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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