Newsletter August 2013


Published on

Monthly Newsletter

Published in: Education, Health & Medicine
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Newsletter August 2013

  1. 1. Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida Support Groups:  Here for Life 1st Tuesday every Month 7:00 PM  Veterans Wednesday 7:00 - 8:30PM  Depression Thursday 10:30AM - Noon August 2013 56 Years of providing Services throughout SWFL Educating Southwest Florida on Mental Wellness since 1957 Coming Events: August 3, 2013 Basketball Clinic Golden gate Community Center August 10, 2013 MOVE Conference Hodges University Southwest Florida Continues to Support the MHA Though our area is slowly re- covering from difficult econom- ic times the MHA of Southwest Florida has continued make the most of our resources to provide programs, services and support to the community by maintaining a small multi talented staff, low |overhead, utilizing volunteers, and by doing cost and viability analysis of initiatives. Through the generosity of community businesses and residents we have had all of our initiatives and programs this year fully supported. We also have great community partners and professionals that have made programs available to the area by combining our resources and areas of expertise. This year we also tried to provide innovative and progressive programming which educates through entertainment and activity. We are striving to continue this process in our next year’s lineup and hope to improve and increase awareness on all fronts. We have also greatly increased our visibility by producing a monthly informative and educational newsletters, newsflash emails on a regular basis, radio and television appearances informing the public of our programs and mission, and newspaper articles with vital information . We look forward to continuing our efforts and Thank You for your support. REFERRALS Use our Directory to find a Licensed Mental Health Professional The Directory of Licensed Mental Health Professionals is available to you, your business, church or organization. In it you will find listings of therapists, psychologists and others who are licensed to practice locally. The Directory details their credentials and explains their areas of expertise. You may download the Directory and choose yourself, or we can provide you with the names of several licensed mental health pro- fessionals that would be a good match for you and your needs. Call us (239) 261-5405 so we can connect you with a mental health professional. We’re Making A Difference
  2. 2. Mental Health MattersPage 2 College can be exciting and difficult all at the same time. Students must learn to make lots of decisions and cope with changes regarding their social life, parents, academic standing, or future plans. So under- stand that if you’re feeling stressed, you’re not alone. Here are some tips to help you get adjusted, whether you are a freshman, transfer, commuter, or returning student. Freshmen Suddenly, perhaps for the first time in your life, you’re moving away from everything familiar to you and beginning to make your way as a young adult entirely surrounded by strangers. It’s a lot of changes all at once.  Feeling Homesick. Freshmen struggle w ith homesickness w hether they are half an hour away from home or across the country. Keep in touch with your family and old friends, but make sure not to isolate yourself from making new friends at school. As time passes and campus feels more com- fortable, your homesickness will lessen.  Getting Along With Your Roommates. Many freshmen have never had to share such a small space with someone before—let alone a perfect stranger! Living with someone can be challenging. Work through conflicts before they blow up. Regularly communicate with your roommate(s). And remember, you don’t have to be best friends. Often roommates get along best when they have different circles of friends.  Establishing Yourself. Four years in high school is a long time to establish and identify yourself as a talented individual, whether your talents may be sports, music, drama or academics. Fresh- men may feel as if they are just another face in the crowd. As you get to know other students, keep in touch with your support network at home. They will assure you that you are unique!  Battling Perfectionism. Many students struggle w ith perfectionism as freshmen. Study hab- its that may have worked in high school most likely will need to be adapted to fit the different academic climate of college. In addition, grade expectations usually need to be realistically lowered with the in- creased challenge of a college-level education. It may be helpful to talk with your RA about reasonable academic expectations.  Managing Your Time. Only three hours of class a day? It can be hard to budget all your time to get assignments done, especially with added responsibilities such as jobs. Set aside a certain time each day to spend studying. Studying with other classmates can help you meet people and get bet- ter grades. And then enjoy your free time without guilt!  Building a Social Life. You may know that many college students drink and party to social- ize. However, most college students overestimate the amount that other students drink. In fact, many college students drink rarely if at all, and campus life organizations offer great alternatives to partying on weekends. These activities—whether it is a dance party, cultural event, concert, or comedy night—will help you meet other students that share your interests. If you do decide to drink, be responsible! And always have a friend with you. Dealing With Finances. It is a w ell-known fact that the average college student is poor. Fortunately, many restaurants, movie theaters, and museums offer student discounts. Be creative—it is possible to have fun without spending money! If tuition is a problem, visit your campus career center for help finding scholarships and creating budgets. Be careful with credit cards. It is very easy to get into debt, so spend wisely and avoid impulse purchases! Freshmen aren’t the only students that must make adjustments to campus. If you are a transfer, com- muter, or returning student, coming back to campus may still seem stressful. Although the tips above can always be helpful, here are some tips especially for you. Back to Campus
  3. 3. Page 3 Transfer Students Transfer students, in a sense, are having the freshman experience for the second (or third) time around. In addition to the typical “freshmen” stressors, transfers must cope with some unique challenges.  Fighting Isolation. Many transfers feel isolated. Orientation groups are usually made up of other transfers, and it may be difficult to meet other students. Participate in on-campus activities or join extracurricular clubs.  Finding Support Networks. Transfers may not receive the same help and guidance that in- coming freshmen receive. These students have been placed in a strange environment, but schools tend to focus more on freshmen’s needs. Talk with an RA, your academic advisor, or the campus counseling center for answers to your questions. Bonding With Other Students. Transfers may feel as if they “missed out” on the freshman bonding time at their new school. It may seem as if everyone else has established his or her group of friends. Give it time—good friendships aren’t made over night. Commuter Students Off-campus living definitely has its advantages—an escape from a stressful academic environment, more freedom and personal space, and peace and quiet. But commuting students must make adjustments coming back to campus as well.  Building a Social Life. Commuters may find it hard to navigate the social w aters of a univer- sity since they are usually absent on weekends. Make plans to meet up with friends or classmates for so- cial activities on the weekends. Participating in Campus Life. Commuters don’t experience some aspects of campus life, such as dorm living. Feel more connected by spending time on campus even when you don’t have class. Study at the library, and use university facilities such as the gym or dining hall instead of going off-campus. Returning Students Returning to campus after a summer away is an adjustment. Many students have gotten re-acquainted with the comforts of home, such as good food and old friends. In addition, returning students deal with:  Balancing Academic Loads. More upper-level classes might mean more studying and less free time. But this isn’t inevitable! With some time management and focused studying, you will be able to ad- just to the increasing academic demands. Deciding on the Next Step. Thinking about the future is a source of anxiety for many returning students, whether it’s choosing a major, thinking about studying abroad for a semester, or deciding on post-graduation plans. It can be especially distressing if you feel directionless. This is a common feeling. A visit to your career center may be able to give you some guidance. Sometimes these changes and adjustments can trigger depression or other mental health issues. If the above techniques do not appear to be working, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. If your feelings of constant stress become feelings of sadness that go on for weeks and months, you may be experienc- ing more than just difficulty adjusting to life’s changes. Visit your student counseling center—services are confidential and are usually free of charge.
  4. 4. Mental Health MattersPage 4
  5. 5. Page 5 Top Ten Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health. 10. Be realistic. If you are taking on more responsibility than you can handle, rank the activities you are involved with and drop the ones that aren't absolutely necessary. 9. Drop the "superman/superwoman" mentality. Nobody is perfect, so don't expect perfection from yourself or others. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. 8. Reflect. Take time out to collect your thoughts. Personal reflection in the form of meditation, prayer or other ways can reduce stress. 7. Plan ahead. Feeling unprepared or scrambling to do something in the last minute can be really stressful. 6. Exercise. Regular exercise is a great way to reduce stress, increase self-esteem, boost energy lev- els, and improve concentration. 5. Healthy lifestyle. Eat a well-balanced diet, and limit your use of caffeine and alcohol. Make sure you are getting enough sleep to feel refreshed and energized. 4. Share your feelings. Talking to a friend or family member about problems in your life can help you organize your thoughts and get support for your feelings. 3. Hobbies. Take a break from stressful situations by doing something you enjoy. Whether it's read- ing, gardening or cooking, make time to relax and do something you like. 2. Be flexible. Respect other people's opinions and be prepared to compromise. If you are willing to give a little, others may meet you halfway. Not only will you reduce your stress, you may find better so- lutions to your problems. 1. Take one thing at a time. When people are under stress, an average workload can seem over- whelming. The best way to handle this feeling is to take one task at a time. Pick one project and work on it. Once you finish it, choose the next one. The feeling of accomplishment will encourage you to keep going.
  6. 6. Mental Health MattersPage 6 Suddenly, you've moved away from everything and everyone that are familiar and begin to make your way in the world as an independent individual. However, you still rely on your parents and your home environment as a place you can return to when things get tough. But what do you do when your parents decide to divorce while you're in college? In our family portrait, we look pretty happy Let's play pretend, let's act like it comes naturally I don't wanna have to split the holidays I don't want two addresses I don't want a step-brother anyways And I don't want my mom to have to change her last name In our family portrait, we look pretty happy We look pretty normal, let's go back to that . . . -- Pink, "Family Portrait" You are not alone. Thousands of college-aged students are affected by their parents' divorce each year. Here are some tips to help you cope with your parents' divorce: Keep things in perspective. This is not about you. It is about them. Remind yourself that you did not cause your parents' marital problems or divorce and that it is normal to have feelings of split loyalties to your parents. Your instincts will be to give as much aid and support as you can. However, it is very im- portant that you take care of yourself and continue your own life during this period. Don't go through this alone. Sharing your feelings and concerns w ith others w ill help you get through this turbulent period. Talk to friends, family members and people who also have had parents di- vorce. Contact your school counseling service or find a support group. Isolating yourself can raise your stress levels, mess up your concentration, and get in the way of your schoolwork, relationships and over- all health. Take care of yourself emotionally and physically. Be good to yourself. Invest time in your hob- bies and interests. Take time out to exercise, rest and relax. Keep to your normal routines. Try to avoid making major decisions or changes in life plans. Find safe ways to blow off steam. Do not use alcohol and drugs as a way to cope; they only lead to more problems. It's OK to have a lot of different feelings. People w hose parents are divorcing often feel of sad, angry and depressed, and have a tough time concentrating. You also may feel anxious about the future and feelings of responsibility. Reactions like these are normal and healing takes time. If you need to cry, yell or feel sad, let it out. Don't let yourself get caught in the middle. There may be pressure to choose sides, but try to be as loving as possible to both parents. Your parents need to work out their own divorce and financial arrangements without using you as a go-between. Stand up to your parents if their decisions make you angry or uncomfortable. If you think one of your parents may become violent, get out of the house and talk about the situation with a trusted friend or family member. Think positive. Easier said than done, right? Things may not be the same as they w ere before, but finding new, fun things to do and interacting with understanding and reasonable expectations, will make this transition easier. Be flexible. Family traditions are still important but some of them may need to be adjusted. Help create new traditions and family activities. Spend positive times together in the new family groupings. Life will get back to normal, although "normal" may be different from w hat you had originally hoped. Coping with Your Parents' Divorce
  7. 7. Page 7
  8. 8. To Advocate for Mental Wellness through Education, Prevention, and Support The Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida identifies unmet needs and develops culturally sensitive services and programs to improve the lives of those facing the many challenges of today’s world in our community. If you are interested in becoming a member, e-mail us at Or Simply fill out the application and mail a check payable to MHASWFL or donate online using a credit card. Your contribution is tax-deductible and crucial to helping us continue our work. If you have any questions about Membership please contact our office by phone at (239) 261-5405 or mail The Mental Association of Southwest Florida 2335 Tamaimi Trail N, Ste 404, Naples FL 34103. Page 8Mental Health Matters