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The Mental Health Connection -October 2023

Many mental health challenges and issues are recognized this month— including World Mental Health Day, which was on October 10. Across the globe, one in eight people are living with a mental health condition—with an increasing number of young people being affected.

Having a mental health condition should never be a reason to deprive a person of their human rights or exclude them from decisions about their health. Yet, all over the world, people with mental health issues continue to experience a wide range of human rights violations. Many are excluded from community life and discriminated against, while many more can’t access the mental health care they need or can only access limited care. This year’s theme is “Mental health is a universal human right.” It’s an opportunity for people and communities to raise awareness and drive actions that promote and protect everyone's human right to access resources that foster mental health and for treatment when needed.

Help Therapy providers mark your calendar for Friday, October 20th, from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. PST for our Peer Consult Group. Your can register here: Peer Consult Group Registration

If you're on the hunt for office space to use once or multiple times a week, Help Therapy has a special friends' rate for spaces available in the Hillcrest area of San Diego.

Wishing you a safe and happy Halloween,

Annette Conway, PsyD

CEO and President

Help Therapy

Bringing Awareness to Mental Health Challenges in October October brings awareness to many mental health challenges. Six are listed below. Click on the links to learn more about each of the topics.

The 2023 ADHD Awareness Month theme in the U.S. is “Moving Forward with ADHD.”

The goal is to teach us about the signs, symptoms and treatment options for depression. It also stresses that seeking help— is a sign of hope and strength.

This observance brings awareness to the need for accessible and affordable mental health screenings.

October is a designated time to put health literacy awareness into action.

This awareness month seeks to break the silence surrounding pregnancy and infant loss through education and support for expectant mothers and bereaved families.

The 2023 NDEAM theme is “Advancing Access and Equity.” It aims to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the contributions of American workers with disabilities.

CARE for the Homeless in California with Schizophrenia and other Psychotic Disorders The Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Act, created by Governor Newsom, is an effort to address homelessness in California. It was implemented on October 1st in seven California counties: Glenn, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Stanislaus and Tuolumne. The remaining California counties have until Dec. 1, 2024, to establish the program.

This program expedites people with untreated schizophrenia and other qualifying psychotic disorders into housing and medical care.

  • A person can qualify for the CARE program if they meet all the following criteria:

  • They are 18 years of age or older

  • They are currently experiencing a qualifying severe mental illness

They are not clinically stabilized in ongoing voluntary treatment and

At least one of the following applies:

  • They are unlikely to survive safely in the community without supervision and their condition is substantially deteriorating.

  • They need services and support to prevent a relapse or deterioration that would likely result in severe disability or serious harm to themselves or others.

  • Participation would be the least restrictive alternative to ensure recovery and stability.

  • They will likely benefit from participation in the program.

To be eligible, the person doesn’t need to be homeless, but they do need to be diagnosed with an illness on the schizophrenia spectrum or have another qualifying disorder. Unfortunately, those suffering from severe depression or bipolar disorder don’t qualify.

Halloween is a Scary Time

Halloween, the season of costumes and spookiness, carries an eerie allure for many. However, for some children and adults, this festivity can become a source of genuine terror, resulting in a condition known as Samhainophobia. This fear of Halloween can provoke considerable distress, compelling those affected to go to great lengths to evade its triggers. Symptoms of Samhainophobia The symptoms of Samhainophobia vary by individual but include:

  • Dizziness

  • Intense sweating

  • Nausea

  • Panic attacks

  • Rapid breathing and heart rate

  • A strong feeling of terror

  • Trembling or shaking

For children, symptoms may also include:

  • Avoiding the dark

  • Crying or having tantrums

  • Hiding or running away

  • Not wanting to go to school

  • Not wanting to sleep alone

  • Refusing to participate in Halloween-related events

  • Screaming

Yet adults with this extreme fear or anxiety may not seek help due to embarrassment or may not know there are ways to treat and even overcome their condition. [READ MORE]


Union of Pan Asian Communities The Union of Pan Asian Communities offers resources to Asians, Pacific Islanders and others in San Diego, including resources related to:

  • Adolescent, adult and senior mental health

  • Addiction treatment

  • Community engagement and business development

  • Housing counseling

Adult Protective Services Adult Protective Services helps those 60 and older and dependent adults harmed, threatened with harm or neglected, ensuring their safety and dignity.

Common types of abuse include:

  • Physical

  • Mental

  • Abandonment

  • Isolation

  • Financial

  • Neglect

  • Self-neglect

The number to report abuse is (800) 339-4661.


OCD Awareness Week October 8-14, 2023 See IOCDF for more information.

Baby Loss Awareness Week October 9-15, 2023 See IE for more information. World Mental Health Day October 10, 2023 See WHO for more information National Coming Out Day October 11, 2023 See HRC for more information

National Stop Bullying Day October 10, 2023 See NDC for more information National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day October 15, 2023 See SLF for more information National Health Education Week October 16-20, 2023 See SOPHE for more information Body Acceptance Week October 23-27, 2023 See NEDA for more information International Stress Awareness Week October 30-November 3, 2023 See ISMA for more information

18 Trick-or-Treat Candy Alternatives

We all know consuming a lot of sugar is unhealthy. But do you know it’s also addictive? It hits the same reward centers in the brain that cocaine does. So when you eat a lot of sugar, you want more. That can lead to crashes and spikes in your blood sugar. Research shows that inflammation throughout the gut and immune system caused by sugar is linked to brain fog, trouble concentrating, anxiety and depression. Instead of offering traditional Halloween candy, consider giving treats that are not harmful to children's mental and physical health. Small, inexpensive Halloween-themed items can be fun alternatives to candy. You can buy one or more in large quantities or have fun picking out a unique selection. Here are 18 treats to consider:

  1. Mini puzzles


  3. Bracelets

  4. Bubbles

  5. Erasers

  6. Glow sticks

  7. Magnets

  8. Stickers

  9. Notepads

  10. Pencils

  11. Pens

  12. Post-it notes

  13. Rings

  14. Small toys (spiders, bugs, rats, snakes, skeletons)

  15. Slime

  16. Balls

  17. Slinkies

  18. Vampire teeth

Do you have something to share? We’d love to hear about your successes and accomplishments! Contact us at


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