Promotion of Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Well-Being in the U.S.
“Too often I have heard the words ‘there’s nothing I can do’ or ‘really, what can one person do?’ In my experience, I can respond PLENTY!!! This is especially true in the area of emotional, mental and behavioral well-being” says Honorable Judge Martha Kilgore. Prevention, early intervention, and mental health promotion can help assure the health of young children and adolescents. There are several core concepts behind the science of prevention and promotion:
Prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders requires a shift in focus. Instead of addressing a disorder after it occurs, prevention means supporting the healthy development of young people starting at birth.
Mental health and physical health go hand in hand. Young people who grow up in good physical health are likely to also have good mental health; similarly, good mental health contributes to good physical health.
Successful prevention must involve many different groups, including informed parents, professional educators (e.g., elementary school teachers), as well as mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals.
Promotion of mental health is essential throughout a young person’s developmental life cycle – from the earliest years of life through adolescence and young adulthood – as well as in a variety of settings such as families, schools, neighborhoods, and communities.
WHAT IS MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH?
Mental, emotional, and behavioral health refers to the overall psychological well-being of individuals and includes the presence of positive characteristics, such as the ability to manage stress, demonstrate flexibility under changing conditions, and bounce back from adverse situations.
Factors that Impact the Healthy Development of Young People
Exposure to risk and protective factors affects the healthy development and mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being of young people. Risk factors are conditions or characteristics that put an individual at greater risk for a specific health problem or disorder. Protective factors are personal traits or conditions in families and communities that, when present, contribute to an individual’s well-being. While protective factors can make people resilient to mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders, risk factors can be detrimental to mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being. Some risk factors include: ·
Negative experiences when communicating with others in the home.
An inability to confide in at least one close family member.
The absence of positive role models.
Loneliness or a perceived lack of safety, isolation, confusion and abuse.
Experiencing trauma or serious loss, such as the death of a parent or other traumatic experience, especially early in life.
Failing to maintain good physical health; physical and mental health are closely intertwined, and poor physical health can lead to the development of serious mental health issues.
Alcohol and drug abuse increases the risk of mental health problems and can make pre-existing problems worse, and vice versa.
What Communities Can Do
Parents and Caregivers
Create a positive home environment by focusing on these key elements:
Create and maintain a safe and secure environment, which includes making children feel valued and comfortable with sharing their problems.
Ensure positive educational experiences both at home and in school.
Be sure that you and your child communicate effectively and often.
Limit the presence of alcohol and cigarettes and do not use illicit drugs. These items have long term, negative consequences for emotional health.
In addition to the positive actions you can do at home to ensure your child’s well-being, ask your child’s doctor about routine mental, emotional, and behavioral health screenings. Seek outside medical help from a physician or one of the additional resources listed below if:
You recognize changes in your child’s behavior that concern you. Such changes would be severe, persistent, and impact your child’s ability to take part in daily activities.
Your child experiences problems such as changes in appetite or sleep patterns, social withdrawal or constant fearfulness.
Your child exhibits signs of distress such as sadness or tearfulness, or self-destructive behavior.
Community Leaders and Organizations
By funding mental health-related programs and awareness initiatives, communities can proactively prevent behavioral health problems rather than waiting until these issues develop and treatment is the only available option. Communities can also develop strategies to publicly communicate the importance of mental health and the value of preventive services. Communities can implement evidence-based promotion and prevention services for young children, adolescents, and the caregivers of children with mental health issues like programs on the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and
Create and support healthy families and communities that are nurturing and positive, provide stimulating activities, engage in positive communication, and offer support to children and youth, especially during times of stress. Support positive programs like Mental Health Courts or treatment centers.
“One person cannot do everything alone but one person, in collaboration with others, can truly make a difference. This is the philosophy behind the Mental Health Court Program of Pontotoc County. The Mental Health Court Team strives to meet the needs of the individuals in the Program so they can function appropriately and contribute positively to our community. The
promotion of an individual’s wellness is important to all of us, including our community and our children” asserts Honorable Judge Kilgore. For further information regarding the Pontotoc County Mental Health Court Program call Mr. Larry Throne, Program Director, at 580-427-6418.
This information has been brought to you by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Pontotoc County Drug Free Coalition as part of Nation Prevention Week 2012.
Suicide Prevention in the U.S.
Each year, suicide accounts for more than 37,000 deaths in the United States. The loss of someone to suicide resonates among family, friends, coworkers, and others in the community; it has been estimated that for each person who dies by suicide, 5 to 10 other people are severely affected by the loss. Family and friends may experience a range of painful emotions, such as shock, anger, guilt, and depression. Suicide can occur across demographics, but certain groups are more at risk than the general population. Problems with intimate partner relationships and mental and physical health problems are factors that have been associated with the occurence of suicide.
Suicide is devastating, but there are resources and information available to help prevent it. Learn more to be the one who makes a difference.
Who is at higher risk of suicide? ·
Teenagers and young adults: Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year olds.
Military Service Members: On average, a member of the Armed Forces dies by suicide every 36 hours.
Vterans: Suicide is the cause of death of an estimated 18 U.S. veterans each day.
American Indians/Alaskan Natives: Rates of suicide among American Indian/Alaskan Natives ages 15 to 34 are almost double the national average for that age group.
Gay, lesbian and bisexual youth: Gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents in grades 7 through 12 are more than twice as likely to attempt suicide as heterosexuals within the same age range.
Latina girls: Latina girls between the ages of 12 and 17 have the highest rate of suicide attempts among all adolescent ethnic groups.
What Communities Can Do
Families, Friends, Educators, Coworkers and Other Community Members
Learn and recognize the warning signs of suicide, including:
Talking about: wanting to die or kill oneself, being a burden to others, feeling hopeless or having no reason to live, or feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
Withdrawing or feeling isolated, displaying extreme mood swings, or increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge, acting anxious or agitated, or sleeping too little or too much.
You can help someone who is considering suicide by taking one or more of the following steps:
Listen and don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong. Allow the person in need to express his or her feelings without passing judgment or acting shocked.
Be direct and get involved. Talk openly and matter-of-factly, showing interest and support for the person at risk.
Don’t be sworn to secrecy – seek support and professional help for the person at risk.
Offer hope that alternatives are available.
Get help from people or agencies that specialize in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
Seek confidential help, available 24 hours a day, through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a toll-free service funded by SAMHSA.
Community Coalitions and Organizations
Meet with local officials and ask them to support suicide prevention in the community and Statewide. Facilitate trainings on different topics, such as intervention skills, for key stakeholders and community members. Provide informational materials to schools or at local events.
Help prevent suicide by establishing comprehensive crisis plans, and school-based prevention and anti-bullying programs.
Parents and Caregivers
Ask your child’s friends and teachers if you have concerns about your child’s behavior. Spend at least 15 minutes per day listening and talking to your children. Ask about their concerns, and express what you’ve heard back to them to make sure you understand each other.
This information is being brought to you by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Pontotoc County Drug Free Coalition and Chickasaw Nation Meth/Suicide Prevention Initiative as part of National Prevention Week 2012. For information regarding programs for suicide alertness and intervention, contact Deana.Carpitche@chickasaw.net. Stay
tuned for more information throughout Prevention Week.
Prevention of Alcohol Abuse in the U.S.
Alcohol abuse is a widespread issue in the United States. Even though it’s legal for individuals over age 21 to purchase and drink alcohol, many consume alcohol at levels that pose safety and health risks for themselves and others. Excessive alcohol use can cause serious problems and, for some, may lead to dependence. Alcohol abuse can affect people of all ages, and problems associated with alcohol dependence take a toll on the individual who drinks, as well as their families, children, workplace, and communities.
Alcohol abuse can lead to risky and dangerous behavior. SAMHSA asserts that in 2010, almost 29 million people reported that they drove under the influence of alcohol at least once in the past year. Men were almost twice as likely as women to drive under the influence (15 vs. 8 percent), and people aged 21 to 25 were most likely to take this risk (23 percent).
People wo drink heavily are more likely to use illicit drugs. Among almost 17 million heavy drinkers, 32 percent were current illicit drug users in 2010. Only 4 percent of people who did not drink at all and 7 percent of people who drank but not heavily reported using illicit drugs in the past month. Among heavy alcohol users aged 12 or older, over 54 percent smoked cigarettes in the past month, while only 18 percent of current drinkers who did not binge drink and 16 percent of people who did not drink alcohol at all were current smokers.
SAMHSA also states: Parents and adults who abuse alcohol expose their families to negative consequences. When parents drink to excess, their children are more likely to use alcohol excessively as they grow up. A recent study has shown that 16 and 17 year olds living with parents who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs are far more likely to drive under the influence than adolescents whose parents do not drive under the influence.A parent’s abuse of alcohol can lead to child abuse, neglect, injuries, and deaths due to motor vehicle accidents.
For anyone who drinks alcohol in excess, there are severe health consequences. Alcohol abuse can lead to dependency, also known as alcoholism. Signs of alcoholism include a tolerance to alcohol or withdrawal symptoms, which include anxiety,
shakiness, sweating, nausea, insomnia, depression, irritability, fatigue, or a headache if alcohol isn’t used. Excessive drinking is known to cause serious liver damage and also to affect the nervous system, muscles, lungs, pancreas, and heart. Excessive alcohol use is linked directly to increased burden from diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and chronic disease.
What Communities Can Do
Family Members and Friends
Recognize the warning signs. Family and friends can help to prevent alcohol abuse by knowing and recognizing the warning signs. Signs to look for include: Repeated alcohol use resulting in neglect of responsibilities at home, work, or school; Using alcohol in situations where it’s physically dangerous; Experiencing repeated legal problems on account of drinking; Cntinuing to drink even though alcohol is causing social or interpersonal problems; and Drinking as a way to relax or de-stress.
Create a positive learning environment and inform college students about the risks of alcohol abuse. Educators and school administrators can influence young people to change their attitudes about alcohol abuse and binge drinking.
Community Leaders and Organizations
Communities can implement prevention strategies that focus on changing the environmental conditions that foster problematic alcohol use. This includes policies that control access and availability, media messages, and enforcement actions. Working
with policymakers, community members can work to regulate the number of alcohol retailers in the community as a whole and in specific neighborhoods, and also restrict sales. Both strategies can help reduce alcohol availability, decrease crime rates, and improve the community.
Join a community coalition or volunteer with a local organization that’s working to prevent alcohol abuse and underage drinking. Pontotoc County Drug Free Coalition meetings on the first Tuesday of every month at 11:30 a.m. at Vision Bank’s Operation Center, 327 E. 14th in Ada, OK. Become media literate to learn that not all media messages (e.g., television ads, portrayals of alcohol use on TV and in the movies) are what they seem. Call attention to depictions of alcohol use that can be misleading because of the presenter’s point of view. Support and encourage others to get professional help if they have alcohol problems to find a substance abuse treatment program, go to http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/ or call 1-800-662-HELP (4537) or 1-800-487-4889 (TDD).
This information is being brought to you by
Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Pontotoc
County Drug Free Coalition as part of Nation Prevention Week 2012. Stay tuned
for more information throughout Prevention Week or visit us on the web at
Prevention of Illicit Drug Use and Prescription Drug Abuse in the U.S.
Illicit drug use and the misuse of prescription medications are widespread problems in the United States. According to SAMHSA, approximately 23 million Americans aged 12 or older, or roughly 9 percent of the population, were current illicit drug users in 2010. These substances include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, and inhalants. In a 2010 report, approximately seven million Americans reported that they currently used prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes.
Most young people refrain from using illicit drugs, but an estimated 1 in 10 youth aged 12 to 17 was a current illicit drug user in 2010.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse warns that drug use among people of all ages is dangerous because it can lead to addiction, reduced self-control and impaired decision-making, in addition to other serious physical consequences. Some drugs can alter the brain in ways that persist after the person has stopped taking drugs, and which may even be permanent. Combining prescription drugs with alcohol or other drugs can lead to heart failure, seizures, and can be lethal. When
taken as prescribed by a doctor or healthcare provider, prescription drugs are safe and effective. But all medicines have risks when misused or abused. It’s important to follow directions on dosages and how often to take these drugs, and never take any medication that’s prescribed for someone else. Drugs can impair perception, cognition, attention, balance, coordination, reaction time, and other capabilities needed for daily activities, such as driving. Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs puts the safety of drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and others on the road at risk.
Using illicit drugs and misusing prescription drugs, including depressants and stimulants, can have severe health consequences: Blurred vision; Hallucinations; Delirium; Dangerous levels of dehydration and overheating; feelings of sadness, anxiety and depression; Thinking and memory difficulties; Slowed pulse and breathing; and Respiratory depression.
Using or abusing illicit drugs can result in more serious consequences: respiratory arrest, heart failure, coma, and death.
What Communities Can Do
Get involved in your child’s day-to-day activities and discuss the risks of using illicit and prescription drugs. By being involved early and consistently, you can help prevent problems before they occur. Parents should also securely store prescription drugs and dispose of unused supplies.
Improve the learning environment by addressing students’ aggressive behaviors and poor concentration, which are risks associated with the eventual onset of drug abuse and related problems.
Community Organizations and Leaders
Implement effective prevention programs, like those listed on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices.
Many signs may indicate that someone is abusing prescription drugs or using illicit drugs, and could also point to other problems. Signs to look for include: Missing prescription drugs (especially narcotics and mood stabilizers), or evidence of drug paraphernalia or inhalant products; Changes in friends, the use of secretive language, increased secrecy about possessions
or activities, or negative changes in school or job performance; Increased use of sprays, perfumes, or mouthwash to mask smoke or chemical odors; and An
increase in borrowing money.
Community members can also utilize Prescription Take-Back Containers to limit the availability of old, unused or expired prescriptions. This is critical as many of our youth and others obtain medications to abuse from family members’ medicine cabinets. See our Links & Resource page for location of these boxes.
This information is being brought to you by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Pontotoc
County Drug Free Coalition as part of Nation Prevention Week 2012. Stay tuned for more information throughout Prevention Week or visit us on the web at www.pcdfc.org.
Prevention of Underage Drinking in the U.S.
According to the Office of Juvenile Justice, although the legal drinking age in the U.S. is 21, young people aged 12 to 20 drink about 11 percent of all alcohol purchased in the United States.
According to SAMHSA, underage drinking is a problem shared by all communities: metropolitan areas, large metropolitan areas, and nonmetropolitan areas have similar rates of underage alcohol use. Excessive drinking is part of the issue: in 2010, among people aged 12 to 20 who reported drinking alcohol in the past month, an estimated 6.5 million people were binge drinkers and
approximately 2 million were heavy drinkers.
Alcohol use can result in short-term, long-term, and even fatal consequences for underage drinkers. It also poses a threat to the safety and well-being of other community members. Underage drinking causes or contributes to: serious physical consequences, adverse effects on young people’s developing bodies and brains, negative behaviors, situations that put others at risk and problems that can continue into adulthood.
The good news is that underage drinking can be prevented.
What Communities Can Do
Parents and Families
Many young people identify parents as the leading influence in their decision to drink or not to drink, making it important for
parents and caregivers to take an active role in preventing underage alcohol use. Monitor your children or other young family members for signs that may indicate involvement in underage drinking. It’s important to remember that these behaviors could also point to other problems.
Some signs that may point to involvement in underage drinking are:
Rebelling against family rules;
Switching friends, along with a reluctance to let you get to know the new friend;
A lack of involvement in former interests;
Mood changes, defensiveness, or a “nothing matters” attitude;
Lack of coordination; and
Educators and School Administrators
Educators and school administrators have an opportunity to discuss the risks of drinking alcohol with their students. You
can help prevent underage drinking by:
Encouraging student involvement in school, a proven factor in reducing underage drinking.
Creating an environment that helps students explore their talents and follow their passions.
Being a caring adult and a mentor.
Relaying information to parents about school policies and the dangers of underage drinking.
Enforcing strict policies against alcohol use on school property and at school events.
Equipping students with knowledge, skills, and motivation to resist pressures to drink.
Putting policies and a mechanism in place for referring students to the appropriate health care providers or other personnel if they need services or treatment.
When discussing or proposing a prevention effort, remember that effective community prevention interventions require a mix of
program components and policy strategies. These might include:
Media campaigns, speeding and drunk driving awareness days, and promotion of telephone help lines;
Peer-led education activities in high schools, programs for college students, and the establishment of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapters;
Information for retail alcohol outlets about underage drinking, health risks, and legal consequences;
Responsible beverage service training programs and the restricted sale of alcohol at public events;
Support for social host liability laws, sobriety and traffic safety checkpoints, and graduated driver licensing laws; and
Enforcement of underage drinking laws.
Find out about underage drinking issues in your community, what your community is already doing to address the problem, and what actions are still needed.
Educate neighbors and community, local, State and Federal leaders about underage drinking issues in your community. Urge them to support policies that combat underage alcohol use.
Please join us for a presentation titled “Time to Re-think Teens & Drinking” at Ada Area Chemical Dependency Center tonight to learn more about this issue and ways to help. The presentation will take place in the Irving Building Room 15 located at 704 N. Oak in Ada, OK from 6:00-7:30 p.m. You can contact AACDC for more information at (580) 332-3001.
This information is being brought to you by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Pontotoc
County Drug Free Coalition as part of Nation Prevention Week 2012. Stay tuned for more information throughout Prevention Week.
You are probably familiar with the great media campaigns created by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and others – Above the Influence, The Anti-Drug – to counteract the negative advertising that bombards youth every day. While these are incredibly important and effective, our kids also deserve to hear these messages from people they know and who care about them, rather than just from the media. They need and deserve us – their parents, caregivers, educators, community leaders, and role models – to take action, get involved, and make a difference in their lives and their community. We can work together to prevent substance abuse by being involved in our children’s lives and providing resources, activities, and support to the youth of our community.
According to statistics compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), half of all lifetime cases of mental and substance use disorders begin by age 14, and three-fourths by age 24. On an average day, 4,617 youths under the age of 18 use an illicit drug for the first time, and 2,000 teens a day use a prescription drug for the first time that wasn’t prescribed to them. Pontotoc county is 9th worst county in the state for misuse of prescription drugs and Oklahoma is the #1 state in the nation for prescription drug misuse. Substance abuse often starts early. Now is the time for us to make a difference in Pontotoc County by joining together, identifying resources, support systems, and alternatives for youth in our community, and raising awareness about the importance of prevention.
Just Talking to youth about substance use and abuse and being involved in their lives can make a difference. Youths aged 12 to 17 who believed their parents would strongly disapprove of their using substances were less likely to use that substance than were youths who believed their parents would somewhat disapprove or neither approve nor disapprove; and In 2010, youths aged 12 to 17 whose parents always or sometimes engaged in monitoring behaviors – like helping with homework – used illicit drugs, smoked cigarettes and binge drank less frequently than those whose parents seldom or never engaged in such Behaviors.
Throughout national Prevention Week 2012, the Pontotoc County Drug Free Coalition will host events and provide information about these critical issues. This is a great opportunity for members of Pontotoc County to work together to raise awareness about this important issue and identify ways in which we can each take action to make a difference in our own lives, our children’s lives, and in our community. We will be kicking off the week with a presentation “Time to Re-think Teens & Drinking” at Ada Area Chemical Dependency Center on Monday May 21, 2012 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. This will take place in the Irving Building Room 15 located at 704 N. Oak in Ada, OK. Please join us & stay tuned for additional information throughout National Prevention Week 2012 or visit us on the web at www.pcdfc.org.
Holli Witherington is the Executive Director of the Brandon Whitten Institute at ECU and the Media Advocacy Chair for Pontotoc County Drug Free Coalition. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 580-559-5815.
Step 4. Made an honest and thorough inventory (assessment) of our community needs relating to addiction.
Wow what an intensive step! But what an important one. PCDFC embarked on this process of a community needs assessment in the Fall of 2011. Through the labor of the Wichita Mountains Prevention Network and multiple coalition members, thousands of pieces of data were collected on Pontotoc County. Information was obtained from National Surveys, community school surveys created by the coalition, OPNA school surveys, medical reports and statistics, court case records, law enforcement interviews, healthcare interviews and surveys, community feedback and surveys, and much much more! A Regional Epidemiology Outcomes Workgroup was established by Sara Metcalf and the Wichita Mountains Prevention Network and the data was analyzed. Intermediate or contributing variables have also been researched and ranked to better ascertain what makes certain substances more abused or used than others. Through our next phases, we will conveying this information to our coalition and the public, so stay tuned!!!
PCDFC continues to work Step 3 everday. From our initial creation through our present state, we have embraced the fact that this is a community effort. Through ongoing meetings, events and messages, PCDFC strives to welcome every member of our community to the table and gladly accepts your help. Perhaps the most notable of these events is described on our website on the tab labeled Step Out of the Darkness 2011. Community members poured out support, encouragement and help for this event in record numbers. Hundreds marched and declared Addiction Affects Us All! The following entities donated time, money or items to support the cause. As always, we appreciate your help and welcome it for future endeavors!!!
Chickasw Nation Meth/Suicide Prevention
Ada Baptist Temple
Ada Federal Employees Credit Union
Ada Fire Department
Ada Police Department
Bath & Body Works
Chickasaw Nation- Meth & Suicide
Cinemark Cinema 6
Diva Nail Salon
East Central Credit Union
Good Book Store
Holiday Inn Express
Honorable Judge Thomas Landrith
Horne & Company
East Central University
Mazin’s Greek House
Moon Baker Agency
Roff First Baptist Church
san remos Pizzeria
Santa Fe Cattle Company
Ted Holt Flooring
Tinker Federal Credit Union
Trinity Baptist Church
Step 2. Came to believe that an effort greater than any one of us alone is needed to restore us to a healthier way of living.
BWI hosted a Pontotoc County Addiction Professionals Awards Reception to congratulate those that work everyday to restore us to a healthier way of living. The reception was dedicated to the late Jim Knowles Award recipients were:
Vicki Orsburn, Pontotoc County Addiction Professional of the Year
Herb Darras, Pontotoc County Addiction Counselor of the Year
Sara Metcalf, Pontotoc County Prevention Professional of the Year
Brandon Whitten Institute, Pontotoc County Addiction Agency of the Year
Latricia Bryant with Ada Regional United Way, Exemplary Community Involvement Award