How's Your Mental Health? Self-Care and Support Resources
Welcome to another interview in this series of. Let's talk podcasts. Brought to you by the hazelton. Betty ford foundation. I'm your host. William c moyers and each podcast. I sit down with an expert to discuss the issues. That are at the essence of hazelden betty. Ford's mission for prevention of substance use and cutting edge research treatment recovery support and how technology is increasingly become a force of hope and help and healing for people families and their communities in the battle to overcome addiction. We are recording this podcast in the midst of the pandemic of corona virus and this requires us to take precautions here in the studio that means that our guest dr princess drake and i are in separate rooms but our focus is the same today mental health awareness in the workplace in the midst of a crisis. Dr drake is a mental health practitioner at hazel in betty ford and serves as an adjunct professor at the hazelton betty ford graduate school of addiction studies among her many other academic and professional accomplishments. She has her doctorate in clinical psychology at florida. School of professional psychology. She earned it in twenty eighteen. Welcome dr drake for being here and tell us about a little bit about your passion for working in the field of addiction treatment so much of what we do as a mental health practitioner training. A generalist sense. We're able to work with every population. But what i love about working with addiction specifically is the people i have found the most genuine people to work with that are suffering in a way that most people don't understand and so when i'm able to see a patient transform from the day they come in for detox until they leave with a smile it makes it all that much more enjoyable to keep doing. Thank you for what you're doing. We're here to talk of course about mental health awareness in the midst of the crisis. Whatever the crisis is but certainly the pandemic and that mental health awareness in the workplace. Why is it important that we focused on mental health awareness in the workplace. Yes so much of what we do. Ask practitioners we serve other people but often times at the expense of ourselves. And so what. I've noticed working during this period of time where i haven't had a day off unless i was already scheduled that a lot of the practitioners are stressed out themselves and so we're constantly trying to give all of ourselves to our patients but we often neglect our own self care. And so it's been my priority. When i talked to clinicians to not only tell him how i appreciate what they're doing that they continuously come to work to provide that care but also that. What are they doing to help themselves. So you're having that conversation with the clinicians but shouldn't the rest of us who are in the workplace. Also have that conversation absolutely so much of what we do whether you are clinician whether you're in housekeeping whether you're serving food everyone is important and during this time where everyone's lives are changing personally. It's even more important that people recognize it what they can do for themselves whether that's a day off taking time with their children or most of all sometimes we just need time to ourselves. She'll have a colleague who wants to convey precisely what you just talked about to another colleague. Okay just to approach that person and have that conversation. One thing that i love about working for hazelton is a lot of times. They're approaching us and it's this open conversation that we're having because that relationship is already been built and so it's how're you doing. And we know that it goes beyond just saying ok or fine or i making it but they really tell you how they're doing and then you offer your help but anyway. Is there anything i can do to help you. In that way though i may not have any power to let someone have a day off we may talk about just different self care techniques that they can use what are some of those self care techniques one of the things it always tell people i i like to practice what i preach and so oftentimes. It's you know planning time for yourself whether that's you doing your hair or nails or watching a movie listening to music. Drawing reading whatever helps that person come back to a state of con- them selves as what they can use self care doesn't have to be this big thing or big ordeal. Oftentimes we think about self care this all. It has to be for an hour if it only takes five minutes to do a meditation or prayer. Or what have you. That's all sometimes that we need so in these times we've got the pandemic of virus and it's been with this now for about four months here in the united states and it's been with us he's on betty ford in terms of our awareness and the actions that we're taking during that same period of time we've had the civic and racial strife that's occurred on the streets of our country and you and i are in minnesota. This is really where a lot of the started. Of course as we know of late we've got the economic downturn and even we've had it hazelton betty ford the need to take some actions you know in terms of watching our our expenses and so on that's included furloughs. This is a this is a unique time. isn't it yeah it is because we're we're saying it a hit from every single front not just at work As a personal color myself it has been extremely stressful when it comes to managing my own frustration or agitation. With what's going on but also being an advocate for change and so oftentimes that takes me to be uncomfortable to talk about these things whether in the workplace or at home I'm very fortunate enough to work for a team where we've been very transparent about what we're going through and being able to help each other so that we can be effective. Our patients thank you so much for bringing it up. I agree with you. hazel betty. Ford has been good On on recognizing these these unique dynamics and and and and communicating it and making sure everybody's inclusive we're hazel and before we get a lot of people watch these podcasts. Have nothing to do with our organization they just want to glean the wealth of information. That people like you have. What would you tell an organization or company a for profit or not for profit. How can they better and spill the dynamics of healthy mental health into their workplace as a great question. One of the things. I would probably tell. Them is making sure that they have available services for their employees such as e. ap and if someone doesn't feel comfortable using eap ap being aware of the mental health services that in their direct community Secondly i would offer up that person to recognize to be transparent Sending out a message letting them know that they recognize that their employees staff or faculty may be having a difficult time right now and offer their support in any way that they can whether that's a day off or having someone assistant in terms of their day to day activities Thirdly i would also encourage that specific organization to continue to advocate olive for their employees but what they do provide in terms of services. Thank you on. A personal note are getting closer to home. What is it that you find you specifically find most rewarding in regards to working with people co-occuring disorders. What i find to be the most rewarding is recognizing that is just not about addiction is just not about mental health. It's both and recognizing that they play off of each other more times than we often think we know this typically. You're more likely to see someone having both mental health and substance use and so when you tackle both of those hours. You're getting a double for your trouble in a way of because you're increasing your probability of staying sober and so why not take care of. The mental health concerns that a person may have whether it's a true mental health disorder or just additional stress on that note. I want i probably should have asked this. I but what did you see going forward given everything that's happened in the country and continues to happen. What are you see in terms of demand or the need for substance use services and mental health services not just that hazel and buddy forbidden in the larger community and in the larger country. I know that i was recently watching the news and they talk about this. Mental health pandemic. That's going to occur after cove it or even during and so recognizing that you're gonna get a wave of individuals who are either have not seek treatment during this time because of needing to isolate or quarantine but also recognizing that their caregivers are also gonna need that assistance and so we're -ticipant that there's going to be a wave of individuals who've either never sought treatment before or seeking treatment again because we have people who have returned to us just because of the current stress as being prepared for that and on that note before we close some people will be tuning in might be looking for help they might be looking for a wise word from you or some avenue of opportunity to to take that first step or that first step again. What is the message. You have and closing for people who are struggling whether they're in the workplace or not that it's okay to not be okay and often tell people even therapists neath therapist and that's true today and that'll be true going forward absolutely dr princess. Drake thank you so much for bringing your passion your expertise and your ability to communicate so effectively to our audience today. We been great to have you as part of our. Let's talk podcasts. Thank you so much for having me your welcome. Thanks all of you for tuning in sure to keep coming back for more on our series of. Let's talk podcasts. On behalf of our executive producer. Lisa stangl and all of us. And he's please stay safe. Stay healthy in these times and always.