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mental health

How Those With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Cope With Added Angst Of COVID

Jun 22, 2020
While CDC guidelines such as hand-washing are generally easily accomplished, OCD compulsions are usually never satisfied, says one expert.
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Before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the United States, Chris Trondsen felt his life was finally under control. As someone who has battled obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental health issues since early childhood, it’s been a long journey.

Mental health specialists are working now to bolster the resilience of Americans who are suffering from feelings of despair — in hopes of preventing increases in suicides among people who are under increased pressure during the coronavirus pandemic.

Time is of the essence, public health researchers say. Experience with past natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, shows that a rise in suicide often happens in the months after the immediate physical dangers of the disaster have passed.

Clara Reynolds in front of the crisis center
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We're all living in a whole new world out there - the world of COVID-19, coronavirus or social distancing. Whatever you call it, it's a world of isolation.

The changes in our daily routines and the resulting isolation can affect people's mental health in a lot of ways. Whether you're home alone, with a sick family member or with kids out of school - isolation can increase stress and anxiety.

So just what is happening out there? And is there anything we can do about our mental health? On this week's Florida Matters, we get a little insight from Clara Reynolds, president and CEO of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.

hands dialing cellphone
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As the COVID-19 pandemic keeps people inside for a long period of time, many are also seeing their anxiety sharply increase as well.

Consequently, groups like the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and the National Alliance On Mental Illness in  Hillsborough County (NAMI)  are seeing more phone calls from people needing assistance.

Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis has heard from troubled teens struggling with depression, anguished homeowners whose dwellings were decimated by Hurricane Michael and first responders trying to remain stoic after horrific disasters.

State Faces Loss Of Medicaid Funding For Hospitals

Jan 9, 2020

As Florida lawmakers prepare to start the 2020 legislative session, the state is being confronted with a $70.4 million loss in the coming months in the amount of Medicaid money it gets to fund hospitals, train future physicians and treat people who are mentally ill. 

Despair, rage, and calls for help are coming from teenagers in Florida. Some are emotionally disturbed while others are obsessed with death or holding grudges. Even more disturbing—many of these young people have easy access to guns. 

On Friday’s Roundup we discussed school safety in Florida. Reporting by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel this week found that a disturbing number of violent threats against students and teachers come from mentally impaired children who are fixated on violence, and have easy access to guns.

It's a lesson you learn as early as grade school: If you find yourself injured, threatened or otherwise in harm's way, just break out your phone and dial a simple, three-digit number: 911. After more than five decades, the 911 emergency call system has become so memorable and ubiquitously known, it even has its own network TV adaptation.

But what if the danger is rooted less in the physical, and more in one's mental health?

Panel Grapples With Substance Abuse, Mental Health Concerns Among Physicians

Dec 10, 2019

A state licensing board continues to grapple with how best to address mental-health issues and substance abuse among medical students and physicians across Florida. 

Judge Refuses To Dismiss Juvenile Confinement Case

Dec 10, 2019

A federal judge Friday rejected a request by the state Department of Juvenile Justice to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the use of solitary confinement for juveniles. 

This story is part of StoryCorps' Road to Resilience project, which leverages the power of storytelling to help children cope with the death of a parent, sibling or loved one.

Sylvia Grosvold was 5 years old when her mother died by suicide.

Now 16, Sylvia recently sat down with her father, Josh Weiner, 52, at StoryCorps. They talked about the day Sylvia's mother, Kari Grosvold, died and the years that followed.

When adults are feeling stressed out, overwhelmed or tired, many will take a vacation day or personal day off work for a little reset. Some might even take a sick day -- even when they’re not feeling physically ill. Many experts say taking a “mental health day" to tend to one’s psychological and emotional well-being is vital to overall health.

Computer simulations have long helped train doctors in complex medical procedures. Now, tens of thousands of Florida teachers and school staff are using online simulators to learn how to talk to troubled students.

Mental Health Coordinator Named For Disaster Recovery

Oct 17, 2019

A longtime administrator at two Florida health-care agencies has been named the state’s first mental-health coordinator for recovery efforts after natural disasters, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced Wednesday. 

Last year, after Hurricane Michael wrought havoc in the Panhandle, school officials began raising concerns about an emergent mental health crisis among students. Bay County Superintendent Bill Hussfelt said in the first four months following the storm, 70 kids had been involuntarily held for mental health treatment through the Baker Act. But in the first two months of this school year, 50 students have already been institutionally committed. 

A growing number of programs try to treat PTSD by getting veterans into nature, even deep under the sea. 

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, in any given month about 4,000 Americans will commit suicide. Young people are particularly vulnerable. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 10-34.

Airmen at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa are taking a break from their normal duties Friday. Instead, they will reflect on mental health.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister spoke about first responders' mental health in Tampa on Tuesday
The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay

The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay is teaming with the advertising agency ChappellRoberts on a new initiative called “First to Respond, Last to Ask for Help.” The program, which promotes suicide awareness for Tampa Bay’s first responders, was announced during a Tuesday conference.

A dedication ceremony was held today in Tampa for a new mental health clinic that treats post-9/11 veterans and military families.
Cohen Veterans Network

A new mental health clinic opened in Tampa that provides free or low-cost care to post-9/11 veterans and military families.

Florida schools are reopening for a new academic year. With the new year, comes new changes, including a new rule that Florida public schools are now required to provide mental and emotional health education to middle and high school students.

Schools will give information about coping skills, ways to sustain good mental health, suicide prevention and the impacts of substance abuse. It comes as attending school is potentially becoming more stressful.

As part of a statewide campaign to increase access to mental health services, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced on Thursday that K-12 students in every public school across six Northwest Florida counties can receive virtual counseling and psychiatric care without ever leaving campus.

 

There were three high-profile shootings across the country in one week: The shooting in Gilroy, Calif., on July 28, and then the back-to-back shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, this past weekend.

That's no surprise, say scientists who study mass shootings. Research shows that these incidents usually occur in clusters and tend to be contagious. Intensive media coverage seems to drive the contagion, the researchers say.

Middle school teachers fill out a practice sheet
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

University of South Florida psychologists are using a new $375,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to teach Pasco County teachers how to better identify mental health risk in their students.

Florida Education Boards Signs Off On Mental Health Instruction For Students

Jul 19, 2019

By Ana Ceballos / News Service of Florida

Public schools will be required to teach students at least five hours of mental health instruction beginning in 6th grade, under a mandate approved by the state Board of Education Wednesday and hailed by Florida's top educator as a “life saver.” 

Education officials proposed the change to the statewide school curriculum in June, following discussions with First Lady Casey DeSantis (center), who has made the mental health issue one of her top priorities.
Office of the Governor

News Service of Florida

Public schools will be required to teach students at least five hours of mental health instruction beginning in 6th grade, under a mandate approved by the state Board of Education Wednesday and hailed by Florida's top educator as a “life saver.”

Education officials proposed the change to the statewide school curriculum in June, following discussions with First Lady Casey DeSantis, who has made the mental health issue one of her top priorities.

New Plaintiffs Added to Solitary Confinement Case

Jul 3, 2019

By News Service of Florida

Nearly two months after the Southern Poverty Law Center sued the Florida Department of Corrections for "widely overusing" solitary confinement in state prisons, the group has added new plaintiffs to the case. 

Many Hurricane Michael victims are still feeling the effects of the storm.  It not only caused physical damage to the area, but has left scars on the hearts and minds of survivors. 

A class-action lawsuit has been filed challenging the use of solitary confinement in Florida prisons.

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