The Mental Health Connection
Summer has arrived! To add to the July 4th Independence Day celebrations, we can also celebrate a return to freedom—freedom from the fear instilled by the pandemic. We can now move forward with a renewed sense of hope and gratitude.
We’ve seen the number of patients coming to us skyrocket as more and more people feel more comfortable now that the COVID restrictions have eased. Many of our provider partners who were primarily or exclusively seeing patents online have transitioned back to face-to-face sessions (observing the necessary safety protocols, such as checking temperatures, wearing masks and gloves and using hand sanitizers).
The pandemic has taught us many things. We’ve adapted and grown. It’s important to reflect on how the pandemic has changed us (for better or worse) and to take what we’ve learned to choose how we want to live our lives moving forward.
Annette Conway Psy.D CEO Help Therapy
July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
The concept took seed in 2005 when Bebe Moore Campbell voiced the need to destigmatize mental illness, especially for African Americans. Although mental health conditions don’t discriminate, accessing treatment and quality care can be much more difficult for some populations and communities.
In 2008, National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was established in honor of Bebe Moore Campbell to start changing this inequality.
To support this initiative, National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) spreads the message “You Are Not Alone,” believing that together we can create a nation where anyone affected by mental illness—no matter their culture, ethnicity or background—can get the help, support and treatment they need. NAMI offers opportunities to spread the word through awareness, support and advocacy activities. Learn more about how you can get involved during this National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.
Beware of Email Scams
Unfortunately, with the increasing use of email comes an increased risk of falling victim to internet scams. This reality is especially true of our senior population, which is often targeted. These scams generally aim to collect personal information to access an individual’s personal accounts, steal their identity, or rob them of their savings. Some of the scams to be aware of are:
Overdue utility scams
General phishing attacks (collecting personal information)
Many of these scam emails look genuine. They may include the name and even the logo of an organization you know and trust. But there are a few things to look for in these emails that can give them away.
Does the sender use your name or just a generic greeting, such as “Dear Customer” or “Dear Sir or Madam”?
Does it contain typos or improper grammar?
Does it ask you to respond immediately? Some scams use fear to get a response, such as threatening to shut off your electricity or informing you your account with a financial institution is in jeopardy if you don’t act immediately.
Does it ask you to click on a link or button or download an attachment?
Does it ask for personal information, such as your account login credentials or password?
Does it ask you to send money to a charity in the form of cash, gift card or wire transfer?
If you have any doubt about the legitimacy of an email, call the company directly. Never respond to these emails by sending money, clicking on links or buttons within the messages, downloading attachments or revealing personal information.
5 Tools to Overcome Social Anxiety
Social anxiety can affect people in different ways and to varying degrees. It can range from feeling self-conscious or nervous occasionally, especially in unfamiliar situations or when you think you’ll be evaluated by others—to feelings of intense and debilitating fear.
Some situations may be so frightening that you get anxious just thinking about them and go to great lengths to avoid them.
There are tools and techniques you can try to lessen social anxiety and even help you overcome it.
Try these five and see what works best for you.
1. Monitor Your Thoughts
Your thoughts have power. They influence your emotions and your actions. That’s why it’s vital to monitor your thoughts and challenge your negative and anxious thought patterns. At times you may feel like there’s nothing you can do about the way you feel and how you think. Although, in reality, monitoring your thoughts is a step toward control.
What direction do your thoughts tend to lead? Identifying and challenging your negative thoughts can be an effective way to reduce symptoms of social anxiety.
You may notice anxious thoughts automatically popping into your head when you think of specific social situations. Analyze these thoughts and challenge them. Do you tend to assume the worst in these situations?
This Month's Tip
Create Some Personal Space in Your Relationship
In modern relationships, we often expect to be best friends with our partners and want to be together all the time. But when a couple is in a long-term relationship and living together, we can end up spending too much time together–– especially in recent times when our outside activities have been limited.
When we spend this much time together, there are very few aspects of our partner's life that remain a “mystery.” But, mystery and newness are some of the key ingredients for maintaining interest and desire. So, if you want to have a better relationship with your partner and you're currently spending a lot of time together, it might be beneficial to create a little personal space.
Spend some time focusing on your interests and self-care. Carve out some time every day just for you. Read a book, go for a walk in a park, take a drive in the country, pursue a hobby...
Encourage your partner to do the same. You’ll soon find your relationship renewed.
"If you stumble, make it part of the dance."
— Author Unknown
Dr. Diane Dunne, Ph.D.
Dr. Dunne is a Licensed Psychologist specializing in Clinical Psychology.
She uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Reality Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Emotionally-Focused Therapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Hypnosis, Spiritually-Focused Therapy, Meditation, Mindfulness and other therapeutic approaches to assist her patients in accomplishing their mental health goals.
Dr. Dunne specializes in developing personalized short-term, evidence-based treatment plans to explore and address her patients’ challenges. Each program includes clearly defined goals and objectives that are addressed throughout therapy.
During the pandemic, she has assisted people of all ages in making the necessary changes in their lives to adapt to their circumstances and move forward.
Dr. Dunne is in private practice in Orange County, California.
San Diego Pride Week Events
July 10 - 18, 2021
See nbcsandiego.com for more information.
International Self-Care Day
July 24, 2021
See isfglobal.org for more information.
National Disability Independence Day
July 26, 2021
See adata.org for more information.
International Day of Friendship
July 30, 2021
See un.org for more information.
World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
July 30, 2021
See un.org for more information.
Partner With Us
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