Mental Health is not a Weakness

Within the communities of minorities and those who are marginalized, mental health is often considered a weakness. To receive treatment was kept quiet or even frowned upon in BIPOC communities. Since 2008 it has become apparent that there are mental health concerns for minority and marginalized communities. To be more specific, mental health concerns and treatment in Black, indigenous people of color communities receive less attention and treatment. The lack of support for mental health care in BIPOC communities is a problem, so what is the next move?


In taking action to address the issue of mental health for BIPOC communities, it is wise to recall many have lived experiences with trauma in care systems. Although emotional and physical trauma has occurred in years past, it is still very relevant to many. Such historical trauma includes racism, “conversion therapy,” and experimental procedures. Due to these experiences, it may deter people from accessing care or treatment as their lingering fear seems so closer than history says it is.


By standing together to focus on assisting the change of inequality and stigmas, access to care will be just that. The more the light shines on mental health and treatment, people will become more enlightened to seek the help and treatment they need. There will be less shame by their community or embarrassment when it comes to mental health care. Lack of access to treatment is prevalent for BIPOC communities. A system that has shown racism or discrimination and cultural incompetence among its providers make it difficult to access treatment. As stated in the American Psychological Association, 86% of psychologists in the U.S. are White.


Now that the mental health stigma is in continued attention, help is becoming less of a burden to obtain. Furthermore, it is the systemic concern within the healthcare settings that needs addressing until it is set right. There is a peak of treatment underway with positive attention on the matters of mental health treatment for BIPOC communities.

Minority Mental Health Month

In this tech-savvy world and through all the medical advancements the world has to offer, there are continued disparities in the mental health world. There are reports, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, that state racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S are less likely to have access to mental health services. The report also includes, minorities are more likely to receive a lower quality of care and use the emergency departments more often than other racial groups. Limited accessibility to quality mental health care ultimately results in poor mental health outcomes such as suicidal ideations and attempts.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

  • In 2017, 41.5% of youth ages 12-17 received care for a major depressive episode, but only 35.1% of black youth and 32.7% of Hispanic youth received treatment for their condition.
  • Asian American adults were less likely to use mental health services than any other racial/ethnic group.
  • In 2017, 13.3% of youth ages 12-17 had at least one depressive episode, but that number was higher among American Indian and Alaska Native youth at 16.3% and among Hispanic youth at 13.8%.

In 2017, 18.9% of adults (46.6 million people) had a mental illness. That rate was higher among people of two or more races at 28.6%, non-Hispanic whites at 20.4%, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders at 19.4%.

PTSD Awareness Month


Along with Pride and Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month, June is also PTSD Awareness Month.


Have you ever thought about how many people are affected by PTSD? 


It may not just be the person diagnosed with it, but loved ones are also affected by the symptoms of PTSD. Even though PTSD treatments work, most people who have PTSD don’t get the help they need. There are currently about 8 million people in the United States with PTSD. June is PTSD Awareness Month. Making it know that effective PTSD treatments are available. 


Those who have PTSD—whether they are veterans or someone who has a history of sexual assault, serious accidents, natural disasters, or other traumatic events—need to know that treatments really do work.


To learn more about PTSD visit the National Center for PTSD


If you are someone you love is suffering from PTSD, please give us a call to schedule an assessment 24/7. Treatment is only one phone call away.

June is Pride Month

June is Pride Month! It is a time when we can recognize LGBTQ communities to show love and embrace differences and exuberate self-pride. This year may feel different because of COVID-19 restrictions of large scale events and physical distancing. Despite the obstacles, everyone can still participate and encourage others on LGBTQ pride.

Here are a few ways you can #BeTheDifference this Pride Month.

  1. Attend a virtual celebration. Virtual celebrations are happening throughout the month. There are many to choose from or you can start your own.
  2. Practice self-care. According to the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) curriculum, self-care is an important way to take care of your mental health and well-being and will give you the ability to better support those around you. Take small steps while at home this month to practice self-love and self-care while connecting with your family and friends.
  3. Connect with loved ones. Communication with loved ones via phone calls, text messages, video chats and social media can make the difference.

Together celebrating Pride Month and embracing diversity, acceptance and love can make a difference.


Share and help spread the word.

#BeTheDifference During Pride Month

June is Men’s Mental Health Month

In the modern world, today, men are groomed to withhold their feelings. It is socially accepted/normal for a man not to show their emotions, let alone talk about them. So, the understanding of the “why” is apparent. The National Institute of Mental Health performed a study and found that men are less likely to talk about their feelings than women. The results of not articulating their emotions can cause some men to cope with their feelings with physical aggression, drugs, or alcohol. The National Institute of Mental health states, “over 75 percent of suicide victims in the United States were men.”

Suicide rates are the highest among the elderly male population of 85 years and older. Not too far behind, numbers are climbing amongst other groups of men with gender disparities and sexual orientation. The five major mental health illnesses affecting men are depression, anxiety, psychosis and schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and eating disorders. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

It is socially healthy to seek help when help is needed. Self Care also includes seeking medical or mental health assistance when necessary. June is Men’s Mental Health Month all month long. If the thought of mental health services never existed, now is the time to think about it and take a step towards a healthier life.

Additional Resources

How to Cope with Grief

Do you know what the five stages of grief and loss are?

  1. Denial and isolation
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance.

Not everyone feels every single stage, nor does it go in order.

To mourn can be a response to one’s terminal illness, the loss of a close relationship, or to the death of a valued being, human, or animal.

It’s okay to feel what you are feeling. It won’t last forever.


Here are seven ways to help cope:

  1. Awkward attempts from friends to console you may happen and thank them and let them know it’s natural to feel the way you do.
  2. Self-care is essential, so go for a walk, eat healthily, and get a good night’s rest.
  3. Focus on the good things around you.
  4. Understand your limits and know its okay to take breaks when needed. But return to the task as many times as is necessary to complete it.
  5. Sometimes helping others will help you. Try volunteering for something you feel passionate about to occupy your time.
  6. Need more support? Join a grieving support group to know you are not alone in this.
  7. The most important part of all the steps is to remember to be kind and love yourself.


Feeling Grief Means Being Alive: 7 Tips to Help


By SSBH Staff

Celebrating Health Care Workers Everywhere – It’s Hospital Week!

To begin, we want to start by showing appreciation to the staff at South Sound Behavioral Hospital. You all work so hard, and leadership appreciates everything you do!

Sunday, May 10, 2020, kicked off Hospital Week, a week-long celebration of appreciation for hospital staff. Health care workers play vital roles ranging from those in the business office and operations to those on the front lines working directly with patients.

In a world of uncertainty, South Sound Behavioral Hospitals staff remain to be impervious. Our MHT’s, Nurses, Doctors, Social Workers, Counselors, Receptionists, Kitchen Staff, Housekeeping, Security, Maintenance, Discharge Planners, HIM team, IT, and Administration have all responded exceedingly well. They are showing up during a particular time in healthcare history that is unlike anything we have ever seen in our lifetime, and we are in awe of how well they have adapted to our ever-changing new normal. Many have had to revise work schedules, learn to navigate telehealth and remote video conferencing for meetings, work overtime, or pull a double shift, all the while continuing to show compassion for each other and the patients.

Many of you go home exhausted from the day and scared for the next, but return ready to do their part. There is no doubt that healthcare workers are essential, needed, and devoted to their field; they are true superheroes!

From everyone here at SSBH to our fellow healthcare family all around the world, we recognize you, appreciate you, and honor you.

Happy Hospital Week!

Nurses, We Solute You!

Nurses are vital, crucial, necessary, needed, amazing, and brilliant groups of people. No matter where they go or what they do, they are always on duty. When there is a call for help, and a nurse is present, they are always first to the rescue. Nurses are in the circle of life from the beginning, middle, and end. When everyone has their ups and downs, nurses are there to provide the care and the emotional support everyone needs. They brave every day on the frontlines working with people who are minimally ill to the most acute. They do so much for others, sometimes forgetting to take care of themselves.

This week we commemorate what they do and who they are.


Nursing can be hard
Its heartache and tears.
Its thankless patients and overbearing administration
It’s working long shifts on tired feet
But it’s also rewarding
Nurses are protectors, guardians, and lifesavers.
Nurses are the TRUE salt of the earth.
Nurses enhance and give meaning to existence.





Special Offers for Nurses During National Nurses Month



Adidas is offering a 40% discount for nurses and other medical professionals.


Crocs is donating 10,000 free pairs of shoes a day to healthcare workers on the frontlines of COVID-19.


Starbucks will give out a free tall brewed (hot or iced) coffee to first responders and frontline healthcare workers through the end of May.

Free nursing ebooks

Amazon offers a selection of free Kindle books for nurses

Free Cinnabon

Cinnabon has traditionally offered free cinnamon rolls for nurses during National Nurses Week. Offers may vary by location.

Outback Steakhouse

Get 10% off your meal with a valid ID.

Free vacation home stay

Better Vacations is offering free stays in their vacation homes in Las Vegas and Indianapolis to nurses, from now until May 15. “We want to thank our front line medical staff who are continuing to work countless hours, are traveling to support other hospitals, and who are putting the lives of others before their own,” the company said.

Free Krispy Kreme donuts

On every Monday through National Nurses Week, Krispy Kreme is offering free dozens of donuts to nurses and other healthcare workers. Get your free donuts by showing your badge at a Krispy Kreme drive-through.

Free therapy

TalkSpace is offering a free month of online therapy to nurses and other healthcare workers.

Discounted Mrs. Fields cookies

Mrs. Fields is offering 40% off its Heroes Collections cookie tins with the promo code HERO to honor nurses and other frontline workers. The tins can be delivered to your local hospital, doctor’s office, or other medical location.

HSN discount

Nurses can get $10 off $20 when they make their first HSN purchase.

Skechers discount

Skechers is offering a 30% discount on shoes for nurses and other essential workers through May 31, 2020.

Lovesac discount

Through May, Lovesac is offering a 40% discount to nurses and other frontline workers.

Sparkling water giveaway

From May 6 to May 12, Waterloo Sparkling Water is giving away 500 free 8-pack and 12-pack case coupons to nurses and other healthcare workers. You can comment on Waterloo’s Instagram and Facebook pages for a chance to win the free cases. You can also tag a nurse to enter them in the giveaway.

Free Jamba Juice

From May 6 to May 13, whenever you buy a smoothie or bowl for delivery on the Jamba app or, Jamba will donate a smoothie to a nurse or other essential worker, including doctors, teachers, and mail carriers. You can nominate a specific nurse or other frontline worker for a freebie on Jamba’s ‘Whirld of Good’ website, which will be live on May 6.

Verizon discount

Verizon is now expanding its ‘Those Who Serve Plan Discount’ to nurses and teachers. Qualifying new or existing Verizon customers can get unlimited plans for as low as $30 per month for four lines, as well as Fios 200mbps internet for as low as $34.99. Find more information here.

Free tax preparation

Through the month of May, H&R Block is offering free state and federal tax return preparation services to nurses and other frontline workers. Upload a valid badge or medical ID, and H&R Block will waive tax prep fees.

Free Subway sandwiches via Postmates

Through May 10, for every Subway order of $15 or more made through Postmates, Subway will donate a 6-inch sub to nurses and other healthcare workers.

Mental Health Awareness Month

What does that statement mean? Is it a statement to remind people that mental health issues do occur and that we should all be aware of them? Or is it a month to take care of our own mental health?

The answer to these questions is YES, and more. There’s so much to know about mental health and how to deal with those suffering from mental illnesses. It all starts with the stigma. Stigma is when someone sees you negatively because of your mental illness. Discrimination is when someone treats you negatively because of your mental illness. Social stigma and discrimination can worsen mental health problems and stop a person from getting the help they need.

The year 2020 has been a challenging year so far for all of us. It has established itself with so many challenging situations. Although mental illness has been viewed by many as a normal “sickness” in today’s world, the mainstream stigma still hangs around. Despite the existence of effective treatments for mental disorders, there is a belief that they are untreatable or that people with mental disorders are difficult, not intelligent, or incapable of making decisions. This stigma can lead to abuse, rejection, and isolation and exclude people from health care or support. Now, imagine how a loved one who has a mental illness feels while in a world of a pandemic, gripping with the feeling of not being able to get the help that they need. Stigma can feel like overwhelming obstacles for someone who is struggling with a mental health condition.

Here are a few powerful things you can do to help bring awareness to Mental Health Awareness:

  • Showing individuals respect and acceptance can help take away obstacles assisting in successfully coping with their illness.
  • Advocating within our circles helps ensure these individuals have the same rights and opportunities.
  • Educating ourselves on mental health allows us to provide helpful support to those affected in our families and communities.
  • Most importantly, having people see you as an individual and not as your illness can make the most significant difference for someone who is struggling with their mental health.



It Can Be Treatable

Mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking, or behavior (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress or problems functioning in social, work, or family activities.

Fortunately, several mental health disorders can be treated effectively, and the prevention of mental health disorders is a growing area of research and practice. Mental Health Stigma has been slowly dissipating as the idea of caring for one’s mental health has now increasingly become a priority. Early detection and action to assist are the two components to find quick manageable relief of a burden that can be ongoing without support. Established treatment due to early diagnoses can decrease the disease burden of mental health disorders as well as associated chronic diseases. To ensure longer comfortable lives, mental health assessments, and addressing the disorders are needed at the first sign of a potential problem.

As part of staying healthy, mental health is essential for a person’s complete wellbeing. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and healthy relationships encompasses a whole body and mind to remain healthy. Not keeping alignment physically and mentally can take a toll on a person and their community. The most concerning populations with the highest risk of unhealthy and unsafe behaviors are those with mental health issues that have gone untreated, especially in children and adolescents. Dangerous behaviors that can arise can include substance abuse, violent or self-destructive behavior, and even suicide. Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States for all age groups and the second leading cause of death among people age 25 to 34.

Again, the best thing anyone of us can do to take control of their mental health is to seek help and treatment early!