Each year, during the first week of October, NAMI and participants across the country raise awareness of mental health issues, fight discrimination, and provide support through Mental Illness Awareness Week.
Mental Illness Awareness Week runs from October 3–9 and coincides with additional related events:
Tuesday Oct. 5: National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding Check out some examples of prayers and activities you can use in observance of this spiritual day, courtesy of NAMI.
Thursday Oct. 7: National Depression Screening Day Use this free confidential depression screening to check in with your mental health and wellbeing on the Mental Health America website.
Saturday Oct. 9: NAMIWalks United Day of Hope Learn how you can participate in NAMIWalks on this day of solidarity to celebrate Mental Health for All.
Sunday Oct. 10: World Mental Health Day Read about this year’s campaign theme on the World Health Organization’s website and find additional mental health resources.
October is also National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month
Coping with depression isn’t easy, but there is hope. During this month, take an online confidential free screening or learn more about how to help yourself or those you love who are struggling with depression. Your mental health is important, so take good care of yourself and be kind to your mind.
The Words of Wellness newsletter
As we enter 2022, we are happy to be planning on site WRAP Trainings for our staff.
If you have any questions about upcoming trainings, mentoring requests, or any WRAP support for your campus, please reach out to Terry Paterson at email@example.com.
The OWL Project is a collaboration between the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery, a world-renown consumer-operated organization and Crestwood Behavioral Health to enhance the wellness landscape of our organizational workforce. This collaboration strengthens Crestwood’s workplace wellness, as well as mental health services by implementing practices that gave WRAP its Evidence-Based practice status. Through this project, the Copeland Center highlights, promotes, and elevates Crestwood’s reputation as an organization and one of its key allies. OWL creates a company culture based on solid values and tools for wellness for everyone. For more information on the OWL project, please contact Terry Paterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GETTING STARTED WITH MINDFULNESS
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is intentionally living with awareness in the present moment, without judging or rejecting the moment, and without attachment to the moment. We are being mindful when we wake up from automatically going through our day, without living in the past or grasping at the future. We practice when we focus our attention on just one thing. The DBT mindfulness skills draw heavily from the practice of Zen and are compatible with Western contemplative and other Eastern meditation practices. These skills are supported with substantial and emerging scientific knowledge about the benefits of “allowing” your experience rather than suppressing, avoiding, or trying to change reality.
What are the benefits of practicing mindfulness?
There is an ever-growing body of research surrounding the benefits and gifts of having a regular mindfulness practice. Some of the benefits of even a short, but regular practice include:
So, what do I do?
Here are some basic exercises to get you started on your journey of mindfulness by engaging your breath:
If you would like to learn more about DBT Skills, please contact Josh Weingarten at email@example.com.
Peer support work is an amazing career opportunity that calls upon a testimonial of “having been there.” Peer support specialists have the ITE credential of a lived recovery experience (I am The Evidence that recovery is real). They also undergo specialized training to gain what is called their Peer Support DNA (which stands for distinguished natural abilities) of Recovery & Resilience, Relationship, Authenticity, Mutuality, Empowerment, Integrity, Accountability, Ethics, Lifelong Learning, and Positivity.
It is not “just another job;” in fact, some people even say it is a calling. Since it is one of the most important jobs in integrated healthcare services, we suggest it be viewed through miraculous glasses; otherwise called the sacred lenses. The word sacred is used because it has to do with reverence and is sometimes used to describe holy ground – a place special enough that we take off our shoes when we set foot on it.
This sacred ground gives peer support specialists a viewing point for seeing people in the light of their strengths and potential. They engage with peers in ways that bring their strengths and wellness forward. Peer support is not about pushing or pulling someone down a path we think they need to walk. It is about walking side by side in mutuality and intentional relationship toward the direction of recovery, discovery, resilience, and wellness. Peer support is about being an expert at not being an expert, which takes a lot of expertise. It’s about empowering people with positive energy to do the hard work of recovery. And finally, peer support specialists also model recovery as they support and empower their colleagues and the organization to see through the lens of people being served. ~ Peer Support Learning for the 21st Century”
To learn more about peer support, please contact Chris Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) is an approach in the human service field that assumes that an individual is more likely than not to have a history of trauma. Trauma-Informed Care recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role trauma may play in an individual’s life, including service staff.
On an organizational or systemic level, Trauma-Informed Care changes organizational culture to emphasize respecting and appropriately responding to the effects of trauma at all levels. Similar to the change in general protocol regarding universal precautions, Trauma-Informed Care practice and awareness becomes almost second nature and pervasive in all service responses. Trauma-Informed Care requires a system to make a paradigm shift from asking, “What is wrong with this person?” to “What has happened to this person?”
The intention of Trauma-Informed Care is not to treat symptoms or issues related to sexual, physical or emotional abuse or any other form of trauma, but rather to provide support services in a way that is accessible and appropriate to those who may have experienced trauma. When service systems operating procedures do not use a trauma-informed approach, the possibility for triggering or exacerbating trauma symptoms and re-traumatizing individuals increases.
Re-traumatization is any situation or environment that resembles an individual’s trauma literally or symbolically, which then triggers difficult feelings and reactions associated with the original trauma. The potential for re-traumatization exists in all systems and in all levels of care: individuals, staff and system/organization.
Re-traumatization is often unintentional. There are some “obvious” practices that could be re-traumatizing such as the use of restraints or isolation, however, less obvious practices or situations that involve specific smells, sounds or types of interactions may cause individuals to feel re-traumatized.
Re-traumatization is a significant concern, as individuals who are traumatized multiple times frequently have exacerbated trauma-related symptoms compared to those who have experienced a single trauma. Individuals with multiple trauma experiences often exhibit a decreased willingness to engage in treatment.
Re-traumatization may also occur when interfacing with individuals who have history of historical, inter-generational and/or a cultural trauma experience.