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Help Therapy Newsletter - May 2023

The Mental Health Connection


On May 14th, we celebrated Mother's Day. But May is also the month when we bring awareness to the importance of women's mental and physical health; we do all we can to ensure all women have the resources they need available to them. Keeping up-to-date with COVID-19 protocols and guidelines is crucial for healthcare professionals in maintaining a safe environment. Below are the changes in these protocols that you need to know. Last month, Help Therapy participated in the annual Critical Issues in Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CICAMH) Conference and set up a booth at the event. Topics at this excellent conference included:

  • How to engage and connect with families of LGBTQIA+ youth who also struggle with mental health disorders

  • Exploring how Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) can be effectively used with adolescents and how to engage families in understanding and reinforcing ACT modalities.

  • Learning skills of family behavior therapy for substance use disorder treatment in youth

  • Learning skills of family behavior therapy for substance use disorder treatment in youth

Do you know a mental healthcare provider who may be interested in joining Help Therapy? We’re currently accepting applications for providers who take insurance. Annette Conway, PsyD CEO and President Help Therapy

 

How Coming to the End of The California Public Health Emergency Affects Mental Healthcare The California Public Health Emergency (PHE) ended on February 28, 2023, and the federal PHE will end on May 11, 2023. As a result, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have updated their guidance and policies. Here’s a summary of what you need to know:

  • Masks will no longer be required in healthcare settings.

  • Healthcare workers will no longer be required to be vaccinated, except in certain settings such as Medicare or Medicaid-certified sites.

  • Telehealth services provided in-office will continue to be paid at the non-facility rate through the end of 2023.

  • A therapist must be licensed in the state the client is physically located at the time of the session. Members of PSYPACT are exempt from this rule within the PSYPACT Regions.

  • No new codes will be implemented for remote therapeutic monitoring (RTM.).

  • HIPAA flexibilities will be discontinued

Visit CDPH updates for more information.

 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Women’s Health Month


Mental Health Awareness Month


In April, The President released A Proclamation on National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2023. In this proclamation, President Biden stated that each of us has a role in ending the stigma around mental health issues. Showing compassion is the first step so everyone, regardless of race, gender, politics, or income, feels free to ask for help.


To this end, the president released a national strategy to transform how we address mental health in America. This strategy includes supporting and training more mental healthcare providers, improving access to mental health care, and creating environments that promote mental health.


Women’s Health Month


The goal of Women’s Health Month is to empower women to make health a priority. This is the month women can pledge to take better care of themselves and live the healthy, active lives they deserve.


A few ways to participate are joining a gym, getting a women’s wellness exam, keeping up with regular health screening (mammogram, colonoscopy, blood tests), getting 7-9 hours of restful sleep nightly, limiting alcohol, and eating more veggies and fewer animal products.

 

8 Ways to Manage Anxiety While Traveling

Travel anxiety is common. We can experience anxiety about a variety of things when traveling—both before and during our trip. Anxiety can center around flight delays or cancellations, lost luggage, navigating unfamiliar places, language barriers, safety concerns, being away from home and loved ones, managing finances, dealing with unexpected situations, and more. Here are eight ways to manage anxiety while traveling: 1. Stay organized Make a list of everything you must take on your trip and another list of things you must do before leaving. Check off each item on both lists when they are done. 2. Get enough sleep It may be tempting to stay up late and get up early to get in all the activities you want to do on vacation. But maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and getting 7-9 hours of restful sleep will help you have more energy to enjoy the activities. 3. Practice deep breathing exercises One technique is Rhythmic Breathing. When anxiety strikes, take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. This can help slow down your heart rate and calm your mind. Near the end of each inhalation, pause briefly while mentally counting “1, 2, 3” and holding the air before exhaling. 4. Meditate Meditation can help you focus on the present moment and reduce stress and racing thoughts. This practice is especially helpful when traveling to an unfamiliar place. Find a quiet spot, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. 5. Try yoga Yoga is an active way to reduce anxiety and stress. Find a yoga class in the area or do some yoga poses in your hotel room. 6. Practice self-care Take time for yourself each day. Relax and do something you enjoy, whether reading a book, taking a walk or getting a massage. 7. Be mindful Mindfulness involves being present in the moment and focusing on your surroundings. Enjoy the now instead of thinking about the next part of your travels. 8. Seek support If you are feeling particularly anxious, it’s important to seek support. This might involve talking to a friend or family member or seeking professional help from a therapist. With these tools, you can better manage anxiety while traveling and fully enjoy your trip.

 

The Impact of Technology Overload on the Nervous System

Technology has become integral to our daily lives, from smartphones and laptops to social media and streaming platforms. While these technological advancements have brought many benefits, they also come with a downside: technology overload. This overuse or excessive dependence on technology can have a negative impact on our nervous system. Technology overload can be expressed in many ways, including constantly checking social media, responding to work emails outside work hours, and spending excessive time playing video games. 85% of Us Go Online Daily According to a Pew Research Center survey, 31% of U.S. adults go online “almost constantly.” Overall, 85% of Americans say they go online daily. This figure includes 31% who report going online almost constantly and 48% who say they go online several times a day. The nervous system is highly sensitive to external stimuli, including technology. Overusing technology can overstimulate the nervous system, leading to various adverse effects. As the body's communication network, the nervous system transmits signals between the brain and other body parts. One of the most significant impacts of technology overload on the nervous system is its effect on the brain. [READ MORE]

 

This Month’s Tip 5 Summer Vacation Experiences Like No Other


Explore the Rockies by train

Enjoy six scenic rail journeys on this eight-day Colorado Rail Adventure departing from Denver, Colorado. Visit quaint mining towns, immerse yourself in the beauty of scenic vistas and towering red rock formations, and explore the Colorado Railroad Museum. Seven overnight hotel accommodations are included.


Spend the weekend in a yurt

Upgrade your annual camping trip and stay in a yurt in Quincy, Washington. Sagecliffe Resort & Spa offers Desert Yurts overlooking the Columbia River Gorge. Enjoy the amenities of a hotel while experiencing the great outdoors.


Cozy up in an adult-style treehouse

The Treehouse Cottages in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, offers eight cottage options, including an actual treehouse 26 feet in the air with a wrap-around porch. Unlike a typical treehouse, you can enjoy amenities like a heart-shaped jacuzzi.

Stay on a wildlife reserve and experience wildlife up close.


Spend a night out in the wild

The Exotic Resort Zoo in Johnson City, Texas, features safari cabins that promise a uniquely wild experience. Each of the six cabins offers incredible views, with over 700 animals roaming the 137-acre preserve. Guided tours are led daily.


Experience life undersea at an undersea lodge

Started as La Chalupa Research Laboratory, Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida, is completely submerged in a natural reef nursery. You must be certified divers to take the journey to their lodgings. Diving lessons are available on-site for those needing certification.

 

New Provider Spotlight


Robert B. Simmonds, Ph.D.


Robert B. Simmonds, Ph.D. has a long history of experience as a psychologist. He was previously a tenured professor at the State University of New York (Cortland). He completed a post-doctoral training program at George Washington University and his clinical internship at Georgetown University. He maintained a private practice in San Diego between 1990 and 2008. He then went to work with the US Army for ten years where he specialized in TBI, PTSD, and other conditions experienced by members of the military. He is now back in private practice in San Diego.


Dr. Simmonds uses mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and the internal family systems model, among other approaches in his therapy with clients. His approach is compassionate, deep, professional, and authentic.

 

Events


National Mental Health Awareness Week

May 10-16, 2023

See NT for more information.


National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

May 11, 2023

See NT for more information.


National Women’s Health Week

May 14-20, 2023

See CDC for more information.


World Schizophrenia Day

May 24, 2023

See NT for more information.


National Senior Health and Fitness Day

May 31, 2023

See NSHFD for more information.

 

Partner with us!

Are you a psychologist, LCSW or LMFT? We’re always looking for exceptional mental healthcare providers. Visit helptherapy.com for more information and fill out the quick and easy application.

Do you have something to share?We’d love to hear about your successes and accomplishments! Have you:

  • Written an article?

  • Given a presentation?

  • Have a client success story?

Contact us at info@helptherapy.com.




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