you want to learn exactly how to eliminate your child's out-of-control and defiant behavior without using Punishments, Time-Outs, Behavioral Plans, or Rewards?

Parents Ask - Should My 4-5 Year Old See a Mental Health Professional?

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mental Health Nursing Diagnosis

Mental health nursing diagnosis is an intensive branch in the nursing field that takes care of people with a wide variety of mental disabilities. Nurses in this field have to go through specialized training where they learn about physiological therapies, developing therapeutic alliances, how to deal with behavior change and how to administer the psychiatric drugs. They work with the nursing models to provide intensive patient care to their patients. They are supposed to have positive and collaborative relationships with their patients to help them get better fast.

The nurses work under the doctors' instructions to treat the patients. This is where they are supposed to give the right type of medication to the patients and regularly check up on them to make sure they are responding well to the drugs. They should be familiar with the patient where they learn about their conditions and their medical histories so that they can give them the right type of medicine. Since they are dealing with people who have mental illnesses they should develop skills to deal with all their patients in special ways.

Mental Health

There are a few things that one has to keep in mind while going through the mental health nursing diagnosis. First you will have to figure out if the patient is getting enough sleeps and look at their patterns of sleeping. You will also have to carefully be able to identify the myriad of social behaviors of the person and how exactly they are relating with other people.

Mental Health Nursing Diagnosis

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Mental Health Counseling and Stress Management

Both for counselors and clients involved in mental support, increased levels of physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual stress can make challenges worse. It is fairly common knowledge that anxiety, panic, fear, anger/rage, loss of focus, PTSD, chemical dependency and other forms of addiction, and compulsive behaviors are either created, or made worse, as a response to stress. I believe that depression or depressive episodes are often the back side of anxiety (and over stimulation.) With the physiologic response to stressors/anxieties at least partially shutting down the higher function of the decision making neo-cortex, stress can lead to poor problem solving, reduced abilities to communicate, and increased psycho-pathologies.

If you can see the role stress plays in relationship to increased mental health challenges, then the contrary, the practice of stress management, can lead to reduced demonstrations of symptoms. Forms of stress management, biofeedback, "desensitization," "mindfulness," and other anxiety reducing practices (like yoga, meditation, diet, exercise, etc) can prove very therapeutic in helping to control the causes of anxiety/stress related symptoms. Beyond symptom control, for the motivated client, I feel that using these techniques until mastered and then regularly, and preventively, can benefit a person by "empowering" them with body awareness, present living mindfulness, and new skills to control stressed out physiologies.

Mental Health

Empowerment of the individual is the key! Self-awareness and then self-control (of habitually held stress) enables a person to feel better in control of available time and energy and better able to self-minimize, if not eliminate, psychological symptoms and emotional/spiritual pain & conflict. Spending time in a "positive" way, in the present moment, leads to reduced fear and anxiety. This new self-control can often lead to reduced needs for psycho-active medications, alcohol, or street drugs.

Stress management, biofeedback, other behavioral techniques, and other stress reducing practices are not difficult to learn, but finding the time and motivation to use these effective techniques often requires support and counsel.

For therapists, counselors, teachers, and concerned family members, these same techniques are essential in minimizing the potential for "burn-out," "over-load," and reduction in the ability to care for your client, student, or family member. To be a positive role model by regularly practicing stress management, seems an obvious self-care strategy that serves all parties in therapeutic relationships.

I may be "preaching to the choir" but even the obvious needs to be restated. Basic stress management is a necessary element to psycho-therapy. The extra element of simple biofeedback practices is a beneficial feature offering personal awareness that leads to better levels of self-control.

Since 1978, the Stress Education Center has offered coaching, training and products for stress management.

Mental Health Counseling and Stress Management

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Ways to Maintain Your Mental Sharpness and Health

There is a saying among psychologists, that all people are born geniuses until something stops the genius and turns it to mush. One of the best ways to keep mental health is to make sure that the brain keeps functioning properly. If it is left to stagnate, then it can literally lose its 'muscle' and get 'flabby.' Just like the muscles of the body, the brain needs to work in order to work properly. The more stimuli it gets, the better it can develop its 'muscles.' Here are some ways to keep your mental health healthy and muscular.

Brains are always likened to computers by the unimaginative. The truth is, the computer was designed after the brain and there is no way that it can beat the brain's mental functioning. The brain is like a sponge; it absorbs and assimilates all information, even if you are not aware of the information coming in. Once the information comes in, the brain automatically sorts through them and junks the inessentials and files them in the short term memory. The essential ones they get filed in the long term memory. However, because it is junked, it does not mean that it is totally deleted. Think of it as the recycle bin, but this time, the storage space is infinite, not limited to the number of gigabytes. Anything can pull out that memory no matter how small the stimulus is.

Mental Health

To keep the mental muscles firm and toned, do some mental activities. You will notice that the brain is much like writing. When in school or in the office, writing is second nature, you don't need to think to write. But when the time comes when you get off writing totally for a long period of time, like a summer vacation, the first time you attempt to write nothing seems to go right, it is a little awkward at first. This is exactly how the brain is it needs its exercise through mental workouts (crossword puzzles, essay writing, reading politics, etc.)

The brain also needs a good steady diet. Brain food is in the form of reading and assimilation of information. One way to make the imaginative aspect of the mental muscles work is to let it work, imagine. If reading a book will stimulate the imagination, then read. If it takes to doing crafts to wake up the long unused muscles of creativity, then do some art.

For those who feel that they are getting old and their mental muscles are getting a little flabby, there is such a thing as education. Simply because one is of retirement age does not mean that the brain still cannot have a workout. Anyway, getting an education at a mature age makes one feel younger and more agile.

The brain is like a muscle, it needs food, a good steady dose of nutrition and a good workout. When stagnant, it can start to suffocate on its own mushiness and needs to sweat a little bit. Give your brain a mental workout and make sure that you are alert at all times because when the brain wakes up after a long sleep, it can just be very active.

Ways to Maintain Your Mental Sharpness and Health

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mental Health and Mental Illnesses - The Behavior of a Schizophrenic

I just talked with the Brazilian friend who takes care of my father in Brazil. She is a very patient nurse. Her husband and son are very patient too. God was very generous for putting this family near my father, because my cross is already too heavy, since he is schizophrenic.

Last year I had to convince him to agree to an indispensable surgical operation. If Skype didn't exist, I would have had to pay a fortune in phone calls from Greece to Brazil!

Mental Health

He never simply agrees with anything...

He was always this way. His complications were so many that if we could forget the fact that he was crazy and he was always provoking suffering with all the problems he created around him, we could just laugh at his demands...

Everyone would notice that he was absurd at some point, but because he had money, a factory and a store, etc., nobody dared to insult him, especially his employees.

When I was a child the internet didn't exist and we had an old typewriter that made a lot of noise and had keys that were so stiff, you had to hit them in order to type something. So, we had no way to simply delete a word if we made a mistake. We didn't have Tippex (Liquid Paper) to erase any mistakes you make with ink on paper. If we made a mistake while typing an important document, we had to start typing it again...

Everything was so complicated then. I'm talking about 1970 for example, when I was 9 years old.

I remember my father's secretary typing and re-typing the same document many times, because she had forgotten an important word, and this important word would be the word "and" in a sentence, for example. Without this "and" everything was totally wrong.

You may think that most sentences can appear correct without an "and" in them, but my father would always pay attention to the most irrelevant details and create a very big problem out of them. In the end his secretary would have suicidal thoughts and everyone involved in the business relationship would regret very much agreeing to work with him.

His sellers were his biggest victims. I remember many discussions with one of them, who always used to say that my father was a "very difficult person"... The only reason that he continued to work for him was because my father used to pay everyone very well. This was his tactic: he would distribute money with generosity, so that everyone would simply agree with him...

And there was no way that things could be different, when he was younger and he had power.

Now he is very old, and he has even stopped causing problems in the clinic that he visits constantly, because he has a respiratory problem.

In the beginning he used to walk around in the nude there, no matter how many times everyone would explain to him that he needed to wear clothes, because he was not in a desert.

He is always suspicious of everyone, and there is no way you can convince him that something is good, if he thinks that it is bad.

The worst of all was his nerves when he was younger, and he used to become nervous very easily. Everyone was always afraid of him and his reactions.

Before telling him anything, everyone would practice first, trying to find the best way to present to him whatever they wanted, because he would always create an obstacle and make everything impossible to be done, or deny talking, without giving any explanation to anyone.

He would stay silent and never say a word, while everyone was waiting for his answer.

Then everyone would start looking at one another and communicate with their eyes, understanding that he would not cooperate: they were trying to handle an impossible creature.

Prevent all mental illnesses and care about keeping your mental health for life if you want to be safe and stay far from having absurd behavior. This is my serious advice, after many years of research and impossible cures that I had to carry on.

I had many reasons for looking for the cure of schizophrenia in my life, and my father's case was only the first one...

Write down your dreams and learn how to translate them with my dynamic method, so that you may start understanding the important lessons you receive everyday in the dream messages.

Your dreams are produced by the unconscious mind, which is wise, because it is much older than your human conscience, and it works like a natural doctor.

Follow the guidance of the unconscious mind in your dreams, and rest in peace: you'll certainly completely develop your intelligence, eliminating the wild and primitive side of your brain that tries to destroy your conscience through craziness, by transforming it into a positive part of your human conscience.

This is how you are going to prevent depression, worse craziness, suicidal thoughts, and terrorism. You'll be sure that you'll never lose your mental health, no matter what may happen to you.

And, you will have protection, since you'll see dreams with previsions and warnings, and this way avoid what is dangerous, besides being always balanced and self-confident.

Mental Health and Mental Illnesses - The Behavior of a Schizophrenic

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Do Not Forget Mental Health Needs During Stroke Recovery

Stroke recovery can be a very hard process on both the stroke survivor and their friends and family. Often times after a stroke, a person needs to relearn how to do even the basic things of life, such as eating, talking, and walking. And, will likely need help taking care of their daily hygiene needs, including voiding, dressing, and bathing. The stroke recovery period therefore can be a very trying time. In order to avoid resentment building up, from caretaker fatigue, and in order to keep the recovering patient in the best spirits it's a good idea to arrange to take breaks.

The stroke victim is likely going through even more emotional issues than the physical ones which are readily apparent. Try to imagine going from and independent, well functioning adult, who can come and go as they please, easily take care of their daily needs and meet the needs of others, engage in meaningful employment and leisure activities, to suddenly being dependent upon others for your needs, eating baby food, and wondering if and when the life you once led will ever even remotely resemble the life of your future. It is a good idea to provide mental health therapy as part of the stroke recovery rehab plan.

Mental Health

From the caretaker's point of view, usually a spouse, things aren't any easier. Often times they are trying to hold on to a job, and the financial picture in their house looks bleak given that their spouse prior to suffering from a stroke likely earned at least half of the family's income, and as they are devoting so much time to the care of their spouse they likely are missing work hours as well. Financial stress alone is one of the biggest stressors on marriages - but adds in taking care of a spouse, and also wondering when or if your spouse will ever recover is overwhelming. Again, the stroke recovery period should include the mental health needs of the caretaker to avoid extreme marital discord. Also, the caretaker needs to remember to take care of themselves.

The best thing that all parties can use during this rehab program is an extra dose of patience, and because it's easy to get impatient when one is exhausted, both the patient and caretaker must remember to take mental health breaks.

Do Not Forget Mental Health Needs During Stroke Recovery

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bipolar Disorder - Pets Can Be Good for Your Mental Health

Many people who suffer with bipolar disorder have seen the advantages of sharing their life with their pets. At times when they have been discouraged and the idea of talking or relating with another human being seemed like such a difficult challenge, the unconditional love and companionship of their pet has been a great comfort.

And while this in itself is a great benefit for animal lovers who suffer with bipolar disorder, there is still another great aspect of having a beloved pet in their life. During these lows of depression when a person with bipolar disorder has had thoughts of giving up, many times it has actually been their pet who has provided them the desire to continue on and work through the tough situation until they are again ready for some human interaction.

Mental Health

So what if you don't have pets and can't get one right at this time? A solution might be to research your local animal shelter or humane society and learn about becoming a volunteer. These places are hurting for good volunteers and would really appreciate your help. This would be a win/win situation. You could get some time with some of the animals, and maybe even find one you are compatible with and adopt it. And the shelter or humane society gets some much needed volunteer work.

With either a pet you already own or a new pet you have adopted, there are many things that need to be done to make sure that the animal is well taken care. Things like making sure they have food and are fed daily, litter boxes kept clean and full of new litter, combing or brushing your pet. You get the picture. This is a great way to keep your mind off of your depression and focused on meeting the needs of your pet. Not I'm not saying that your feelings should be ignored, not at all. I'm just saying that sometimes the feeling of "being needed" by another living thing can be therapeutic.

If you do decide to do some volunteer work at one of the pet related places mentioned earlier, you will undoubtedly meet new people. People with the same interests as you....animals! Most animal lovers are usually pretty good people. And this would open the way for you to not only meet new people but you'd be helping out a great cause. This could be all it takes for someone who might be depressed or shy to slowly edge into building friendships and begin interacting with others again.

Bipolar Disorder - Pets Can Be Good for Your Mental Health

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tips For Improving Mental Health

Your mental health is as important as your physical health. Being physically fit makes no sense if you have problems with the way you think and feel. According to studies, the mental health of a person declines with age, thus the common case of Alzheimer's disease and dementia among older people. You can improve your mental health while you are younger simple by developing healthy habits.

Doing something worthwhile can help you overcome boredom and depression. In your free time, try to learn a new sport, discover a passion or even a hidden talent. There are lots of activities out there that can give you the opportunity to exercise your brain. Going out to see new places can also contribute a lot to your mental health, so don't hesitate to jump into an adventure once in a while.

Mental Health

By eating brain foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, you can boost up your brain's health so feed your brain to keep it sane. Help your brain release feel-good endorphins as well through regular light and moderate exercises. And don't forget to get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can make you feel grumpy and even depressed most of the time.

As much as possible, stay connected with your friends and loved ones. As the saying goes, "No man is an island." Surrounding yourself with people you love and love you in return can actually boost up not only your mental health but your overall health as well. Research has proven that friends who live near to each other have longer lives than those who do not.

S Two persons can be facing the same situation but one responds differently from the other. If you want to maintain your overall well-being, try to be more optimistic about life. Seeing things in a more positive perspective can make a big difference to your health and life in general.

Most importantly, get rid of stress. Stress can kill you faster than any tobacco smoke or alcoholic drink but I suggest you eliminate the three altogether. All the things you have read today are simple yet effective, so if you learn to apply them in your life, you can be sure to improve both your physiological and psychological health.

Tips For Improving Mental Health

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

GIRL POWER! Is Good Mental Health

GIRL POWER! is paving the way for girls to build confidence, competence, and pride in themselves, in other words, enhancing girls' mental wellness. Girl Power! is also providing messages and materials to girls about the risks and consequences associated with substance abuse and with potential mental health concerns. For instance, did you know:

Girls are seven times more likely than boys to be depressed and twice as likely to attempt suicide.*

Mental Health

Girls are three times more likely than boys to have a negative body image (often reflected in eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia).*

One in five girls in the U.S. between the ages of 12 and 17 drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes.*

Girls who develop positive interpersonal and social skills decrease their risk of substance abuse.*

Girls who have an interest and ability in areas such as academics, the arts, sports, and community activities are more likely to develop confidence and may be less likely to use drugs.*

On the other hand, this also is a time when girls may make decisions to try risky behaviors, including drinking, smoking, and using drugs.*

The Girl Power! Campaign, under the leadership of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is collaborating with the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) to provide this valuable mental health information.

* Girl Power! Hometown Media Kit, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, 1997.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Results from a study of nearly 6,000 people aged 15 to 24 show that among young people with a history of both a mental disorder and an addictive disorder, the mental disorder is usually reported to have occurred first. The onset of mental health problems may occur about 5 to 10 years before the substance abuse disorders.**

This provides a "window of opportunity" for targeted substance abuse prevention interventions and needed mental health services.

** "National Comorbidity Survey," Ronald C. Kessler, Ph.D., et al., American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, June 1996.

What Is Mental Health?

Mental health is how we think, feel, and act in order to face life's situations. It is how we look at ourselves, our lives, and the people we know and care about. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, evaluate our options, and make choices. Everyone has mental health.

A young girl's mental health affects her daily life and future. Schoolwork, relationships, and physical health can be affected by mental health. Like physical health, mental health is important at every stage of life. Caring for and protecting a child's mental health is a major part of helping that child grow to become the best she can be.

Girls' independence is usually encouraged in childhood, and their strengths nurtured. Most girls become emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy young adults. But sometimes, during the transition from childhood to adolescence, extra care is necessary, so that a girl's self-esteem and coping skills are not diminished. For more information on teen mental health, call 1-800-789-2647 and ask for the brochure: "You and Mental Health: What's the Deal?" (Order # CA-0002)

Nurturing Your Child's Mental Health

Parents and other caregivers are responsible for children's physical safety and emotional well-being. Parenting styles vary; there is no one right way to raise a child. Clear and consistent expectations for each child, by all caregivers, are important. Many good books are available in libraries or at bookstores on child development, constructive problem-solving, discipline styles, and other parenting skills. The following suggestions are not meant to be complete.

Do your best to provide a safe home and community for your child, as well as nutritious meals, regular health check-ups, immunizations, and exercise.

Be aware of stages in child development so you don't expect too much or too little from your child.

Encourage your child to express her feelings; respect those feelings. Let your child know that everyone experiences pain, fear, anger, and anxiety.

Try to learn the source of these feelings. Help your child express anger positively, without resorting to violence.

Promote mutual respect and trust. Keep your voice level down--even when you don't agree. Keep communication channels open.

Listen to your child. Use words and examples your child can understand. Encourage questions.

Provide comfort and assurance. Be honest. Focus on the positives. Express your willingness to talk about any subject.

Look at your own problem-solving and coping skills. Do you turn to alcohol or drugs? Are you setting a good example? Seek help if you are overwhelmed by your child's feelings or behaviors or if you are unable to control your own frustration or anger.

Encourage your child's talents and accept limitations.

Set goals based on the child's abilities and interests--not someone else's expectations. Celebrate accomplishments. Don't compare your child's abilities to those of other children; appreciate the uniqueness of your child. Spend time regularly with your child.

Foster your child's independence and self-worth.

Help your child deal with life's ups and downs. Show confidence in your child's ability to handle problems and tackle new experiences.

Discipline constructively, fairly, and consistently. (Discipline is a form of teaching, not physical punishment.) All children and families are different; learn what is effective for your child. Show approval for positive behaviors. Help your child learn from her mistakes.

Love unconditionally. Teach the value of apologies, cooperation, patience, forgiveness, and consideration for others. Do not expect to be perfect; parenting is a difficult job. Many good books are available in libraries or at bookstores on child development, constructive problem-solving, discipline styles, and other parenting skills.
Mental Health Problems Many children experience mental health problems that are real and painful and can be severe.

Mental health problems affect at least one in every five young people, at any given time. At least 1 in 10 children may have a serious emotional disturbance that severely disrupts his or her ability to function.

Tragically an estimated two-thirds of all young people with mental health problems are not getting the help they need. Mental health problems can lead to school failure, alcohol or other drug abuse, family discord, violence, or even suicide.

A variety of signs may point to a possible mental health problem in a child or teenager. If you are concerned about a child or have any questions, seek help immediately. Talk to your doctor, a school counselor, or other mental health professionals who are trained to assess whether your child has a mental health problem. For a list of warning signs, call 1-800-789-2647 and ask for the brochure "Your Child's Mental Health: What Every Family Should Know. (Order # CA-0001)

Available HELP

The National Mental Health Information Center, funded by the Center for Mental Health Services, can provide confidential information; free publications; and referrals to local, State, and national resources.

Call 1-800-789-2647

FAX 240-747-5470

(TDD) 866-889-2647

GIRL POWER! Is Good Mental Health

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Ways to Stimulate Your Cat's Mental Health

There are many reasons keeping your cat indoors is a good idea. The dangers associated with roaming free are enough reason to make sure your kitty stays inside and protected from the great outdoors. Not only are moving vehicles a concern, your cat could encounter other animals carrying a disease or virus. Your cat could let curiosity get the best of him and end up in a compromising situation he cannot free himself. Keeping your cat indoors is a choice more and more people are opting for when it comes to their feline friends.

Although indoors is the safer solution for a cat, what about the kitty cat's physical and mental health while inside? Exercise and mental stimulation are both important factors to your cat's happiness. There are a variety of ways you can get your cat mentally stimulated and moving around so his well-being is not compromised.

Mental Health

Flash Light

Chasing a light is an easy and affordable way to get your cat moving. Simply grab your handy flashlight, bring your cat into a dark room, and move the light all around the wall and floor. This will get your feline moving and jumping while he is trying to 'grab' the light. This inexpensive game can keep your cat occupied for hours.

Under The Sheets

Grab a toy, a stick, or one of your cat's toys and move it around under a throw rug or your bedspread. Your cat will perk up immediately and try to attack the little varmet you are wiggling around. If you have a long pole/stick with a furry toy on the end, this works great because you can have the furry toy poke out a little to tease your cat and make him go absolutely nuts.

Hide n' Seek

Cats love to sneak up and attach prey and also love having to find their prey. You can bring out these instinctual qualities to get your cat moving and allow him to act out his natural tendencies. Once you get your kitty started with a chase game, he will understand what you are doing next time and it will be easier to engage him quickly. For beginner kitties, crouch behind your couch or doorway; as your unsuspecting cat comes around the corner, jump out and startle him. Use a gentle pounce so you don't scare him from playing again. Once he understands you are playing, run in the other direction and find another place to hide. Like a small child, your cat will get excited, anticipating your next move as he approaches towards you.

These are just a few ways you can give your cat some playtime and improve his mental stimulation. Once you try a few suggestions you will be coming up with some of your own creations. You will be amazed at what just thirty minutes a day of playtime can do for your pet!

Ways to Stimulate Your Cat's Mental Health

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mental Health Care Coverage in Minnesota - Supplementing Federal Healthcare Reform

In 2007, the governor of Minnesota proposed a mental health initiative and the legislature passed it. One of the more important components of the initiative was legislation amending Minnesota's two programs for the uninsured - General Assistance Medical Care and Minnesota Care - to add to the comprehensive mental health and addictions benefit.

Who Is Covered?

Mental Health

General Assistance Medical Care covers those with income at or below 75% of the federal poverty level who meet one or more of additional criteria known as General Assistance Medical Care qualifiers. Qualifiers include waiting or appealing disability determination by Social Security Administration or state medical review team; or being in a homeless or live in shelter, hotel, or other place of public accommodation.

Minnesota Care covers children and pregnant women, parents, and caretakers up to 275% of the federal poverty level, except that parents and caretakers gross income cannot exceed ,000. Single adults without children increased to 200% of federal poverty level by January 1, 2008 and will rise to 215% of federal poverty level by January 1, 2009.

What Services Are Covered?

For Minnesota Care, there are limits of ,000 on inpatient care for any condition (physical, mental health, or addictions) for parents over 175% of federal poverty level and childless adults. For General Assistance Medical Care, inpatient benefits are fully covered. Both programs cover chemical dependency outpatient services. An intensive array of outpatient and residential mental health services are available.

What Is The Cost?

In Minnesota, the Medicaid Temporary Assistance for Needy Families population, General Assistance Medical Care and Minnesota Care are enrolled in comprehensive nonprofit health plans that are responsible to deliver and are at risk for the entire health benefit, including behavioral health. Adding mental health rehabilitative services (including adult rehabilitative mental health services individual and group rehabilitation services, assertive community treatment, intensive residential treatment and mobile and residential crisis services) to Minnesota Care was projected to cost .40 per person per month. For General Assistance Medical Care, which includes a homeless population, the cost was .01 per person per month. The additional targeted case management service was projected to cost .22 per person per month for Minnesota Care and .66 for General Assistance Medical Care.

The legislature appropriated a total of million in additional state dollars in fiscal year 2008 and $ 3.5 million in fiscal year 2009 to add the adult rehabilitative services and case management in Minnesota Care. State funds previously targeted for case management were moved from the counties to the state in an amount of .4 million in fiscal year 2009.

What Led To Comprehensive Coverage?

The state collected data on the residents served by Minnesota Care, General Assistance Medical Care, and Medicaid managed care plans serving non-disabled populations, and discovered that an increasing number of individuals with serious mental illnesses were in these plans. Several insurance reforms - similar to those included in the national healthcare reform bill - modified the private market, including guaranteed issue in small and large group plans, broader rate bands, parity for mental health and chemical dependency services, medical loss ratios, high risk insurance pool, and others. A lawsuit by the attorney general called attention to health plan denials of payment for court-ordered treatment, for example for civil commitment or out of home placement for adolescents.

Health plans settled with an agreement that behavioral and mental health benefits would be covered by a health plan if the court based its decision on a diagnostic evaluation and plan of care developed by a qualified professional. In addition to the court-ordered services provision, the state contracts and capitation with prepaid health programs (Minnesota Care and General Assistance Medical Care) were amended to align risk and responsibility for services in institutions for mental illnesses, 180 days of nursing home or home health, and court-ordered treatment. There were also highly successful experiments reducing costs and improving outcomes for commercial and non-disabled Medicaid clients who were offered a more intensive community based mental health service that improved coordination with and linkages to behavioral healthcare, primary care, and other needed services.

These demonstrations produced a positive return on investment - .38/person/month - and gave the health plans tools to manage the increased risk that resulted from several insurance reforms, including parity, a statutory definition of medical necessity, and the court-ordered treatment provision.

The state supported comprehensive coverage because it sought to provide mental health and addiction services in Minnesota as part of mainstream healthcare. Minnesota's mental health agency and other stakeholders desired to move mental illness from its historical treatment as a social disease requiring social services to an illness like any other. They wanted to foster earlier interventions and avoid shifting enrollees among different programs in order to access specific services. Operationalizing this change required rethinking medical necessity determinations, provider credentialing, contracting, procedure codes and other processes common to private insurance plans.

How Did It Get Through The Political Process?

Three factors significantly contributed to the political viability of a benefit expansion in the Minnesota Care and General Assistance Medical Care programs:

>> The governor of Minnesota and the administration provided strong leadership. The provisions to expand the mental health benefits in these plans were part of the governor's mental health initiative, set forth in advance of the 2007 legislative session.

>> An extremely strong coalition of stakeholders formed a mental health action group. This group is co-chaired by a representative from the department of human services and included representation from the private insurance industry and organized and knowledgeable advocacy and provider communities.

>> There was strong support in the legislature for the expansion of benefits in Minnesota Care and General Assistance Medical Care, including from a member of the finance committee in the house, who has a son with schizophrenia. The creation of a mental health division in the health and human services policy committee also helped move the policy discussion forward.

Why Does This Approach to Healthcare Reform Work?

A recent survey of community behavioral health organizations found that on average, 42% of reimbursement for services came from private insurers. While this represents the average, the survey found that there was quite a range in reimbursement sources. For community behavioral health organizations that specialize in services such as Assertive Community Treatment or case management, Medicaid is the predominant reimbursement source, either through fee-for-service or managed care.

Reimbursement from private insurance and Medicaid managed care is uniformly better than Medicaid fee-for-service. In addition to higher rates, the private insurers and Medicaid managed care organizations have been willing to offer special contracts for packages of services for crisis care and hospital discharge plus aftercare.

Mental Health Care Coverage in Minnesota - Supplementing Federal Healthcare Reform

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mental Health - Nervousness, Anger and Irritation

The psychology of our time does not consider anger, nervousness and irritation as signs of an abnormality in someone's behavior; however, each manifestation of nervousness and hate is absurd and reflects a lack of control, reasoning and sensitivity.

The human being cannot control one's behavior and one often becomes irritated with other people's mistakes when things are not as desired and when one is offended. One believes that his reaction is normal because it is a common reaction observed in all people and it can be logically justified.

Mental Health

However, logical explanations cannot explain why one has to become so nervous when things go wrong. It is simply assumed that this is logical behavior and it is justified by explaining why the person feels unjustly treated, not why they have this aggressive reaction when they are hurt by someone else. The automatic aggressive reaction that is triggered by attack is due to the existence of a wild and violent conscience in the psychic sphere that controls a person's behavior when one's ego is hurt for some reason. Otherwise, this violent reaction would not have occurred: one would simply become sad and not nervous.

One's nervous reaction is absurd because one should rationally understand what caused the pain without feeling hatred. One's sensitivity should be important in the psyche and it should be able to prevent violent reactions due to the sorrow one would feel for one's enemies if one were balanced and wise.

However, the human being needs psychotherapy to learn how to control one's behavior and eliminate the poisonous ego. If you simply decide to be calm, this will not work in practical life because this is not a question that depends only on your will, since the anti-conscience that is constantly bothering you and trying to invade and destroy your human side is inherent in you.

You need psychotherapy in order to transform it into a positive part of your psyche; else, it will always influence your behavior and provoke a nervous reaction. Depending on how intense this nervous reaction may be, it could even lead you to committing a crime without understanding how you could come to this point.

However, there is a solution for you!

Through the scientific method of dream interpretation discovered by Carl Jung and simplified by me, you can easily learn everything about your psychic world. You can also learn about all the necessary steps you must follow in order to become calm, wise, balanced, confident and happy!

Mental Health - Nervousness, Anger and Irritation

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Forensic Counselors Work To Evaluate The Mental Health Of Criminals

A forensic counselor is the mental health professional who counsels those who need help when they are working their way through the criminal justice system. Forensic counseling uses therapeutic techniques and principled evaluations that relate to probation, parole, victim-assistance, as well as law enforcement. A forensic counselor will also provide expert evaluations during a legal proceeding, like divorce.

Forensic counselors can be certified through the American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEI) or the American College of Certified Forensic Counselors (ACCFC). The certification processes allows experts to authenticate the knowledge and qualifications of the counselor seeking certification. These organizations are responsible for the development of the practiced standards as well as the clinical guidelines for those treating criminal and civil offenders.

Mental Health

The criminal justice system has seen an increasing need for this expertise as well as the pertinent skills possessed by a forensic counselor. Often, this professional can facilitate the resolution of legal cases, as well as recommend effectual treatment of the offenders. This counseling specialty will require its practitioners to have a working knowledge of mental health laws that often includes the juvenile justice system.

The purpose of these certifications is to create a specialized and resourceful population who is available, when needed, by the criminal justice system. The benefits of certification include increased job opportunities and, often, a job promotion that leads to a higher salary. Additionally, a certified counselor can seek additional privileges that include an educational reimbursement.

Prior to certification, a counselor who wishes to further his or her education can apply for a non-clinical certification status. Specifically, the ACCFC offers a non-clinical certification (known as a Certified Forensic Counselor) to a candidate who has not yet achieved a Master's degree but otherwise meets the remaining certification criteria. A Certified Forensic Counselor certification allows its holders to pursue additional training under the auspices of a clinical supervisor. Coursework will include classes that teach an individual effective techniques for working with members of the offending population, conflict resolution, and the legal system.

The ACCFC is the specific commission of the National Association of Forensic Counselors (NAFC) that awards certification. In order to receive your certification as a Clinically Certified Forensic Counselor, you must document that you have a minimum of two years experience in the field a state counseling license, and hold a Master's degree in psychology, addictions, education, or social work.

The American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEI) has a certification available known as the Accredited Forensic Counselor (AFC). This certification mandates that the counselor has three years of related work experience as well as a Bachelor's degree. Additionally, this certification process requires the candidate to successfully pass a review course prior to passing an examination administered by ACFEI.

Forensic Counselors Work To Evaluate The Mental Health Of Criminals

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Monday, October 31, 2011

What You Should Ask a Mental Health Expert

If you suspect that you have a disorder you should do your best to be very accurate on your symptoms, research them and document them. If you go to a therapist you will be ahead of the game and by knowing and researching your symptoms you may be able to prevent an incorrect diagnosis.

When you visit a therapist they will talk to you and listen to you. They will search for many signs and disturbances in your thinking patterns. Therapists will search for symptoms such as:

Mental Health

· Vague thoughts · Fleeting ideas · Peripheral thought patterns · Blocking thoughts · Disassociation · Break in reality · Paranoia

If the patient displays a disturbance in their thinking patterns, the therapist may consider psychosis. Counselors will consider schizophrenia or psychosis if the patient shows a break in reality. Paranoid and paranoia may be misconstrued if the therapist doesn't have a good understanding between the two conditions. Schizophrenics are often paranoid and may suffer from post traumatic stress in the early stages. If a patient provides answers to questions that are unrelated, the therapist may consider a potential mental illness. Another area of concern is if the patient speaks in fragments of thoughts and don't deliver complete sentences or ideas. This is known as a fleeting thought process. If a patient is illustrating thoughts that are off the subject, the therapist may also show concern.

Other areas that are considered include language. Some patients may simply have a lack of education, but they should be able to speak in a comprehensible manner. It is important that the patient is not misdiagnosed simply because they have poor communication skills.

What You Should Ask a Mental Health Expert

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mental Health Awareness Month and Mental Illness Awareness Week - Free Depression or Anxiety Tests

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, during which the free National Anxieties Disorders Screening Day is held. Consider what Kim Bassinger, Marc Summers and football great Earl Campbell have in common. They have all suffered from an anxiety disorder, America's most common mental illness. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, nearly a quarter of the American adult population will suffer from an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives. Unlike normal worries, these individuals can experience a variety of symptoms which can include spontaneous panic attacks, endlessly checking and rechecking their actions, persistent, uncontrollable worry and social anxiety, which interferes with their lives.

The symptoms of anxiety disorders are characterized by fear and anxiety that appear for no apparent reason. Anxiety disorders include Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Phobia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Left untreated, these conditions often become accompanied by depression, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts. Although most sufferers never connect with appropriate treatment, effective treatments do exist, which can offer relief within a relatively short period of time.

Mental Health

The first week of every October is designated as Mental Illness Awareness Week, during which the National Depression Screening Day is held. Consider what Abraham Lincoln, Ernest Hemingway, and Brooke Shields have in common. They have all suffered from clinical depression. Depression and manic-depression strike more than 17 million Americans each year, according to figures from the National Institute of Mental Health. Fewer than half, however, actually seeks treatment, despite the fact that treatment can help 80 - 90 percent of those affected.

Common symptoms of depression include feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, restlessness and irritability, changes in sleep and appetite, loss of energy and thoughts of death or suicide. Manic-depression includes feelings of euphoria or agitation. Clinical depression is more than just the 'blues. It is a real, pervasive condition that even has the potential to be life threatening. A sufferer has no better chance to "just snap out of it" than someone, for example, with a seizure disorder simply controlling their attacks.

The screenings initiatives are invaluable opportunities for people, who might otherwise be timid about discussing their concerns or symptoms, to do so without feeling pressured. Click HERE to watch the online video: "The Pain of Depression - A Journey Through the Darkness"

Mental Health Awareness Month and Mental Illness Awareness Week - Free Depression or Anxiety Tests