For Parents: Supporting Your College Freshman

college

My husband, my daughter and I recently moved the youngest member of our family into his freshman dorm, at a university far from home, where there are no familiar faces.

Maybe your family also has a college freshman. While this is an exciting time for these young people, let’s recognize that some students may need some help navigating this major life transition.

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The NAMI Convention Welcome Center: A Home Away from Home

tshirt

This past July marks the twelfth year I’ve had the privilege of supporting the Consumer Welcome Center at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) National Convention.

This year’s theme was Act, Advocate, Achieve. These are welcome calls-to-action for Beacon Health Options. Our core values reflect our focus to act with integrity, build community, foster resiliency in ourselves and those we serve, treat all with dignity, and advocate for continual improvements in behavioral health awareness and systems of care.

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Reduce Stigma and Improve Your Well-Being: It’s Just Like Riding a Bike

bike

I started running when I was 8. This was right around the time that my parents divorced and my world changed in numerous ways.

I was having anxiety attacks and battling depression. I was having trouble concentrating at school. When I started running, I couldn’t tell you why I was doing it, I just felt compelled. When an anxiety attack surfaced, I put on my shoes and headed out the door.

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The £350 million per week question: What will Brexit really mean for mental health and the NHS?

Brexit

On June 23, Britain, by way of public referendum and by a 52-48% margin, became the first member state to vote to leave the European Union (EU). Nobody had planned for this.

As a tiny amount of Brexit dust begins to settle, it remains to be seen exactly what this unprecedented decision will mean for the National Health Service (NHS) and mental health services in the United Kingdom.

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Why Minority Mental Health Awareness Month? A First-Person View

Minority

I know when some people see that July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, they may ask themselves why such a thing is even necessary.

Why talk about minorities specifically? Why can’t we focus on mental health issues generally? The answer is that mental health issues do not discriminate, but societal inputs can make identifying and treating mental health issues in minorities even more difficult than in the population at large.

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Play Golf, Take the Pledge, and Help Stamp Out Stigma

golf

If you want to know what Beacon Health Options’ (Beacon) values look like in “the real world,” look no further than our fourth annual Stamp Out Stigma golf outing today in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Each year, Beacon employees tee up with a variety of community partners to support Stamp Out Stigma, an initiative to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders.

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Beacon to Measure a Different Level of Outcomes

Survey

Greetings from the Sunshine State!

However, it’s more than sunshine that is making Florida a place of interest in Beacon Health Options’ (Beacon) ongoing story. In the first week of July, Beacon launched an outcomes pilot in Florida whose aim is to measure a different level of outcomes – outcomes that matter and truly reflect whether we are improving the lives of some of the most complex and vulnerable members in the state.

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Asking the Right Questions About Gun Violence

Gun Research

In the wake of the recent nightclub shooting in Orlando, there are voices that are again loudly touting mental illness as a key target for preventing the repetition of such horrors.

Yet, as we wrote last year, researchers have already debunked the link between mental illness and gun violence. Instead, we found access to guns increases rates of suicide, but not of homicide. However, what most people don’t know is that, underlying all of this, there is policy prohibiting research from delving further into the issue and discovering where the evidence leads us.

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The Unacknowledged Potential of PTSD: Posttraumatic Growth

PTSD Growth2

Last week, Beacon Lens’ blog post explored the latest developments around Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in honor of June as PTSD Awareness Month.

However, there is an element to PTSD that doesn’t get its due: Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) which, in brief, is any positive change that results from a life-altering or traumatic event.

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New Thinking for an Age-Old Condition: PTSD

PTSD

Since the dawn of time, humankind has realized that there were negative consequences to experiencing overwhelming stressful situations.

For example, reactions to wartime trauma have many names: soldier’s heart, shell shock, combat fatigue and, since the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III, 1980), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

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