Cantata Health Solutions Blog
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Mental Health Awareness: 20 Tips To Positive Well-Being
Throughout Mental Health Awareness Month, Cantata Health Solutions has been sharing mood-boosting and spirit-lifting activities that our team members engage in, hoping to inspire others to practice self-care. Although this month is coming to a close, mental health matters all year round.
Many years ago, seeing a psychiatrist, or “shrink” as it was commonly and inappropriately referred to, was for the “unhealthy” and “mentally unstable.” It was looked down upon, and if you saw one, people deemed you “not well.” Luckily, that is not the case anymore. Mental health counseling is, generally, much more accepted, and can be effective in helping anyone struggling with life issues, big or small. It is always best to talk about and confront your emotions, rather than keep them bottled up.
Many triggers cause one to develop a mental illness. Some are genetic; some stem from environmental issues such as childhood trauma and stress at school or work; some are undetermined. Regardless, these illnesses are as real as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, cancer, and other severe medical conditions, but unlike most medical conditions, often mental health issues are stigmatized. Some people may think these conditions are self-inflicted; some do not believe they are real. When people suffering from these conditions reach out for help, they may hear replies such as “man up” or “stop worrying about it,” as if it were that easy.
Workers have been leaving the healthcare industry in droves over the past few years. Since February, 2020, hospital employment has decreased by nearly 94,000, including over 8,000 between August and September, 2021, alone. Another study predicted there will be a critical shortage of 3.2 million healthcare workers by 2026. Although the COVID-19 pandemic may have been the last straw for healthcare workers, long shifts, little time off, and hectic work environments were other driving forces behind the decision to quit.
If you are in school, have a job, bills to pay, or family/friends to care for, you probably deal with stress often. In other words, stress affects everyone and is almost unavoidable. Studies estimate that 84% of Americans deal with stress weekly, and the only way to overcome it is to change your thinking and face it head on.
In the rapidly evolving behavioral health industry, providers should ask themselves if their current technology, including their EHR, is adept enough to handle the rising caseload. As we slowly return to life pre-pandemic, providers must assess which methods to keep and which to abandon.
Gender representation is essential across all industries, but more so in healthcare. Women clinicians may have an easier time diagnosing and treating female patients because they know first-hand what they may be going through. In addition, female patients may feel more comfortable discussing physical or psychological issues with a female doctor. Learn more abut two of Cantata’s women leaders, Nancy Brill and Julie Fox.
Integration in health and human services remains an elusive goal. Which is curious, since it is important to both consumers and payers, for different reasons. The current state of coordination of care for most consumers is far from “coordinated.” In many cases, basics like trying to get records from one health care professional to another or just getting an appointment with a specialist can take herculean efforts. And when you add in integration with all the services that a person/or family system needs, the efforts are tripled.
Speaking out about mental health is essential in spreading awareness and normalizing it. The more people share their struggles; the more others will confront their own and seek help. This accelerates when celebrities with big platforms come forward.
As we enter the third year of the pandemic, healthcare leaders will continue to make further adjustments to their organizations to meet the needs of the evolving industry. From the providers who treat the illnesses to the tools that assist them, here are four trends in behavioral health for 2022 and how Cantata’s Managed Services can help.