I have spent the majority of my career in mental health, working with youth and young adults, so I know that what happens to you as a child plays a significant role in the person you become. When we’re young, our brain is elastic and ready to adapt to our circumstances. Our surroundings teach us answers to many questions: Do I feel safe? Are my needs being met? Can I trust the people in my world? Who are healthy and safe people? Therapeutic interventions help us unpack the lessons we learned as...

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an increase in mental health issues like anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder found in women. According to a study at the University of Chicago Medicine, “29% of women reported symptoms of depression and anxiety — nearly twice the estimated pre-pandemic rates. One in six women screened positive for symptoms of post-traumatic stress.” A panel of CHRIS 180 mental health experts including Markie Nickens, LMSW, Shanessa Crook, M.S., CMHC, Cindy Song, LMSW and Chief People Officer Queie Barnett, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, discussed...

We all need rest to function well in each area of our lives. Sleep, exercise, video games and spending time with loved ones are a few examples of activities commonly used to recharge. But sometimes, what you think is a break is actually a form of escapism that saps your time and energy. CHRIS 180 clinical experts Chris Haider-Bardill, LPC, CPCS, and Rob Collins, LCSW, LSSGB, discussed escapism and its role in our lives during a Lunchtime Live episode in May 2021.   What is escapism? Typically, escapism involves engaging in an activity to...

Children are small people with very big emotions. Although they can show you what they are feeling, most children have yet to attach a name to their feelings and have not learned healthy ways of dealing with their emotions. As children grow, they face many challenges and obstacles. Therefore, it is important to promote healthy social and emotional development by helping children identify and name their feelings, and sharing methods to help them cope effectively.   Why should I promote emotional awareness in my child early?  Promoting early emotional awareness helps your child...

If this year has taught me anything, it is that there is a lot of stuff I cannot change. That realization has brought on frequent feelings of powerlessness, helplessness and frustration. It has also sometimes brought about anger, sadness and a downright desire to just throw my hands up in the air and say, “forget it all!” 2020: The Year of Uncertainty For most of us, this year has brought with it an onslaught of new stressors that could be enough to take the most positive, happy, successful, highly functioning person and...

Many women can often feel like we have the world on our shoulders. We often carry not only our stress but the stress of our loved ones and those closest to us. Often, women can feel isolated, unsupported, and even depressed because of various challenges. Over time, women often become desensitized to these feelings as we accept this as the norm as opposed to true clinical depression or anxiety. Below are some common symptoms of depression and anxiety. Feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, sadness, or suicidal thoughts or attempts Irritability, anxiousness,...

Lately, I have found myself in a place that I have not been in a very long time and I am not sure how to take it all in. In this place, I am more consistently prioritizing myself and my needs. In this place, I am not obsessing over every detail and I am resisting my perfectionistic tendencies. In this beautiful, peaceful place, I am finding myself able to say no to the things that don’t bring me joy and intentionally inviting in the things that do. Here, I find that...

It’s times like this when I miss morning coffee with friends the most. We all feel so stressed from working during a pandemic, worrying about the health of our families and the people we serve. We fear for our health, our finances, and our lives – worst of all we feel we are alone without the hugs and handshakes of our friends, family, and co-workers. I don’t talk about my experience in the Army that often, but I wanted to share one quick story with that I think about often: “When we...

Out of habit and routine, I begin my day with a fresh cup of coffee (or two). I like it rich and strong, with the perfect amount of cream and sugar. While the coffee is brewing and my home is filling up with that comforting aroma, I tidy up the kitchen, and scroll through social media on my phone. If I’m feeling ambitious, I may do some quick exercises or stretches.  Then I can enjoy that cup of warm goodness! After that first sip, I am alert, can think more...

Stress is a part of life. However, with COVID-19 being our new normal, along with the recent ongoing struggles for racial justice in the Black community, we have more to be stressed about than ever. Recognizing that you are feeling stressed or may potentially experience stress is important to finding relief. There are no stages to moving through stress. Stress follows no rules. At times you may not realize that the reasons you feel or act as you do are stress-related. When something stresses us out we react emotionally and physically....