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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
It’s not always easy to look in the mirror, especially at my age when the blemishes of experience start to crop up as brown spots and fine (or not-so-fine) lines.
However, my age has also taught me that the real difficulty of looking in the mirror is beyond a skin-deep reflection. I had an experience recently on my way to a hair appointment that forced a look beyond the fine lines.
It’s not new news that health care, rightly or wrongly deserved, has a reputation for being complicated and challenging to navigate.
It sometimes leaves consumers of health care services with a lingering sense of discontent. For those of us in the industry, whether on the payer or provider side, know that often this reputation is not deserved. However, as the saying goes, perception is more important than reality.
We hear a lot about the value of relationships in our personal lives.
They help people to live longer, deal with stress better, and experience better well-being. The same can be said for health care, where relationships take the form of partnerships. For Beacon Health Options (Beacon), this is especially true in Colorado where, for 22 years, Beacon and its partners have measurably improved the lives of the people they serve.
It turns out that almost everything I was taught about suicide during my clinical training is not true.
Contrary to what most clinicians are taught, there is clinical protocol we can follow to prevent suicide attempts – apart from locking people up. Very little of this new knowledge about detecting and treating suicidality has translated into practice.
It should have been a call forgotten without hesitation.
The daycare director called my office to let me know my 18-month-old daughter, Lilly, had eaten sand on the playground. She just wanted to let me know. I mentioned the call to a coworker, and she acted like it wasn’t unusual at all. “Kids test out the world one bite at a time,” I recall her saying. Yet, I didn’t forget the call and probably never will.