Overcoming the “8 Reasons Why People Don’t Get Treatment for Mental Illness”

My most popular blog post to date is “8 Reasons Why People Don’t Get Treatment for Mental Illness.” In it, I described several common obstacles and barriers which often keep people from seeking or obtaining treatment for mental illness. This post clearly struck a chord with a lot of people, including those who have had … Read more…

What Recovery Is (and What It Isn’t)

After working for many years with people in all stages of recovery from mental illness and addiction, I’m no longer surprised to hear the frequent question, “Just what is recovery anyway?” While I have a pretty solid idea of how I view the concept of recovery, I’ve realized the term carries different meanings and assumptions … Read more…

Q & A on Mental Health!

For the second year in a row, I was asked to be interviewed by Melanie Luxenberg, a mental health advocate and writer, who blogs for the International Bipolar Foundation. In recognition of Mental Health Week in Canada and Mental Health Awareness Month in the US, Melanie asked me to respond to several questions about stigma, … Read more…

I Am Enough

Stories of Hope: An Interview with Brian Cuban This is part of a series featuring individuals who share their life experiences with mental health issues. Recently, I asked mental health advocate and author Brian Cuban about his history of mental health challenges and about some of his current advocacy work. Here’s our interview: DS: Tell us about when you first started becoming … Read more…

Singing the Praises of Music Therapy

We’ve probably all had the experience of hearing a favorite song and how it immediately brings back thoughts, feelings and memories, both happy and sad. Music really is the universal language, and it has the power to move us deeply. But did you know that music therapy is a well-established treatment now often used to … Read more…

You Can Thrive in Your Recovery

Stories of Hope: An Interview with Rob Houston This is part of a series featuring individuals who share their life experiences with mental health issues. Recently, I asked Rob Houston about his history of mental health challenges and about some of his current activities. Here’s our interview: DS: Tell us about when you first started becoming aware of concerns related to your … Read more…

Look for Moments of Inspiration, Hope and Joy

Sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged about life, work, school, relationships, our health, the future or other challenges we may be facing. It can be even more difficult when several problems pile up all at the same time. We may think “How much more can I take?” or “When will this be over?” I’ve certainly … Read more…

9 Proven Strategies To Help You Change Problematic Behaviors

In a recent post, I talked at length about the “Stages of Change,” an effective research-based approach outlining a series of five steps that people go through when attempting to change many problematic behaviors, such as losing weight, stopping smoking, quitting drugs and alcohol, and reducing stress, anxiety or depression. To recap, the five stages … Read more…

Are You Ready For Change?

Have you ever struggled with changing a persistent, problematic behavior? Maybe you’ve wanted to stop smoking, quit drinking alcohol, reduce depression or anxiety or lose that extra weight, but you’ve never been able to make it happen. Perhaps you have even tried repeatedly over several months or years, but you’ve made little or no significant … Read more…

A Dozen Tips for the Safe Use of Psychiatric Medications

Many individuals receiving care for mental illness or addiction are prescribed psychiatric medications as an important part of an overall treatment plan which often includes psychotherapy, other therapies and suggested lifestyle changes. In the treatment settings where I’ve worked, I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with many highly experienced prescribers, including psychiatrists and nurse practitioners. I’ve … Read more…

Finding a Sense of Peace

Stories of Hope: An Interview with Suzy Favor Hamilton This is part of a series featuring individuals who share their life experiences with mental health issues. Recently, I asked Suzy Favor Hamilton, former Olympic athlete, best-selling author of “Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness,” and mental health advocate to share a little about her journey and … Read more…

‘First Aid’ for Mental Health Concerns

Most of us are familiar with basic first aid approaches to manage medical situations, or perhaps you’ve even had a first aid course at school or work. But did you know you can now take a special type of first aid course to learn how to better handle mental health concerns and crises? I had heard about “Mental … Read more…

Learning About Mindfulness

A Conversation with Dr. Ruth Baer, Ph.D. I recently had the opportunity to talk with my colleague Dr. Ruth Baer, a clinical psychology professor and internationally recognized expert on mindfulness. I asked her a few questions to help us better understand what mindfulness is and how it can help with a variety of mental health … Read more…

Two Awesome Aussie Advocates!

Stories of Hope: An Interview with Stefani Caminiti and Lauren Breen This is part of a series featuring individuals who share their life experiences with mental health issues. Recently, I asked Australian mental health advocates (and best friends) Stefani Caminiti and Lauren Breen to talk about their extensive involvement in several innovative mental health advocacy initiatives. … Read more…

How You Can Help Me With My Recovery

We all know how critically important help, support and encouragement are if you’re recovering from a physical or mental health issue or addiction. But it’s really hard to ask for help because of fear, shame, guilt, anxiety, and a host of other challenges and barriers. If you’ve ever wanted to reach out for help and … Read more…

It’s More Than OK to Ask for Help

Stories of Hope: An Interview with Aidan O’Connell This is part of a series featuring individuals who share their life experiences with mental health issues. Recently, I asked mental health advocate Aidan O’Connell about his history of mental health challenges and about some of his current advocacy work. Here’s our interview: DS: Tell us about when you first started becoming … Read more…

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