Ever get the feeling you're about
to embark on something great?

TiER1 is about to pilot a four week journey designed to start the conversation about mental health – why it’s important, what it is, and how to care for and support the ones we love with a mental illness. Watch this video from Greg to get idea about what this is all about and what to expect.

Here's that survey Greg was
talking about.

Here’s what this survey will allow us to do as we consider packaging up this solution for other organizations:

  • Better understand the impact of mental illness on our organization.
  • Collect compelling data to recruit other businesses to start their own conversation.
  • Measure the impact of the solution components on how people respond to and talk about mental health.
  • Eventually aggregate data to measure our impact on a larger scale.

It will only take about 5-10 minutes to complete… don’t worry it’s all anonymous.

NERD ALERT! Since we’re being scientific about this, it would be a huge help if we had 100% participation by end of day Wednesday May 6th so we can use the data.

Email & Website and Yammer, O My!

Since we’re planning on packaging up this solution for other organizations, we’re building around a communication tool we can count on for all organizations – email.

Because email has visual and interactive limitations, we’re going to link out to this awesome website that we’ll be building along the way to have a more engaging experience and standing content resource.

For online conversations, we’re creating a Yammer group where we’ll share the daily messages and conversation starters for people to respond remotely. Join the Group.

WK1

WHAT & WHY:

Getting the conversation started.

An infographic for all of us…

This week we’ve been talking about why it’s imperative that we talk about mental health and you were each challenged to make it personal. When we started the week all we had were national averages and hypotheses about how much mental illness affect TiER1…well, now we know. This is our story.

A reaction from Greg.

Be a part of our story.

The Mental Health Initiative survey achieved an 87.5% response rate. That’s great! Thanks to those that have participated!

Our goal is for 100% participation. We have re-opened the survey. Please take the survey if you haven’t done so.

Take the survey

Join the Conversation.

If you haven’t yet, join the Yammer group to see what others are saying – Marie Seitz, Jennifer Price, Terence Andre, Rachel Brecht have all shared their stories.

Join the Conversation


Do you have your facts straight?

Take a few minutes and test your knowledge of the impact mental illness has on our society. If you’re looking for a way to start the conversation with your social network, share this quiz in honor of mental health awareness month.

#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

Share the quiz: http://tinyurl.com/nlugku2

Amazing stories …

We’re so inspired by the stories and notes of gratitude we’re being sent through email and on the survey. We work with some truly amazing people.


Let’s chat about what to expect.

Here’s a quick video of Dustin talking about the goal of this week and what to expect for the rest of the experience.

And here's the "apply" part…

Each week you’ll see one of these table tent things in the common spaces. On each side there’s a new opportunity to help you start a conversation.

The Weekly Challenge is basically the “one thing” for you to do that week to move forward in your journey.

The Weekly Reflection is a prompt to provoke introspection and reflection to help you internalize the content.

This week's challenges:

DO:

Make it personal. Find out why talking about mental health is important to you. Put a name to it, a face, a diagnosis, a cause…something that matters to you and keep it top of mind for the next four weeks.

REFLECT:

As you hear people talking about mental illness, what are your thoughts and feelings? Does the term mental illness make you uncomfortable?

Don't forget the survey!

I know you’re busy but please take a few minutes to take the survey. We’re closing the results today at 5:00pm. We have a surprise for you on Friday!

Take the survey


Why should we start the conversation?

You're about to meet, Dr. Paul Keck, the CEO and President of the Lindner Center of Hope in Cincinnati. His organization accepts 600 calls PER DAY needing professional medical help and has to turn away many of them because they can't keep up with the demand of quality mental health services. He's got a great perspective on why this is so important and what we can do to make a difference.

Incredible facts from the video:

  • 1 in 4 will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 5 children will have a mental illness.
  • Mental illness is the #1 public health issue globally – over cancer, heart disease, and diabetes COMBINED!
  • Identifying mental illness early is critical to its treatment

Here's what we can do:

  • Know the signs and symptoms
  • Break the silence
  • Know the resources and health care options

Keep the conversation going.

Share a website, article, video or even animated gif that connects with you about why it's so important we talk about mental health.

If you feel comfortable, share why you're starting the conversation personally.

Join the Conversation

WK2

IDENTIFICATION & INITIATIVE:

Seeing the symptoms.

Addiction

What are the signs and symptoms of this disorder?

One in every 10 people struggle with addiction, but only 10% receive treatment. Addiction has three unique factors: quantity, frequency and disability. With addiction, choice is out of your control. Individuals that struggle with addiction cannot successfully resist the things that are bad for them – that could be alcohol, drugs, gambling or another possibly harmful activity or substance.

Here’s a quick video from Dr. Keck explaining the signs and symptoms of this disorder.

Let's Review…

Addiction

Signs & Symptoms

  • Participates in activities that impair the ability to function
  • Participates in negative activities that cannot be resisted
  • Uses substances that are medically damaging on a consistence basis

Triggers

  • Stress
  • Family history can influence the risk of developing addiction
  • Another mental illness – 85% of individuals with addiction have another mental illness. This is called co-occurrence. These individuals are not usually receiving treatment for another mental illness and develop an addiction from lack of treatment.

Additional resources

To read up on addiction, check out this website.

Addiction Screening

If you are interested in taking a self-assessment for addiction, click here.

Here’s what we can do:

  • Know the signs and symptoms.
  • Break the silence and talk about it openly.
  • Know the resources and where to learn more.

That’s what starting the conversation is all about.

Keep the conversation going.

Share a website, article, video or even animated gif that connects with you about why it’s so important we talk about mental health.

If you feel comfortable, share why you’re starting the conversation personally.

Join the Conversation

Have any suggestions or concerns? Email Us.

Knowledge Check

See what you learned in Week 2 with this quiz!


Schizophrenia

What are the signs and symptoms of this disorder?

About 1 in 100 people will experience schizophrenia. It is one of the most severe, and hard to treat, mental illness. Hospitalization should be required. Here’s a quick video from Dr. Keck explaining the signs and symptoms of this disorder.

Let's Review…

Schizophrenia

Signs & Symptoms

  • Disturbances in perception of reality
  • Delusions, beliefs not based in reality
  • Hallucinations, auditory and visual
  • Do not recognize that the signs and symptoms are abnormal

Triggers

  • Brain chemistry and structure
  • Substance abuse
  • Early childhood trauma
  • Specific genes have been shown to influence the risk of developing schizophrenia

Additional resources

To read up on schizophrenia, check out this website.

Here’s what we can do:

  • Know the signs and symptoms.
  • Break the silence and talk about it openly.
  • Know the resources and where to learn more.

That’s what starting the conversation is all about.

Keep the conversation going.

Share a website, article, video or even animated gif that connects with you about why it’s so important we talk about mental health.

If you feel comfortable, share why you’re starting the conversation personally.

Join the Conversation

Have any suggestions or concerns? Email Us.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

What are the signs and symptoms of this disorder?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is different from obsessive compulsive personality. Some people are just highly organized individuals that can seem obsessive to those that aren’t. Here’s a quick video from Dr. Keck explaining the signs and symptoms of this disorder and how they differ from being a personality trait.

Let's Review…

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Signs & Symptoms

  • Intrusive thoughts, experienced as unpleasant or uncomfortable
  • Anxious feelings
  • Feel the need to do something over and over again or something bad will happen
  • Development of compulsive behaviors that takes a lot of time and gets in the way of important daily activities

Triggers

  • Mostly unknown
  • Some cases of OCD have been triggered by streptococcal infections
  • Can be inherited

Additional resources

To read up on OCD, check out this website.

OCD Screening

If you are interested in taking a self-assessment for OCD, click here.

Here’s what we can do:

  • Know the signs and symptoms.
  • Break the silence and talk about it openly.
  • Know the resources and where to learn more.

That’s what starting the conversation is all about.

Keep the conversation going.

Share a website, article, video or even animated gif that connects with you about why it’s so important we talk about mental health.

If you feel comfortable, share why you’re starting the conversation personally.

Join the Conversation

Have any suggestions or concerns? Email Us.

Depression and Bipolar

What are the signs and symptoms of a mood disorder?

Depression and Bipolar disorder are mood disorders. Here’s a quick video from Dr. Keck explaining what the signs and symptoms of these top 2 mental health illnesses.

Let's Review…

Depression

Depression is a mood disorder.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Depressed mood nearly daily for > 2 weeks
  • Emotionally numb
  • Trouble sleeping, either trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or sleeping too much
  • Substantial change in appetite
  • Low sex drive
  • Fatigue or loss of energy daily
  • Feeling slowed down or agitated
  • Lost of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate
  • Feelings of worthlessness, guilt
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Triggers

  • Severe loss, such as the death of a loved one or a break up or divorce
  • Financial loss
  • Job loss

Additional resources

To read up on depression, check out this website.

Depression Screening

If you are interested in taking a self-assessment for depression, click here.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar is also a mood disorder, however manic symptoms are present and distinguishes the illness from depression.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Depressed symptoms

Manic Signs & Symptoms

These symptoms can range from mild to severe and are often the opposite of depression symptoms. Severe mania is a medical emergency and requires hospitalization.

  • Elevated, irritable or expansive mood
  • Racing thoughts
  • Increased energy
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Impulsive behaviors that are uncharacteristic of person, such as sexual indiscretions and extravagant spending
  • Psychotic symptoms, including delusions and hallucinations

Triggers

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Transcontinental and transoceanic travel

Bipolar Screening

If you are interested in taking a self-assessment for bipolar, click here.

Why it's important

Why is it important to know these signs, symptoms and triggers?

Most people with depression and bipolar disorder do not seek help or may not do so for years, which allows time for additional problems to develop. Although some people may experience mild depression and think they have it under control, they are at risk of developing severe depression if they don’t get treatment.

Individuals with depression are:

  • twice as likely to develop coronary artery disease,
  • twice as likely to have a stroke, and
  • more than four times as likely to die within six months from a myocardial infarction (heart attack).

Here’s what we can do:

  • Know the signs and symptoms.
  • Break the silence and talk about it openly.
  • Know the resources and where to learn more.

That’s what starting the conversation is all about.

Keep the conversation going.

Share a website, article, video or even animated gif that connects with you about why it’s so important we talk about mental health.

If you feel comfortable, share why you’re starting the conversation personally.

Join the Conversation

Have any suggestions or concerns? Email Us.

Identifying the Top 5 Mental Illnesses

In week 1, we learned that early identification and recognition is one of the biggest barriers in mental health. In week 2, we will build your awareness of the common signs and symptoms of the top 5 mental illnesses.

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Addictions

But first, let’s hear from Dr. Keck to understand what the common factors are that contribute to having a mental illness.

The Common Factors

Dr. Keck introduced the common factors of these top 5 mental illnesses. Let’s review them:

Brain-Based Biology

The body and the mind are linked. So why should identifying a physical illness be any different than a mental one?
Health care professionals are using inflammatory markers and neuro-imaging to diagnose some mental illnesses – including depression and schizophrenia.

Want to learn more? Check out this article

Genetic Contribution

Research shows that five common mental illnesses have the same genetic risk factors. This lays the ground work for future mental illnesses to be predicted and prevented. Now that is game changing!

Mental illness is NOT 100% heritable because life triggers play a role. The presence of genes does not guarantee the development of symptoms or the illness. Mental illnesses known to have genetic predispositions include:

  • Bipolar illness (66% heritability)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Major depression
  • Alcohol dependence
  • OCD
  • Completed suicides

Want to learn more? Check out these articles:

Life Triggers

Let’s face it, life can be hard. We all have new experiences every day, some good, some bad. These bad experiences can impact our mental health – a death of a loved one, loss of a job, a tragic event. These external factors do contribute to our mental wellbeing and can trigger a mental illness episode.

Life triggers include:

  • Major losses, life transitions
  • Abuse, neglect
  • Early substance misuse
  • Bullying
  • Social determinants

Here’s what we can do:

  • Know the factors that influence mental illness in a person.
  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of a mental illness.
  • Share what you know. It can help someone!

That’s what starting the conversation is all about.

This week's challenges:

DO:

Spread the love! Without personal details, share your knowledge of a mental illness.

  • What are the factors of a mental illness?
  • What are the signs and symptoms?

REFLECT:

Do I or anyone I care about have any of the signs and symptoms I’m learning about? Do I know enough to help myself and my family in case mental illness creeps into our lives?

Keep the conversation going.

Share a website, article, video or even animated gif that connects with you about why it’s so important we talk about mental health.

If you feel comfortable, share why you’re starting the conversation personally.

Join the Conversation

Have any suggestions or concerns? Email Us.

WK3

STIGMA & SILENCE:

Out of the dark.

Breaking the Silence

The bravery of our peers

It takes bravery to share how mental illness directly impacts you. To overcome the stigma, the fear of judgement and trust that your peers will be compassionate.

Tom Streeter, TiER1 Covington, is showing his bravery today and sharing a very personal story about how he has been affected by mental illness.


How to start a conversation

The first real conversation

In Scarlett’s final semester of college, she took psychology as an elective. An assignment for this course sparked her first real conversation with her sister about mental health. Scarlett had to ask herself, “It is almost taboo to talk about a mental illness – where do you begin? How do you go about asking a mentally ill person how they are feeling?”

What she learned:

Turns out, you just ask.

Below is an excerpt from Scarlett’s first conversation with her sister about mental illness.

Please note that Scarlett and her sister found it more comfortable to text and email about this topic.


How to share your story

The art of the conversation

At TiER1, we know the importance of storytelling. We help our clients tell their stories everyday! So why can’t we tell our stories about how we are impacted by mental illness?

Because it’s hard. It’s personal. We’re afraid of what people will think of us or if we will hurt a loved one by sharing a story that isn’t ours. But many of us share the same story.

We asked Cara Gilmore, TiER1 Pittsburgh, to share her story.

Denial and Lack of Empathy

I was in denial. Why couldn’t he just get his crap together? I was frustrated and couldn’t understand why he was behaving that way. I said things like, “Why don’t you try to get a job at the Cheesecake Factory?” and “Can I just clean your apartment? I think it will help you feel better.” and “Let’s go out! You haven’t been out of this neighborhood in a month!”

Fear

Then I realized there was a problem. A problem he couldn’t help and I couldn’t fix. I didn’t know what it was and I didn’t know what the options were.

Lack of Hope

I thought there was no way out. I realized that this was the new reality. It would never be like it was. There would be moments, when we would forget or ignore what was wrong or decide there was no point in talking about it anymore.

Many other friends disappeared. It was just us down by the river. No one would come help and if they did, he probably wouldn’t take it.

I tried to find help. I had all the numbers to call. I had a plan. We would get him an apartment and look into options for government assistance. He could get treatment. He could get better.

We got him home. His parents finally came around. They were helping. It would get better.

Hope

A cool wine cooler on a spring day, dogs running in the yard, gossiping about old high school buddies and remembering the fun of the past. The future isn’t really discussed.

Guilt and Grief

I know it’s not my fault. I know that is true, you don’t have to tell me, so many do. But what if I tried harder back then? What if I was there that day?

This is my story

I didn’t tell who or how or the details. I gave you enough details for you to know that I was impacted by mental illness, which one doesn’t matter. I am passionate about advocating for individuals with mental illnesses because I have seen the injustices and discrimination first hand and it hurt someone I cared about. I hurt someone I care about because I didn’t understand.

But I learned. The hard way as I often do. I now know how critical it is for us to increase awareness and comfort in discussing mental health. This will reduce prejudice, increase funding for programs and access to care. Support networks are essential in helping individuals living with mental illness. You don’t have to DO anything. You just need to listen and be there for them, good and bad.

My challenge to you

Share your story, with someone, anyone that you feel comfortable confiding in.

Break the silence.


The importance of advocacy

How and why to advocate for individuals with mental illness

The stigma towards mental illness leads to a number of injustices. Individuals living with mental illness often encounter prejudice and discrimination, from lack of support from family and friends to inadequate insurance coverage for mental health services.

Organizations such as Mental Health America (MHA) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) are dedicated to educating communities and advocating for individuals with mental illness.

We asked Heather Turner, Executive Director of NAMI Southwestern Ohio, why the silence around mental illness exists to help us explore the stigma of mental health and how we can break the silence by replacing the stigma with biology, so that we can respond with empathy and the right expectations.

A 2007 survey from Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) found that only 25% of adults with mental health symptoms believed that people are caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness. This shows the need to educate the public about how to support individuals living with mental illness.

Empathy and casseroles can help.

The Stigma of Mental Illness

Below is a TED Talk from Alyse Schacter talking about how empathy can help break the silence against mental illness.

Here’s what we can do:

  • Take the time to listen or talk about mental health.
  • Show your empathy. Everyone needs a casserole sometimes.
  • Be brave and share your story!

That’s what starting the conversation is all about.

Keep the conversation going.

Share a website, article, video or even animated gif that connects with you about why it’s so important we talk about mental health.

If you feel comfortable, share why you’re starting the conversation personally.

Join the Conversation

Have any suggestions or concerns? Email Us.

Why does the stigma of mental illness exist?

The origin of the word stigma is from Latin meaning mark. A synonym for stigma is tarnish. Now this word often refers to a mark of disgrace. In reference to mental illness, there are two types of stigma.

Individuals living with a mental illness often feel this stigma as shame or guilt and may feel isolated or “different” than their family and friends. Nearly two-thirds of the individuals living with a mental illness do not seek treatment. Lack of knowledge, fear of disclosure, rejection of family and friends and fear of discrimination are a few of the reasons.

People indirectly affected by mental illness often feel this stigma as fear. Mental illness is commonly misunderstood. People don’t understand the illness, its symptoms, the treatment, the recovery path or how to discuss it. The media often perpetuates these feelings by exploiting stories involving violence, rarely providing valuable information to educate the public and using disrespectful labels in movies or television shows.

It’s scary. Mental illness affects the brain – a person’s reasoning, behavior and judgement. But mental illness is NOT a character flaw. It’s no different than a physical illness and should not be judged, labeled or feared differently. Consider this:

This week, we will explore the stigma of mental illness, the impact that it has on individuals with a mental illness and what we can do to advocate to them overcome these injustices. Finally, we will find our voices and break the silence.

To start the week, Dr. Keck will share a story about why this stigma exists and explain why breaking the silence is important to him.

Consider this video from Bring Change 2 Mind as we explore this week’s topic:

Here’s what we can do:

  • Learn more about mental illness.
  • Reduce the stigma by breaking the silence and demonstrating empathy.
  • Share your story of how mental illness impacts you.

That’s what starting the conversation is all about.

Keep the conversation going.

Share a website, article, video or even animated gif that connects with you about why it’s so important we talk about mental health.

If you feel comfortable, share why you’re starting the conversation personally.

Join the Conversation

Have any suggestions or concerns? Email Us.

WK4

CARE & CONVERSATION:

Taking the first step.

The first step for help

Treatment and Support

Where should you or a loved one go when you think you need help?

This month we have learned a lot about mental health, mental illnesses, the stigma involved and why it’s important to talk about it.

But what should we do when we realize we or a loved one needs help?

To start the week, Dr. Keck will explain the options that exist for seeking help from a health care professional.

To further explain the differences, similarities and how they work together to treat mental disorders, Dr. Brady joins Dr. Keck for this explanation.

Recap

Let’s recap the most common types of mental health providers with some definitions.

Primary care physician

A primary care physician is typically your first point of contact for a person with an undiagnosed health concern. Primary care physicians complete medical school and attain a license to practice.

In many cases a primary care physician may diagnose and treat a mental illness and, when necessary, refer you to a specialist or mental health professional.

Mental health providers

Mental health providers are professionals who diagnose mental health conditions and provide treatment. Most have either a master's degree or more advanced education and training and should have a license to practice, like a primary care physician. Some may specialize in certain illnesses and may work in different settings, such as private practice, hospitals, community agencies or other facilities.

Here are the most common types of mental health providers:

  • Licensed professional counselor

    Most licensed professional counselors (L.P.C.) have at least a master’s degree with clinical experience. These counselors can provide a diagnosis and psychological counseling (psychotherapy). They are not licensed to prescribe medication. However, they may work with another provider who can prescribe medication if needed.

  • Psychologist

    A psychologist is trained in psychology, a science that deals with thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Typically, a psychologist holds a doctoral degree (Ph.D., Psy.D., Ed.D.). A psychologist can diagnose and treat a number of mental health disorders, providing psychological counseling, in one-on-one or group settings. A psychologist cannot prescribe medication unless he or she is licensed to do so. However, they may work with another provider who can prescribe medication if needed.

  • Psychiatrist

    A psychiatrist is a physician (M.D.), who specializes in mental health. This type of doctor may further specialize in areas such as child and adolescent, geriatric, or addiction psychiatry. A psychiatrist can diagnose and treat mental health disorders. They provide psychological counseling (psychotherapy) and are licensed to prescribe medication, if needed.

For more information on mental health providers and tips for finding one, click here.

Have any suggestions or concerns? Email Us

.

Psychology versus Psychiatry

Treatment and Support

What is the difference between psychology and psychiatry?

Many people are confused about the difference between psychology and psychiatry and think it is related to the level of education and/or training a person receives.

But the differences, and similarities, go beyond education and training. Here is a snapshot:

Psychology/Psychologist Psychiatry/Psychiatrist
The suffix means Science or Theory Medical Treatment
Definition Science of the Mind Chemistry of the Brain:
The practice or science of diagnosing and treating mental disorders
Rooted in Academic study and research of human perception Medicine
Focus of study The connections between the brain and behavior, research techniques and methods of treating behavior problems The physical brain and psychology and how these interact to create the human personality
Credentials Attended a university and usually holds a Ph.D. Attended Medical School and holds an M.D.
Treatment Psychoanalysis Psychoanalysis combined with medicinal treatment, when necessary
Have any suggestions or concerns? Email Us.

The value of a good support network

Treatment and Support

The power of support

When a loved one or friend is impacted by a physical illness, we know the value of supporting them in their recovery. It is equally important to support individuals living with a mental illness.

Support needs to be positive and understanding to foster an effective environment for treatment and recovery. Dr. Keck and Dr. Bradley will explain the value of a good support network in mental health and discuss where to find positive support.

Types of support networks:

Family

Family support is an extremely important component of the recovery process. Families should educate themselves on the illness and meaningfully participate in the recovery through acceptance and patience.

Friends

Friends can offer support in the same way a family does. At times, people may feel that they are burdening their families or may not be ready to accept their support. Listening and expressing concern for those impacted by mental illness can impact their recovery in a positive way.

Professional Support

A mental health professional is also a reliable support network, as well as a facilitator of treatment and recovery.

Peer Networks

Finding people going through a similar experience is valuable in treatment. Advocacy groups, such as NAMI, offer forums for individuals with mental illness to support each other through sharing their stories and experiences.

Community and Faith

Your community or faith organization can provide a safe environment for people to interact and foster a positive support network.

Have any suggestions or concerns? Email Us.

Start the Conversation Workshop

Mental Health Initiative

The journey

This month, we advocated for mental health awareness month by starting the conversation within TiER1. We provided resources to help you learn about the most common mental illnesses, how to identify the signs and symptoms and where to go for treatment and support. We also shared some testimonies from our peers.

Next week, Dr. Keck will join us for the Start the Conversation Workshop. This workshop will take a deeper dive into what we have been learning this month.

What will this workshop provide?

Greater insight into mental health concerns. This workshop will equip you and your family with tools and resources to identify the signs and symptoms of a mental illness early and find the treatment and support you may need if mental illness comes into your lives.

You will also have the opportunity to ask Dr. Keck questions.

What this workshop won’t do.

We will not ask you to share a story. We will not ask you to share any personal information.

What you can do to prepare.

Review the content that we have provided over the past month.

Reflect on it. What do you want to know more about?

Come to the workshop with an open mind. We ask for your support. This initiative is important and we want to learn from the experience. What went well? What didn’t? What could we do better? All of you will be asked to provide feedback on this journey and the workshop is the capstone. We ask that you join us and participate with an open mind.