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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

MENTAL HEALTH MOMENT

April is Substance Abuse Awareness Month By Jason Martin LCPC, CPRP, NCC, ACS This April is Substance Abuse Awareness Month. The current COVID-19 crisis, with its anxiety-inducing headlines and fear of the unknown, is especially difficult for individuals using substances or recovering addicts. These situations can put recovering addicts at risk for relapse, or users at risk for an overdose. Now more than ever, we want to use this national awareness month as a rally point to educate the community about resources available for individuals struggling with substance use. Seek Professional Services There are a number of services available in […]

MENTAL HEALTH MOMENT – Horticulture as Therapy

By Elizabeth Haldeman Ah, spring. The warmer weather and longer, sunny days coax a rainbow of color from the soil as the earth slowly awakens from its cold winter’s nap. But the very best part of this perennial transformation? It is finally gardening season! Growing a healthy mind – For me, gardening offers more than just the opportunity to grow some fresh food for my dinner table. As a licensed occupational therapist at Sheppard Pratt’s Center for Eating Disorders, I recognize that gardening offers powerful mental health benefits. At Sheppard Pratt, our patents benefit from horticulture therapy – the use […]

MENTAL HEALTH MOMENT – Break Free from Digital Addiction!

by Dr. Thomas Franklin As we begin a new year, it’s a good time to pause and reflect. When were we our best selves in 2019? What can we do differently or better in 2020? I believe one of the most important things you can do to be your best self in 2020 is to put down your phone. Here’s what I mean: we have all become addicted to our phones. It is understandable. Our smartphones provide real value to our lives. But their ubiquitous overuse has caused a digital addiction epidemic. This overuse is especially apparent in young people. […]

MENTAL HEALTH MOMENT – All it Takes is One

Nine out of ten LGBTQ youth reported experiencing bullying in the past year. And LGBTQ youth are twice as likely to experience physical assault as their peers. During National Bullying Prevention Month in October, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of bullying, and how you can help those impacted.  Bullying is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “abuse and mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone stronger or more powerful.” Symptoms of someone who is being bullied include isolation, declining grades, disinterest in eating, poor sleep habits, and irritability and anger. While much of the literature about bullying […]