Recovery

The Kennedy Forum Illinois: Collaboration to drive solutions

So often when we speak about mental illness and substance use disorders, we talk about numbers: the number of people who have died from overdoses; the number of people who take antidepressants; the cost of mental health to society at large.

However, at the Kennedy Forum Illinois in December, keynote speakers put a face and soul to addiction.

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ECHO: Expanding community-based treatment for opioid use disorder

With the breakneck speed at which health care research is advancing, it’s logical to argue that medical knowledge is outpacing medical practice, especially in behavioral health.

That’s why it’s important for Beacon Health Options (Beacon) to seek out the tools health professionals need to stay abreast of the latest advancements in evidence-based care.

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Beacon Peer’s Hard-Fought Lesson: Heal Thyself

As a Beacon Health Options Peer Support Specialist raising a child with multiple disabilities, I never fully grasped that recovery is an inside job – until I had to recover myself.

Many Beacon locations employ peers, people with lived experience of mental illness or substance use disorder, to empower the individuals we serve to live their lives to the fullest potential. We might help them to navigate the health care system, or to define their own paths to recovery.

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Escaping the Iron Triangle of Health Care in Mental Health

It’s been called the “Iron Triangle of Health Care,” but sometimes I call it “The Panera Pick 2 Rule ” – whereby you have to choose between sandwich, soup, and salad, but you can only have two.

I assume you are familiar with Panera Bread, so let me tell you about the Iron Triangle and how a recent article in The Lancet may provide clues on how to disentangle that nearly legendary triangle in mental health.

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For Parents: Supporting Your College Freshman

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

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

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

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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The Unacknowledged Potential of PTSD: Posttraumatic Growth

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

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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