May is Mental Health Awareness Month!
Mental Health Awareness Month is a time to really focus on educating about mental health. Support and education are essential to ending the stigma and in the face of COVID-19, this is more important than ever in this unique time of social distancing and stress. Below are excerpts from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that focus on how to take care of your mental wellbeing during this time and also how Windom Area Health is prepared to help our community maintain a healthy mental state in the face of COVID-19 and beyond.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Outbreaks can be stressful
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Worsening of mental health conditions
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations
How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.
People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include
- Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19
- Children and teens
- People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors, other health care providers, and first responders
- People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use
Take care of yourself and your community
Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.
Ways to cope with stress
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Mental Health Services at Windom Area Health
Mental health can affect daily living, relationships and physical health. It is all about how people think, feel and behave. Windom Area Health Outreach provides Psychiatric services including support for:
A psychiatric evaluation is, in its simplest terms, an evaluation designed to diagnose emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions or disorders. The initial evaluation will explore many aspects including developmental history, medical history, family history, social and environmental influences, academic/work concerns, and emotional and cognitive (thinking) strengths and weaknesses.
Prescribing Medications & Med Management
Medication Management is an outpatient treatment system used by doctors and pharmacists to ensure that patients are receiving optimal therapeutic outcomes for the prescription medications that they may be taking with ongoing medical monitoring/evaluation.
When a person is ill, or believes himself to be ill and seeks the advice of a doctor that he trusts, having a mental health professional to send them to can make all the difference.
We would like to extend a big WELCOME to our new Mental Health Provider, Darla Miles, PMHNP-BC!
Darla was born and raised in Southwest Minnesota, with family members still residing in southwestern and central Minnesota. Joining our WAH team in May 2020, Darla has lived in Ohio for the last 25 years with the exception of 2 years practicing in Willmar and Morris, MN. She graduated from Mercy College in Toledo with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and then went on to Wayne State University in Detroit to become a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.
Darla has been a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner since 2015 and has worked in a mental health urgent care facility with both inpatient and outpatient clientele with a wide range of diagnoses, from depression and anxiety to severe mental illnesses. She believes that mental health treatment is more effective when the patient is given tools and empowerment to heal their body, mind, spirit, and emotions, and she focuses on treating each patient as a person and not as their disorder. Darla is seeing patients via telehealth and on-site at Windom Area Health.
Call 507-831-0670 to schedule an appointment with Darla today!
Learn more about our Mental Health department and providers by Clicking Here.
By Brenda Muller