The Mobile Wellness team has been busy in the community! We have been providing trainings all across central Illinois. We recently added a section to our website on the trainings we are providing. We have been partnering with Children's Home and The Hult Center for Healthy Living to expand the use of Mental Health First Aid in Central Illinois. MHFA is a national program that provides training on how to recognize and help individuals struggling with the symptoms of mental illness or substance abuse.
We are also providing training to community agencies, churches, and medical providers on how to approach individuals for behavioral change through the skill known as motivational interviewing, how to de-escalate situations, and basic education on symptoms of mental health issues and resources available in the area.
Bringing back an old blog post from 2012. Great piece written by Arin Brewer (Salisbury) when she was part of the mobile wellness program!
Believe it or not, Summer is right around the corner! People are already firing up their grills and heading out to the river to fish! In outpatient around this time of year, clients report that numerous Spring/Summer activities they love are associated with using. They fear that Summer activities will lure them back into old behaviors and eventually back to using. We have some smart clients; they are already thinking ahead and anticipating triggers! Below are some triggers related to warmer weather:
1) the smell of the grill
2) cooking out with friends
4) being on a boat
What are some warm-weather triggers for you?
Now that you've identified those triggers, you can begin to plan! Of course, avoiding triggers is always the best way to avoid using, but that is not always possible. What are some other ways you can enjoy these activities without using? Some ideas that clients often give are to bring a safe friend or family member along, create an All Purpose Coping Plan (available upon request from this site!), think of all the consequences you could face if you use, create a list of all the reasons you love being sober, and make a notecard of coping skills to keep in your pocket or wallet. This is just a short list of ideas. Help everyone out that reads this blog and comment about what has helped you get out of a high risk situation without using
Hopefully this will get you thinking warm thoughts!
Great New! an article was recently released on the substance use treatment app that the Mobile Wellness program uses in treatment. The Human Service Center (our parent company) partnered with the University of Wisconsin at Madison to do a random clinical trial of the app for people graduating from our residential facilities. The results were just published on the JAMA website. Here's the link:
The study shows that phone apps such as ACHESS can make a different in recovery!
Central Illinois has had a tough go of it lately weather-wise. It started last spring with record flooding, the freak November tornado that destroyed areas of Tazewell and Woodford county and finally the cold and snow that has been a brutal winter. We now find ourselves looking forward to those warmer spring days. Of course with it being spring, we now face tornado preparedness week. For almost all involved in the November tornado, it will be the first time they hear the warning sirens since that horrible November day. No doubt it will trigger some anxiety and memories that people are trying to forget. The mobile wellness program is a member of the tri-county long term recovery committee. We work within the spiritual, emotional and mental health care sub-committee to assist in storm recovery from both the floods and the tornado of last year. A member of our committee, Jori Sparry, from One Counseling and Wellness developed a tip sheet for adults and children about how to work through this week. The committee has also reached out to the Washington school districts to offer support during this week. You can view the document that Jori prepared below. Check back in soon as we will try to keep this blog more updated with information about mental health, behavioral integration, substance use, and soon I'll be writing about Mental Health First Aid.
Hilary came across this article and we wanted to share with you about the Top Ten Behavioral health apps
Are you wondering if you have depression or are just feeling down? Below is some information on depression and helpful tips!
Do I have depression?
You could be experiencing symptoms of depression if you
1. Begin to lose interest in activities, hobbies or social interactions that you use to enjoy, including sex, and
2. You have been feeling sad, hopeless, or depressed for two or more weeks
Why do I have depression?
Depression is caused by a combination of events such as:
Environmental factors, genetic factors, psychological factors, and physiological factors. Most depressive episodes are triggered by a significant and stressful event, such as:
Anyone can become depressed, but there are preexisting conditions or behaviors that can increase a person’s risk of experiencing depression, such as:
Chronic pain can be confusing and frustrating to handle. Understanding the symptoms and learning helpful tips can be helpful in your road to recovery!
Is there treatment?
Effective chronic pain management includes medical treatments, physical therapy, exercise, and psychotherapeutic treatments, such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). Chronic pain usually cannot be eliminated completely; therefore, the goal of treatment is to help you manage your chronic pain while managing the core source of the damaged tissue. It is helpful to manage pain by using heat or ice, or different activities like scaling behavior, deep breathing, and managing stress.
Helpful tips for reducing pain
The Fourth of July is over and it is back to the hustle and bustle of the busy week. When it comes to family, friends, work, and chores; stress and anxiety are not far away. Anxiety is needed for human survival. The fight or flight system allows humans to become alarmed in dangerous situations and to run away from the situation or to fight off the danger. Our bodies often respond to stress and anxiety in the following ways:
· increased heart rate and blood flow to multiple areas of the body, including the brain
· faster breathing
· tensing of muscles
· heightened arousal of senses, including sight, vision and smell
Anxiety is helpful when it comes to taking a test or having a big interview. The anxiety helps an individual to prepare and think about the test and interview before hand. However, sometimes anxiety makes it hard to function and can become overwhelming. If you are feeling too much anxiety, it is not uncommon to be experiencing some of these symptoms:
· Panic or doom
· Discouraged, disappointed or frustrated or
· Helpless to control these overwhelming feelings
The more you try to stop feeling anxious or stressed, the more likely you will increase your feelings of anxiety and stress. Instead of avoiding these feelings, your can learn how to manage all your emotions.
Ways to Manage Stress and Anxiety
· Staying active, both physically and mentally
· Talking to others and enjoying their company
· Eating healthy and regularly and not skipping meals.
· Cutting back on sugary foods, caffeine and alcohol
· Getting enough sleep. A good night of sleep includes 5 to 8 hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep.
· Managing your time
· Practicing relaxation, deep breathing or mindfulness techniques
· Practicing skills like being assertive
How do you manage your anxiety and stress?
The Fourth of July is a time of fun in the sun and celebration for most people. However, the smell of a grill and the boom of fireworks can be a trigger for many in recovery. Below are 9 tips for having a safe and fun Fourth of July with your friends and family while still working on your recovery!
Some information on mindfulness by Hilary Driscoll and Dr. Loveland-
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the ability to focus on an experience and all aspects of that
experience. It is the ability to step outside of judgment and just be with the
experience, being aware and accepting of the moment.
How can mindfulness be helpful in my recovery?
Practicing mindfulness can help you get in touch with your experiences
without becoming overwhelmed by them. It can help you develop acceptance,
attention and focus on your experiences. Often, intense emotions (e.g.
depression, anxiety, urges to use) take over our focus and dull our observation
of the environment. The goal of mindfulness is to help you:
* increase your tolerance for and acceptance of strong emotions that everyone
experiences, but are unpleasant, such as frustration, sadness, anxiety or anger;
* manage emotions, such as guilt or shame, from your past experiences that
undermine your ability to achieve your goals;
* tolerate chronic physical pain from an injury or disease; or
* effectively control urges to use alcohol, cigarettes or other drugs
How do I get started?
Mindfulness exercises are easy to practice and take only 5 to 10 minutes to
complete. Starting a mindfulness routine is like starting any exercise routine:
start slow and easy and increase your time over several exercises.
Start any mindfulness exercise by setting aside a few minutes when you are
feeling a strong, but negative emotion, such as anger, depression, anxiety, or
an urge to use alcohol and other drugs. It is okay to try it out for 3 to 5
minutes the first time (longer, if you feel that is helpful) and keep adding a
minute or two during each session. The goal is to reach about 10 minutes,
although you can practice the exercise for longer, if it feels helpful and
* Set aside time to practice daily
* Find a place without distraction (e.g., close the door, turn off the TV
& stereo, place your phone on silent ring)
* Focus on one element at a time (at least at the beginning)
* Be non judgmental
* Use all of your senses
Free Mindfulness Exercises on the Web
You can watch videos of mindfulness exercises on the web for free at
Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22
Melbourne Mindfulness Center
Free Mindfulness http://www.freemindfulness.org/download
Let us know how it works for you!
Corey Campbell is a clinician/trainer with the Human Service Center of Peoria, IL. All thoughts on this blog are representative of only Corey and do not reflect the Human Service Center.