Category: Behavioral Health

Fidget Spinners: Do they really work?

Children across the globe are clamoring for fidget spinners – simple, handheld devices you can spin with your fingers. The devices are marketed as a tool to help children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism and other similar disorders focus. But do they really work? One expert weighs in on the gadgets. Siobhan Smith, a behavior therapist and case manager at The Medical Center of Aurora in Aurora, Colo., an HCA affiliate, says she has found that fidget spinners have helped the children she works with since introducing them a year ago. “It’s really helped to decrease what we call… Read more.

The Good, The Bad & The Why “13 Reasons Why” is Striking a Chord

They’re calling it the new must-see series on Netflix. But it’s giving pause to some schools, parents and mental health experts. 13 Reasons Why, whether you like it or not, has sparked a crucial – and perhaps overdue – conversation about youth suicide. Based on a young adult (YA) novel of the same name, 13 Reasons Why is a story about a young woman, Hannah, who kills herself and creates 13 audio tapes to explain why for that many people. Dr. Kristin Rager, an adolescent medicine specialist at The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial in Nashville, who works with young… Read more.

TriStar Centennial Medical Center Caregivers Take on Domestic Violence

Less than two years after a mass shooting killed 14 people in San Bernardino, tragedy struck the California community again last Monday when an elementary school teacher was fatally shot by her husband in an apparent domestic violence incident. The abuser also killed an eight-year-old boy and wounded another child, before turning the gun on himself. Beth Brown, a licensed social worker at TriStar Centennial’s Parthenon Pavilion, an HCA affiliate and Nashville’s largest behavioral health facility, knows all too well the dangers of being involved in an abusive relationship. A domestic violence survivor herself, she is now using her voice… Read more.

Alcohol: How Much is Too Much? The Risks, Warning Signs & Resources for Help

A common misconception about alcoholism is that if the individual goes to work, they’re not alcoholics. But Dr. Martin Buxton, the chief of psychiatry at Chippenham & Johnston-Willis Hospitals, an affiliate of HCA, begs to differ. “You can still be an alcoholic and get to work,” he says, “but ultimately, it’s going to catch up to you.” And it will. It always does. Alcoholism is a progressive illness that affects nearly 18 million Americans and sees more than 3 million new cases each year. And those numbers are rising. Why? “Theoretically, I think drinking has become more normalized – everything… Read more.

Guide to Recognize and Cope with Stress for First Responders

The scene has cleared. The wildfires have subsided. Adrenaline has slowed. And reality starts to set in. That’s likely what happens to first responders after the devastating East Tennessee wildfires and tragedies like the recent Nashville school bus crash that sent 23 students and three adults to area hospitals and the Chattanooga school bus crash that killed six children and sent dozens of others to local hospitals last week. As a board certified psychiatrist who has practiced in the Middle Tennessee community since 1996, currently with HCA’s TriStar Skyline Madison Campus, a Behavioral Health facility in Nashville, my heart goes… Read more.

Election Day Jitters? Learn What It Is & Ways to Cope!

To some, this presidential election cycle felt like it would never end. The 24-hour news coverage, the back-and-forth political banter on social media, the water-cooler conversations at work have left more than half of Americans in a perpetual fight-or-flight state – in other words, stressed! It’s been dubbed “Election Stress Disorder,” and at the height of it all – Election Day – two of our behavioral health experts are providing ways to cope. Whitney Toothman, a licensed professional counselor and director of social services  at Parkridge Valley Hospital in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Dr. Shawn Daugherty, director of clinical services and… Read more.

The Basics of Bullying & How to Help Beat It

Bullying has been the focus of national attention recently, but it’s certainly not a new phenomenon. Take the Bible’s David and Goliath, Back to the Future’s Biff and Marty McFly, Mean Girls Regina George or Harry Potter’s Drayco Malfoy. We’ve seen bullying behavior played out for centuries in pop culture, in books and some of us, unfortunately, may have experienced it in our everyday lives. (Does “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” ring a bell?) Bullying is here, but if we have our way, it won’t be here to stay. It’s estimated between… Read more.

“Keep Calm and Carry On” and Other Things You Shouldn’t Say to Someone with Anxiety

“Keep Calm and Carry On!” The popular catchphrase from the early 2000s sounds easy enough, right? Well for approximately 40 million Americans who suffer from anxiety disorders – the most common mental health concern there is – it’s easier said than done. So what do we say to the 18 percent of the population whose anxiety, in one way or another, may paralyze their everyday life? We sought the help of behavioral health expert, Dr. Alfredo Rivera, medical director for geriatric psychiatry at HCA’s The Medical Center of Aurora, to find out more about the mental disorder and to learn… Read more.

Chris Stapleton Taps TriStar Portland ER for Music Video Role Spotlighting Mental Health

Country music artist Chris Stapleton’s debut solo album earned him bona fide superstar status complete with Grammys, Country Music Award (CMA) honors and, last Sunday, a slew of trophies from the Academy of Country Music (ACM). And now, with his recently released song, “Fire Away”, the triple threat – singer, songwriter and producer – is lending his celebrity to shine a light on a disorder that disables millions of Americans – mental illness. And HCA’s TriStar Portland Emergency Room was there to help. The reality is, mental illness is real – and has been a topic of taboo for far too… Read more.

Are you SAD? It might be Seasonal Affective Disorder

Do you find yourself feeling sad, irritable and downright depressed during the winter months? Chances are, your mood can be linked to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – a type of depression triggered by the change in seasons. During the winter – in the northern climates, at least – there is little exposure to natural light. You go to work when it’s dark and go home when it’s dark; sometimes you’re in an office with no windows and little natural light, and between all those things, it can affect your body’s chemistry, metabolism, and in some cases, your mood. There’s a… Read more.

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