Social Media Is Helping Behavioral Health Clients and Professionals E-Tool

With mental health and substance abuse providers constantly seeking out the latest in treatment information and with their clients becoming much more involved in their own treatment, Social Media is becoming the tool of choice for researching information on specific behavioral health topics.

With the proper Social Media Use Policies in place, behavioral care treatment providers can easily “connect” with client populations by authoring blogs that satisfy their informational curiosities and needs and that are written in a layman language that they can easily understand and identify with. This is only the front end of the benefit.

A successfully authored blog post also encourages it readers to share comments and to subscribe to the blog by RSS feed or even to “follow” the author on Twitter. What a great way to generate interest in those who may be curious about what a particular “expert” blogger has to share with and offer the greater client population. Often this interest results in the formation of client – treatment provider professional relationship.

In addition, Social Media affords e-clients (those who use the Web to aid in their own treatment) and Social Media savvy behavioral care professionals to help spread useful information around any network that might therapeutically benefit from it. This therapeutic online synergy can only be considered a “miracle” of Social Media. It is living proof that Web technology has further evolved to innovate more quick and efficient ways to help the mentally ill and substance abusers in more ways than ever before. Millions of people are benefiting from having enlightening information available at their fingertips at any hour of the day or evening.

Consider some of the positive ways Social Media is helping the behavioral health community forge ahead on its helping mission.

• Advocates and e-clients are now easily able to identify their legislators; review proposed legislation, online; and share their personal and advocated views directly with their elected representatives as well as with the community-at-large. As a result of the growth of Social Media, countless federal and state bills that can undoubtedly affect the lives and careers of behavioral health consumers and their treatment professionals have been suggested, supported or dumped thanks to the comprehensive dialogs conducted over the Web during their initial considerations.
• Behavioral health practitioners and field consultants are regularly sharing their thoughts and best practices on Twitter, YouTube, SlideShare, Blogs and on weekly podcasts, just to name a few outlets. What better way to stay on top of advancements and who is responsible for helping them take place?
• At their Websites, behavioral health organizations of all kinds include their recommended links for all sorts of informative articles, conference notifications, job openings and RFPs. They also often share their recommendations and reviews with an increasingly interested audience on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, StumbleUpon and Twitter.
No longer does one have to wait for and rummage through a whole litany of monthly and quarterly professional journals and newsletters to get information that is readily available on the Web.

The “word” surrounding Social Media within the professional circles of the behavioral health treatment community has not all been positive, thus far. In fact, in many health care circles including the medical profession, there is some ambivalence about what is being called the “e-movement.” The e-movement accounts for the growing momentum of Social Media, which has made it often the very first place many people go to locate a diagnosis and to find out what treatment options, are available to them. They used to just call a Dr. or a counselor and make an appointment to come in for a consultation. Not so much, anymore.

Professionals have become very used to being considered “experts” are not all comfortable with their patients or clients becoming anything more than the passive consumers they have always considered them to be.

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital physician Alan Greene, MD, is particularly social-media-savvy (he has a Twitter feed, Facebook page and very interactive website) – and he shares his thoughts in the article:

“A couple of generations ago, the house call was the common way physicians would find out about the real lives of people and make an impact right in the middle of their lives, and today it’s social media,” says Dr. Greene.

This is a new and harsh reality for some. The e-movement certainly levels the playing field for everyone – to a very large degree – and results in different types and perhaps much stronger (financially) health care and behavioral care partnerships that can endanger the livelihoods of both the highly competent and the unquestionable subpar individual practitioner, alike. The overall value of Social Media to e-clients and those behavioral care professionals using it as a valuable tool for better health, certainly swamp this argument. Social Media has been a boon to e-clients and practitioners in behavioral health care and there are no signs of its popularity and value waning anytime soon.

Peculiarities of Behavioral Health Jobs

Working with individuals in behavioral health jobs has its advantages and disadvantages. Many different job opportunities exist in this area, but there are a wide range of disorders, illnesses, and situations which those employed in the health sector must deal with on a regular basis. Perhaps the best thing that anyone who’s employed in this field can do for themselves is take a step back, realize that you’re truly helping those who need assistance, and be prepared for anything that comes.

Dealing with Behaviors:
One of the peculiarities of jobs in behavioral health is working with and dealing with a variety of behaviors. For example, working with young children means that you may be exposed to autism spectrum disorders, behavioral conduct disorders, and a wide range of other issues common to youth. Exposure to these types of problems inevitably leads to experiencing anger outbursts and communication problems just to name a couple issues.

Adult Disorders and Illnesses:
Aside from the issues found in young children and even adolescents, a major experience is dealing with peculiarities in behavioral health jobs working with adults. Adults can experience many different types of mental disorders and illnesses, such as depression, obsessive-compulsive behavior or one of the many personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder. Depression and anxiety may lead to abnormal suicidal tendency behaviors which must be dealt with appropriately and personality disorders may lead you to confront a vast array of other symptoms from adults in your jobs in behavioral health, such as major mood swings and poor impulse control.

Another peculiarity that you may experience when working with children or adults, and especially on trauma units or in mental health treatment facilities, is the exacerbation of symptoms and behavioral problems during the full moon cycle. Though frequently dismissed as superstition, individuals in behavioral health jobs do, in fact, report that individuals with mental health and behavioral disorders do act worse around the time of a full moon.

Training Programs:
Fortunately, many training programs exist to help individuals overcome abnormal behaviors. In addition, these types of training programs enable you to work more effectively in behavioral health jobs as you have been taught proven techniques and methods for dealing with behavioral problems. For example, autism spectrum disorder specialists learn to work with kids on communication problems, conduct disorders, and relating to friends and family members.

Several mental health training programs also teach you about the different range of behaviors you’ll experience while working in behavioral careers as well as how to deal with them. For example, an associate’s degree in mental health technology and or other crisis management certificate enables you to resolve emergency situations with individuals experiencing severe depression and suicidal tendencies or thoughts. You’ll learn stress management techniques and how to diffuse an emergency situation among other things.

As you can see, there are many peculiarities and situations that you may have to deal with when working in behavioral health positions. However, many people experience great internal satisfaction by helping to resolve these types of problems and aiding those who need behavioral training or extra care. Attending a training program to further your education in one of these fields, though, gives you extra knowledge and the right skills needed to work successfully in behavioral health careers.

How the Obamacare Individual Mandate Affects Health Insurance for Self Employed Americans

By 2014, millions of Americans will be subject to a fine if they don’t have adequate health insurance. Self employed individuals are likely to be one of the groups most affected by the Obamacare individual mandate that becomes law on January 1st of next year.

Roughly one-third of the national labor force is self-employed. That adds up to 42 million Americans. In many cases, they are responsible for 100% of the cost of covering themselves and their families. For these freelancers and independent contractors, healthcare costs already significantly impact monthly budgets. However, come 2014, many will learn that they face penalties because their current coverage fails to meet new minimum benefit standards laid out in the Affordable Care Act.

According to, there are a list of 10 essential benefits that must be included in coverage for an individual to meet the minimum standards for health insurance. Self employed individuals and millions of other Americans will need to be covered for:

– Prescription drugs
– Wellness services, chronic disease management, and preventative care
– Outpatient care
– Hospitalization
– Emergency services
– Laboratory services
– Rehabilitative devices and services
– Maternity and newborn care
– Pediatric services
– Mental health and substance abuse services, including behavioral health treatment

Why is the Affordable Care Act placing such a high burden on people who already may be struggling with healthcare costs? The intent of the Obamacare individual mandate is to protect those who rely on high deductible plans that offer minimum benefits at low monthly premiums. These plans often fail to help people facing major health events, leading to higher incidents of bankruptcies and unpaid hospital bills. Both of these outcomes jack up the costs of care for us all.

In order to offset the costs of obtaining better coverage, the government is offering help from the newly formed healthcare marketplaces and exchanges soon to be available in many states. Unfortunately, millions of people will fall through the cracks of this system. Experts have estimated that two-thirds of the two million residents of California responsible for buying their own insurance will not get help from tax subsidies or qualify to participate in the exchanges.

If you make more than four times the Federal Poverty Level, roughly 46,000, you would be wise to start shopping now for affordable health care. Self employed individuals, or any other Americans responsible for finding their own coverage, are getting closer and closer to the deadline to decide.

Your options are clear. If your current plan doesn’t meet the minimum criteria, you’re going to need to find an upgrade or else face penalties. If you currently have no coverage and would like to avoid the fine, make sure that any new health insurance plan you sign up for has all of the benefits on the mandatory list. If you opt to go without insurance, you should know that the penalty increases every year.

Because of the cracks in the system, some will choose to pay the fine rather than cope with the high costs of health care. Self employed people have an especially hard choice to make because their decision could affect them personally and professionally.

Behavioral Health and the Consequences of Indifference – The Importance of Dream Interpretation

Your dreams are very important. They can save your life, help you fight against all mental illnesses and physical diseases, and give you extraordinary mind power.

This happens because dream interpretation according to the scientific method is a process that guarantees your behavioral health. At the same time it transforms your personality and increases your intelligence.

This means that you learn how to continually act wisely, without making common mistakes, and without ever losing control.

The process of mind development you pass through when you translate the meaning of your dreams and you understand the unconscious messages, helps you become wiser. You not only learn many things for acquiring real knowledge; you develop your sensitivity, thus becoming more human.

The mindset of many people in our materialistic and atheistic civilization completely despises the value of sensitivity, considering indifference as if it was a normal reaction.

The behavior of most people in our world is characterized by:

– Indifference to human pain,

– Indifference to what happens with other people,

– Indifference on preserving the nature of our polluted planet.

However, this indifference is not healthy. When it appears in an individual’s behavior it indicates lack of balance and sensibility; indicating total absence of the capacity to sense and feel the objective reality.

The consequences of indifference are many:

– You live isolated, without any direct contact with the people who belong to your environment.

– You cannot control your behavior or understand when you are provoking pain onto others. The pain you provoke doesn’t hurt you, since you are insensitive. This means that you’ll tend to be absurd and cruel, without understanding what you are doing.

– You cannot feel real pleasure since your sensitivity is not working. You cannot evaluate the simple pleasures of existence. Everything seems to be empty in your life. You tend to live you life always being dissatisfied, and constantly looking for what is missing.

– You are indifferent to everything. You simply accept bad relationships and suffocating situations without caring about examining what is happening to you, or about changing what is upsetting you.

Through dream therapy you’ll learn how to pay attention to all the components of the external reality. You’ll also learn how to develop all your psychological functions, becoming as sensitive as sensible.

This means that you’ll be balanced and always satisfied with yourself and with the life you lead.

Your wise attitude will protect you from making mistakes and facing bad consequences. You will be respected and admired by everyone because you’ll never hurt anyone’s feelings. Thus, everyone will feel grateful for having you as their friend.

Parents Ask – When to Refer My 13-14 Year Old to a Mental Health Professional?

Raising a teenager can be a challenging task for any parent. The behaviors of a teenager are often much different from what their parents might expect them to have. Although this behavior is sometimes difficult to understand, it is imperative that caregivers and parents notice when the behavior of their teenage child is more than just a passing phase.

There are specific conditions that might warrant assistance from a mental health professional. Some conditions that are mistaken for unruly or rebellious behavior include conduct disorder, attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and depression.

An estimated sixteen percent of children have oppositional defiant disorder. Teenagers and children with this disorder are frequently unruly, defiant, argumentative and touchy.

In addition, they are purposefully spiteful and revengeful against those who care for them. They make calculated efforts to do harm to other people, both emotionally and physically. Children suffering from conduct disorder display many of the same types of symptoms as those with oppositional defiant disorder. However, in addition to these symptoms they demonstrate promiscuous sexual behavior as well as frequent substance and alcohol abuse.

Attention deficit disorder is one of the most common behavioral conditions among thirteen to fourteen year olds. Symptoms that would warrant a visit with a behavioral health specialist include the inability to stay focused in class, the inability to remember and restlessness. Often teenagers with attention deficit disorder also have some form of depression or anxiety. Those suffering from depression and anxiety may withdraw from social settings and may talk of suicide. There are several types of anxiety that a teenager can face such as social anxiety or simply generalized anxiety so it is important to recognize the difference between each one.

One expects that at some point all teenagers will have disagreements with their parents as they begin to grow and mature. However, it is important for a parent to seek out professional assistance in these matters so that the negative behavior of their child does not escalate any further. Each of these disorders needs to be addressed by a mental health professional in a timely matter so that the teenager does not do harm to themselves or someone else.

Do you want to learn exactly how to eliminate your child’s out-of-control and defiant behavior without using Punishments, Time-Outs, Behavioral Plans, or Rewards?