Help for Your Mental Health

By Laura Webb, VP and Chief Nursing Officer COVID-19 has cut us adrift in a sea of uncertainty: Will I have a job six months from now? Will I or my loved ones get sick? How should I educate my kids? These incessant worries can do a number on our mental health. In fact, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report in August 2020 that found during the pandemic, U.S. adults reported considerably elevated rates of symptoms consistent with mental health conditions. Overall, 40% of respondents reported at least one mental health concern or condition, such […]

Mental Health Moment – September is Suicide Prevention Month

By Deepak Prabhakar, M.D., Medical Director of Outpatient Services, Sheppard Pratt September is Suicide Prevention Month. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. was facing a suicide epidemic. Each day, we lose 132 lives to suicide—the highest suicide rate in more than 30 years, with a particularly disturbing increase in young people dying by suicide. This equates to about 48,000 lives lost each year to suicide. Now consider what COVID-19 and its accompanying uncertainties related to education, employment, financial struggles, and other issues have exacted on an individual’s mental health. The heightened uncertainty and anxiety coupled with the stress and […]

What Older Adults are Doing to Promote Racial Justice

By Dr. Jennifer Jimenez Maraña, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Broadmead In his video series “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” Emmanuel Acho reads a letter from a White woman who grew up in the 1940s. She wrote that racism was embedded in her experience growing up, but now she has been listening and is still learning. She asked that Acho and others “not give up” on people like her, adding, “I’m awake now and determined to wake others up.” When I shared the video with a group of residents I work with at Broadmead, a life plan community […]

Mental Health Moment: Managing “Back-to-the-New-Normal” Anxiety

By Molly Schiffer, LCPC, Center for OCD and Anxiety, Sheppard Pratt As a kid, one of my favorite things about going back to school was the back-to-school shopping. Aisles filled with brightly colored notebooks, folders, and backpacks, shiny and new. The idea of “back to school” did not just signal a new school year, it also signaled a new year, regardless of whether you had kids in school or not. But COVID-19 has altered our return to school. Even though TV commercials are still advertising flashy back-to-school sales, the feeling of excitement and enthusiasm about the new school year has […]

MENTAL HEALTH MOMENT – You Are So Beautiful

By Dr. Terri Griffith What do you like about your body? As the clinical coordinator for Sheppard Pratt’s Center for Eating Disorders, that’s a question I often ask my patients to begin the process of helping them shift the narrative they tell themselves about their own bodies. For some patients, it might be difficult to acknowledge something they like about their bodies. So sometimes the question has to be changed to, “What are you okay with about your body” or even “What can you tolerate about your body?” Go ahead and reflect on your own body image and think about […]

Open Letter from the BHT Foundation

As we enter into PRIDE month, we find ourselves torn between a desire to celebrate the history, freedom, and the beauty of our LGBTQ+ communities; and tears of pain and sorrow as we see our country systematically oppress and murder our black and brown communities. 2020 is, by no means, a “normal” year. Yet, if there is one small piece of hope, it may be that this country’s systemic, institutional, pervasive racism is on display for the world to see. It cannot be ignored, and more white people are beginning to learn about their own participation in this racist system. It is not […]

Larry Kramer, Pioneering AIDS Provocateur, Dies

Larry Kramer, whose take-no-prisoners rhetoric defined the early period of AIDS activism, died May 27th. He was 84. According to Kramer’s husband, David Webster, he died from pneumonia. Kramer had contended with health problems for much of his adult life, including HIV, liver disease, and a successful liver transplant. “Larry helped keep us focused,” Rob Folan-Johnson of ACT UP told Baltimore OUTloud. “His anger was infectious and damned useful. If he hadn’t been at that meeting at rhe Gay and Lesbian Center that night to declare that an organized political force was needed to fight for our lives and against […]

MENTAL HEALTH MOMENT – BIG (Baltimore Pride) Feeling

As an educator in the mental health field, a lot of my professional dialog ends up being about feelings. Big feelings, little feelings, hidden feelings, reactionary feelings. We feel them, we handle them, we empower students to understand them. The hardest feelings to navigate are the ones that bombard us and feel unfair to us, like they have been dumped onto us, especially ones triggered by an event that we have no control over… like a global pandemic. Loneliness, grief, insecurity, stress, restlessness, and fear (just to name a few) have found homes within us the last few months. All […]

Resources for Trans Youth in Isolation

By Dr. Elyse Pine The LGBT Health Resource Center Being isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic is tough for everybody, but for gender diverse and transgender youth, it can be even harder. For some people, home is a very affirming and safe place. But for others, it may be a place where your name, pronouns, and gender identity are not respected. The people you live with may not even know your name and pronouns, and it may not be a safe space to share it yet. Hearing a deadname and being misgendered can feel like a form of violence and can add stress […]

Mental Health Moment – COVID-19 and Anxiety

By Jon Hershfield, MFT Director, OCD and Anxiety Center, Sheppard Pratt COVID-19 is a hurricane of uncertainties. How it appeared, how it behaves, how we stay safe from it, and how long it’s going to be a burden on the world are all mired in mystery. While fear is how our bodies respond to danger we can clearly identify, anxiety is how our bodies respond to the more confusing, abstract potential threats we imagine in the future. Both experiences are the body’s normal biological strategy to help keep us safe. Our heart rate goes up for energy in case we […]