Learn ‘QPR’: Ask a Question and Prevent a Suicide

Chances are you’re familiar with CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), a well-established emergency procedure used to save lives when a person is in cardiac arrest. But have you ever heard of QPR? QPR stands for “Question, Persuade, Refer” and it’s used to intervene to prevent suicide. Recently I was given the opportunity to attend a comprehensive training … Read more…

What Are We Teaching Our Children About Mental Health?

When I was growing up, I was always so excited about the first day of school each year. I looked forward to seeing my friends, learning new things and being involved in my favorite activities (I was a band and chorus geek, if you must know.) I remember my Dad and I would always say … Read more…

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Tired of being tired? If you aren’t getting enough restful sleep, it’s inevitable you will soon feel exhausted and find you aren’t functioning effectively during the day. Plus, an ongoing pattern of inadequate sleep can lead to missed work, irritability and numerous health complications, including diabetes, obesity, depression and difficulties with memory and concentration. Want to sleep better? Take … Read more…

Your Mental Health ‘Bill of Rights’

For centuries, societies have crafted written standards to protect individuals and to promote their basic human rights. Two extraordinary examples were the Magna Carta of 1215 and the US Bill of Rights in 1791. What if we decided to write a ‘bill of rights’ for mental health care? What would it look like? What ideals, … Read more…

Get to Know These 11 Awesome Advocates!

Thank you to the incomparable Lauren Hayley for the Sunshine Blogger Award – I greatly appreciate it! For this award, there are 11 nominations & 11 questions for nominees to answer. My Nominations for the Sunshine Blogger Award: Please be sure to check out these fantastic bloggers. They are all great mental health advocates who show … Read more…

10 Tips to Become a World-Class Listener

For over 20 years I’ve taught graduate students how to provide counseling and psychotherapy to address a wide array of mental health and emotional conditions. I’m quick to tell the students that one of the most important keys to helping people is to become a great listener. Unless you first really listen to someone and gain a … Read more…

Meet 10 Great Mental Health Bloggers!

I was honored to be nominated recently by mental health blogger par excellence Lauren Hayley for the Liebster Award. My first reaction was to say “Thanks Lauren! I greatly appreciate this kind acknowledgement.” My second thought was, “What’s the Liebster Award?” After doing a little internet research, this is what I found: Apparently the Liebster award … Read more…

What Are Your Social Media Values?

As a relative newcomer to social media, I jumped into tweeting and blogging without giving much thought to specific values guiding my work. I just knew I wanted to talk about how to help others improve their mental health and wellness, drawing from my many years of experience as a clinical psychologist. Several months later, … Read more…

10 Simple Things You Need to ‘Get’ for Better Health

We’re all looking for the same things: peace of mind, health, happiness, and contentment. And probably a little more wisdom wouldn’t hurt either. It’s easy to become overwhelmed from the barrage of self-improvement messages from health and wellness experts, such as “sculpt those six-pack abs,” “overhaul your diet,” or “get a new attitude.” While some (but … Read more…

7 Points of Hope to Reclaim Your Life from Mental Illness

If you or someone you care about has been affected by mental health concerns, trauma, mental illness, or addiction: …you may feel hopeless, overwhelmed, and exhausted. …you may not fully understand what you are going through. …you may think life is unfair or that you are being punished. …you may believe it’s all your fault … Read more…

Take the Advocacy Aptitude Quiz

What do Martin Luther King, Jr., Bill and Melinda Gates, Susan B. Anthony, and Rosalynn Carter all have in common? They are all known for their outstanding advocacy, in the areas of civil rights (King), world hunger and poverty (Gates), women’s rights (Anthony), and mental health (Carter). Although these famous icons have helped bring about … Read more…

8 Reasons Why People Don’t Get Treatment for Mental Illness

It’s probably no big surprise that many people with mental health issues don’t readily seek treatment for their concerns. But how widespread is this pattern? A 2004 report by the World Health Organization reviewed rates of psychiatric treatment usage across 37 research studies. The findings are unbelievable. Between 30 and 80 percent of people with … Read more…

Deciphering Your DSM-5 Diagnosis

If you’ve ever heard the terms “OCD,” “PTSD,” or “ADHD,” you probably know they’re all abbreviations for mental health diagnoses. Respectively, they stand for “obsessive-compulsive disorder,” “post-traumatic stress disorder” and “attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.” No wonder we tend to use the abbreviations since the complete descriptions are quite a mouthful. These diagnostic terms (and over two … Read more…

How Do You Diagnose a Mental Illness?

I’m often asked a lot of questions about how mental illnesses are diagnosed. What’s the diagnostic process? How is a specific diagnosis determined? Are diagnoses helpful or harmful? Let’s try to address some of these frequently asked questions now. How are mental illnesses diagnosed? The word diagnosis is defined in two different ways. It not … Read more…

Ten Commandments for How to Talk About Mental Health

I was giving a lecture to a group of college students and I described how to show respect toward people with mental health concerns by using appropriate language. As one example, I noted it’s better to say “John has schizophrenia” instead of “John is schizophrenic.” I explained how “John has schizophrenia” puts the emphasis on … Read more…

A Dozen Ways You Can Support Someone in Recovery

If you’re a friend or a family member of someone in recovery from mental illness or addiction, a common question you may ask is, “What should I do to support my friend or loved one with their recovery?” You want to be helpful and supportive, but you may feel at a loss as to what … Read more…

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