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Reflections from WCBH Providers during this pandemic

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl (Austrian Neurologist, Psychiatrist, and Holocaust Survivor)

Every week since the Pandemic began, the Washington County Opioid Hub’s Treatment subcommittee has been meeting virtually to share challenges, provide support, and reinforce a solutions-focused mindset. I thought it might be useful to compile several agency representatives’ perspectives and share them with the community-at-large. Needless to say, I have been so thankful for these weekly “zoom” meetings which have underscored the important role behavioral health plays in healing the Mid-Ohio Valley at all times, especially now. – Hilles Hughes, Deputy Director, The Washington County Behavioral Health Board.

How has this crisis affected us?

The COVID-19 crisis has changed a lot in our lives, but it has not changed our ability to get through crisis and come out stronger. This is not the first crisis our country, world, or community has experienced and each time we face a crisis like the one we are in, amazing things happen, including the great generosity and creativity that we have seen so far during COVID-19. There are definitely people suffering from this pandemic, and we don’t want to minimize that, but there are also ways for us to get through this crisis together, and in fact come out more resilient than before. Crisis presents challenges and opportunities, and we have the capability and resources to grow and transform through this difficult time. It is important that we capitalize on one of our fundamental needs — and that is generosity. We must help others in need and reach out when we are struggling. Together we will get through this, and together we will thrive beyond this. – Doug Pfeifer, CEO, Life & Purpose Behavioral Health.

To reach Life & Purpose Behavioral Health, please call 740-376-0930.

What good can come out of this traumatic experience?

Gratitude may seem like a silly word to use in times like these. In fact, gratitude may be something you’ve never given much thought about. However, gratitude may be just what you need during this pandemic. Research in positive psychology shows that practicing gratitude has a powerful effect on mental well-being. It can reduce stress, improve self-esteem, and help decrease or prevent depression. Gratitude helps us find peace in our present. It can be so much more than simply stating what you are grateful for. Look for opportunities to say “thank you” as a response to actions or things that are often overlooked. Go for a walk and make a special effort to appreciate your surroundings. Take five minutes to list the things you that make you proud. And my personal favorite, often shared by Mr. Rogers, look for the helpers.

I have been amazed watching all of the helpers in our community during this pandemic. Gratitude also creates a promising vision for tomorrow. I like to think about our future and how deeply we will appreciate social gatherings, sitting down at a restaurant, hugging, and so much more.

Please remember, if you experience anxiety or depression that seems unmanageable, reach out for help. The helpers are here. There is good in the present, and there will be good in the future. – Chelsea Eddy, therapist, Hopewell Health – Belpre.

To reach Hopewell Health, please call 740-423-8095.

Is home-based behavioral health service available?

Integrated Services for Behavioral Health has had a strong presence in Southeast Ohio for the better part of 25 years, but we are new to Washington County, Ohio. We have been meeting with individuals and families in our practice for a little over three months now.

The move-in to our office space in The Children’s Home on Muskingum Dr. was interrupted due to the current public health crisis, but we are still here for you and we are ready to serve the people of Washington County. We offer home and community-based mental health and substance use disorder treatment, and we do so while sporting PPE and practicing recommended guidelines. We come to you and we walk alongside you, with compassion, hope, without judgment, and wherever you may be on your life’s journey. If you or your family are struggling during this time, call us and talk with one of our caring staff members about how to get started in services with us. We may be apart, but we never have to be alone. – Erin Taylor, LPCC/Coordinator for Washington County, Integrated Services.

To reach Integrated Services, please call 1-800-321-8293.

For a comprehensive list of community behavioral health resources, please visit wcbhb.org

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Doug Pfeifer is CEO of Life & Purpose Behavioral Health, Chelsea Eddy is a therapist at Hopewell Health (Belpre), and Erin Taylor is LPCC/Coordinator for Integrated Services.

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