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Beacon supports NLGA’s efforts to better prevent suicide and care for people in mental health crisis

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Wendy Martinez Farmer, Beacon Crisis Leader Nine years ago, I was driving home through Atlanta rush hour concerned I would not make it in time to pick up my 2-year-old from daycare. Traffic was heavy and I was already running late after handling a crisis at work. Suddenly, I started experiencing crushing chest pain that radiated down both arms and up into my jaw. Without much conscious thought, I pulled off the highway, turned into a convenience store, bought an aspirin, chewed it and looked at the store clerk and said “please call 911, I am having a heart attack.” Within seconds, bystanders who also seemed instinctively to know what to do stepped in to keep me calm and even contacted…

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A time to reflect on suicide prevention

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Trigger Warning: The below blog post is focused on suicide prevention, suicide, and mental healthcare We know from our State of the Nation’s Mental Health Report that in spite of Americans’ increased emotional distress resulting from the pandemic, there is a disconnect between this escalated distress and a flat rate of diagnosis in 2020. Suicide can be the result of an untreated mental health condition. One in four young adults globally are estimated to be experiencing depression in 2020 and 2021, according to a global study published in JAMA. We believe mental health is health. Physical and mental health are linked and must be addressed equally and in tandem for overall, whole-person health. It is critical that anyone thinking about…

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Tips on how to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community

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June’s history as Pride Month spans three presidential administrations, and its evolving official title reflects society’s developing views towards the LGBTQ+ community.

In 1999, President Bill Clinton first declared June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, and later, President Barack Obama changed the title to be more inclusive, naming June as LGBT Pride Month. This year, President Joe Biden has extended the reach even further by declaring June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

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COVID-19, behavioral health, and an alarming rise in suicides

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Medical Director Dr. Jessica Chaudhary discusses the connection between COVID-19 and rising suicide rates and what can be done about it.

She also discusses how the pandemic has highlighted the importance of behavioral health to whole-person health.

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Compassionately and effectively responding to behavioral health crisis

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In the last video of our series, Beacon Health Options’ Crisis Solutions Leader Wendy Farmer discusses how behavioral health crises are currently addressed.

She also provides innovative solutions on how we can improve our behavioral health crisis systems.

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Mental health professionals: Remember to take care of yourself

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The stress frontline healthcare workers experienced during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond has been well documented.

However, less well-known is the effect the pandemic is having on a different group of frontline healthcare workers: mental health professionals.

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When substance use and pregnancy collide

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Our third video during May as Mental Health Awareness Month highlights Beacon’s VP Medical Director Dr. Sandrine Pirard.

She discusses the prevalence of substance use disorders in pregnant and postpartum women and what can be done about it.

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Reducing health disparities through culturally competent care

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Beacon’s Associate Director of Behavioral Health Services Dr. Charma Dudley discusses the ways in which disparities in access, awareness and treatment affect behavioral health outcomes for diverse populations.

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Connecting the dots between behavioral health and housing

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Recognizing May is Mental Health Awareness Month, Beacon Health Options produced several videos on pressing issues affecting behavioral health.

In today’s video, Beacon’s Medical Director of Integration Dr. Nancy Norman, MPH, discusses the connections between behavioral health and safe/affordable housing.

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Inaugural report: Disconnect between increased stress and diagnoses rates

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People in America have shared that the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health.

However, in spite of the many additional stressors that they felt in 2020, including social unrest, a tumultuous election and a declining economy, there wasn’t a corresponding increase in people seeking mental health treatment, according to the inaugural State of the Nation’s Mental Health report.

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