Montgomery County Hotline 301.738.2255

Mental Wellness for Everyone is Impossible without Equity and Justice.

EveryMind stands with our community in grief and anger over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Finan Berhe and so many other members of our Black community.  Black Lives Matter.

Mental wellness for everyone is impossible without equity and justice. EveryMind will continue to work to ensure that EVERY individual is empowered to reach optimal mental wellness, and to be a part of the solution to build a community that is inclusive, welcoming and safe for all.

We know mental wellness is critical to each person’s ability to thrive, feel connected to others and have a sense of safety and wellness. We see and understand the stress and trauma caused by the impact of racism in our work every day.

EveryMind is committed to being a part of the solution to end systemic racism and help create a community based on equity and justice. We also know simply stating our commitment isn’t enough. We need to put our words into action.

As an employer, a direct services provider, a mental health resource and as a member of our community, our first action will be to work with all of our staff to increase our understanding of what we can do in each of these roles to support each other, learn from each other and help end the extreme racial disparities evident in our society. Reducing inequities is a natural component of our work and we are committed to making equity an overarching goal in everything that we do.

In addition, we encourage you to explore and share this compilation of Mental Health Resources developed by Psych Hub.

We also encourage you to take care of your own mental health. If you are struggling to manage overwhelming feelings of grief, anxiety, loss, anger and/or trauma, please call, text or chat with us. We are here to listen 24/7/365.


COVID-19 – Coping with Anxiety and Stress

As we navigate this unprecedented crisis, its imperative that we tend to our mental well-being.  Concerns for our health and the health of our loved ones, a stream of sometimes confusing and contradictory information, disruptions to routines, worry about the impact on personal finances and uncertainty about how and when life will return to some semblance of normal – these are just a few ways COVID-19 has impacted our mental health.

During this time of heightened anxiety, we know that you or a loved one may need someone to talk to.  Please know that our phone, text and chat call specialists are available 24/7 to listen and provide support.

This service is free and open to all members of our community. You do not have to be in crisis to connect with us. Reach out even if you are just looking for ways to support someone you are concerned about.

Call/Text: 301.738.2255

Chat: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/

Suicide Prevention Lifeline en Espanol –

Telefono: 1.888.628.9454

Chat: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-yourself/en-espanol/

EveryMind staff have recorded a webinar with tips and tools to help manage stress and anxiety.

EveryMind board member and leadership coach, David Miller, shares tips and strategies for managing stress and anxiety during COVID-19 stay-at-home order.

EveryMind’s Bilingual Youth and Family Therapist, Jose Delgado, shares important tips for our Spanish-speaking community on how to take care of yourself during the COVID-19 crisis.

 

El terapeuta bilingüe para jóvenes y familias de EveryMind, José Delgado, comparte consejos importantes para nuestra comunidad de habla hispana sobre cómo cuidarse durante la crisis del COVID-19.

EveryMind Call Specialist, Kirsten Robinette, provides some useful tips for what to look for when deciding whether its time to seek help for yourself or a loved one.

EveryMind’s Bilingual Youth and Family Therapist, Jose Delgado, offers our Spanish-speaking neighbors tips on ways to manage stress and anxiety during these uncertain times.

In addition, we’ve compiled a list of resources from trusted organizations to help navigate these difficult times. We will continue to add to this list as new resources and information becomes available.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 – Coping with Stress
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Calm Your Child’s Coronavirus Fears
Children’s Mental Health Matters Campaign

COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Tips for Caregivers on Media Coverage of Upsetting Events – English
Tips for Caregivers on Media Coverage of Upsetting Events – Spanish
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network/Family-Informed Trauma Treatment Center/University of Maryland School of Medicine

Helping Children Cope Emotionally with the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress

Emotional Well-being During the COVID-19 Outreak
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

How to Help Someone with Anxiety or Depression During COVID-19
Mental Health First Aid/National Council for Behavioral Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
National Association of School Psychologists
American Psychological Association
Harvard Medical School

Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Coping with Coronavirus:  Managing Stress, Fear and Anxiety
Joshua Gordon, Director – National Institute of Mental Health

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Tips for Having Difficult Conversations with Youth

As a new mom, I want to believe that I can protect my son from experiencing anything scary or harmful. But realistically, I know that I can’t keep him in a bubble. Instead, I can support him by talking and listening to him as he grows up and encounters the world. Whether it’s being bullied or hearing news about a school shooting or some other frightening incident, he will need to explore and talk about how he feels in age-appropriate ways to help him feel safe and cope with the events around him.

Here are some tips for having these difficult conversations:

Find an appropriate time and location – These conversations can be intense and can vary in length. Finding a safe space and an appropriate time that the youth is comfortable will encourage the authentic exploration of feelings. For my son, this could mean talking while we play in the backyard before dinner or during a car ride to run errands over the weekend. For an older teen, this could be talking over a meal, while playing basketball together or some other enjoyable activity that allows them to concentrate on the conversation.

Initiate the conversation – Just the act of reminding our youth that we are interested and listening to them can open the door to a world of conversations. As adults, we don’t need to outline the agenda or even the topic of the conversation. Simply expressing that we are present and ready to listen extends the invitation and demonstrates that we are invested in their wellbeing. My husband and I have built this into our son’s bedtime routine–we reflect together on the day’s events and think about the day ahead. As our son grows we hope that by keeping this door to conversation open he will always feel secure in seeking us out when he needs support.

Remember that age matters – While youth of all ages need to explore their feelings, they may do so in different ways. Younger children may express themselves through play or art while older youth may have the language skills to express themselves verbally. Letting the youth lead in how they explore their feelings ensures they can fully explore thoughts and feelings without being restricted by the adult’s expectations. My son is still an infant so he expresses himself through crying and more frequently, smiling and laughter. My toddler-aged niece and nephew are more likely to act out their emotions with their toys and physical actions like stomping and shouting. Each of these youth will one day be able to sit and talk about their thoughts—until then, they need the adults around them to respect that they can and will express themselves in the ways available to them.

Listen Authentically – As adults we often think we know best because we have many more years of experience than our youth. This can lead us to interrupting, offering advice, and dismissing our youths’ ideas rather than truly listening to them. When we listen authentically we are not only hearing our youth but are striving to understand them while simultaneously modeling how to be supportive. It may mean biting our tongues, letting our youth lead, and attempting to understand them from their perspective rather than through our own adult worldview.

Agree to Disagree – Youth look to learn from adults but also want and need to develop their own opinions and beliefs. Expressing our thoughts and feelings appropriately when talking with youth helps model healthy coping and exposes them to various worldviews. It is important to approach difficult conversations with an understanding that it is okay to disagree. I know there will come a day when my son expresses an idea that I see as silly, misinformed, or otherwise incorrect. Instead of belittling his idea, I hope to share my own thoughts and give him space to learn and grow using a wealth of information from which to draw his own thoughts and beliefs.

Be Aware of Signs of Distress – Experiencing a range of emotions including grief, anger, anxiety and stress is normal and healthy. Every youth, like every adult, will experience these emotions differently and will react and express themselves as individuals. It is important as parents and caregivers that we invest the time and energy to learn about our youth so we know what is within their normal range of expression and when something has changed significantly or continued for longer than usual. Youth are developmentally still learning how to handle intense emotions and may need an adult to offer new ideas or ways to cope. As parents, we may not always know what new ideas or tools to introduce. Seeking professional help and resources may be necessary. Resources like EveryMind’s Hotline (301.738.2255) can provide guidance and information to help us confidently support our youth even when we are still learning ourselves.

Take Care of Yourself – Part of growing up is learning how to handle intense or difficult emotions and thoughts. We may not be experts, but as adults we do have many more years of experience and developmental growth in this area than youth. By taking care of ourselves through activities that help us process our own emotions we can empower ourselves to approach difficult conversations in a calm and controlled manner. It also models real-world solutions and tools for our youth. When my son’s crying grates on my nerves, I practice deep breathing and seek my husband’s support to take breaks from being the primary caregiver. As my son grows, I hope to continue modeling self-care by ensuring that I set aside time to re-energize myself through exercise and spending time with family and friends. It truly is the everyday practice of putting on my own air mask before I can assist someone else to put on theirs.

As parents and caregivers, we are frontline defenders in helping our youth feel safe and empowered in what can feel like a chaotic and out of control world. This requires us to be engaged with and invested in our youth, to have difficult conversations, and to acknowledge that the world can be both exciting and terrifying. By listening, sharing our views, and being supportive we can start any conversation with our youth and together find a path forward.


EveryMind Awarded Workplace Excellence Seal of Approval

The Alliance for Workplace Excellence (AWE) awards employers for their exemplary commitment to building excellent places to work in Montgomery County, MD and throughout the United States. Founded by Montgomery County and Discovery Communications, AWE is dedicated to increasing the number of excellent workplaces through education and recognition, as a means to enhance the quality of life for its citizens and empower economic growth.

EveryMind offers generous benefits and a vision-focused culture that creates an environment where employees are engaged and active in the mission to Strengthen Communities and Empower Individuals to Reach Optimal Mental Wellness.

EveryMind is honored to receive the Workplace Excellence Seal of Approval for the 15th time! Our employee programs recognize the importance of spending time with loved ones, which is why our employees are offered more than 20 holidays including summer and winter mental health days and a day off to volunteer for a charity of their choice, in addition to standard vacation and sick leave. By providing our staff with a supportive and caring work environment, we can help prevent burnout and increase productivity.