How can you contribute to National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week?

childrens mental health awarenessThe National Federation of Families recognizes May as National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) identifies National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. The purpose of the awareness events is to support children with behavioral health challenges, debunk myths, spread awareness and promote positive mental health for all children. Mental health is important to overall health. Mental disorders are chronic health conditions that can continue through the lifespan. Without early diagnosis and treatment, children with mental disorders can have problems at home, in school, and in forming friendships. This can also interfere with their healthy development, and these problems can continue into adulthood.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s data shows that approximately 13 –20 percent of children living in the United States (up to 1 out of 5 children) experience a mental disorder in a given year. Data collected from a variety of data sources between the years 2005-2011 show:

Children aged 3-17 years currently had:

• ADHD (6.8%)
• Behavioral or conduct problems (3.5%)
• Anxiety (3.0%)
• Depression (2.1%)
• Autism spectrum disorders (1.1%)
• Tourette syndrome (0.2%) (among children aged 6–17 years)

Adolescents aged 12–17 years had:

• Illicit drug use disorder in the past year (4.7%)
• Alcohol use disorder in the past year (4.2%)
• Cigarette dependence in the past month (2.8%)

How can you contribute to National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week?

• Read our newsletter: How to help children & adolescents with behavioral health problems
Pediatricians should include screening for mental health concerns
• Help children access treatment options for mental health concerns

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Hank the Ballpark Pup

HankHank’s popularity has taken off. He has been featured on television news stories, front page of newspapers, in InTouch and People Magazine and even has his own hashtag –  #BallparkPup.

Once a homeless stray in Maryvale, Hank has become the darling mascot of the Milwaukee Brewers. So why is the public so taken with Hank?

  • Dogs get your attention: According to the most recent American Humane Association, 62% of U.S. households own a pet, and dogs top the list as the most common household pet. So a majority of people connect to Hank’s story, and are interested in learning more.
  • Dogs = Trust: Everyone knows the unconditional love provided by a dog. They accept you, flaws and all – no judgment.
  • Dogs engage emotion:  Unconditional love makes people feel accepted, reduces loneliness and improves mood.

The reasons Hank has become so popular (and so quickly) are much the same reasons dogs are so effective in pet therapy. They have outstanding ability to sense human emotions – and find ways to subtly comfort in times of sadness. Initially used in a mental health facility in the 1700s, and then again by the American Red Cross in military convalescent care after World War II, pets as therapeutic partners is a valued approach today in both the physical and psychosocial arenas.

Research has demonstrated that pets lower anxiety and blood pressure levels and can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax,  Aurora Psychiatric Hospital has incorporated pet visits very successfully. The pet visits open doors and reach patients in ways humans sometimes can’t.  Currently 9 pet teams visit with patients 4 times each week, reaching over 200 patients every month. Most of the teams include certified therapy dogs, but there is even a certified therapy bunny, Betsy. Patients’ reactions are quite positive and they look forward to the pet visits. Benefits to patients and staff are numerous. Withdrawn patients open up. Happy memories are re-lived. Depression lessens. Self esteem increases. Patients get better.

Hank represents much more than the story of a rescued dog. He is a connection to our hearts.

For more information about pet visits at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital, read our blog.

Aurora Behavioral Health Services offers complete mental health treatment options, provided by highly trained professionals in a caring, confidential manner to meet individual and family needs. If you or someone you know needs help, contact us — online or by phone at 1-877-666-7223 — as soon as possible.

Screening for Depression: do you know someone who needs treatment?

Mental Illness Awareness Week, Oct. 5-11, 2014

National Depression Screening Day, Oct. 9, 2014

Aurora Behavioral Health Services

Aurora Behavioral Health Services

In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in recognition of NAMI’s efforts to raise mental illness awareness. Since then, mental health advocates across the country have joined with others in their communities to sponsor activities, large or small, for public education about mental illness.

MIAW coincides with the National Depression Screening Day. National Depression Screening Day raises awareness and screens people for depression and anxiety disorders. NDSD is the nation’s oldest voluntary, community-based screening program that gives access to a validated screening questionnaire and provides referral information for treatment. More than half a million people each year have been screened for depression since 1991.

Know the signs of depression

On-line depression screening tool

Screening for depression is critical in getting individuals the treatment they need. Fortunately, recovery is possible-treatment works! The Intensive Outpatient and Partial Hospital programs for depression and anxiety at Aurora Behavioral Health Services offer hope for recovery. Programs are offered at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital, Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center and Aurora St Lukes  South Shore Hospital.

The Partial Hospitalization Programs provide intensive treatment six days per week, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Programming uses cognitive behavioral therapy to develop better coping mechanisms, improve management of symptoms, and promote healthy-living skills. This comprehensive approach to patient care incorporates group education and therapy, individual and family therapy, psychiatric evaluation, and medication management. This multidisciplinary team consists of psychiatrists, nurses, psychotherapists and case managers.

The Intensive Outpatient Program provides an alternative for individuals in need of longer and more frequent treatment sessions than can be provided with once-a-week individual outpatient therapy. The program is especially helpful for those struggling with severe depression or anxiety and who are using impulsive or avoidant coping strategies. A variety of program schedules offer flexibility for patients.

Watch a video about the Partial Hospital program for anxiety and depression

Watch a video about the Intensive Outpatient program for anxiety and depression

If you or someone you know is experiencing depression or anxiety issues, please contact Aurora Behavioral Health Services at 877-666-7223 or visit our web site at Aurora Behavioral Health Services

Aurora Behavioral Health Services offers complete mental health treatment options, provided by highly trained professionals in a caring, confidential manner to meet individual and family needs.  If you or someone you know needs help, contact us — online or by phone at 1-877-666-7223 — as soon as possible.

Celebrating our caregivers: March is Social Worker Month

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) recognizes March as Social Worker Month. This year’s theme, “Weaving Threads of Resilience and Advocacy,” emphasizes the value of using personal strengths and self-advocacy to manage serious life challenges.

Social work is currently one of the fastest growing professions in the United States;

social work month 2013They are employed in many different organizations and industries, including private and public agencies, hospices, hospitals, and health care organizations, schools and universities, businesses and foundations, military branches and veterans centers, as well as national and local public elected offices.

There are currently more than 650,000 professionally trained social workers in the United States, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth to 800,000 by the year 2020.

Social workers help millions of people function better in their environments. The primary mission of Social Work is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic needs of all people, especially the most vulnerable. As therapists, social workers accomplish this mission in many ways:

  • Social Workers help patients develop treatment plans that use their strengths, resilience, and self-advocacy to navigate life challenges.
  • Social Workers help patients function better in their environments, improve their relationships with others, and solve personal and family problems through a wide range of interventions.
  • Social Workers assist patients in every stage of life, from all communities, through individual, group and family therapy.
Pete Carlson is the president of Aurora Behavioral Health Services.

Pete Carlson is the president of Aurora Behavioral Health Services.

“ABHS utilizes social workers at all levels of care. They are invaluable in delivering effective, quality behavioral health and substance abuse treatment.” says Pete Carlson, President of Aurora Behavioral Health Services. “Social workers play a vital role in our inpatient, residential, partial hospital, intensive outpatient and outpatient treatment programs. I extend a warm and sincere “Thank You” to all our clinical social workers.”

For a list of social workers at Aurora Behavioral Health Services, or to search for a social worker visit our web site.

Aurora Behavioral Health Services offers complete mental health treatment options, provided by highly trained professionals in a caring, confidential manner to meet individual and family needs.  If you or someone you know needs help, contact us — online or by phone at 1-877-666-7223 — as soon as possible.

 

April is Alcohol Awareness Month!

For many years, Wisconsin has had the highest prevalence of alcohol use and overconsumption in the U.S., across all age groups and both sexes. Wisconsin’s rates of current use, heavy use and binge use of alcohol among adults remain the highest in the country.drinking

Read the full report from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Alcohol Awareness Month, sponsored by National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, is an opportunity to raise awareness of alcohol abuse and encourage people to make healthy, safe choices.

Drinking too much alcohol can lead to health problems, including alcohol poisoning, hangovers, and an increased risk of heart disease. If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting. Keep track of how much you drink, avoid places where overdrinking occurs, and find new ways to deal with stress. If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking, offer to help.

Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse: If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you may have a problem with alcohol:

  • Do you drink alone when you feel angry or sad?
  • Does your drinking ever make you late for work?
  • Does your drinking worry your family?
  • Do you ever drink after telling yourself you won’t?
  • Do you ever forget what you did while drinking?
  • Do you get headaches or have a hangover after drinking?

If you or someone you know is struggling with a drinking problem, Aurora Behavioral Health Services offers treatment programs that can help.

If you or someone you know is battling addiction, contact Aurora Behavioral Health Services us — online or by phone at 1-877-666-7223 — as soon as possible.