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Blog: Crossroads with Dr. Dave - Navigating the Path

About Dr. Dave Miers

Dr. Dave Miers is the Counseling and Program Development Manager for Mental Health Services at Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, NE. In addition, he co-chairs the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition.

Dr. Miers has published research focusing on family survivors of teen suicide and co-authored a chapter in an international handbook for clinical suicide research on the role of professionals in helping families after a child’s
suicide. Dr. Miers assisted in the development of the Lincoln Lancaster Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors team in Lincoln, NE.


Social Connectedness | May 2015

Anyone who has ever needed a friend to lean on knows what invaluable resources friends can be in your life. Social connections are an essential part of overall wellness and longevity and make you feel happy. However, many people who label themselves “shy” have a hard time making friends. These tips will help you get out there!

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask. If you meet someone who you think would be fun to spend time with, reach out. The plain fact is that if you want new friends, you have to reach out. If you want friends and company, put yourself out there.

  2. Don’t let rejection set you back. If he or she doesn’t take you up on your offer, don’t be offended. Don’t take it personally if you get turned down. There are lots of reasons someone doesn’t want a new friend, and most of them have nothing to do with you.

  3. Remember everyone’s favorite subjects: Their kids, themselves and their vacations. If you’re having trouble striking up conversation, choose any of these topics. They’re not controversial and you might find some common ground.

Some things in life make it easier to make friends For example, having children the same age is an instant entry into the parenthood group. Working on a political campaign will link you to like-minded folks and potential friends. Look for those people with whom you have something in common and get “friending.”

If the thought of meeting new people or putting yourself out there terrifies you, perhaps you would benefit from a mental health screening. Bryan Medical Center Mental Health offers a free and anonymous screening.


Take a Look at Your Mental Health | April 2015

Every day, we are bombarded with information about how to improve our health. You have probably already heard something this week about what to eat, what exercises to do and what habits to pick up and break. We all want to live long and healthy lives, but often ignore one vitally important part of our health -- our mental health.

The connection between emotional and physical health is impossible to deny. Just think about how being stressed impacts your physical being. Have you ever been so upset that your stomach hurt? The opposite is true, too. Think about your emotions when you’re physically sick or injured.

A quick screening can give you a snapshot of your mental health. Bryan Medical Center offers a free and anonymous screening. After a few questions, users can find out if they would benefit from seeking professional help.


Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder | March 2015

Your heart races, you may have difficulty breathing, and you have an intense feeling of dread, yet you are not experiencing an actual threat. These are just some of the symptoms of a panic attack, and about six million Americans experience them.

Some people who experience panic attacks will start to worry so much about having another one that they will avoid situations they think may cause another attack and their condition progresses from panic attacks to panic disorder. Panic attacks and panic disorder are highly treatable conditions. Treatment includes teaching coping strategies, trying cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and, in some cases, prescribing medication.

If you wonder if panic plays a role in your life, take a free and anonymous screening. At the end of a screening, you will find out if your symptoms are consistent with an anxiety disorder. You will receive feedback, treatment information if necessary, and resources.

 


Mindfulness | February 2015

You are likely hearing a lot these days about “mindfulness” and what it can do for your mood and health. What is mindfulness and how can it help you manage stress and anxiety?

Mindfulness is a practice in which you focus on the physical feelings of what you are doing and maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness. For example, walking mindfully is a practice in which when you walk, you focus on what you are feeling and seeing. You focus on the feeling of your feet touching the ground, the air on your face, and the sights in front of you. Pretty different than walking around your neighborhood thinking about how you’re going to get everything done, isn’t it?

It’s important to focus on all this without judging the experience as good or bad. Some people find mindfulness easier than other forms of meditation because it does not require that you “clear” the mind. Instead, you do have something to focus on and that focus can take you out of feelings of anxiety and put you in a calmer state. Of course, simply practicing mindfulness will not address everyone’s anxiety. Another step in addressing any mental health symptoms is taking a free and anonymous screening.



Mental Wellness in the New Year | January 2015

The new year brings us all the best of intentions and we tend to aim high. Exercise, weight loss, whatever your goals, they are likely lofty ones and can feel overwhelming. However, there are a few pretty simple steps you can take that will improve your mood all year.

Cultivate gratitude. It may sound like new age bunk, but thinking about what you have and being grateful for it is becoming a new mantra in the psychology field for good reason: it works! Next time you’re pining for something different in your life, think of this quote -- “Never let what you want prevent you from enjoying what you have.”

Eat enough. You probably already know that being hungry makes you cranky, but research shows that calorie intake that is too low actually releases cortisol, the stress hormone. If you’re trying to limit calorie intake, experts recommend cutting as few as 50 calories a day until you reach a comfortable amount.

Practice kindness. Being kind to others improves our connections to people, helps us perceive others more positively, and actually produces “feel good” chemicals in the brain. This one is easy and will improve your mood as well as the moods of those around you.

Get outside. Next time your mood is lagging, instead of hitting the coffee pot in the office, take a walk outside. It doesn’t have to be long or even vigorous. Just five minutes of natural light and some outdoor air will improve your mood.

Check yourself. This step takes fewer than 5 minutes and can make a big difference. Take an anonymous and free mental health screening to see if your symptoms need professional attention.




Holiday Stress | December 2014

There’s a lot of pressure in our society to be happy, especially during the holidays. However, for many, the holidays can be a reminder of painful memories---like the divorce they are going through, the loss of a loved one or the distance between those they are closest to.

Oftentimes, feelings of depression, anxiety and stress are likely to build during this time. If you have lost a loved one or are struggling with change in your family—this may be a time when the change may feel more prominent. Your family may need to alter a tradition or celebrate in a different way to alleviate some of the pain.

If symptoms of anxiety or depression are keeping you company this holiday season, don’t lose hope. Take the first step to a better place by taking Bryan Medical Center’s anonymous and confidential online screening.





Healthy Body and Healthy Mind | November 2014

As the temperatures turn cooler and the days get shorter, you may begin to notice something in the air other than a crisp breeze. Flu season is upon us and it’s important to take preventative measures to stay healthy. We’re all familiar with the steps: wash your hands, take time to get a vaccine, and avoid close contact with sick people.

While we all know the ways to keep our bodies physically healthy, do you know the ways to keep yourself mentally healthy? A great place to start is a mental health check-up. Bryan Medical Center offers free, anonymous online mental health assessments at Bryan Medical Center’s anonymous and confidential online screening. Self-assessments are available for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and bipolar disorder. After you complete a screening, you’ll receive customized feedback and recommendations on where to seek treatment.

Stay healthy this season both body and mind!

If you have had persistent feelings of sadness and are wondering if your sadness is a symptom of a more serious condition called depression take a free, confidential online screening.  The good news is that depression can be overcome.  You can have feelings of happiness once again.


 

Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) | October 2014

There is support available to help you navigate your path to wellness. It is important that you take an active role in your recovery and to identify and understand your personal wellness resources. Developing an individualized wellness recovery action plan will help you identify the resources that are helpful to you on a daily basis to manage your mental illness or other health challenges.

Bryan Medical Center has Peer Specialists on staff who facilitate Wellness Recovery Action Plan Community groups that are free to the community. Peer Specialists are persons who have progressed in their own recovery from mental illness and are willing to self-identify as a peer specialist and work to assist other individuals with mental illness. The Peer Specialists lead the Wellness Recovery Action Plan Community groups to help participants create a plan that is individualized to meet their needs that is self-directed to achieve goals and is empowering.

Individuals who attend develop a WRAP plan that includes a wellness toolbox, a daily maintenance plan, triggers that can set you back and actions to avoid them, early warning signs and action plan, what to do when things break down and action plan, a crisis plan, and a post crisis plan. Through this group you will learn skills to support you in your recovery journey.

Adult Group Information:

Meets Thursdays, 4-5 p.m. at the Bryan West Campus, West Medical Plaza, 2222 S. 16th Street, Education Classroom, Lower Level, No cost, No Registration Required. Call 402-432-0158 for more information.

Youth Group Information (ages 14 and Over):

Meets Tuesdays, 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Bryan West Campus, West Medical Plaza, 2222 S. 16th Street, Education Classroom, Lower Level, No cost, No Registration Required. Call 402-432-0158 for more information.


What is Happiness? | September 2014

Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in society. It is also one of the most treatable of the mental illnesses. Left untreated depression can lead to serious problems.  Persistent sadness or feeling “empty” is one of the symptoms of depression.  If you have had persistent feelings of sadness and are wondering if your sadness is a symptom of a more serious condition called depression take a free, confidential online screening.  The good news is that depression can be overcome.  You can have feelings of happiness once again. 

The opposite feeling, Happiness, is something people strive to find in their daily lives. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines happiness as a state of well-being and contentment and a pleasurable or satisfying experience. What exactly is happiness for you and how do you find it? The Mental Illness Awareness Week Committee has invited Dr. Shawn Shea, M.D., author of Happiness Is, to speak at a free event to help explore what happiness is and how we go about finding it. This will be the feature program for Lincoln’s Mental Illness Awareness Week.

The free presentation titled The Mysteries of the Human Matrix: Finding a “Tough Happiness” in Difficult Times on Wednesday, October 8th is scheduled from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Bryan East Plaza Conference Center at 1500 South 48th street.  Dr. Shea is an acclaimed speaker in the fields of suicide prevention and creating resiliency. Come and join Dr. Shea on an intriguing journey into the heart of three questions: What is the nature of happiness? How do we make it last? And what is the nature of human nature that allows us to find it in the first place? He deftly, and with a wicked sense of humor, provides a dynamic map for self-exploration and problem-solving, and shows you how to use it to transform difficult times.

There will be a free mental health fair at 6pm and following Dr. Shea’s presentation. To register for this free event please call 402-481-8886 or online at bryanhealth.org/calendar.


Depression in the Summer | August 2014

Summer is here! Vacations are on the horizon and your kids are out of school. Barbeques, time by the beach or the lake, and ballgames are all in your future. Most of your coworkers, family, and friends may seem more positive and energetic. Does your mood match the bright summer days? 

Regardless of the season, depression can put a dark, gloomy cloud over how you see the world. In fact, summer can be a particularly difficult time of year for those with depression. Clinical depression can impair your ability to sleep, eat, work, and get along with others. It can damage self-esteem, self-confidence, and your ability to accomplish everyday tasks.

Depression is more than a low mood. It can be a serious illness. This summer, take advantage of free anonymous online screenings for depression, anxiety disorders and alcohol problems by utilizing the free and anonymous screening provided by Bryan Medical Center

To find out if you should seek treatment, take Bryan Medical Center’s anonymous and confidential online screening. It only takes a few minutes to complete. You will receive customized feedback and treatment information if necessary. Take the first step to health today.

If you would like to visit with a mental health professional, the Bryan Counseling Center has trained staff that can help. To schedule an appointment, call 402-481-5991.


Postpartum Depression | July 2014

It is summertime and everyone around you seems to be enjoying the beautiful weather and time off with friends and family. You’ve just had a baby and everyone expects you to be ecstatic. So why are you feeling so low? Surprisingly, up to 80 percent of new mothers experience the baby blues, an emotional reaction that begins a few days to a week after delivery and usually lasts less than two weeks. Symptoms can include weepiness, anxiety, inability to sleep, irritability and moodiness.

If the feelings persist after two weeks, you could be suffering from postpartum depression. It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider if you think you may be feeling this way.

If you think you may be feeling general depression symptoms, you are not alone. About 10 to 15 percent of new mothers experience clinical depression, anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). To find out if you should seek treatment, take Bryan Medical Center’s anonymous and confidential online screening.

It's a quick and easy way to determine whether you could benefit from meeting with a mental health professional. If you would like to visit with a mental health professional, the Bryan Counseling Center has trained staff that can help. To schedule an appointment, call 402-481-5991. 

 


Men and Depression | June 2014

Contrary to what some believe, both men and women can have depression. In fact, every year, about six million American men are diagnosed with the mood disorder. Yet these numbers may not reveal the whole story. The effects of stigma and societal expectations can prevent some men from sharing how they feel. Therefore, many men do not recognize, acknowledge, or seek help for their depression.

Many times, men experience depression differently than women do and the symptoms are often more difficult to discern. When a man has depression, he has trouble with daily life and loses interest in anything for weeks at a time. Rather than expressing a depressed mood, men may seem more irritable and aggressive. Men may also be more likely to have difficulty sleeping than women who have depression. And although women with depression are more likely to attempt suicide, men are more likely to die by suicide.

Worried about yourself or someone you know? In support of National Men’s Health Week® from June 9th to the 15th, please encourage the men in your life to take a free, online self-assessment for depression.

Bryan Medical Center offers mental health screenings at Bryan Health online screenings. The screening is anonymous and confidential. After answering a few questions, the user will receive feedback, educational materials, and treatment resources if necessary. Share the screening with someone in your life today.


 

 

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