Every year, Kentuckians set off thousands of fireworks.
While there are legal issues if you set off fireworks, we all know they will happen sometime in our neighborhoods.
But did you know fireworks can be a mental health issue for your neighbors?
For some, hearing a firework near their home begins a cycle of intense fear, flashbacks to past events, and even paranoia for several days.
Post Traumatic Stress can happen in anyone who has experienced trauma. Victims of gun violence, military veterans, immigrants from war-torn countries, and many others could have damaging, negative experiences because of your celebration.
If you are going to set off personal fireworks somewhere, please use the following tips to minimize the mental health damage to your neighbors:
If you are experiencing PTSD, some tips for you:
If you are concerned you or a loved one has PTSD, please take a free mental health screening at mhaky.org/mental-health-screenings.html. If you need more information, please reach out to us at 859-684-7778 (call or text) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Maggie Almasri
Resources, learning tools, and activities for children and parents at-home in quarantine.
Many people are struggling during this time. With a lot of daycares not open due to the pandemic, we understand how difficult this can be for parents. We hope this guide will help parents better understand coping methods for their children and provide them with fun at-home activities to deal with boredom.
Activities For Children:
- Outdoor Activities
Additional Free Resources:
Tips for Parents:
-Understanding coping methods
Have tips and ideas that aren't in our original post? Send them to email@example.com and we'll be happy to add.
By Casey Malley
Summer 2020 may cause for a change in summer plans, but there are still ways for your children to enjoy their time off school, instead of laying on the couch all day complaining that they are bored and that there is nothing to do.
Here is a list of 10 different options to do with your kids, while proactively social distancing from others!
1. Virtual Summer Camps! As summer is a time to go visit different zoos, museums and aquariums are a fun place to learn about the world around us, many are offering virtual camps and tours to keep your young ones curious about the world around them.
Check out this USA Today article below and Jamestown Settlement’s website to see what children museums are offering online programs!
As some areas start to open up for the summer, this is a perfect time to take your kids camping. Camping is not only a great time to spend quality time together, it is also a great time to teach your young ones some useful tips of survival. Teaching young ones how to build fires, make a tent, fish, or even make a meal over the flame, it is a fun and interactive time spent with nature. The link below takes you to all the different states to help you find out what campgrounds are open near you! https://thedyrt.com/magazine/local/campground-closures-list-covid-19/#state parks
Even if you are not the most outdoorsy type of people, camping can also be a blast in your backyard! Setting up a tent, making hotdogs over a fire and enjoying s'mores, catching lightning bugs, playing different campfire songs and games and much more, this can be a time to have the whole family be outside and enjoy each other’s company. Even if you're just in your backyard, there is just something different than sleeping on a sleeping bag compared to one's bed- as it can create stories for years to come.
3. Pool closed? No problem!
4. Sign Up for your local library Summer Reading Program!
Many different schools and districts are offering reading programs, to get its students engaged with each other and to keep their minds working. The link below takes you to Kentucky’s summer reading programs, along with the reminders of the importance of reading. https://kdla.ky.gov/librarians/programs/summerreading/Pages/default.aspx
5. Wild Safari Drive Thru! Looking for a little bit of a roadtrip to the safari? Stay in your car, and watch and feed all of the exotic animals.
This is a perfect time to teach your kids how to bike, and if they already do, this summer is a great way to enjoy time together and take some rides along different trials throughout Kentucky. Not only is this a fun activity for everyone to do, it is also a great way to stay active during the summer, as biking is a great workout.
7. Drive- In Movie Theaters!
As the weather is starting to get warmer consistently, enjoy time in your car, socially distant from others, by enjoying new films coming out this summer at a Drive- In Movie Theater. Put all the seats down in the car and lay in the trunk of your car with blankets or bring lawn chairs and blankets to set up outside your car to enjoy the film!
8. Become a Scientist! Dedicate one day of each week to experimenting different science experiments. This is not only fun, but teaches your kids problem- solving issues, while doing hands on activities.
Some examples can be making volcanoes, slime, homemade ice cream, view the different density of liquids, make a balloon blow up with yeast, and so much more!
9. Master the Kitchen!
Try new recipes in the kitchen. Have each person in the family find a recipe and have them be in charge of cooking it for everyone (help the kids out, obviously). This can be a great way to venture out people’s appetite and change the family’s eating habits!
10. Make a garden! Make a garden in your yard, and teach your children the responsibilities of taking care of the plants. Teach them how to weed out an area for the soil, how to properly plant each plant, how to make sure no animals get into the plants, and some basics of yard work. Don’t be afraid to get our hands dirty.
You can also make a birdhouse and put it out by the garden, along with a bird feeder, to bring nature into your yard, and see all the different kinds of birds that come into your yard.
If you want to share your kids' activities with us, please post on social media with #MHAKY or send photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to email us with YOUR tips and tricks.
At Mental Health America of Kentucky, we provide mental health education, information, and resources to anyone who asks for it. We aim to do so in a spirit of cultural humility, deferring to individuals with lived experience to tell us what they need and what changes they’d like to see.
People don’t typically reach out for mental health information or education when they’re comfortable.
We have uncomfortable and difficult conversations all the time. We will continue to have them.
We hear you, Black Lives Matter.
We hear you, Louisville.
We hear you.
All of you.
We see your tears, your anguish, your stress, your anxiety.
We share information about your health inequities and we lift it up in statewide discussions. We continue to promote healing of trauma - including racial trauma - through training and information sessions.
The time for listening is still now, but we hear you asking for additional action.
We can’t fix racism alone. Our board is more diverse than ever, but we’re in need of more of your voices at our table. We’re rededicating ourselves to recruit board members whose voices are strong in their communities - not just geographic communities - but cultural, racial, and ethnic communities.
We rededicate ourselves to addressing disparities in mental health treatment in Kentucky.
There are far too few Black mental health professionals in the Commonwealth and across the United States. We rededicate ourselves to promoting the stories of those professionals who do practice here and will continue asking mental health professional organizations to promote their work to Black Kentuckians. We will continue to lift up the voices of Black persons with lived experience.
There is no health without mental health.
There is no mental health in a commonwealth that promotes or tolerates white supremacy and racial injustice.
Mental health providers and peers are available at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-372-8255 and via text (“MHA”) to 741741.
Contact us if you would like to be at our table. Email email@example.com or call/text 859-684-7778.
Grieving the Derby:
Mental Health Tips for Getting Through This Together
By Marcie Timmerman, Executive Director, Mental Health America of Kentucky
The Kentucky Derby is much more than a two-minute horse race. It is an event that signals Spring is here and Summer is on its way. It is a gathering of family and friends. It means special food, special drinks, hats, flowers, and a feeling of pride in being from Kentucky. The 2020 Kentucky Derby has been postponed to September because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The postponement has led to feelings of deep sadness, loneliness, anger, and all the other emotions that come from grief. It's one piece of an overall grief for the pre-pandemic "normal." We have collected some tips for helping yourself and your family get through this time.
a note from coalition partner Fr. Patrick Delahanty of Louisville:
Senate Bill 154 is to ban executions of seriously mentally ill persons and will be heard in the S. Judiciary CommitteeThursday, February 27th.
Because the vote will be close in committee, we need your help badly. If your State Senator is: Stephen West, Danny Caroll, Michael Nemes, John Schickel, Will Shroeder, or Phillip Wheeler, they are a member of the committee who has not committed to YEs and it is very important that he hears from you before next week's vote.
Please call 1.800.372.7181 and ask the staff person to deliver a message to your State Senator.
This is the message: Dear Senator I support passage of Senate Bill 154. I believe that when a person is seriously mentally ill at the time of a crime, even a heinous crime like murder, they should not be held to the same standard of culpability as you or I who are not mentally ill. This bill exempts them from the death penalty, but still holds them accountable by providing for lengthy prison sentences, even life without parole. I urge you to join me in supporting SB 154 when it comes up for a vote in committee on February 27. Please let me know how you plan to vote.
Please use the above language or words of your own choosing to make it clear you support the bill and you want their support. As a constituent your voice is very important and now is the time to press for support. On behalf of all those whose lives may be saved after this bill passes, I thank you. This fact sheet was prepared for the House version of the bill, but applies equally to SB 154. You are part of that 82% of Kentuckians who support this measure. You might want to let your State Senator know that also.
Photo credit: Steve Benson/Creators Syndicate, US News World Report
by Marcie Timmerman
Homeless teens in Kentucky who are over age 16 deserve to receive mental health treatment.
They can't currently get it.
Teens in homelessness who are separated from their parents, or disowned by their parents, are not eligible to receive mental health treatment without their parents' permission. The same parents whose behaviors or attitudes may have been reasons for the teen being homeless.
HB 213 would clearly outline that mental health professionals can provide services to teens in homelessness who are age 16 or older without parental permission. It has been referred to the Senate Health & Welfare Committee and has a real chance of passing.
Please call 1-800-372-7181 and leave a message for Senate Health & Welfare Committee to hear and pass this bill. This 2 minute phone call will help move it forward, and likely will save a life. We know for a fact they hear the bills they hear the most about. There's no opposition to this bill. Let's get it passed in 2020.
Holiday Stress? Worried about surviving Winter Break?
We've gathered some resources on both of those topics!
Short list of our favorite tips:
Additional Resources you can share with your families and friends:
5 Things To Do When the Holidays Aren't Exactly Uplifting by MHA National
Winter Break Survival Tips for College Students by MHA National
Holiday Depression & Stress by MHA Wisconsin
Women and the Holiday Blues by the American Psychological Association
Making the Most of the Holiday Season by the American Psychological Association
Stress, Depression and the Holidays by the Mayo Clinic
How to Manage Holiday Stress and Depression by the American Institute of Stress
5 Ways to Manage Your Health Over the Holidays by Forbes
How to Cope with Grief During the Holidays by Psychology Today