Posts Tagged MINES and Associates; Employees; Culture; Company Culture; Psychology;

Kids These Days…

The MINES Team is excited to share our latest article from one of our very talented administrative assistants, Tanya Paulson. Titled “Kids these Day… How to Work with Millennials”, Tanya helps bust some of the assumptions around Generation Y and gives tips on the best ways to synergize with them in the workplace.

The issue can be viewed here starting on page 16: https://goo.gl/ajn6ZB

Tanya’s as well as the rest MINES publications can be viewed here: www.minesandassociates.com/about_staff_publications.html

 

To your wellbeing,

The MINES Team

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Publication Update December 2017

Just a quick update.

Dr. Robert Mines (chairman and psychologist) and Dr. Dani Kimlinger (CEO) from the MINES Team were honored to contribute to an article by Bruce Shutan in this month’s issue of The Self-Insurer. The article is called Beyond Opioids and covers how EAPs, like MINES, and good benefit-plan design can help treat addictions and other substance use issues in an employee population as well as control overall health care spending.

The issue can be viewed here:

 

Check out other Self-Insurer publications here: https://goo.gl/2TjaUV

And check out other MINES publications here: www.minesandassociates.com/about_staff_publications.html

 

To your wellbeing,

The MINES Team

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the ADA: The Legal Side of Psychological Wellbeing at Work

December 3rd is International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and this year’s theme is “Transformation towards a sustainable and resilient society for all”. Transforming workplaces so that they foster resilience among all employees is a worthy goal – one that both MINES and I share with real passion.

Fortunately, most employers now generally understand the links between employee mental health, productivity, absenteeism, and turnover. This is real progress. Unfortunately, only 15% of supervisors and managers are actually trained in how to recognize and respond to employees who may be struggling. This is a problem that MINES and I are taking steps to remedy through our work with our clients and by offering training and consultations to supporters of campaigns like Colorado Mental Wellness Network’s Mental Health Equality at Work.

Employers do not generally associate the Americans with Disabilities Act and Family Medical Leave Act with psychological or mood-related conditions. This knowledge deficit can be problematic because more often than not an employee will reach a point of crisis before exploring potential job accommodations. By that time, it is often too late to save the employment relationship and everybody loses.

This common pattern of “waiting until a crisis” may partly explain the recent surge in depression-related employment discrimination claims filed with the EEOC. These filings increased by 56% between 2003 and 2013, and the EEOC issued written guidance for employees with mental health conditions, as well as their health care providers, for the first time in December 2016.2016

I train supervisors, managers, and HR staff in how to create psychologically healthy workplaces, how to use accommodations as everyday management tools, and how to comply with the ADA and FMLA. Managers are always happy to learn about low- or no-cost accommodation tools they can use right away, instead of making their employees wait for a crisis to occur before requesting them. And, they are relieved to learn that the ADA does not require the elimination of essential functions – a common yet erroneous assumption.

One of the areas I partner with MINES on is training supervisors how to have the early conversation with employees who may be struggling. This is a skill that does not come naturally to most of us – managers don’t want to pry, say the wrong thing, violate an employee’s privacy, play the role of therapist, or step over a legal line of which they’re unaware. MINES personnel have truly mastered this skill over the years.

Another exciting area of partnership with MINES is providing highly specialized mediation and case management services for the toughest ADA and/or FMLA cases involving mental health conditions. Most ADA requests are not challenging to manage. However, some cases are so complex they require the expertise of seasoned psychologists to provide case management guidance and support. Examples include rare diagnoses, some types of personality disorders, and difficulty in finding the right medication or treatment plan. MINES plays an indispensable role in guiding these cases to a sustainable path forward for both the employee and employer.

Lastly, MINES and I collaborate in providing outsourced disability and absence management services nationwide. When we take on this role for our clients, we are truly in the best position to transform workplaces to foster resilience among all employees.

In closing, I hope everyone will celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities with us, by taking proactive steps to accommodate employees at all levels of cognitive, emotional, and social functioning.

 

To Your Wellbeing,

Judge (Ret.) Mary McClatchey

MINES Consultant

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Total Wellbeing: December 2017

 

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December 2017: Physical Wellbeing and Stress

Get Involved!

Welcome to the December issue of TotalWellbeing! If you have been following TotalWellbeing you know that every month we focus on one of the 8 Dimensions of Wellbeing. As we come to the end of the year, stress can increase and your attention to your physical wellbeing may decrease. As the holidays bring forth stress around money for gift giving and around family gatherings, and the many holiday parties you may attend certainly don’t help your nutrition commitments. Please take this time focus on what matters, use your emotional resilience skills to de-stress, and focus on eating healthy.

For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below or check out our newest infographic on Stress for some helpful information around stress in the US and how to managed a stressful situation in  a healthy way.

In case you missed it, November was a great month on MINESblog! We started off with a great post from our affiliate and Alzheimer’s/Dementia expert JJ Jordan for Alzheimer’s Awareness month. Next, we celebrated World Kindness Day with a post talking about how to use kindness to improve your life and the lives of those around you. And finally, we posted about the interplay between stress and physical wellbeing as a tee up to this month’s focus. Be sure to check all of these out for great information and practical resources.

As always, for more information please check out the links to the left or hit the share button to send us a message. To be notified when we post more resources and articles make sure to subscribe to MINESblog. See you next month!

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path: Health, Holidays, and Stress

Physical Wellbeing can encompass a lot of things from exercising regularly, eating healthy, taking time to make sure your stress is worked out through physical activity, and getting enough sleep. Stress can exasperate many medical and mental health conditions. This month is a perfect time to work on your stress by focusing on your physical wellbeing which will help resolve the side effects of stress. The blog on stress and physical wellbeing has some great tips and thoughts on this subject. As the holidays approach it is easy to put aside eating healthy and exercising. However, this is the best time to focus on doing this as it can actually improve your holiday experience and your overall wellbeing.

Check out these tips to incorporate healthy habits during the holidays!

Tips for you:

Emotions are a healthy part of the human experience. Acknowledging emotions and understanding your personal stress style is the first step in beginning to control them. In this session, we will discuss a selection of customary stressors as well as techniques for exercising control over them.

Check out the webinar here!

The Connection: Get Involved

Wellbeing does not simply start and stop at the individual. Our community is connected to each of our own individual wellbeing in a huge way. When we are well we can better function within our community.  We can help our fellow humans thrive, and in turn, when our community is prospering, it helps each of us reach our goals as individuals. So why not help our community so we can all thrive together? Each month we will strive to bring you resources that can help you enhance the wellbeing of those around you or get involved with important causes.

Community Wellbeing Resources:

This month look at how you can expand your knowledge and skills within your community in regards to physical activities. Check out your local community’s website for senior centers where you could volunteer to help take people on a hike or to do yoga. Or look for other ways you can improve your, and others, physical wellbeing.

Click here to find a place to use your skills near you!

If your organization has access to PersonalAdvantage make sure to check out this customizable online benefit available through MINES. It has tons of the same great resources for all the dimensions of wellbeing that we discuss here, along with some articles and a whole section on having a stress free holiday season! If you haven’t checked it out yet, or want to see what resources they have for this month’s topic check out the link below. You’ll need your company login, so make sure to get that from your employer or email us and we’ll be happy to provide that to you.

Check Out PersonalAdvantage Here!

 If you or a member of your household needs assistance or guidance on any of these wellbeing topics, please call MINES & Associates, your EAP, today for free, confidential, 24/7 assistance at 800.873.7138.

Important Links

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2017 Training Catalog

Balanced Living Magazine

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 mines_logo_blue MINES does not warrant the materials (Audio, Video, Text, Applications, or any other form of media or links) included in this communication have any connection to MINES & Associates, nor does MINES seek to endorse any entity by including these materials in this communication.  MINES accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided herein, nor any additional content that may be made available through any third-party site. We found them helpful, and hope you do too!

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Physical Wellbeing and Stress

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), being mindful of your physical wellbeing means recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep in order to maintain a healthy mind and body. Physical wellbeing is an important concept on many levels as your level of physical health has a huge influence on other parts of your life such stress levels, optimal hormone production, and energy levels to name a few. In this blog, my intention is to look at how stress and physical wellbeing interact with each other on a day-to-day basis and explore some things that we can all do to boost our physical wellbeing and lower our stress levels at the same time.

What does Physical Wellbeing Look Like?

The choice to maintain your overall physical wellbeing is one of balance. It doesn’t mean that you need to eat a super strict diet and exercise every day. It is more about creating healthy habits that you do on a consistent basis. If you are mindful of what you eat and how much you exercise, you will naturally start to move towards the healthier path. The more you repeat the behavior, the more you will begin to see the effects and the easier it will become to develop a routine. As you choose the healthier path more often than not, the good habits will grow and soon you won’t have to think about it, eating healthy foods will become the norm and a day where you don’t exercise or do some type of physical activity will feel strange and unproductive.

Before we get ahead of ourselves it is important to remember that physical wellbeing is just as much about making good decisions as it is about avoiding bad ones. For example, excessive drinking and drugs will impact your physical wellbeing in a huge way, as will eating junk food or never exercising, so remain vigilant and avoid the dangerous stuff just as much as you seek out the healthy. If we learn to moderate and balance ourselves it can go a long way in managing the impact of one of the biggest health hazards around, stress.

What is Stress?

Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. While the definition is pretty broad, how each of us experience stress, and the circumstances that may be responsible for our stress, can be very specific and personal. This is one of the reasons there is no “cure-all” or universal way to eliminate stress from your life. The important thing is to monitor yourself for signs of stress and manage any stress in a proactive way to minimize any effects on your wellbeing.

So, what happens when we don’t manage our stress in a healthy and proactive manner? Well, stress can lead to numerous negative effects that can impact our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Some signs of unmanaged stress include fatigue, nausea, muscle tremors, twitches, headaches, anxiety, guilt, grief, fear, depression, irritability, inability to rest, memory and attention problems, trouble sleeping, and more. Again, since each of us has our own unique sources of stress, it is important to understand how you as an individual react to stress and monitor yourself for signs.

How Physical Wellbeing Interacts with Stress

The good news is that there are things that we can do to manage and reduce the stress that we experience. For the purpose of this blog, I will focus on the physical wellbeing side, which includes physical activity, good nutrition, and sleep. Focusing on your physical wellbeing can both manage current stress as well as prevent future stressors such as disease and health conditions caused by poor physical wellbeing, so it really is a win/win situation!

Exercise

First, as a proactive management tool, exercise is one of the best and healthiest ways to manage the stressors of our daily lives. Exercise helps your muscles get rid of stress-induced tension and acids that build up, while also helping your body release feel-good endorphins that will help you relax. It will be important to develop an exercise routine that is aerobic, so you get all the heart-healthy benefits and make it fun so you’ll continue to enjoy doing it.

In addition to higher energy levels and relaxation benefits, another “pro” of regular exercise is a higher quantity and better quality of sleep. Now we will talk about sleep more in a bit, but for now I just wanted to note that it is important to stick to your exercise routine when you are stressed or tired. One of the reasons for this is that while we sleep our body uses this time to regulate chemicals in our body including neurotransmitters and hormones. When we don’t get enough sleep, those chemicals can be out of balance, but when we exercise it helps to balance out those same chemicals, meaning that when you don’t get enough sleep it becomes more important to exercise in order to keep your body in stasis.

Some exercise tips include:

  • Get a workout buddy. When you have a reliable partner to workout with, it makes exercise more fun. You can encourage and hold each other to the commitments that you have both made.
  • Talk to your doctor. A doctor can help gauge where your physical wellbeing is at now and help set healthy goals to strive for. This will also help you approach your goals in a safe and calculated way specific to your individual needs.
  • Avoid Boredom. Don’t set yourself up for failure by selecting activities you know you hate. If you can’t stand running in place on a treadmill, run outside or bike instead. Working out in solitary not your thing? Try group classes to shake things up.

Nutrition

Next up is nutrition. Good eating habits centered around eating regular, nutritious meals will further help your body stay chemically balanced, improve energy levels, and reduce the chances of stress causing disease caused from poor nutrition including obesity and diabetes.

When developing your nutritional goals, it will be important to focus on foods low in fat, sodium, and refined sugars. Look for foods containing complex and complete carbohydrates such as whole wheat breads and flours. When purchasing meat, think about using leaner options such as turkey bacon and chicken over fat-heavy pork. Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and limit alcohol consumption.

It can also be important how you eat. As much as you can help it, eating should not be a rushed or stressed endeavor. Try to set aside enough time that you don’t need to rush through your food. Not only will this lead to easier digestion, but mindful eating can be a time for relaxation and contemplation. For instance, try this mindful eating exercise next time you are having dinner. Begin by taking the time to look at your food and notice how it looks, if it’s a hot meal pay attention to how the steam rises from the dish, and how the colors of the various food items look. Take a single bite and focus on how the food tastes, what the texture is like, and what you enjoy about each bite. If you are eating with family members have them describe their own thoughts about the food and the eating experience. Mindful eating not only helps you appreciate the food and the overall experience of eating, it also has physical benefits such as easier digestion from the slower eating pace. Eating slower also means your body will have more time to tell you it’s full before you take those few extra bites. Of course, this is just one example of using a simple everyday activity as a mindfulness exercise, but it should get you thinking about other activities in your own day-to-day life that have mindful potential. Leveraging these small “mindful moments” can go a long way in helping you maintain perspective and stay present among all the external stressors in your life.

Some other nutrition tips include:

  • Do not go to the store hungry and stock only healthy foods at home. Not going to the store hungry and making sure to only buy healthy food means that when you are hungry and craving the junk food you will simply not have access to it. Over time you will begin to truly enjoy and crave the good, healthier options.
  • Make simple swaps for a leaner diet. Rather than eliminating foods you love, try simply making them healthier with a few substitutions. Prepare veggies without sauces or butter, reduce your fatty meat portions, grill instead of fry, dip food in sauce rather than smother it, and choose whole-grain, low-salt, and low-fat options when shopping.
  • Make a meal log. Keeping a list of the meals you eat can help you visualize your eating habits, identify patterns, and find opportunities for improvement. Sometimes you just don’t realize that you had 3 cheeseburgers already this week, but if you keep a list it becomes easier to find those bad habits you may not think about otherwise.

Sleep

Sleep can be a huge issue for many people, and the frustrating thing about the sleep/stress cycle is that stress can often be the cause of sleepless nights and in turn being tired makes you less resilient to the effects of stress. This can cause an exhausting spiral that can quickly take its toll on your wellbeing and other good habits such as your exercise routine, even though as I mentioned above, it’s even more important to exercise when you have had poor sleep.

In addition to magnifying the effects of stress, not getting enough sleep causes all sorts of negative effects and can be dangerous. Drowsiness can cause delayed reaction time, impaired judgement, poor vision quality, decreased motivation, irritability, and lack of focus. All of these side effects are bad by themselves but when combined with activities like driving or operating machinery, the risk factor goes way up. To combat these risks, you need to be mindful and purposeful of your sleeping routine. Make it a goal to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and build your bedtime routine around this effort. Begin by building a bedtime ritual that you start at the same time every night. Pick relaxing activities that help you wind down. This could be reading a book, meditating, taking a warm bath, journaling, or something else you find enjoyable and relaxing. Try to avoid any activities that involve a screen like a TV, computer, or mobile device as these screens can emit light within a specific spectrum that can interfere with, and alter, your sleep/wake cycle.

Some sleep tips include:

  • Keep to the same bedtime and wake time schedule, even on weekends.
  • Eliminate noise and light from your sleep environment (use eye masks and earplugs).
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages and foods close to bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol; although it may seem to improve sleep initially, tolerance develops quickly and it will soon disturb sleep.

Other Considerations

By now you should have at least some idea around how stress and physical wellbeing interact with each other and may even have an idea of how you’re going to use your physical activities to help reduce stress. No matter what your physical and nutrition plan is, balance and moderation will be important. Don’t exercise yourself into exhaustion and don’t diet yourself into a nutrient deficiency. In fact, we would advise that you talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen or diet. Find out what path works for your unique set of needs and proceed slowly. Start developing those good habits while you scale back the bad ones and before you know it these changes you make will become habitual and most importantly, sustainable.

It is practically impossible to avoid stress in our daily lives, and we must accept that many things are outside our control. However, by maintaining the facets of our lives we do have control over, we can be infinitely better prepared to handle the stressors that inevitably come our way. It is crucial that we maintain healthy habits that will build “positive spirals” in our lifestyle and overall health. The journey is not always an easy one but the good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to your social network of friends and family and see who wants to take the journey with you or is at least willing to encourage you and help you stick to your convictions. Read self-help books on topics your struggling with, talk to others that may have experience, and try out local support groups.

If your employer offers one, you can also reach out to your Employee Assistance Program to see what resources they can offer to help such as MINES’ wellness programs or online portal, PersonalAdvantage, that provides articles, assessments, tips, trainings, and other resources on fitness, nutrition, stress, and much more. Call us at 1-800-873-7138 or email us at communications@minesandassociates.com if you have any questions.

 

To your wellbeing,

Nic Mckane

The MINES Team

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Kindness at In Its Simplest Form

Kindness

According to the Oxford dictionary, kindness is “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate”. But it goes beyond just being friendly or considerate. It is the act of stepping outside your norm and doing something for someone else just for the sake of being nice. Today try celebrating #WorldKindessDay by finding unique ways to help those around you and yourself. You may be surprised at how much happier you will be and may even notice a permanent change in your environmental wellbeing at home and at work by simply celebrating this day in a new way.

Ways to be Kind at Work

Some days it can be tough to be kind at work, especially if there are hurt feelings, frustration around responsibilities, or if you are just plain busy. However, those are the best days to take a couple of moments out and force yourself to do something kind for those around you.

Here are 10 simple things you could do at work today to celebrate this important concept.

  1. Take a co-worker out to lunch or coffee who may be going through a stressful time (or bring them in a cup of their favorite beverage).
  2. Ask a co-worker who is struggling with caregiving or is having a hard time, what you can do to help or offer to babysit one night for them.
  3. Write a thank you note or bring in a treat for your janitorial staff who are rarely seen but do a ton of work to make sure your office is clean and ready to go for you.
  4. Say thank you to your receptionist for their hard work making sure your office runs smoothly.
  5. Send an encouragement note out to a co-worker.
  6. Smile at everyone you see in the hallway. This will encourage you and your co-workers!
  7. Don’t wait to be asked, but stay late or come in early and help a co-worker out on a big project.
  8. Stop and say “good morning” to a co-worker that you don’t normally interact with.
  9. Bring in a big crock pot of soup to share with everyone who wants some.
  10. Publicly recognize someone’s strengths and thank them for a job well done.

And remember, if you see someone struggling that needs help or should talk to someone, the EAP is a great resource and MINES and Associates has counselors available 24/7 to talk. Please give them our number at 1-800-873-7138 and offer to help them call.

Ways to be Kind at Home

We all know about random acts of kindness as there are countless stories of people buying coffee for the person behind them or passing along the good holiday cheer to strangers. This is an important aspect of what this day is all about. However, it is also important to bring this home to your family and friends.

  1. Offer to help a family member or friend work on their weekend to-do list.
  2. Take someone a meal so they don’t have to cook dinner for a day.
  3. Have everyone in your home (whether it is just you, your significant other, and/or your kids) write a thank you note to each person in the house.
  4. Do a chore for someone that you know they don’t like to do.
  5. Try writing up a list of random acts of kindness that someone could do for others in the house. Then every week draw from that list and do that action.
  6. Send a gift to someone who is having a hard day.
  7. Leave a treat for your mailman in your mailbox.
  8. Clean your kids’ room for them, without grumbling.
  9. Thank someone for their everyday contribution.
  10. Set time aside to have that lengthy conversation with your relative that likes to talk.

Ways to be Kind to Yourself

There are plenty of acts you can do that are selfless and helpful to those around you. However, have you considered that you need to be kind to yourself? Those times you feel guilty, stressed by your actions, or unsure about yourself, take this day to look inward at how you can build your personal wellbeing and improve yourself. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Treat yourself to something special. Most nutrition experts will agree that having a cheat day built into your healthy food schedule allows for habits to solidify and for you to enjoy life and those special occasions. So, take this time to examine what makes you happy and what you can do to support your needs. And take the time to tell a friend, co-worker, or family member your needs so they can support you in the future. Communication is key and we are all in this crazy world together trying to make the best of each day.

And it is always a good idea to talk to a counselor if you feel you need help or want to find ways to improve your wellbeing. MINES is happy to talk with you and help you set goals around this. Or you can check out our monthly communication that dives deeper into all 8 areas of wellbeing to see how you can support your needs.

Celebrate Kindness Every Day!

Use this day to start finding ways to incorporate kindness into your life. As you do this, you will be amazed at how satisfied you feel, how helpful you feel, and how much you can influence those around you. Smile, give generously, be helpful in small ways.

Here’s to your continued journey to total wellbeing,

 

Raena Chatwin

MINES and Associates

 

References

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/kindness

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Alzheimer’s Awareness Month 2017

Hard to believe it is November again already.  And with November comes National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.  So much has happened on the Alzheimer’s front since this time last year.

I have never been more optimistic that a breakthrough is on the horizon.  Dr. Huntington Potter at the Anschutz Alzheimer’s Research Center right here in Denver has an exciting clinical trial going on with promising results so far.  It really feels to me like some big news may be around the corner from the scientific community.

In the meantime, family care partners for those living with various forms of dementia need resources, support, and last but not least, rest!

Although all three of my parents who suffered from Alzheimer’s have left us, I remember well the journey my family traveled for 16 years through the world of dementia.  Fortunately, someone recommended that we reach out to the Alzheimer’s Association and thankfully we did.  They provided, classes, support groups, and a 24/7 helpline so we could call day or night and ask any question, no matter how basic or complicated. A real person was always on the phone to help us through the roughest times.  So here comes the number; write it down… you will never be alone with this number at hand.   800.272.3900.   The Alzheimer’s Association is also the largest private funder of dementia research.  The bottom line is that these folks are just great – they will help you find the resources you need and care about you and your family throughout your journey. And they don’t care what type of dementia your family may be dealing with.

This might be a good time to mention some other great resources and in the process, give a brief overview of my involvement in the world of dementia since losing my folks to Alzheimer’s.  People sometimes say they bet I am relieved to be “done” with Alzheimer’s and I tell them, “Oh no, I am just warming up”.  I will not rest until we get Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia off the planet.

That is one reason why I’m involved in a new project called Dementia Friendly Denver.  We are a grassroots, not for profit initiative that is part of Dementia Friendly America, which was introduced a few years ago at the White House Conference on Aging.  There are now 130 American cities joining in this all-volunteer mission to make communities more dementia friendly and improve the lives of those living with various forms of dementia.  The DFD team I chair recently partnered with the University of Denver to host a two-hour community education event.  You can check out the slides from that event and upcoming news at http://www.dementiafriendlydenver.org/.

The reason it is important to think about all types of dementia in November during National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month is that only 50% of those with dementia get a diagnosis.  I want to spread the word that it is important to know which type of dementia your loved one may have.  Alzheimer’s accounts for about 70% of all cases, but there are other types of dementia, like Vascular, Lewy Body, and Frontotemporal to name a few.  Dementia Friendly Denver has a Resource Guide listed on the website I mentioned above that will connect you with 800#s and websites for each type of dementia support.  You can also get a referral list of doctors who can help you get a specific diagnosis at the Alzheimer’s Association helpline.  Here comes the number again….800.272.3900.

And of course, all of this is why I joined the MINES team a few years ago providing dementia lunch and learns and coaching for our EAP clients.

I guess you can tell that I feel passionate about our need to find a prevention, treatment, and cure for Alzheimer’s disease and that I really feel we are close.  In the meantime, November is a month to help each other find the resources we need as family caregivers and most importantly, to take care of ourselves so we can care for our loved ones.  Respite is a term for giving caregivers a break and it is critical for those of us caring for someone with dementia.  Everyone needs to recharge. So let me give you another resource…..you can find a Respite Locator on the website coloradorespitecoalition.org.  It provides a list of respite options which you can then investigate.

OK, it would be totally inappropriate to wish you all a “Happy Alzheimer’s Awareness Month” so instead I will tell you that I am happy to have new hope for a breakthrough.  I am also happy that Congress voted to include an additional $414 million in next year’s Alzheimer’ Research budget. That is real progress.

Enjoy the month of November with your family, don’t hesitate to get the help you need now as a care partner and take care of yourselves so we can celebrate when the breakthrough comes.  I will be throwing a party for the world and you will all be invited! – JJ

 

To Your Wellbeing,

JJ Jordan

MINES Affiliate and Alzheimer’s/dementia Expert

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Total Wellbeing: November 2017

 

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November 2017: Emotional Wellbeing and Eldercare

Get Involved!

Welcome to the November issue of TotalWellbeing! If you have been following TotalWellbeing you know that every month we focus on one of the 8 Dimensions of Wellbeing. As we dive into the last quarter of the year, we start to think about our friends and family that may be missing from the holiday dinner or about how much things have changed with our elderly family members and friends. This time of year is a perfect time to look deeper at our emotional wellbeing and how we can be resilient through the next couple of months. It is also a great time to look at how we can support and uplift those who have the incredibly hard job of taking care of their elderly family members, or work in the field of eldercare, as they also may struggle with their emotional wellbeing.

For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below or check out our newest infographic on Eldercare for some data and tips around planning for long-term care, or check out some helpful tips sheets here and here.

To catch you up on MINESblog, October saw two important posts. The first post was around World Mental Health Day. Our post covered some information and history around mental wellbeing, and provided some helpful links to mental health resources. Our second post provided a firsthand account of emotional resilience in the wake of the Vegas Shooting from one of our team members that was in Las Vegas shortly after the tragedy.  And don’t forget to check out the latest edition of BalancedLiving with great fall related resources just in time for the holidays.

As always, for more information please check out the links to the left or hit the share button to send us a message. To be notified when we post more resources and articles make sure to subscribe to MINESblog. See you next month!

To your total wellbeing,

The MINES Team

The Path: When Eldercare and Emotions Collide

It can be quite emotional to be the caretaker of a loved one. Whether you are the sole-caretaker or part of a team caring for someone, it drains you emotionally and physically. The responsibility of caring for another means you may not go out socially, you struggle with decisions that you may not want to make, and you may have financial strain all while living your own life. It is important to keep in mind if you know a caretaker, or are one, that you need to take time to examine your emotions and find a way to support your emotional wellbeing among everything else or to find a way to support the people you know. Remember self-care is just as important as eating healthy when it comes to your wellbeing. And if you know someone who is caring for someone else, remember to take time this month to thank them for what they are doing and check in with them to see what you can do to uplift them and their needs.

Check out a great website for some great tips improve your emotional wellbeing here!

Tips for you:

It is never too early to start creating a care plan for an aging loved one. Check out this month’s webinar to learn what Elder Law encompasses and how an Elder Law attorney can help you as you age. The discussion will focus on estate documents such as powers of attorney, healthcare directives, living wills, wills and trusts, and will discuss long-term care planning including the different programs and planning available to help with the costs of long-term care and protecting your assets for your loved ones.

Check out the webinar here!

The Connection: Get Involved

Wellbeing does not simply start and stop at the individual. Our community is connected to each of our own individual wellbeing in a huge way. When we are well we can better function within our community.  We can help our fellow humans thrive, and in turn, when our community is prospering, it helps each of us reach our goals as individuals. So why not help our community so we can all thrive together? Each month we will strive to bring you resources that can help you enhance the wellbeing of those around you or get involved with important causes.

Community Wellbeing Resources:

This month look at how you can expand your knowledge and skills within your community. Check out your local community’s website for senior centers or other places you could volunteer to help someone in your community.

Click here to find a place to use your skills near you!

If your organization has access to PersonalAdvantage make sure to check out this customizable online benefit available through MINES. It has tons of the same great resources for all the dimensions of wellbeing that we discuss here, along with some articles and a whole section of trainings on Resilience! If you haven’t checked it out yet, or want to see what resources they have for this month’s topic check out the link below. You’ll need your company login, so make sure to get that from your employer or email us and we’ll be happy to provide that to you.

Check Out PersonalAdvantage Here!

 If you or a member of your household needs assistance or guidance on any of these wellbeing topics, please call MINES & Associates, your EAP, today for free, confidential, 24/7 assistance at 800.873.7138.

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 mines_logo_blue MINES does not warrant the materials (Audio, Video, Text, Applications, or any other form of media or links) included in this communication have any connection to MINES & Associates, nor does MINES seek to endorse any entity by including these materials in this communication.  MINES accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided herein, nor any additional content that may be made available through any third-party site. We found them helpful, and hope you do too!

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Resilience in Vegas

This week I was in Vegas for a client’s open enrollment. This trip had been scheduled weeks before the mass shooting and I was quite looking forward to the trip between getting to see our clients in the Vegas area and enjoying some great food, there is nowhere else in the world quite like Vegas. However, as I was preparing to leave and heard the news of the shooting, it completely shifted my focus to how I personally could support our clients and the city while I was down there. I had no idea what the atmosphere would be like when I arrived but I should have guessed that Vegas would pull together and support each other through this tragedy.

The emotions down there ranged from solemn, to anger, to anxiety over the unknown, to great sadness. You could feel people reaching out for support, talking about the incident, and wanting to encourage each other. The word resilience, solidarity, and strength constantly popped in my mind as I walked the streets and talked to locals. The police were out in full support, talking to tourists and locals alike, on the sidewalks, on the streets, and in venues. It was amazing to me to see the police force stand together and willingly work overtime so that the rest of the community could feel supported and protected. Everyone I talked to, both locals and tourists, were appreciative of the support and attentiveness of the police and other first responders. Words cannot express the gratitude I heard and felt towards those who gave up vacations, wedding anniversary plans, and sleep in order to help their city. You could not go 10 feet without seeing the now trending hashtag #VegasStrong, or seeing advertisements for free counseling and other support services. (http://www.ktnv.com/news/counseling-trauma-relief-services-made-available-following-las-vegas-shooting) Venues, superstars, locals, and workplaces could all be seen working together, offering help with what they could.

As I talked to various locals about the experience, it was clear that though this act would be etched in their minds for a long time, the sense of unity and connectedness was firmly stated. During my stay, the names of the victims had not been released yet, which made many people unsure if they knew someone among the injured or dead. Parents expressed concern over their children’s’ friends who did not show up for school on Monday.

The biggest question on everyone’s mind was “why?” Unfortunately, this still has not been explained. Even now, the FBI and local first responders continue to pick through evidence, review what happened, and decipher the reasoning behind this shooting. I am very grateful for their efforts and the opportunity to experience the camaraderie amongst those that I talked to and helped while I was there.  There is not enough “thank yous” and praise to go around to all those who have stepped up to help, support, and give services. I am very proud to work for an organization and with affiliates who stepped up to provide process groups and counseling to employees, family members, and household members who were affected by this tragedy. Through quick responses and taking time away from other responsibilities, MINES and its affiliates have set up groups to go through the different stages of grief, PTSD, and how to help those who are struggling with this event. It was a great privilege to see this happen first hand while I was in town.

The United States has faced many tragedies in the last several years, both from man and nature. However, in each city that something has happened, it has brought the city together and made the city stronger, better, and full of community support. New programs come out of tragedy and new support systems are created. I am optimistic that the same will happen with Vegas. I look forward to traveling back there and seeing how the community has come together after this event and how they are stronger overall. I want to encourage any of you who knew someone who was at the concert or lives in Vegas to seek out counseling support to help you work through this horrific event and the aftermath that is to follow. And as always, MINES is here to support you and your companies if you need it. Please feel free to outreach us at 1-800-873-7138 if there is anything we can do.

 

To Your Wellbeing,

Raena Chatwin

The MINES Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mental Health Awareness Day 2017

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is observed on the 10th of October every year with the goal of raising awareness and boosting efforts to provide care and resources to those in need. Here at MINES every day is mental health day as we are constantly striving to raise awareness and provide helpful, often life-saving, resources to not just our clients but also our community.

Impact

Whether you suffer from a mental health condition or not the impact on our workplaces and communities is undeniable. In the workplace alone, increased absenteeism and lowered productivity due to mental health condition and substance abuse cost US organizations nearly 100 billion dollars per year according to the World Health Organization. The WHO also reports that mental health conditions are the leading cause of disability-adjusted life years worldwide, accounting for 37% of lost healthy years from non-communicable diseases. With this information in mind, it is no question that we need to continue the fight to provide access to resources and care around the mental health crisis, especially in a society where the importance and funding of mental health services are being undermined. So what can we do?

Helping

Try as we might we are not able to reach everyone with our messages and resources, which is why it is so important that as we all do our part to help those around us. If yourself or someone you know is struggling with mental health conditions, please seek help. Aside from traditional counseling that may be covered under your health insurance, there are many community-based and employer-supported resources that may be available to you such as an Employee Assistance Program. If your employer does not have an Employee Assistance Program in place, there are numerous resources that you can that can point you in the right direction and help find solutions for long-term goals or just help you deal with a crisis you may be going through here and now. Below is a selection of resources including national helplines, information sources, support groups, and organizations dedicated to helping.

Resources

If you want to take an even more active approach and receive training on mental health first aid head over to mentalhealthfirstaid.org to find courses near you where you can learn how to better identify, understand, and respond to those that may be suffering from mental health or substance abuse issues.

Going Forward

Remember that the need for access to quality mental health resources is not just an issue on World Mental Health Day. Today is a great conversation starter, but it is action by people like you and me and action and support by organizations like yours and mine (MINES) that will provide real results that may just save the lives of people in need. So, let’s talk to each other, lets act together, and as a society let’s take the next step towards less stigma, more support, and better care for everyone.

 

To your wellbeing,

The MINES Team

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