“It’s distressing to watch a loved one experience panic attacks and face anxiety every day, but there are things you can do to help.” Joseph McGuire, Ph.D. covers ways to help the people we know who struggle with anxiety. Sometimes all that is needed is to provide validation and express concern for someone struggling. Anxiety can creep up on each of us and, especially during the pandemic, it is important to educate ourselves on the early signs of anxiety and develop the skills necessary to help. If you, or someone you know, has been struggling with anxiety, this article is a great resource and first step in the right direction.
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Print Mental and Behavioral Health Anxiety Disorders Reviewed By: All of us worry and get scared from time to time. But those with anxiety may feel consumed by fears of things that might seem irrational to others.
“The coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) global pandemic has already had an unprecedented impact on populations around the world and is anticipated to have a disproportionate burden on people with schizophrenia and related disorders.” Read the full article from the Schizophrenia Bulletin.
Multiple factors increase the risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19 in people with schizophrenia. Smoking, which is prevalent in more than 60% of people with schizophrenia, may increase the risk of disease progression and severe complications from COVID-19, including death, via its effects on lung health and immune responsiveness.
“Participants who engaged in both proactive coping and high mindfulness were more resilient against daily stressors compared with those who performed only one.” This Harvard Health article is a quick read but outlines a very interesting concept. Planning for future stress may actually help to reduce it. A study that looked at how 223 people dealt with daily stress showed that being proactive helps resilience when faced with stress in the future.
To read Harvard Health’s article and find the study, click the link.
Need help staying positive during trying times? Live more in the moment, but also focus on how to cope with future stresses. This advice comes from a study published online March 25, 2020, by Personality and Individual Differences. Researchers explored two factors in how people handle stress: mindfulness and proactive coping.
“The stigma around addiction means many people who use drugs use them alone, which is a reality we must address.” The new Lifeguard substance use app is an amazing tool that works to protect potential overdose victims who use alone. Especially with many stay-at-home measures still in place, there is an increased risk of substance use victims being alone if they overdose.
To read more about the app and learn how to download, click the link.
The app can be downloaded online for iPhone and Android devices, and is activated by the user before they take their dose. After 50 seconds the app will sound an alarm. If the user doesn’t hit a button to stop the alarm, indicating they are fine, the alarm grows louder.
Being able to watch clients grow over time and reach their goals is incredibly rewarding for the employees at PCLA. We spoke with Leah Robinson, Activity Coordinator at Dominion House, about her time with PCLA and the effect it has had on her. Transitioning from Miller’s Way (another of PCLA’s residences) to Dominion House “was a very rewarding process for me” said Leah. “I saw how many residents came to our facility and I could see how they transitioned to more independence.”
Leah is from Vancouver and is a graduate of Douglas College, having studied as a recreational therapist. She began work at PCLA in 2003 at Miller’s Way and transitioned to Dominion House when it opened in 2007. Speaking about the day-to-day responsibilities of her position, Leah highlighted the independence many Dominion House clients have worked to achieve. Leah facilitates group problem solving, exercise and meal planning programs for Dominion House residents.
When asked about the importance of Dominion House in the mental health landscape of B.C., Leah spoke about the niche that they try to fill. “It’s a great opportunity for people who aren’t quite ready to live independently, but otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to live to their potential… they are in a safe environment where they can explore their independence.” PCLA fosters a language of hope which is evident when speaking with employees like Leah.
Noting the importance of continuing to fight stigma around mental health, Leah stated that “many people have misconstrued ideas of what a person [living with mental health illnesses] is like. They are surprised to learn how much they can do, the independence they have.” By getting involved, having a conversation or self-educating, we can all work to end the stigma around mental health in our communities.
As always, we are so grateful for our employees. PCLA truly could not be where it is today without the support and hard work of each and every employee, volunteer, donor and partner, so we say thank you for all that you do. Find more resources and blogs from PCLA here.
Some of the best things about PCLA are the little conversations and relationships that are built between our employees and clients. This is true for Judy Morrissey, the Residential Coordinator at EBT. In a recent conversation, she talked about a client who had passed away earlier this year. “She had battled cancer for over 15 years,” said Judy, “and she is one who, every morning, I would knock on her door and just have a 10-minute conversation with and help her through the last few stages of her life.” Stories like these are the heartbeat of PCLA and they drive us to get up every morning and make an impact in our community.
Originally from Calgary, and a University of Saskatchewan graduate, Judy has been working at PCLA since 2002. In 2016, she moved to EBT and has been working as the Residential Coordinator ever since.
Because EBT is designed to provide more independent living, Judy works to facilitate volunteering, budgeting, leisure and social activities for clients. While discussing the importance of PCLA in B.C.’s mental health landscape, Judy said that there is still a lot of stigma around mental health, and that it continues to be misunderstood by the public. She says PCLA is here “to provide clients with a safe space and understanding”.
We asked Judy about the questions and comments she gets from friends and family about her work. She said that people often say that her job must be very stressful, but she doesn’t feel that way. “I feel more grateful to have [my job]. When you help [clients], you see your impact on them and it’s a great feeling”.
We cannot thank employees like Judy enough for the work they do and the amazing impact they have on the lives of our clients and our community. PCLA truly could not be where it is today without the support and hard work of each and every employee, volunteer, donor and partner. So truly, from the bottom of our hearts, we say thank you for all that you do. Find more resources and blogs from PCLA here.
Psychosocial rehabilitation is an integral part of what PCLA does, however, it is often misunderstood. What exactly is psychosocial rehabilitation? Why is it important in mental healthcare? This article by Kendra Cherry breaks down the answers to these questions.
People with mental illnesses and other psychiatric concerns often need help in different aspects of their lives including work, living, social, and learning environments. One approach that can help people manage symptoms and improve functioning is known as psychosocial rehabilitation (PSR). PSR is a treatment approach designed to help improve the lives of people with disabilities.
Have you ever thought about taking a course on mental health related issues? The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has a wide range of FREE CAMH courses on their website where you can build awareness and knowledge of mental health challenges and work to reduce stigma. Courses offered include Empowering Families Affected by Psychosis, Youth and Mental Health 101, Addiction 101 and so many more. Privacy is a priority for CAMH, and they work to provide an environment that respects that privacy. Work through a course or two on your own, or with friends and family. Help each other to grow and fight the stigma around mental health.
These tutorials have been generously supported by the CAMH Gifts of Light program. You can help support CAMH’s Gifts of Light Program here. To view the entire list of courses available in this series, please visit the main camh.ca website. Note on accessibility: We are currently working on providing specific accommodations for participants with physical and/or learning challenges.
The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) released their very own app. With the purpose of better serving the First Nations and Indigenous people of BC, this app creates the opportunity to receive direct information that supports the health, wellness and safety of BC First Nations. This app focuses on health and wellness, including physical and mental health.
To read more about the app and other news from the FNHA, click the link.
A message from Richard Jock, Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO), FNHA The FNHA strives to find the best ways possible to serve First Nations and Indigenous people in BC, and we are always exploring ways to better connect with those we serve.