August 10, 2019 // Archive

Date based archive
10 Aug

As part of a statewide campaign to increase access to mental health services, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced on Thursday that K-12 students in every public school across six Northwest Florida counties can receive virtual counseling and psychiatric without ever leaving campus.

 

 

About 60 telehealth portals will be ready for public school students in Gulf, Franklin, Jackson, Liberty, Gulf and Bay Counties when they return from summer break on Monday. Several state agencies – including the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Health and the Department of Education – worked together to ensure the mental health devices were installed before the start of the school year, DeSantis said.

“This is not something that we’re doing because we want to feel good about ourselves,” she said. “We’re doing this because we ultimately believe this is going to help save lives.”

Through the portals, students can video chat with a mental health professional located anywhere in the state. Bay County’s public schools received 38 portals. Superintendent Bill Husfelt says he’s hopeful students will feel comfortable receiving care through this technology. 

“Kids communicate distance-wise now,” he said “We think there might be a layer of relaxation that comes because they’re not necessarily in front of someone.”

The telehealth technology isn’t new to the district. Many of its elementary schools already have telehealth portals that connect students with primary care physicians, Husfelt said. “We have health techs that get on with a doctor and can communicate back and forth and take the temperature, and the doctor can diagnose and prescribe an antibiotic if they’re sick. This just takes it to the mental health level.” 

Housing-related challenges are taking a toll on many parents in the community, and children are also feeling that pressure, increasing the need for mental health treatment in school, Husfelt said.

“We had two elementary kids right before the end of the school year take a razor blade and try to slit their wrists on an elementary school playground. Elementary-aged kids don’t just come up with ideas like that,” he said. “They’re hearing and seeing the tragedy and the frustration that’s in their parents’ lives and what’s going on.”

Big Bend Community Based Care is the region’s Network Management agency for child welfare, mental health and substance abuse. CEO Mike Waktins says the devices will help reduce missed appointments and bring more providers into communities that need them. 

“We struggle to have enough children’s mental health services in any community, whether it’s rural or otherwise. But this will allow us to schedule virtually appointments, regardless of where the therapist is located,” Watkins said.

Big Bend will oversee maintenance of the devices and scheduling with providers, Watkins said. “Our commitment is to have a local and regional approach. First of all, we want the jobs in North Florida, that’s number one. Number two is if that child or family needs additional services beyond virtual technology they’re right here on the ground to get them into the next level of care.”

Keiser Family Foundation has identified 183 areas in the state where there aren’t enough mental health service providers to meet the community’s needs.  And Mental Health of America, a nonprofit advocacy group, released a report that ranks the state 44th in the nation for access to mental health care. 

State Secretary of Health Care Administration Mary Mayhew told reporters yesterday that the portals could help alleviate the burden this places on people struggling with untreated mental illness. 

“This is going to be a PILOT to understand what more can we do around the state, and so the opportunity to learn from and to benefit from this initiative here,” Mayhew said. “This is going to change not only the lives and the families in this area and this state, but holds promise for so many throughout the state.” 

The telehealth portals cost $2 million, which came from funds for the Department of Children and Families. Therapists will bill students’ insurance for each virtual session. Students who lack insurance can also receive care through the devices.

In addition to the telehealth portals, school districts in counties recovering from Hurricane Michael will get help with recovery from US Department of Education inspectors, who plan to open an office and Tallahassee soon.

Copyright 2019 WFSU. To see more, visit WFSU.

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10 Aug

Colorado’s Avery Brewing celebrated 25 years of brewing in 2018, and to commemorate the milestone, they did not release any kind of anniversary beer. Just kidding! They definitely released a celebration beer, named rather uncreatively Twenty Five. It’s a Belgian style dark ale that was oak aged with honey, dates, and raisins. According to their website, it’s a beer that “ascends to new heights” by combining Avery’s “massive, dark, and high-gravity virtues” with their “future audacious ambitions.” What does that taste like? Let’s find out!

Twenty Five pours thick with a dark chocolate hue reminiscent of Hershey’s syrup. The nose is sweet with plenty of rich chocolaty malts and just as many juicy dark berry notes to balance it all. The palate is creamy, boozy, and rich with roasted malts, Belgian candy sugar, cinnamon stick, and sour cherry. The dark fruits are there, too, but they come across as a bit tart, amplified by a black licorice-tinged bitterness that never really lets up, even at room temperature. The finish continues much of the same with a lengthy epilogue of slightly sour dried fruits, boozy malt, and chocolate mocha. It’s an impressive brew, but prepare yourself. This one demands time to savor and enjoy.

14.5 % abv.

A- / $15 per 22 oz. bottle / averybrewing.com

Similar Posts:

Avery Brewing Anniversary Edition “Twenty Five”

$15

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10 Aug
Colour Pop Just a Tint Lippie Tint  
Colour Pop Just a Tint Lippie Tint  
Colour Pop Just a Tint Lippie Tint  

ColourPop Just a Tint Lippie Tint ($7.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as “the perfection sheer wash of colour in the comfiest, lightweight, super moisturizing formula.” Here’s the big takeaway… they are not that sheer; they’re not a wash of color. They have medium to semi-opaque, buildable coverage with a few shades being more true medium in coverage; I just wouldn’t say they’re sheer nor just a wash. That medium to semi-opaque level of coverage still allows for some translucency, which gives the color a lighter look that’s more like a stain.

The texture was creamy, thin, lightweight, and balm-like; I’d actually say it felt like a gel-like balm because it had the cushion-like slip of a lip balm but had the smoothing prowess of more gel-based formulas. The most impressive aspect of the formula was how little the colors sank into my lip lines and how forgiving they were with imperfections in lip texture. The wear time varied from two and a half to four hours on me, and the formula was lightly hydrating over time. They have a sweet, fruity scent (passionfruit per their website) but no discernible taste.

I actually quite liked them, but the ratings are a bit lower than they “should” be due to the pigmentation being more than described for most shades.

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10 Aug

The phone rang.

“I told her, ‘I think I’m feeling suicidal again. I think I might have to go to the hospital again,’ ” Julie recalled recently. “[The volunteer] said, ‘What can do I do to help you?’ ”

A sympathetic voice told Julie to take deep breaths and take her dog for a walk. That night, Julie managed to sleep in her apartment, not the emergency room.

As national suicide rates have swelled in recent years, these moments of human connection can improve successful approaches to mental health care.

In Massachusetts, suicide rates increased by 35 percent between 1999 and 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A recent Harvard Medical School study indicates that young people, particularly males ages 15 to 24, are an increasingly vulnerable population.

In 2017, the Cape Samaritans, the Falmouth-based branch of a global suicide-prevention network, was awarded a three-year grant to launch “A Caring Connection.” It is one of several ongoing efforts in Massachusetts — supported by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — to curb the suicide epidemic with integrated health models.

In May, after a six-month pilot run, A Caring Connection began trying to support a wider swath of health care agencies on Cape Cod, the region with the state’s highest suicide rate, said program director Greg Giardi. Agency employees recommend the program as an additional resource to patients, who then take the initiative in contacting Giardi.

Unlike a conventional hot line, in which people feeling suicidal pick up the phone, volunteers in the program initiate the calls with participants. They forge a stabilizing relationship — perhaps, even a transformative bond — with individuals who were recently hospitalized for suicide attempts or thoughts.

(To maintain the program’s confidentiality protocol, volunteers and participants are not fully identified in this article.)

The volunteers are not licensed mental health professionals, and they’re not meant to be a substitute for psychiatrists or social workers. They receive about 15 hours of rigorous in-person training for dealing with mental health disorders and crises.

“We’re listening, we’re supporting, we’re encouraging, we’re mentoring. We’re definitely befriending,” Giardi said.

The program’s focus, Giardi said, is to embrace the national “Zero Suicide” initiative once someone is released from a psychiatric facility, when risk levels remain elevated. Through the phone conversations, volunteers strive to ensure “their person” attends an initial therapy appointment and accesses long-term community care, Giardi said.

Cape Samaritans Executive Director Stephanie Kelly said that if patients return to the same toxic situation — with pressures previously deemed too painful to endure — volunteers could represent their sole bright spot.

“They’re feeling shame, guilt, anger, ostracized,” Kelly said.

Before the first conversation, the only information available to volunteers is a participant’s first name. Personal details of mental illness are slowly revealed over weeks or months.

Volunteers, who tend to live on the Cape but can be mobile, typically take handwritten notes or mark dates in their smartphone’s calendar during calls, creating a real-time relationship log. Asking about personal matters — such as a parent’s doctor appointment — or referencing a pet by name can propel the relationship forward, showing the volunteer genuinely cares.

Jill, a volunteer who started on Samaritans’ crisis phone and text lines, likened herself to a disembodied voice. Based on program rules, she and her caller will never meet in a physical setting.

“We’re just these people that sort of materialize out of the air,” said Jill, 57. “They don’t owe us anything. There’s no weight to it.”

This anonymity creates a sense of freedom for 21-year-old Hannah, a participant who was recently hospitalized. Whenever a private number calls, Hannah said, her “heart brightens and lightens up.”

Hannah can tell anything to this stranger, who she said feels more like a close friend.

“It’s easier to relax,” Hannah said. “It is intimidating when you’re right there with the person, and they can see you squirming around, or bouncing your leg, or sweating.”

In the absence of body-language cues, Jill said, volunteers become attuned to vocal characteristics. Monosyllabic responses, slowed speech, or lurching pauses can signal a tough day.

But sometimes sharing a moment of silence interspersed with bouts of pain can feel therapeutic, said Maya, another volunteer. She emphasized participants are courageous to simply answer the phone and disclose troubling emotions.

“I hear you, I see you, I validate your pain,” Maya said, describing her approach to mental illness.

An instinctive form of trust is required for volunteers to navigate calls fraught with heightened depressed or anxiety. In some instances, clinical consultants may be asked to provide advice and to intervene, Kelly said.

To judge the severity of a conversation, volunteers may use a tool called the “ladder of risk assessment,” Kelly said. It pinpoints if callers are suicidal, and if so, whether they have a detailed, time-specific plan.

In the first few weeks of their phone relationship, Maya’s person had never reached the top of the ladder, classified as “imminent risk.”

So the 23-year-old volunteer didn’t hesitate when making a call during a solo evening drive. That’s when Maya’s participant quickly climbed the ladder, from being upset to admitting she had a method to hurt herself.

Maya knew she needed to defuse the situation. Yet she also needed to hang up — just for a few precious minutes — to seek advice from Giardi, the program director, whom she called while keeping pace with traffic. By the time Maya reached her destination, the tension had eased.

The participant was emotionally drained but safe, Maya said.

“I was just really proud of her for finding that hope,” Maya said.

Their volunteer work is heavy, laden with the extraordinary responsibility to say the right the thing, at the right time. The conversations can be straining.

Maya prefers to lie in bed during calls, a posture that lets her decompress afterward. She’ll close her eyes for several minutes and listen to music before facing her own reality.

Volunteers don’t find their work burdensome, however. It is innately gratifying, they said, to ignite hope in others.

Hannah, the participant who is still in the early stages of talking with a volunteer, said she has learned coping skills to regulate her mood.

“When I’m feeling sad, I can change it,” Hannah said. “It’s that silver lining — the sun’s peeking out.”

Resources: If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, (800) 273-TALK (8255). Reach the Samaritans crisis line at (800) 893-9900, or the group’s Falmouth office at (508) 548-7999.


Alison Kuznitz can be reached at alison.kuznitz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AlisonKuznitz.


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10 Aug

NARS Opulent Red Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep, reddened burgundy with subtle, neutral-to-warm undertones and a satin finish. It had nearly opaque pigmentation in a single, fluid stroke, which went on evenly and smoothly without tugging on my lips during application. The lipstick had a lightly creamy texture with enough slip to keep it comfortable but not enough to give it noticeable slip during wear, so it didn’t feather or migrate on me over time. There was a smidgen of product in my deeper lip line but wasn’t enough to be visible from a normal viewing distance. It stayed on nicely for six and a half hours, left a reddish stain behind, and was lightly hydrating over time.

  • Urban Decay White Walker (LE, $18.00) is lighter (90% similar).
  • Guerlain #555 (P, $33.00) is cooler (90% similar).
  • Kat Von D Prayer (P, $19.00) is cooler (90% similar).
  • Colour Pop Hello Stranger (P, $7.00) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler (90% similar).
  • Burberry Black Cherry (439) (P, $35.00) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler (90% similar).
  • MAC Beatrix (LE, $19.50) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar).
  • Colour Pop Cashing Out (PiP, $7.00) is lighter (90% similar).
  • Bite Beauty Liquorice (P, $26.00) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (85% similar).
  • Sephora Malt Shake (29) (P, $8.00) is warmer, glossier (85% similar).
  • Colour Pop Ursula (LE, $7.00) is lighter, cooler (85% similar).

Formula Overview

$26.00/0.12 oz. – $216.67 Per Ounce

NARS has reformulated their core lipstick range, which now includes 72 shades across three finishes: matte, sheer, and satin. The formula is supposed to go on “smoothly and evenly with a light feel” that is “long-lasting” and “resistant to bleeding and feathering.” The sheer finish has “subtle, sheer color that shines,” while the satin finish has “creamy rich color” and the matte finish has “intense color with a velvety finish.”

The matte finish has a very thin, featherweight feel to it, but they didn’t feel clingy or too prone to dragging during application, though they were definitely a firmer texture in the tube. There was enough glide from the inclusion of dimethicone (first ingredient for the matte finish) that went on evenly, felt velvety but didn’t feel as powder-like as some of the other more silicone-heavy matte lipstick formulas that have been released in the last couple of years. Most shades were pigmented and nearly opaque to opaque. The wear ranged from three to six hours with deeper, richer shades staying on a bit longer and leaving slight stains. They were comfortable to wear but felt more non-drying than particularly hydrating.

The satin finish has more slip, feels thicker (though not actually thick or heavy) compared to the matte finish, and of course, there was subtle to light shine/sheen. They applied smoothly, comfortably, and for the most part, went on evenly and didn’t sink noticeably into my lip lines but there was some variance between shades. They were typically semi-opaque to opaque in coverage with four to six-hour wear that was lightly hydrating.

The sheer finish had coverage that ranged from semi-sheer to true medium coverage but most had some translucency to them, which gave them a sheerer finish. I found most of the shades I tried were buildable to some degree. The texture was a bit firmer, but they felt more emollient and “melted” a bit more against my lips than I recall the original line of lipsticks doing. Some shades applied well with even application and were flattering on, but there were a few that sank more noticeably into my lip lines. This finish tended to wear between three and five hours.

I don’t have many of NARS’ original lipsticks in my stash (I have mostly Audacious as they haven’t been releasing many in the core range) to compare to. The matte finish was definitely thinner, more matte, and had a velvetier look on lips compared to the original which had a subtle sheen to it. The satin finish seemed a bit more pigmented and not quite as luminous/glossy as the previous formula, while the sheer finish was creamier, more emollient, and was easier to apply. It didn’t feel like a vastly different formula, but it felt a bit easier to work with (smoother, more emollient but still lighterweight and thin, far less slip than any of the Audacious range) and was more comfortable to wear across the board for me.

I didn’t notice any scent or taste, though there is “fragrance (parfum)” listed in the ingredients–it smelled neutral, not waxy but I just didn’t get any scent.

Browse all of our NARS Lipstick swatches.

Ingredients

Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Synthetic Wax, Polyethylene, Dimethicone, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Hydroxyapatite, Diisostearyl Malate, Microcrystalline Wax/Cera Microcristallina/Cire Microcristalline, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Glyceryl Behenate, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Calcium Stearate, Tin Oxide, Simethicone, Bht, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Linalool, Citronellol, Limonene, [+/- (May Contain/Peut Contenir): Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Carmine (Ci 75470), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Mica, Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Red 33 (Ci 17200), Red 33 Lake (Ci 17200), Red 6 (Ci 15850), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140)].

NARS Heroine Red Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep, muted burgundy with subtle, warm undertones and fine gold and ruby red pearl throughout. It had medium coverage that was buildable to semi-opaque pigmentation with two to three layers. The texture was lightweight, thin without being clingy, and had light slip; just enough slip not to tug on my lips, but it looked wetter than it felt to me. The product could have applied more evenly, and there was slight product that sank into my deeper lip lines, which did worsen over the five hours it lasted for. The formula felt lightly hydrating overall.

  • Sephora Voluptuous Burgundy (58) (P, $14.00) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler (90% similar).
  • Revlon Black Cherry (P, $8.49) is less shimmery, lighter, cooler (85% similar).
  • Maybelline Midnight Merlot (DC, $7.49) is less shimmery, darker, cooler (85% similar).
  • Anastasia Phantom (LE, $20.00) is more shimmery, darker, cooler (85% similar).
  • MAC Jasper (LE, $19.50) is less shimmery, brighter, cooler (85% similar).
  • Colour Pop Paramour (LE, $6.00) is less shimmery, darker, warmer (85% similar).
  • Tom Ford Beauty Inigo (P, $36.00) is less shimmery, lighter, cooler (85% similar).
  • Tom Ford Beauty Liev (LE, $36.00) is less shimmery, darker, cooler (85% similar).
  • Estee Lauder Brazen (P, $32.00) is less shimmery, brighter, cooler (85% similar).
  • Tom Ford Beauty Black Orchid (LE, $54.00) is less shimmery, darker, cooler (85% similar).

Formula Overview

$26.00/0.12 oz. – $216.67 Per Ounce

NARS has reformulated their core lipstick range, which now includes 72 shades across three finishes: matte, sheer, and satin. The formula is supposed to go on “smoothly and evenly with a light feel” that is “long-lasting” and “resistant to bleeding and feathering.” The sheer finish has “subtle, sheer color that shines,” while the satin finish has “creamy rich color” and the matte finish has “intense color with a velvety finish.”

The matte finish has a very thin, featherweight feel to it, but they didn’t feel clingy or too prone to dragging during application, though they were definitely a firmer texture in the tube. There was enough glide from the inclusion of dimethicone (first ingredient for the matte finish) that went on evenly, felt velvety but didn’t feel as powder-like as some of the other more silicone-heavy matte lipstick formulas that have been released in the last couple of years. Most shades were pigmented and nearly opaque to opaque. The wear ranged from three to six hours with deeper, richer shades staying on a bit longer and leaving slight stains. They were comfortable to wear but felt more non-drying than particularly hydrating.

The satin finish has more slip, feels thicker (though not actually thick or heavy) compared to the matte finish, and of course, there was subtle to light shine/sheen. They applied smoothly, comfortably, and for the most part, went on evenly and didn’t sink noticeably into my lip lines but there was some variance between shades. They were typically semi-opaque to opaque in coverage with four to six-hour wear that was lightly hydrating.

The sheer finish had coverage that ranged from semi-sheer to true medium coverage but most had some translucency to them, which gave them a sheerer finish. I found most of the shades I tried were buildable to some degree. The texture was a bit firmer, but they felt more emollient and “melted” a bit more against my lips than I recall the original line of lipsticks doing. Some shades applied well with even application and were flattering on, but there were a few that sank more noticeably into my lip lines. This finish tended to wear between three and five hours.

I don’t have many of NARS’ original lipsticks in my stash (I have mostly Audacious as they haven’t been releasing many in the core range) to compare to. The matte finish was definitely thinner, more matte, and had a velvetier look on lips compared to the original which had a subtle sheen to it. The satin finish seemed a bit more pigmented and not quite as luminous/glossy as the previous formula, while the sheer finish was creamier, more emollient, and was easier to apply. It didn’t feel like a vastly different formula, but it felt a bit easier to work with (smoother, more emollient but still lighterweight and thin, far less slip than any of the Audacious range) and was more comfortable to wear across the board for me.

I didn’t notice any scent or taste, though there is “fragrance (parfum)” listed in the ingredients–it smelled neutral, not waxy but I just didn’t get any scent.

Browse all of our NARS Lipstick swatches.

Ingredients

Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Synthetic Wax, Polyethylene, Dimethicone, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Hydroxyapatite, Diisostearyl Malate, Microcrystalline Wax/Cera Microcristallina/Cire Microcristalline, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Glyceryl Behenate, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Calcium Stearate, Tin Oxide, Simethicone, Bht, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Linalool, Citronellol, Limonene, [+/- (May Contain/Peut Contenir): Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Carmine (Ci 75470), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Mica, Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Red 33 (Ci 17200), Red 33 Lake (Ci 17200), Red 6 (Ci 15850), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140)].

Credit: Source link

10 Aug

Since The Gazette’s year-long investigative series on mental health care in Colorado began in April, dozens of readers have shared personal accounts about living with a mood disorder or mental illness and the challenges of accessing treatment .

Here are some of their stories, used with their permission.

Teresa Grant, Colorado Springs

In July 2012, Teresa Grant emailed a local hospital with a desperate plea on behalf of her 52-year-old brother, Rick. She wanted someone — anyone — to tell her what she could do to help before it was too late.

“I am not certain where to turn anymore. I apologize if this is not the correct place to ask for some guidance,” Grant’s message began.

At that point, Richard Lynn Brown had spent two years in and out of hospitals, seeking first a diagnosis and then treatment for debilitating pain due to nerve damage in his neck. The powerful medications he was prescribed for pain were a potentially lethal combination for a man with a history of alcohol addiction, who’d long struggled with depression and suffered seizures.

“He seeks to be admitted to a treatment facility and have the surgery so that he may have his life back. We have tried working with Peak Vista, Memorial, Cedar Springs, Aspen Point,” Grant wrote. “I have touched on just a bit of our journey here. I would welcome the opportunity to be heard … is anybody listening??? Please guide us before my brother is no longer with us. …”

Not quite four years later, in March 2017, Rick Brown was gone.

Grant emailed The Gazette to share her and her brother’s stories after reading the first installment in the series focusing on the crisis in mental health care in Colorado.

“Somehow, this article found me this morning. I marvel at the myriad of ways my brother communicates with me,” Grant wrote to The Gazette in May. “Before his death by suicide, I used a myriad of ways screaming to whomever would listen … HELP! The help never surfaced, so when I read your story hope arose in me.”

Grant, a Colorado native whose family has deep roots in the Springs, spent more than 20 years teaching elementary school. During that time, she noticed a dire trend as more and more children and their families were affected by mental illness and substance abuse.

That experience, and her brother’s death, compelled Grant to go back to school in her 50s to get a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling.

“Even though my brother is not walking this Earth any longer, he would want to be a voice for those who struggle with mental illness, as I do. I … continue my journey to better understand, guide and help,” wrote Grant, who also forwarded a copy of the 2012 email she sent to the hospital. “You may notice the sense (in that letter) … of a rant. I was to the point where I just didn’t know what to do, who to turn to. One of many ways that I reached out for help during a dark time seeking guidance, help … light.”

Grant said she never received a response.

Teresa Grant is only one of the dozens of readers who contacted The Gazette to share personal accounts about living with a mental health diagnosis and trying to access treatment for themselves or a loved one.

Lois Martinez, Colorado Springs

Lois Martinez suffered her first panic attack more than 50 years ago, when she was 25.

“I had no clue what it was, but I was driving at the time, and got so I couldn’t drive,” Martinez wrote. “My attacks were so bad, if I was at a red light, I wanted to jump out and leave my car.”

She had three young daughters and grew concerned about their safety. If they were around during one of her attacks, she worried that she might hurt them.

“My husband, parents, grandmother, all thought it was all in my head and I just need to get over it. So for the next 20 years I lived with the attacks, and the depression. My girls tell me now they were not aware of anything different about me,” she wrote. ”I got a job when my youngest went to school, but found it very difficult to work in public, because of the attacks. Finally, I started cleaning houses. And found that worked best for me.”

When one of her daughters moved away with her 4-year-old grandchild, Martinez decided to see a psychiatrist. The experience, initially, was not good.

“The first one spent a year trying things like Prozac, Wellbutrin, all the new drugs, but they made me feel worse,” she wrote. “I decided to see another psychiatrist and he said I was a functioning agoraphobic. He put me on older drugs, clonidine, Ativan and doxepin, and in about three months I started to get better.”

She was having fewer panic attacks, and the drugs felt “like a miracle.”

After her divorce, though, Martinez found herself without insurance to pay for treatment. She eventually found a doctor who would see her — “for twenty minutes” and $125 every six months — and saw him for 10 years before his practice abruptly closed.

“I now see a psychiatrist every three months for $150 for 20 minutes. Two of my meds are not covered by Medicare and cost over $100 for 90 days,” she wrote. “I feel so bad that seeing a psychiatrist is so expensive. And most people are not going to get the help they need.”

Kelly and John Rosati, Elbert

Three of Kelly and John Rosati’s four children, all adopted from foster care, have had serious mental health issues, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. Over the past eight years, the Rosatis have weathered “nightmare experiences trying to save their (children’s) lives in this county … survived more than a dozen suicide attempts and dealt with constant ERs, acute psych units, residential units, day programs and outpatient,” wrote Kelly Rosati, former vice president of advocacy for children at Focus on the Family, and a lawyer by training.

“We’ve experienced the 911 system and the criminal justice system,” she wrote.

Four years ago, the Rosatis’ daughter Anna, who has bipolar disorder, was handcuffed and taken into police custody after she accidentally scratched an acute care center staffer who was trying to restrain her during a crisis brought on by a change in her psychiatric medications.

Anna was just 15 and weighed 98 pounds, but “the DA’s office chose to pursue the criminal prosecution notwithstanding the absurd and mitigating circumstances … so she was put on criminal probation for being sick in the psych hospital,” wrote Rosati.

Today, Anna is a high school graduate and in cosmetology college.

The Rosatis’ 19-year-old son, who has schizophrenia, spent years in and out of acute psychiatric facilities before he was put on a medication that successfully controlled his symptoms. If not for his parents’ advocacy, though, that might not have happened.

“After having been in seven hospitals in five states with dozens of ineffective meds, he was so psychotic he kept trying to kill himself,” wrote Rosati, who said she begged the hospital psychiatrist to put her son on a powerful newer antipsychotic that’s been shown to lower the risk of suicidal behavior, to no avail. Ultimately, the Rosatis landed a consultation with a top schizophrenia doctor at Harvard Medical School’s McLean Hospital, who agreed to put their son on Clozaril — the drug for which Kelly had been advocating.

“He went four months with no audio or visual hallucinations for the first time in five years. Instead of worrying daily that he will die by suicide in a psychotic state, we (now) concentrate on the fact that he graduated from high school and has started a job,” wrote Kelly, who firmly believes that the Harvard doctor’s intervention saved her son’s life.

“It makes me sad that most won’t be able to access that support,” she wrote.

At many points during the process of getting the children to the hopeful place they’re at today, Rosati said, she felt as though support simply wasn’t there to tap, no matter the means:

“No resources, no information, no communication or continuity of care. The mental health care in this county is horrific. There are many wonderful staff along with lots of burned out, terrible staff,” Rosati wrote. “My children barely escaped their childhoods with their lives (literally). As parents who have survived these years, my husband and I try to help other parents dealing with kids’ suicide attempts and ideation and/or agonizing through the terrible realities of residential care.”

Lindsey Kangas’ son, Bryson, began to exhibit behavioral issues as a toddler. By the time he was 8, he was in “full-blown PTSD” with bouts of “severe aggression and violence, not only to his family but also to other children and adults at school,” wrote Kangas.

“We began the process of trying to get him mental health treatment and he was in and out of facilities. We ended up having to make the difficult decision to send him to Texas for a residential stay at a top-notch mental health care treatment facility,” she wrote.

That stay lasted six months, and Bryson then returned to Colorado Springs to finish treatment at Cedar Springs Hospital.

“Today Bryson is a normal, healthy 14-year-old and has recently begun opening up about his difficult experience. He even wrote a paper about it for his eighth-grade literature class,” Kangas wrote. “We were lucky because although it was difficult, we could afford the co-pays required. Many families locally cannot.”

In September 2018, Kangas’ husband, Gary, adopted Bryson. Soon after, the couple started a nonprofit named in Bryson’s honor and inspired by his struggles. The mission of Bryson’s Chase is to raise funds through charitable events and donations to support families that cannot afford the mental health resources and treatment their children need. The nonprofit’s inaugural charity golf tournament in June raised more than $16,000 that, through a partnership with Cedar Springs, was used to help cover the co-pays of financially struggling families.

When Maree McRae’s legally disabled son suffered a severe psychotic break due to schizophrenia last fall, he went to a Denver-area emergency room. McRae visited and found him being held in a “stark cold room, where I had to remind them to bring him meals and give him a toothbrush or shower.”

“As the ER told me, they were a trauma ER and not trained for psych patients. After five days of holding him, and he got sicker and sicker, we were told there were no hospitals that could take him — from Pueblo all the way to Fort Collins, their exact words. This was all to the tune of $24,000 per day,” McRae wrote. “My son, he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, ‘Mom, I’m giving up. And I’ve tried so hard, Mom. This state doesn’t care about people sick like me.'”

McRae ultimately got inpatient placement for her son after she collapsed in the lobby of the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan, sobbing, and “an important passerby” witnessed her breakdown, pulled some strings and got her son a bed. 

“After a stay of 30 days for stabilization only, we were then forced to send my son to CT (Connecticut), as there was no transitional housing here in CO. In CT we had a choice of over 80 mental health transitional living centers in a state a third of the size of CO. While there my son, not even in a medical facility but in community living, regained solid stability,” McRae wrote. 

The experience opened her eyes to the multitude of ways that Colorado’s mental health care system is failing those who need help the most.

“The competency restoration (usually to restore the mentally incompetent to face criminal charges) places significant pressure on the already dismal (number of) inpatient beds for those with severe mental illness,” she wrote. “The goals are fundamentally different: One serves the criminal justice system and one serves the individual who is ill. The overflow into our minimal civilian beds is a deep concern.

“My son lost his ACT (Assertive Community Treatment, a transition to ‘outside’ life program for people with severe mental health problems) program at the county mental health center due to those coming out of jails having priority. Stability and consistency are vital for recovery, yet my son’s programs at the county lack both. We desperately need continuum of care (and) transitional step programs for those exiting hospitals, which we have also lost at Fort Logan.”

McRae estimated that over the past three years, $400,000 in state money has been spent to hold her son in ERs or short-term hospital stays that failed to address long-term treatment for his disorder. “What could $400,000 do in transitional programs or true treatment for an individual? A lot.”

“We continue to talk about substance abuse and mental illness as if they are separate issues, instead of co-occurring with 70% of those with mental illness understandably self-medicating their symptoms. We talk of zero suicide bills and continue to not face the heart of the problem which is lack of treatment beds,” McRae wrote. “We are at a historic low for inpatient beds and a historical high for mental illness.” 

A singer/songwriter and musician, McRae has channeled her frustrations and emotions about the experience into her music, which includes a recently released song based on her son’s struggles.

“Just in my small circle, we have lost six kids in the last two years — in memory of Micah, age 23, Chelsea, age 24, Amanda, age 22, Russell, age 25, Shane, age 26 and last month Ryan, age 21 — and my best friend Diane, who after three ER visits for debilitating depression was told they could not find her a long-term bed,” she wrote.

“She took her life 48 hours after being dismissed on yet-another 72-hour hold. All of these people I know had one thing in common. They were critically sick and went to our health centers to get treatment they deserved. Yet they were all sent home with a Band-Aid over a wound, when they were bleeding to death. We don’t tell someone who comes in with a broken leg, to walk home. Yet, we do it with the people have a broken brain. For some reason, brain failure is different than heart failure. Yet there is no health without mental health.”

Personal anecdotes have been edited for clarity and length by The Gazette.

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10 Aug

Release Date + Collection Info

A super-sparkling, high-shine lip gloss in covetable shades with lasting brilliance, dressed in limited-edition glittering packaging for the holidays. Glitter-packed eyeshadow with bold pigment and maximum sparkle that adds super-shimmering dimension to any look, in four new limited-edition shades.

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Neiman Marcus

Products Available

Enamored Dazzling Gloss Lip Lacquer, $28.00 (Limited Edition)

  • Genie Kiss Lavender-mauve with pink glitter
  • To the Moon Cool pink with blue glitter
  • Pick Up! Toasted champagne with gold
  • Atomic Fiery rose with pink glitter

O!Mega Glaze All-Over Foil Luminizer, $49.00 (Limited Edition)

A limited edition highlighter with a reflective foiled look in an oversized, covetable compact, adorned in glitter. Get more of what you love with this larger-than-life luminizer that adds instant reflective radiance. The micro-fine, jet-milled powder applies seamlessly for a get-noticed glow without glitter. Perfectly sized for both face and body, this foil highlighter is all you need for an allover glow.

  • Showstopper Soft peachy pink

See-quins Glam Glitter Eyeshadow, $28.00 (Limited Edition)

  • Smash Glitz Pinky mauve
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  • Pop Rox Blackened plum
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Marc Jacobs Beauty Glam Rock Collection for Holiday 2019

Marc Jacobs Beauty Glam Rock Collection for Holiday 2019

Marc Jacobs Beauty Glam Rock Collection for Holiday 2019

Marc Jacobs Beauty Glam Rock Collection for Holiday 2019

Marc Jacobs Beauty Glam Rock Collection for Holiday 2019

Marc Jacobs Beauty Glam Rock Collection for Holiday 2019

Marc Jacobs Beauty Glam Rock Collection for Holiday 2019

Marc Jacobs Beauty Glam Rock Collection for Holiday 2019

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10 Aug

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10 Aug

When I prescribe strength training for my depressed patients, they are often surprised. They have never heard of the relationship between physical strength and psychological well-being.
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10 Aug

This week, please welcome Rachel Knecht and her meal plans! Rachel is a recipe tester here on Simply Recipes and the blogger behind Baking with Rachel.

Before diving in, we wanted to highlight the ultimate way to save time in your week: having your groceries delivered right to your door. Click on the red “Add to Shopping List” button at the bottom of any recipe (or meal plan) and check it out! We call this feature “Relish” and we’re into it because, really, dinner can be simpler.

August was the time of year when our family of six would pack our little Oldsmobile and drive until we ended up at a wooded campground. As the sun went down, aunts, uncles, and cousins gathered around the campfire to roast hot dogs and marshmallows.

Though not at a campground, our family cooks and eats outside as much as possible in summer. Food cooked over a fire seems especially satisfying.

As much as I like hamburgers and hot dogs, it seems a shame to not take advantage of the opportunity to explore other recipes. I love this week’s meals because they can be cooked in the great outdoors or in the comfort of your own kitchen.

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