Celebrate National Recovery Month in September

Support.

It’s a key ingredient in the recovery process. Without it, recovery can be a lonely, uphill battle.

September is National Recovery Month and this year’s theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Visible, Vocal, Valuable!” The theme looks at the “value of peer support through education, mentoring and helping each other.”

This year’s theme invites “individuals in recovery and their support systems to be catalysts and active change agents in communities, and in civic and advocacy engagements. It encourages individuals to start conversations about the prevention, treatment, and recovery of behavioral health conditions at earlier stages of life.”

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Did you know:

  • More than 7 million adults reported having co-occurring disorders, which means in the past year they’ve had any mental illness AND a substance use disorder. This co-occurrence was highest among the ages of 18 to 25.
  • By 2020, mental and substance use disorders will surpass all physical diseases as a major cause of disability worldwide.
  • The first behavioral health symptoms typically come before a mental and/or substance use disorder by two to four years, which offers a window of opportunity to intervene early and often.
  • Several studies have concluded that helping others can improve one’s own prognosis for recovery. By sharing their experiences, peers bring hope to people in recovery, and promote a sense of belonging within the community.

See more fast facts here.

National Recovery seeks to “educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.”

Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery, just as we celebrate health improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. The observance reinforces the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.

Get Involved with National Recovery Month

  • Rally for Recovery, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, Target Field in Minneapolis
  • Spirituality Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, Augsburg College in Minneapolis
  • 8th Annual Operation Recovery Event, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 17, Minneapolis Community and Technical College in Minneapolis
  • Walk for Recovery, Saturday, Sept. 19, Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis

 

Source: recoverymonth.gov/

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Chemical Health Webinar

Webinar IconVinland is pleased to announce the next webinar in our chemical health webinar series. The series offers valuable information on chemical health services for individuals living with cognitive disabilities. The free webinars are held quarterly, with recordings available for viewing on our website here.

Registration is currently open for the next webinar in the series. Registered attendees will receive 1 CEU credit.

Expanding Mindfulness as a Core Treatment Skill for Men and Women with Co-occurring Disorders
Presented by Tom Beckers, BS, LADC, Program Services Manager at Vinland Center
When: Thursday, September 3, 2015
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Cost: FREE
Register: Click Here
Overview: Mindfulness is the mental activity of paying attention on purpose to whatever is present in the moment. The mental effort of shifting attention to present moment experience has tremendous benefit. Mindfulness is often associated with meditation practice. While sitting, lying down or walking meditation is a fundamental practice leading to mindfulness, daily activity can also be met with greater awareness. This webinar focuses on how mindfulness is expanded to include skillful activity in the areas of basic self-care, regulating emotions, cultivating positive mental states, communicating with others, and developing meaningful activity. It draws heavily from the work of The Minnesota Alternative Model developed by Paula De Santo.
Objectives:
  • Understand how mindfulness mediation practice is adapted and combined with coping skills training in the Residential Chemical Health Program at Vinland Center.
  • Learn how traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects basic brain functioning and how mindfulness can strengthen executive functioning skills.
Speaker: Tom Beckers
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Chemical Health Webinar

Webinar IconVinland is pleased to announce the next webinar in our chemical health webinar series. The series offers valuable information on chemical health services for individuals living with cognitive disabilities. The free webinars are held quarterly, with recordings available for viewing on our website here.

Registration is currently open for the next webinar in the series. Registered attendees will receive 1 CEU credit.

Discharge Planning Includes Providing for Clients’ Basic Needs
Presented by Tim Grathwol, BA, JD, LADC, CBIS, Chemical Health Case Manager at Vinland Center
When: Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Cost: FREE
Register: Click Here
Overview: Clients with cognitive deficits and addictions often struggle to find a lifestyle that supports their attempts at recovery. Chemical dependency treatment and mental health services provide them with information and coping skills. Beyond that, many clients need community support for housing, employment, and ongoing healthcare. Chemical health case managers and counselors can do their clients a valuable service by actively seeking out and connecting clients with community support to give them a better chance to succeed in recovery.
Objectives:
  • Understand the issues clients and counselors face when working in treatment with CD clients with cognitive deficits.
  • Learn how to start planning for “life after treatment” from the beginning of the treatment experience. This will give clients a better chance for success after leaving the “bubble” of treatment.
  • Highlight ideas for contacting and building a network of community resources for clients to help them succeed in recovery.
Speaker: Tim Grathwol has worked as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor since 2003. He has been a Chemical Health Case Manager at Vinland Center since 2005. He is also a certified brain injury specialist. Tim has seen that for many of Vinland’s clients who have been through multiple treatments, “lack of information is not the problem.” Tim has worked on finding ways to set clients up with community resources such as housing, medical and mental health services, employment or volunteer opportunities. This is based on a belief that clients are more likely to succeed in recovery when their fundamental needs are met.
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Meet Our Intern John

John Ambrose is a chemical health intern at Vinland’s residential facility in Loretto. He is a Community Counseling major, with a focus in Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counseling (LADC), at Winona State University. He will graduate in spring of 2016.

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Why are you interested in your field of study?

I enjoy seeing people get better. People getting into counseling are interested in helping people, but it’s important to know you can’t do that – you can only help people see how they can help themselves.

Why were you interested in an internship at Vinland?

I went to an internship fair in January and I was intrigued by the holistic plan at Vinland. There isn’t just a focus on substance abuse but they also create an optimal environment with the spiritual, nutrition, and exercise aspects. I’m interested in the whole body approach, especially with people who have more than a substance abuse issue, such as those with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or mental health diagnoses, since you can then treat them from multiple angles.

What are your goals after graduation?

Get a job someplace with an interesting population and where I feel I can help out, but that also is challenging and where I will learn.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m a runner – I’m training for the Twin Cities Urban Trail Marathon (it will be my second marathon).

What’s your favorite place you’ve ever been?

I have three. The Grand Canyon because you can witness the majesty. Sequoia National Park because it is hard to put your mind around how something that grows so slow can grow so big – it puts existence as a human into perspective. Also, oceans in general.

If you could meet anyone in the world, who would you meet?

David Lynch – I’m a big fan of his movies, and because he meditates.

What is your spirit animal?

A rabbit because I’m really busy but I enjoy “bouncing around.”

What is your favorite book, movie, and/or TV show?

“Dancing With Cats” is my favorite book – it’s a picture book of people dancing with cats. Lost Highway is my favorite movie. And Bachelorette is my favorite show, this season at least.

What song best describes your life?

“Livin in America” by James Brown

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Meet Our Intern Emily

Emily Simso is a marketing intern at Vinland’s residential site in Loretto. She is a Biology Major, Dance Minor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and will graduate in May, 2017.

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Why are you interested in your field of study?

I’m planning to attend medical school after undergrad with the hope of pursuing a career focused on public health and improving international healthcare systems. Plus, I just really like science.

Why were you interested in an internship at Vinland?

Mental health is oftentimes ignored or underfunded in our healthcare system and I like seeing how Vinland fits into the picture as a treatment facility. I also like the holistic approach at Vinland.

What are your goals after graduation?

To do a year of post-graduate service in the Pacific Northwest (possibly JVC NW or Community Health Corps) and then go to medical school (hopefully UCLA).

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love being outside (hiking, canoeing, kayaking), spending time with friends, and reading!

What’s your favorite place you’ve ever been?

Sydney, Australia!

If you could meet anyone in the world, who would you meet?

Paul Farmer because of the work he does with international public health and the emphasis he places on the intersectionality of social justice issues.

What is your spirit animal?

A manatee – they just like hanging out with their friends and are pretty mellow

What is your favorite book, movie, TV show?

My favorite book is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and my favorite TV show is Grey’s Anatomy.

What song best describes your life?

“The Only Place” by Best Coast – it’s really upbeat and about loving life on the west coast!

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Yoga Helps Individuals with Mental Health Issues

By Emily Simso, Marketing Intern

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In recent years, there has been an increase in yoga’s popularity in the United States. While many herald yoga for its physical benefits, recent studies have found that it aids mental health in a variety of areas as well.

Yoga has effects similar to antidepressants and psychotherapy, meaning it may provide an alternative treatment method for individuals dealing with mental health issues. Researchers from Duke University Medical Center found that yoga helps individuals suffering from mild depression, sleep problems, schizophrenia, and ADHD. Overall, they believe this is possible because yoga may increase neurotransmitters in the brain, lower inflammation, and reduce oxidative stress. In a 2006 study, individuals with depression reported lower cortisol levels (the neurotransmitter correlated to stress) after doing yoga for seven days. Patients with schizophrenia have shown reduced aggression and increased compliance after eight weeks of yoga, along with greater social functioning after a longer trial period.

Another study found that yoga aids individuals who suffer from anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by encouraging a sense of control. The deep breathing portions of yoga help individuals reduce stress through the mindfulness and control required. Similarly, yoga can assist those with bipolar disorder to reduce stress and calm manic episodes by decreasing depressing thoughts and increasing thought clarity.

Vinland Center offers yoga classes for our residential and outpatient chemical health programs. The classes serve as an introduction to yoga and many of the clients, though some are reluctant at first, greatly enjoy the program. Several individuals have commented that yoga help them de-stress, focus, and generally “feel better.”

Carole Steffl, a certified adaptive yoga instructor,  leads the classes at the residential program. She begins each session with a discussion about modifications to the yoga positions, since she says her biggest challenge is the “wide variety of physical abilities” in any given class. Carole adapts movements depending on who is in the session and always “listens to the bodies” of her students to create safe positions so everyone can participate. While some clients are more interested than others, several decide to pursue yoga after their time at Vinland. When Carole follows up with clients six months after their graduation, some are still taking classes.

Vinland’s outpatient facility offers yoga sessions that focus on providing a “self-soothing” experience through dim light, aromatherapy, and a “no right or wrong way of participating” attitude. Kathleen Johnson is a chemical health case manager in the outpatient program who is certified in complementary and alternative medicine. She also does yoga in her groups, and she says yoga helps clients manage their stress and anxiety levels. Additionally, she uses yoga during one-on-one sessions to help clients unwind.

Yoga shows great potential as an alternative therapeutic remedy and as more studies are done, it will hopefully be adopted in more healthcare centers. Until then, Vinland will keep spreading the calming joy one “Namaste” at a time.

Sources: Frontiers in Psychiatry, October 2012; Journal of Depression Research and Treatment, 2012

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Chemical Health Webinar

Webinar IconVinland is pleased to announce the next webinar in our chemical health webinar series. The series offers valuable information on chemical health services for individuals living with cognitive disabilities. The free webinars are held quarterly, with recordings available for viewing on our website here.

Registration is currently open for the next webinar in the series. Registered attendees will receive 1 CEU credit.

Building Resiliency for Clients with Mental Health, Cognitive and Substance Use Disorders
Presented by Rick Krueger, MA, LPCC, LADC, CBIS, Clinical Director at Vinland Center
When: Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Cost: FREE
Register: Click Here
Overview: Resiliency is a person’s ability to “bounce back” after stressful life events. Research has proven there are several factors that improve an individual’s resiliency. By knowing what contributes to resiliency, clinicians can work with individuals facing mental health, cognitive and substance use disorders to improve their chances for successfully handling life’s stresses.
Objectives:
  • Learn definitions of resiliency as it relates to individuals with mental health disorders
  • Define internal versus external risk factors in resiliency in mental health
  • Define internal versus external protective factors in mental health
  • Explore concept of an individual’s demands versus resources in meeting life’s challenges
  • Explore ways to lower demands and increase individual resources
Speaker: Rick Krueger has worked in the area of mental health and substance abuse treatment for over 25 years. He has presented on the treatment of addictive disease, group therapy, relapse prevention, and cognitive disability. His most current trainings have addressed co-occurring disorders of substance abuse, mental illness and cognitive disabilities, building resiliency, and trauma-informed services.
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