Not Alone’s special guests this week represented Behavioral Services for the Mary Lanning Healthcare: Kim Kern, the Director of Behavioral Services, and Psychologist Dr. Jeromy Warner. Mary Lanning Hospital officially opened in Hastings, Nebraska, in January of 1915, as a general hospital with 50 beds. Over the years, it has evolved into a health center with 183 beds and a staff of nearly 1000.
On Not Alone, we’ve discussed many times how stigma gets in the way of help and healing over and over again for families experiencing mental health challenges. People are reluctant to talk about what is going on at home, especially concerning their children simply because of “What will people think”?
Our November series of Not Alone programs address our veterans and our military families with a series of broadcasts especially acknowledging those who have experienced the unseen, emotional wounds of war, and learn how families cope with these issues as best they can. Many of our service men and women experience PTSD or combat fatigue, shell shock or war nerves. Injuries caused by explosions are often undetected or unreported as time passes.
Not Alone was honored to have Julie Costello and Gale Faltin, the co-chairs of the Military Services Task Force for EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) as our guests this week. We developed a greater appreciation for the abilities of our equine friends in addressing ‘people’ mental health challenges, especially as it relates to the needs of our military families.
Many listeners recognize that mental wellness is a vital part of their overall health. However, in seeking treatment, they should also understand that not every treatment plan may be equally effective for every person. Not Alone’s guest this week, Felicia Webster, encourages healing opportunities through art therapy, and feels that the creative process utilizing art forms is appropriate and unique to individuals of all ages. People learn to resolve conflicts and problems, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and achieve healing insight through the varied forms of art therapy.
Not Alone talked about anxiety disorders this week which can be defined loosely as those seemingly uncontrollable and overwhelming feelings leading to an irrational dread of every-day situations. Anxiety is a normal human emotion, but when anxiety interferes with daily activities, it becomes disabling. An estimated 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety disorders, and even though these disorders are highly treatable, only about one-third of those suffering from anxiety disorders receive treatment.
Not Alone listeners had the opportunity to learn about traumatic brain injuries this week from Kate Jarecke, Anne Hupka, and Peggy Reisher representing the Brain Injury Association of Nebraska. We hadn’t realized that 36,000 Nebraskans currently have a brain injury!
Today’s guest was Lenora Kimball, a nationally recognized leader in the peer support movement for mental health care. Peers are people with a lived, personal experience with mental illness who help one another face their fears, give respect, and encourage healing. Peers relate on a personal level, giving a unique and highly valuable perspective.
Our broadcast regarding art therapy opened new doors and new horizons for me. It was extremely impressive to see the many ways visual art and creative design can help a person focus on their own inner world of thoughts and images. Our guests spoke of helping students de-escalate after a classroom crisis; one youngster used Legos to smooth out internal frustrations, to calm and soothe, then be ready to return to their work as a student, equipped to make the rest of the day a successful learning experience.
In response to requests from listeners, our July 26 program addressed the topic of sexual abuse in children, including treatment for children who had become sexual perpetrators. We began discussion for this program last February, not realizing at the time how much this topic would be in the news by our broadcast date.