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EAP Expert V3 Release notes

As of November 1, 2018 we have updated EAP Expert with the following new features and bug fixes.

If you want to learn more or see some of these in action, register for our webinar on Nov 1st where we will be previewing the new features and discussing some of the other key bug fixes. Click here to register.

Features Added 

  • Added ability to restrict New options in the Scheduler Context Menu. 
  • Added a second type of attachment called Secure Attachments to allow for different kinds of attachments with different kinds of security permissions. 
  • Added option to restrict some administrators from using the Edit Model under the Tools Menu 
  • Added ability to manually import Call Center called via CSV file, as well as allowing CSV filetypes to be automatically imported from an FTP 
  • Added check for duplicate office locations when creating new clinical office locations 
  • Users are now unable to delete a file if it has an Authorization that is pushed to Provider Files 
  • Added ability to disable to Primary Counselor prompt when creating an Authorization 

Issues Resolved  

  • Updates SFTP client tool to allow for larger encryption keys to be used 
  • Fixed error when selecting Information Call in the Service Request window 
  • Fixed error when trying to add a contact to an Organizational Service 
  • Fixed error with Work/Life Service Request 
  • Fixed issue with Work/Life files not being included with the Subsidiary Report 
  • Fixed error when trying to add a new file to an existing file that isn’t saved and is missing a required field. 
  • Fixed issue where the system was not showing the error message when a required field was missing 
  • Fixed error that can occur after customizing a layout 
  • Fixed issue with Provider Claims entry not showing column values correctly, remembering the previous authorization number, or changing column values after updating the authorization number 
  • Updates syncing with Provider Files to reduce errors 
  • Improved syncing process and speed with Provider Files 
  • Improved syncing process and speed with Customer Portal 
  • Various improvements on screen loading times throughout the system 
  • Fixed issues with Activity and Session times not calculating correctly 

Items Changed  

  • Updated Email and Website validation throughout the system to be more inclusive and consistent 
  • Changed Authorization Number criteria in the client file search to be a text field instead of a drop down 
  • Changed label on empty search grids to be larger, and suggest reasons why there might not be any results 
  • Action items in toolbars will no longer show up as a dropdown if only one action is available 
  • Sorted the Tools Menu items to be Alphabetical

Creating a new account in EAP Expert Service Desk

Effective Dec 1st, EAP Expert will be officially launching our new Service Desk for all our customer support inquiries and tickets. The current EAP Expert support email (support@eapexpert.com) will no longer work for clients after Dec 1st. All users will receive an autoresponder email asking you to go to support.eapexpert.com to access our new Service Desk after Dec 1st.

We started the process of introducing a new software system for our support team back in June of this year. Many processes needed considering and adjusting to ensure a seamless transition from the old support email to the new Service Desk. Effective immediately, we are very pleased to announce the upcoming launch of our brand-new support ticketing system available today.

Whenever a ticket is required, the improved workflow will enable us to help our users more quickly and more specifically. Also, references to existing helpful entries in our knowledge-base will be easier to provide for our support members under the new system.

Internally, our software development team has been working with a system called “Jira” since June, and the new customer support system is now also based on the same solution. The move away from email driven support towards the “Jira ServiceDesk“ will make many things easier in the future. Ideas and problems can be exchanged more uniformly between end users, developers, and admins. Similarly, we will have a standardized channel of communication between the various units that may be involved in solving a problem.

To prepare for Dec 1st,  all clients should go to our new dedicated web portal at https://support.eapexpert.com and setup an account if you have not already done so.

To setup a new account follow these steps;

  1. Goto https://support.eapexpert.com and click on the sign up as noted below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) In the new window, insert your email address and click “send link”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Check your email for the link to complete the setup transaction

 

 

 

 

 

4) Click on the link provided to you via email and complete the sign process as noted below. Once you have filled in your full name and chosen a password, click sign up and you should be good to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any trouble with any of these steps, please reach out to your account manager or call us directly at 1-855-327-9778


Mitigating your carbon footprint in the workplace

Last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a major report on the state of climate change across the globe. It was bleak. The panel, composed of scientists tapped to guide world leaders, concluded that catastrophic natural events caused by climate change would begin occurring with more frequency and severity much sooner than previously anticipated. The report predicted that by 2040, food shortages and wildfires—among other disasters—would exact a devastating cost on nations around the world. The main instigator of these disasters? Greenhouse gas emissions.

The report’s prescription for damage-control was (as it has always been) simple: reduce our reliance on greenhouse gases immediately. The report concedes that while this is politically unlikely, it is technically possible. And while the lion’s share of carbon emissions are from just a handful of companies, that doesn’t negate the importance of smaller-scale changes in combating climate change. After all, the persistence of greenhouse gases and our global reliance on them is driven by profits. If the demand for these materials begins to decline, carbon-emitting juggernauts will be forced to explore greener alternatives.

Though baby steps towards better consumption practices can feel futile in the face of such daunting circumstances, implementing these changes is vital—especially if, as scientists predict, we are going to be forced to radically shift our ways of life to adapt to the threats we face. Getting ahead of this shift isn’t just ethically sound, it’s smart business practice. Here are a few tips for preparing yourself and your office to reduce your carbon footprints.

Encourage Meatless Mondays

The name is sure to prompt a chuckle, but the practice is sound: switching to one vegetarian meal a week is a gentle transition to rely less on industrial farming operations that use an incredible amount of natural resources and generate huge carbon outputs. Try implementing Meatless Mondays at the office to get people on board with the idea. This can be a fun one, too; perhaps each employee brings in a veggie dish for an herbivorous buffet. Incentivizing positive behaviours is always a useful tool, so consider offering a small prize for the best meal. This will also drive your colleagues to get more creative with their meatless meals—chances are once they see how simple, affordable, and delicious vegetarian dishes can be, they’ll want to make more. Progress begets progress!

Reduce waste in the office

This seems like a no-brainer, and great strides have likely been made in this department over the past few decades. Plastic cups and unsorted garbage and recycling have thankfully gone out of vogue, but if you take a step back to observe your office’s practices, you’ll likely find wasteful practices that could be eliminated. Basic waste-reduction strategies are easy to implement: stock reusable mugs and dishware in the office to discourage folks from using disposable ones. Remove bottled water in favour of a Brita-filter jug. Make sure your office has a green bin for compost and food waste. Use paper products with high post-consumer waste content.

Cut down on business trips

This might be the toughest challenge for workplaces, but it’s also the most crucial. Transportation accounts for roughly 27% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. In 2017, Americans took 462 million one-person business trips. Cutting down on travel means cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions. Business trips are an engrained and normalized part of most workplaces, even though technology has advanced such that the majority of these trips are unnecessary. Take a hard-line on these: unless it is absolutely critical that someone be present at an event, replace trips with video calls. Strides in virtual reality are making video calls even more immersive, so consider investing in those alternatives to save both money and emissions.


Celebrating Movember the healthy way

Each November since 2004, countries around the world have gradually begun marking a new month-long event: Movember. The movement gained international traction around 2007, when it spread across Europe and North America. Now, it’s an institution: men across the world grow and fashion moustaches to raise both awareness and money for men’s health issues like prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and suicide. By 2012, Movember was listed as one of the top 100 non-government organizations in the world.

 

The stated goal of Movember is to “change the face of men’s health.” The campaign seeks to address the compartmentalized and stigmatized nature of men’s health issues, and a key part of this conversation is the role that masculinity plays in stigmatizing these issues. Masculinity has, to some extent, made it difficult for men to express weakness; perhaps more accurately, it’s made it difficult for men to express anything at all besides stoicness.

 

This performed toughness claims lives. Men are less likely to go see a doctor about health concerns than women, which results in unresolved health issues. In some cases, this means a cancer has more time to develop. In others, it might mean depression, gone untreated, culminates in suicide. These are extreme examples, but examples nonetheless: stigma rooted in masculinity directly impacts the wellbeing of men. These issues are compounded in racialized, gay, and transgender men.

If Movember is to be successful in its mission of changing the face of men’s health, it has to be rooted in open, progressive dialogue with men and masculinity. Growing a moustache is a good start, but the real goal is to change the way that men interact with themselves and their health. In order for that to happen, it’s important to approach Movember the right way.

That means letting each man celebrate the month in their own way. Movember is certainly famous for its reinvigoration of the thick upper lip, but even this is rooted in a somewhat sensitive issue. Many men simply can’t grow a moustache, or if they can, it’s an unfortunate, transparent peach fuzz. A thick crop of facial hair has been traditionally associated with the image of a virile, masculine man, so for those that can’t grow sufficient facial hair, the association of manhood and men’s health with facial hair production can be alienating. If someone you know isn’t growing a moustache, don’t badger them about it—there are other ways to further the conversation around men’s health. To borrow a Hallmark-ish platitude: remember the reason for the season!

 

Another way to forward the spirit of Movember is to simply talk to the men in your life about more than the weather. Opening up the floor for men to discuss how they feel is a key facet of improving men’s health. This doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or a drawn-out process; it can (and arguably should) be an effortless, routine conversation. Pop a question like, ‘How are you feeling?’ or ‘Is there anything you want to talk about?’ The inverse approach is to bring up a personal issue you’re dealing with, to signal that there is space for that sort of discussion. The routinization of these chats can help others to feel more comfortable in confronting and addressing their own problems.


Take a break from upsetting news cycles

There’s a new, sardonic joke cropping up more and more on social media. It has developed in response to an increasingly-concentrated news cycle which has been reliably upsetting. For many, exposure to this cycle is draining and tiring. The joke, which takes different forms or structures, is always a configuration of this formula: “Wow, this day has lasted for a year.”

 

It’s given to hyperbole, which is part of both the fun and the point—it’s risen in step with an increasingly severe deluge of concerning news stories. But it also articulates a very real and serious issue: citizens who are engaged with national and international news are being exhausted by it.

This is distressing not least of all because the goal is in fact to have an entire citizenry that is informed about and, ideally, involved with their nation’s top news events. But staying constantly attuned to this news can be traumatic, especially when the news revolves around allegations of sexual assault like those put forth against Brett Kavanaugh, or the Environmental Protection Agency’s relaxing of radiation protections. These are patently troubling topics for all, but for those who have personal associations with them, these news stories—which are hard to avoid—can be especially triggering for feelings of depression, anxiety, and hopelessness.

In light of this, folks across the world have begun to formulate coping strategies to insulate themselves from this omnipresent content. These include tools to curate what we’re exposed to online, to stepping away from the web altogether. Here are a few tips to try if you feel like taking a break from the troubles of the moment.

 

Use Keyword Blocks On Social Media

If you’re someone who often uses Twitter, Facebook, or other social media that expose you to news, you should consider employing the various keyword-blocking mechanisms that each of these platforms offers. Facebook recently installed their Keyword Snooze feature, which allows users to block content that contains certain words for a set amount of time. Twitter’s Mute function is pretty much the same in practice. It’s explained well here, and, like Keyword Snooze, will prevent tweets with specific words from entering your feed. You can use these tools to block triggering content from mucking up your timeline.

 

Decline Conversations About Tough Topics

An important note on these issues is that they will affect people differently. For example, someone who is a survivor of sexual assault is more likely to be upset by discussions of Bill Cosby’s trial than someone who isn’t. It’s important to remember that we aren’t obligated to participate in conversations that cause us discomfort. Feel free to say, ‘I’d rather not talk about that right now,’ or excuse yourself from the discussion.

 

 

 

Step Away From Your Screen

Even with keyword-blocking features on social media, unexpected bad news can still find its way to us through our computer, our phone, or our TV. It’s more important than ever to step away from these screens and center ourselves in our world with physical surroundings. Try going for a short (or long!) walk, or doing something else that requires simple motor skills. These tasks can help alleviate stress and help to calm senses.


Columbus Day in The Workplace

October brings with it a number of notable holidays. Candy and costumes reign on Halloween, an undeniably fun, if somewhat objectively absurd, celebration. International Day Of The Girl, observed on October 11th, celebrates girls and women across the world, and seeks to address the unique challenges they face. October 1st marks perhaps the one holiday that every human on the planet could agree to participate in: International Coffee Day.

In the United States, as well as countries in Central and South America, Columbus Day has been observed for over a century. Under President Franklin Roosevelt, it became a federal holiday in 1934; in 1971, it was officially attached to the second Monday in October. As its name suggests, the holiday is dedicated to Italian explorer Christopher Columbus’ ‘discovery’ of North America.

 

The word discovery is placed between quotation marks because, as we can now factually assert, Columbus did not discover North America. It had already been discovered, and in fact was home to thriving populations of Indigenous peoples across the continent—estimates put pre-contact population at around 10 million. Columbus is, through the holiday, credited with founding modern North American civilization. But he is also now credited with beginning the enslavement and destruction of another, one which has struggled to thrive post-contact.

 

This is where Columbus Day becomes an issue: it means different things to different people, but not in the innocuous, ‘I don’t celebrate that’ way. To Indigenous people on this continent, it is a celebration of a man who committed genocide against their populations; in a 2015 article, Washington Post asserted, “Did genocide directly result from [Columbus’] decrees and his family’s commercial aims? Yes.” In recent years, this information has been widely-platformed across the United States, where Columbus Day is most prominent. It’s resulted in states and cities across the nation rejecting Columbus Day, instead choosing to replace it with holidays that honor their native populations.

 

In South Dakota, it’s known as Native American Day; in Oregon, Indigenous Peoples’ Day. This phrasing, originated in the states by the municipality of Berkeley, California in 1992, has been picking up by other cities: Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, Austin, Salt Lake City, Cambridge, and more observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

 

Given that Columbus Day is a contentious and potentially offensive occasion, it’s important to plan alternatives for your workplace—perhaps celebrations like those modeled by the aforementioned municipalities. Consider educating your staff on the histories of Columbus’ violent campaigns in the Americas, or the past and present issues visited upon Indigenous populations by colonial campaigns. Education and understanding are key tenets of a healthy, inclusive workplace, and altering how Columbus Day is celebrated in the workplace is a step towards a healthier work environment.


Why the Gig Economy Is Affecting Worker’s Mental Health

Since the Industrial Revolution started nearly three centuries ago to this current day, the nature of employment has been in constant flux. From the hard-earned victories of organized labor to the efficiencies gained from mechanization and automation, people have straightened their ties and laced up their work boots to get things done and build a better and bigger world.

We’ve adapted to these changes and for the most part, the trends have moved to provide greater work/life balance.

But if you read the headlines these days, it seems something is amiss: for some, postsecondary degrees don’t go as far as they used to in the job market, increased globalization has led to increased offshoring of once dependable jobs, automation is threatening to replace workers. And then there’s the arrival of the gig economy.

Wait – what’s the gig economy?

While in the U.S., the unemployment rate is at a 17-year low, nearly 1 in 4 workers now earn money from the digital platform economy. For the most part, the gig economy arrived early with temp labor and has been popularized in the context of digital age employers, like Uber, Jiffy and other task-based services, that have led to more and more workers employed on a per job basis – sometimes without the prospect of vacation, sick leave, health benefits or employment certainty.

By jumping from gig to gig, workers could be taking on significant stress, isolation and physical ailments while pursuing precarious work. Another identified impact: struggling to find an authentic work identity when trying to fulfill multiple roles that require different personas.

Another hazard: going it alone can mean you’re at a greater risk of injury, especially when trying to maximize the number of “gigs” you’re doing to earn a greater pay-off. As the Financial Times references, demand for food delivery is often highest when conditions are hazardous, creating a lucrative lure for bike couriers that could lead to injury.

Yet with all the troubling effects that the gig economy could be afflicting on workers, there’s a reason why this article’s title refers to “affecting” instead of “hurting”.  The gig economy has freed some workers from the confines of the set 9 to 5 workday and allowed them to work when it’s convenient for their schedules.

Especially for those within a creative sector, the gig economy gives them the opportunity to be able to manage their work by choosing the jobs they want to do; helping avoid the burnout of fulfilling orders passed down by a manager.

So if you’re a worker who is either working “full-time” in the gig economy or moonlighting to earn a few extra dollars on the side, how can you ensure that you’re staying on top of your mental and physical health?

  1. Budget your time and salary accordingly: given that flexibility is one of the key draws of working in the gig economy, managing your day so you have more personal time is a huge plus. But financial insecurity at the end of the month can cause significant stress. Plan how much you need to earn, stick to a budget and track your progress regularly to keep going strong.
  2. Know when to rest: maximizing your earnings by working constantly can be alluring but can lead to serious physical and mental health risks. Try to stick to an eight-hour work day at most – there’s a reason why this has become the standard for most developed nations. If you’re stressed, sick or need a break, take it: resting now could save you from burnout and ultimately more necessary time-off down the line.

 

  1. Stay social: for many jobs in the gig economy, the work is often independent, which can lead to isolation and its detrimental impacts on mental health. Find ways to engage with those around you, whether they’re clients, other gig workers and even strangers on the street. Take time out of your day to visit or have a phone call with a friend or family member. You’ll feel happier and more connected to the world around you.

 

We can’t say for sure whether the gig economy is definitively the way of the future. For sure, it’s significantly changed the shape of today’s workforce. In just a few decades, we went from stories of workers that spent their entire careers at one place of employment to those juggling several jobs at once. If you are working in the gig economy, make sure you take the time to take care of yourself and ensure that you’ll be ready to tackle the next gig that comes along.


Regular exercise ‘best for mental health’ – BBC News

Regular exercise ‘best for mental health’

Image copyright Getty Images

Regular physical activity lasting 45 minutes three to five times a week can reduce poor mental health – but doing more than that is not always beneficial, a large US study suggests.

A total of 1.2 million people reported their activity levels for a month and rated their mental wellbeing.

People who exercised had 1.5 fewer “bad days” a month than non-exercisers, the study found.

Team sports, cycling and aerobics had the greatest positive impact.

All types of activity were found to improve mental health no matter people’s age or gender, including doing the housework and looking after the children.

The study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry Journal, is the largest of its kind to date but it cannot confirm that physical activity is the cause of improved mental health.

Previous research into the effects of exercise on mental health have thrown up mixed results, and some studies suggest that lack of activity could lead to poor mental health as well as being a symptom of it.

Exercise is already known to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Adults taking part in the study said they experienced on average 3.4 days of poor mental health each month. For those who were physically active, this reduced to only two days.

Among people who had been diagnosed previously with depression, exercise appeared to have a larger effect, resulting in seven days of poor mental health a month compared with nearly 11 days for those who did no exercise.

How often and for how long people were active was also important.

Being active for 30 to 60 minutes every second day came out as the optimal routine.

But there could be such a thing as doing too much exercise, the study concluded.

Dr Adam Chekroud, study author and assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University, said: “Previously, people have believed that the more exercise you do, the better your mental health, but our study suggests that this is not the case.

“Doing exercise more than 23 times a month, or exercising for longer than 90-minute sessions is associated with worse mental health.”

He said the positive impact of team sports suggested that social sports activities could reduce isolation and be good for resilience, while also reducing depression.

Complicated link

The findings back up government guidelines recommending that people should do 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

But the study has some limitations. It is based on self-reporting, which is not always accurate, and there is no way of measuring physical activity.

Dr Dean Burnett, neuroscientist and honorary research associate, from the school of psychology at Cardiff University, said the link between exercise and mental health had been difficult to pin down but this large study “strongly suggests that there is a definite association between the two”.

“However, the nature of the study means it’s difficult to say more than that with any real certainty,” he said.

Prof Stephen Lawrie, head of psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh, said it indicated that social and “mindful” exercise is particularly good for mental health – but not if it is overdone.

“I suspect we all know people who seem ‘addicted’ to exercise and if this starts to impact on other aspects of life – like foregoing social activities because one has to be up at the crack of dawn to run several miles – it might actually be bad for people,” he added.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-45116607

On – 08 Aug, 2018 By


How To Talk About Your Mental Health When No One Wants To Listen | HuffPost

Opening up with phrases like “I need to speak with you,” “I need your help,” or “Please listen

According to the American Psychiatric Association, people from racial and ethnic minority groups are less likely to receive mental health care than the rest of the U.S. population.

Communities of color often lack adequate access to medical treatment for mental illnesses. They also face challenges like higher levels of stigma, misinformation and language barriers.

“While an individual may have their own [mixed feelings] toward how they think about mental health, it is then intertwined within the views that were being expressed within their household, school, work and so on,” said Shari Fedra, a licensed clinical social worker based in Brooklyn, New York.

But those barriers can be broken down. HuffPost asked several psychologists and mental health care providers who primarily treat patients of color how to have an effective and serious conversation about mental health and why it’s so hard to talk about in the first place. Here’s their advice:

Seeking professional help is OK ― even if it doesn’t seem like it.

June Cao, a New York-based clinical psychologist who specializes in working with Asian-Americans, said that one of her clients shared that silence was the default mode of communication between her family members.

“Her parents told her over and over that she just needed to endure and tough through, then her depression would be gone,” Cao said.

Cao’s patient is part of a larger trend: Asian-Americans are three times less likely to seek mental health services than whites, according to the American Psychological Association.

Karen Caraballo, a clinical psychologist working with Latino families in Brooklyn, said that because of the significant value placed on family, many members of the Latino community do not seek outside help for mental health problems.

“Latinos are expected to rely on [immediate] family, extended family, church, el curandero and friends,” Caraballo said. (A curandero is a spiritual guide within a community that people go to when they are sick.) “We are expected to keep our problems within our inner circle.”

Knowing when to see a medical professional for your mental health is important because the longer you go untreated, the more potential consequences could arise, including the worsening of your symptoms.

“The pressure to hide your problems could make you more fearful of your mental illness and cause you to isolate yourself,” Cao said. “Transparency and awareness is probably the most successful way to overcome this fear.”

Assert the importance of conversation.

When dealing with friends or family members who aren’t as open to talking about your experiences or getting professional help, Cao suggested that you should genuinely and assertively request a conversation by using phrases like “I need to speak with you,” “I need your help,” or “Please listen to me before you say anything.”

B. Nilaja Green, a licensed clinical psychologist based in Atlanta, said that you should find a time to speak to your loved ones when they are calm and you can have their full attention.

“Be as transparent with them as possible about what you’re experiencing, how these experiences are impacting you, and why you believe the experiences are serious enough to warrant outside intervention,” Green said.

Use language that your loved one can understand.

When discussing a topic as sensitive as mental health, you want to make sure that you communicate in a way that makes sense for both the person you’re talking to and yourself.

Cao recommended doing this by avoiding general and weighted vocabulary such as “mental disorder” or “abnormal,” as this may reintroduce the feeling of shame associated with these terms. Instead, try starting the conversation by talking about any physical symptoms you may be feeling, such as a loss in appetite or insomnia that will help break the ice.

“You may find it easier to communicate about physical symptoms first, like insomnia and appetite changes, because there is no stigma or shame attached,” Cao said.

It’s also important that you communicate in a tone that makes you sound open to receiving feedback if that is your goal of the conversation.

“We often notice another person’s resistance without being mindful of our own resistances,” Fedra said. “Create an open [atmosphere] within your communication style by being mindful of your words, tone and feelings.”

Religion and mental health support aren’t mutually exclusive.

One of the main reasons mental health usually isn’t openly talked about within the black community is because of the reliance on religious beliefs to solve or fix mental health issues without considering additional supportive resources, Green said.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, only about 25 percent of African Americans seek mental health care, compared to 40 percent of whites.

“I have heard clients share that family members and friends have either undermined them going to treatment and/or referred them back to the church as their most appropriate source for healing and help,” Green explained.

If religion is a major part of your family’s lifestyle, Green said that you could inform your loved ones that there are resources that cater to families with religious backgrounds.

“There are counselors and therapists of varying religious backgrounds who integrate their faith into the work,” Green said. “Even if you do not want to go to a therapist who identifies themselves in a particular way, most therapists have training that allows them to appreciate and respect the religious beliefs of their clients.”

Take advantage of outside resources.

If you are absolutely unable to talk to relatives or friends about the state of your mental health, there are several other options to choose from.

“Seek professional help from a psychologist, psychotherapist, mental health
counselors who speak your language and understand your cultural background,” Cao recommended.

If you believe you’ll have trouble paying for treatment, Cao said you can seek help from hospitals and clinics that offer appointments on a sliding scale adjusted for income. There are also online options and free alternatives that can still be helpful, like support groups. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America created a list of support groups throughout the U.S. that you can filter by group name or support topic.

Bottom line: Own your experiences and know that a living with a mental health condition doesn’t make you “weak.” The more you talk about it, the more people will start to pay attention. Experts agree that open communication can play a vital role in eliminating the shame and stigma surrounding mental health.

“Simply talking about your situation and illness to someone understanding may reduce some of the stress you have,” Cao said. “It can also help your loved ones to understand you better and relieve their concerns about you.”

Original Post

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-talk-about-mental-health_us_5b450d8ce4b0c523e263b100

On – 17 Jul, 2018 By Kristen Adaway


6 Reasons Pets Are Good Therapy for Mental Health | The Mighty

I’m a firm believer that pets are a fantastic thing for mental health. I have a mini zoo at home; we have three dogs, a rabbit, four guinea pigs and a hamster. In my opinion, pets really are a fantastic form of therapy; without mine, I don’t think I would be here. That’s the truth. They help me manage my bipolar disorder and keep me going in several ways.

1. They give you routine.

Pets give you a routine. They need to be fed, watered, cleaned out, given attention and, if you have dogs, walked at certain times during the day. For me, at least, it keeps me on track.

2. They give you purpose.

They give you something to be responsible for, which gives you a purpose during the day. This is something that even on bad days makes me feel worthy and gives me a reason to get out of bed.

3. They keep you company.

They keep you company so you are never alone. Even if I am isolated, I’m never truly on my own because I have them there.

user contributor photo of three dogs looking at camera4. They give you someone to talk to.

It’s a way to get out your thoughts and feelings without judgment because they certainly don’t talk back. If you’re lucky, they’ll act as though they’re listening.

5. They love you.

They give you complete and unconditional love; no matter what mood you are in or what you look like, they adore you and are always there for cuddles!

6. They encourage you to get outside.

My dogs get me out of the house even on days when I otherwise wouldn’t leave the house at all. They must be walked, and I love them, so that is my motivation. At times being out can start to lift my mood.

For all these reasons and more, pets really are a fantastic form of therapy for me and I’m sure for many others.

Image via contributor.

https://themighty.com/2018/07/reasons-pets-are-good-therapy-mental-health/

On – 18 Jul, 2018 By Lotus Flower