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Archive by category: SafetyReturn

Can The Weather Affect Your Mental Health?

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Can The Weather Affect Your Mental Health?
As the weather gets worse, so can your mental health. Here are some tips to help cope.
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3 More Apps

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I have three more apps you might be interested in. The first is called ReliefLink.  It has several relapse prevention planning features in one app. 1. Mood tracking plus suicidal thoughts. If the mood is low or suicidal thoughts are present, the app links to your previously made safety plan or other in app resources. 2.  Relaxation Exercises (relaxation and mindfulness)3. Relaxing Music--just hit play and you will hear calming music. Reallllly calm. It's soft so I th...
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Apps for ACT and Mindfulness

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In all IOP groups, we discuss the concept of mindfulness. We often practice this skill in group, but in order to be proficient in this skill, it is something to be practiced regularly. Both of these apps are available for apple and android.
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2 new apps

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There are two new apps from The National Center for Telehealth and Technology. Both are available from iTunes and Google play.  The first is Virtual Hope Box. From the website: "The Virtual Hope Box (VHB) is a smartphone application designed for use by patients and their behavioral health providers as an accessory to treatment. The VHB contains simple tools to help patients with coping, relaxation, distraction, and positive thinking.Patients and providers can work together to...
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Marijuana and Driving

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We know drinking and driving can cause dangerous scenarios. Read here for newest research on smoking pot and driving.  One thing I found interesting was the following: "Drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana had an additive effect, so that drivers using both substances weaved within lanes even if their blood THC and alcohol concentrations were below the impairment thresholds for each substance alone."
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Quitting Smoking Often Increases Caffeine Intake

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If you have been cutting back on smoking, or have quit, you might have noticed an increase in your caffeine use. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's blog has an article about this. Here's a quote: For example, a smoker who usually drank two cups of coffee in the morning with a cigarette will feel stronger caffeine effects from the same two cups after quitting smoking. This is because smoking causes the body to metabolize caffeine more quickly. So, wh...
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Meditation for beginners

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In groups, we ask people to practice meditating as a way to cope with depression, anxiety, and cravings. In most groups, you probably have had the opportunity to practice a little bit.  Once you leave IOP, you might want a little more help. Here is a site that offers a free 7 day course on developing meditation skills. Take note of their tips on how to make meditation part of your daily routine. 
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One Woman's Experience with Moderation Drinking

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Here's an article from Oprah's magazine about a woman who grew up with an alcoholic father, and eventually found herself not happy with her relationship with alcohol. She started working Moderation Management's program. Here's the link to Moderation Management's home page.
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We all have urges to do things that aren't in our best interest long term, whether that is overeating, refusing to eat, self harm, suicide or alcohol/drug use. Learning to recognize urges as urges (which may be very strong and compelling) but not as mandates or musts, takes a bit of work. One skill that can be helpful is called Disarm. It stands for Destructive Self-talk Awareness and Refusal Method.  This is a cognitive behavioral technique that asks us to identify the though...
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New Study on Youth Suicide-Urban vs Rural

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JAMA Pediatrics released yesterday an article about youth suicides, comparing urban and rural settings. While Boise isn't considered rural, much of Idaho is. The study found that suicide rates for both males and females were almost double in rural settings, and that the rates of suicide by firearms were disproportionately higher in rural areas. If you know someone who is coping  with symptoms of depression, consider having a discussion about how you can reduce risk--keepi...
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