You may have heard about a medication called Narcan®. Narcan, also known by its generic name naloxone, is a medication used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Used quickly, it can literally save a person’s life. Find out more about Narcan and how the Healthy365 Connection Center can help you obtain this valuable medication.
When a person takes too much of an opioid medication – including heroin, morphine, fentanyl or certain prescription medications like Percocet®, Hydrocodone, and Oxycodone – their body may not be able to safely process the substance. This can lead to something called respiratory depression, which includes weak or no breathing and a loss of consciousness. Opioid overdose is a growing problem, with more than 100,000 people dying from an opioid overdose in 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control. During that same year, an estimated 2,755 Indiana residents died from drug overdoses, with about 85% of those deaths due to fentanyl. Substance misuse can affect any family, regardless of wealth, status, race or ethnic group.
Signs of an opioid overdose
When a person uses an opioid medication like morphine or fentanyl, the medication attaches itself to certain receptors in the brain called opioid receptors. This can cause important body processes to slow down or cease completely. A person experiencing an opioid overdose is usually unconscious and cannot be woken. You may notice very slow or no breathing or a gurgling sound coming from the unconscious person. Their body will be limp, and their pupils are often small and constricted. The person’s lips may be blue or grayish due to a lack of oxygen. Left untreated, the person may die. That’s why it’s so important to understand Narcan and be able to administer it quickly.
How does Narcan work?
Narcan, which contains the active medication Naloxone, is what is called an opioid antagonist. It seeks out the opioid receptors in the brain, attaching themselves and blocking the opioids and their life-threatening effects. Narcan may be able to restore normal breathing within two to three minutes after it has been administered, although a person may need more than one dose, especially if stronger opioids like fentanyl are involved.
Narcan is available in an easy-to-use nasal spray form. By administering the medication quickly and following up with a call to 911, you may be able to block and reverse the effects of the opioid medication. It is critical that you obtain medical assistance as soon as possible after administering or receiving Narcan.
Narcan education and assistance
The Healthy365 Connection Center can provide Narcan training in our office to the general public and in turn, we can issue Narcan free of cost. This program is possible through our partnership with the Hancock County Health Department. Simply come to our office during regular office hours.
Substance misuse is a complex condition that affects more than 40 million American over the age of 12. Substance misuse is a serious medical problem that does not reflect weakness or a lack of willpower. When you come to the Healthy365 Connection Center, you will be met with compassion and a desire to help you and the person you love. Narcan may not be able to “cure” substance misuse, but it can keep you or your loved one alive to begin the journey back to recovery.
If you want to learn more about Narcan, or if you are seeking support for substance misuse in yourself or someone you know, contact a Healthy365 Support Navigator today at (317) 468- 4231 or visit the Connection Center at 120 W. McKenzie Rd., Suite G in Greenfield.
The holidays are supposed to be a happy time, but even the most enthusiastic holiday aficionado can become overwhelmed with too many seasonal activities and expectations. Holiday spending, overbooked schedules, healthy eating concerns and the pressure of choosing just the right gift can weigh heavily on the brain during what’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. Add in loneliness, substance use disorders or other additional mental health concerns, and you might not be feeling the holiday spirit this season. Are you wondering how to manage holiday stress this season?
You’re not alone. One recent survey found that 18% of respondents said the holidays were “very stressful” and 44% called them “very stressful.” The greatest source of stress? Money issues. But healthy eating, family drama and working in the retail sector also contributed to higher stress levels over the holidays.
Healthy365 feels your holiday pain. As a community health improvement initiative that works to improve the wellbeing of Hancock County residents and families, we want to boost your holiday spirit with some self-care tips. While it’s easy to focus on what you need to do for everyone around you during the holidays, you can’t take care of others unless you’re taking care of yourself first!
Manage your time and don’t try to do too much
Your neighborhood cookie exchange is set for a Saturday, but your 10-year-old just came home and announced that it’s the same day as her Brownie holiday party. Then your spouse points out that the company party is later that evening, and your in-laws called and told you they are holding a special birthday party for all the December birthdays in the family, and it too falls on that Saturday. How are you going to manage holiday stress?
Spoiler – You can’t. No matter how strong and independent you strive to be, you’re going to need some help to make this all happen. Call on another Brownie mother to take your daughter to the party. Ask your in-laws to schedule the combined birthday party earlier in the day so you and your spouse can attend the company party in the evening. Touch base with the neighborhood cookie exchange organizer to find out if you can drop off your cookies ahead of time and pick up your assortment on Sunday. Or wish them well and tell them you’re going to have to skip the event this year.
Set boundaries to reduce holiday stress.
If you’re the go-to person in your family, you’ve probably trained them to see you as the person who can do it all. It’s time to adjust that attitude. Saying “no” is a powerful form of self-care. Is an activity adding to your holiday joy or draining your seasonal soul? You deserve a happy holiday, and it something is robbing you of that happiness, let it go. Practice saying no – it’s a lot easier once you get the hang of it. Are you already worrying about what to buy your nephews, who hand you a wish list on Thanksgiving and expect you to make it all come true? Call their parents now and tell them you’re going to be giving an experience instead, like an Indianapolis Zoo membership. You don’t have to be everything for everybody. Manage that holiday stress.
Practice relaxation and set aside time for yourself.
While you’re taking care of others this holiday season, who is taking care of you? Remember what the flight attendant tells you to do in case of an emergency? Put on your own oxygen mask first, and then help others put on theirs. You must take care of yourself first, or you won’t be able to care for others. Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive, although we’re not averse to taking some of the holiday budget and treating yourself to a professional massage. But a quiet walk in the woods (with your phone set to “silent”) can help you rediscover your serenity. Are you hoping to burn off some calories along with your holiday stress? Consider a Hancock Wellness Center membership to help you find fitness activities you enjoy.
There’s some truth to the adage that you make a living by what you get, and you make a life by what you give. Giving time can have powerful reverberations in the community, whether you’re signing up for a single volunteer opportunity or committing to regular shifts as a Hancock Regional Hospital volunteer. You can find more local volunteer opportunities here.
Manage holiday stress with therapy.
If life seems overwhelming, you may want to talk to someone who is trained to help. Fortunately, our Healthy365 Support Navigators are ready with sympathetic ears and access to local resources for your specific needs. If you’re already committed to regular therapy sessions, resist taking a holiday break. The holidays can add another layer of stress and pressure to your life, and you owe it to yourself to continue the care that can make a difference during trying times. If you’re seeking mental health help for the holidays – or throughout the year – contact the Healthy365 Connection Center. We serve residents of Greenfield, New Palestine, Cumberland, Fortville, McCordsville, Wilkinson, Shirley and Spring Lake.
A happy holiday starts with taking care of yourself. With these helpful tips, you can prepare yourself for a holiday you’ll look back on with happiness for years to come.
Hancock County Indiana RISE is our newest program here at the Healthy365 Connection Center. RISE stands for Resilience, Individualized care in a Safe Space, and Empowerment. The program is designed for Hancock County residents who are affected by mental health and substance use disorders. Laura DeArmond, LCSW, talks more about RISE below.
What is RISE?
As DeArmond explained, “RISE is a dual-diagnosis program. Substance use is the primary diagnosis, but as with most addictions, trauma, depression, and anxiety are all underlying. The best model is to treat both of those at the same time.” RISE is an outpatient treatment primarily for those in early recovery. “They are in control of what their treatment plan looks like,” said DeArmond. “We’ll support them and give them all the available options.”
What does treatment look like?
RISE services will include medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder. Patients will receive mental health counseling and potential medication management with a psychiatrist. “We treat a lot of patients who don’t need the medication management or maybe they’re already receiving meds from their primary care physician,” said DeArmond. “We want to transfer to a psychiatrist when necessary, but not everyone needs that medication piece.”
Support Navigators can also help with case management if there are concerns of homelessness or unemployment. Support groups will begin as more patients join the program. Overall, RISE is designed to fill in any of the gaps or challenges that an individual may face in early recovery.
How can someone join the RISE program?
Individuals can reach out directly to the Healthy365 Connection Center, or physicians can send in referrals as well. Krysti Montgomery will serve as the intake coordinator for RISE and will be the patient’s first point of contact.
“They’ll talk to Krysti, get triaged, and she runs insurance so that we can make sure it gets accepted and there are no surprises,” explained DeArmond. Next, an hour-long intake is scheduled with DeArmond, when all their information is gathered in order to determine how often to meet (typically weekly) and any other services that may be necessary, such as a psych appointment, MAT treatment, case management, etc.
What is MAT treatment?
MAT is one of the most effective harm reduction strategies to prevent withdrawal. The RISE program will use a few different types to help individuals in their recovery journey, including suboxone. “Out of all MAT treatments, we’ve found that suboxone is not as addictive as some other treatments, and it can be closely monitored,” said DeArmond.
Suboxone can produce a few side effects, but for most patients, pain is the biggest trigger for relapse and suboxone can take that away. Many patients even taper themselves down from suboxone on their own. “MAT is all about the process of meeting people where they’re at, and helping them get to recovery without judgment and stigma,” DeArmond said.
How will RISE serve our community?
“It is my hope that the RISE Recovery and Wellness program will help to fill a gap in much-needed services for our community,” said Amanda Everidge MSW, LSW, Director of Community Health Improvement. “Concurrently addressing addiction, mental health, and social needs of an individual can have a significant impact on outcomes. We strive to meet individuals where they are and empower healthy behaviors in a stigma-free and supportive environment.”
The RISE program also partners with the CRAFT Support Group, which allows loved ones to better support patients in their recovery. “If a RISE patient is talking about their family really struggling or says ‘I just don’t feel like they understand,’ then I’ll typically give them information about CRAFT,” said DeArmond. CRAFT is a 16-week highly effective, evidence-based curriculum that supports communication and family dynamics.
If you or someone you know could benefit from our RISE program, please reach out to the Healthy365 Connection Center today by calling 317-468-4231.
Have you heard about the Mental Health Campaign from the Hancock Health Foundation? Launched early last year, the goal of this $3.5 million campaign is to bring mental illness and substance misuse issues to light in Hancock County — and to bring an end to the darkness and suffering. The campaign has now reached $3 million in generous donations, and we are hoping to finish strong and band together to get our community to the finish line. Are you able to help fund this critical support and resources for Hancock County?
What are the goals of the Mental Health Campaign?
The Hancock Health Foundation’s Mental Health Campaign was started as an honest conversation about the issues of mental health and substance misuse and their impact on Hancock County. But it’s more than just the raising of voices. The $3.5 million goal for the campaign was put in place to fund two new mental health navigators, 10 new licensed social workers, school-based prevention and early intervention services and medication-assisted opioid treatment.
What has the Mental Health Campaign done so far?
So far, the campaign has used generous community donations to make great strides in meeting those goals. Two new social workers have been hired, and navigators have seen 160+ clients. Contracts have been set with two local school systems, and multiple mental health programs have been established within those schools. Additionally, the newly launched RISE program is set to provide dual diagnosis services and medication-assisted treatment for those who need it.
These services are primarily being conducted through the Healthy365 Connection Center, where Support Navigators work as caring community partners, provide a confidential listening ear and connect clients with local resources to overcome life’s many challenges. Even prior to the start of the campaign, Healthy365 was hosting their QPR suicide prevention training and CRAFT support group for individuals who have a loved one in addiction.
Why does the community need this campaign?
Some people might think that local Hancock County residents aren’t impacted by issues with mental health or drugs, but mental illness and substance misuse leave no community or age population untouched. In the U.S. overall, 1 in 4 adults—and 1 in 5 children—live with mental illness. More specifically, Indiana ranks 5th in the nation for states with the worst drug problems and ranks 2nd for youth suicide attempts.
And right here in Hancock County, recent studies show that 65% of our youth report knowing someone who has had serious thoughts of suicide. But with your generous support, you can help us open up about mental health and substance misuse in our community. Early education and intervention about these concerns, particularly in schools, can literally save lives.
Success stories from local residents
Don’t just take it from us. The Healthy365 Connection Center has served hundreds of clients in Hancock County – with life-changing results. Said one client, “I was just ready to walk out and give up. In all honesty, Healthy365 helped me a lot. It has changed so much since someone finally just listened.” And working with a Support Navigator is not just a one-time outreach. “They take the time to listen and get to know you and your needs and help you every step of the way,” said another client. “It’s not just done after one phone call, they really created a relationship with you and keep in touch regularly to make sure you are okay.”
Many individuals in our community have been trying to get help for their mental health or substance misuse for weeks, months or even years. But the Support Navigators are trained to provide a non-judgmental (and confidential) listening ear, as well as a connection to local resources. “I have been searching for help for the last 4-5 years,” said an additional client. “I’ve had overwhelming anxiety and did not know what to do. When I called Healthy365 I didn’t feel brushed to the side due to my history. They took time to listen, understand, and helped me figure out what to do.”
Would you like to learn more about the Hancock Health Foundation or their Mental Health Campaign? Visit their website today. Any support you can generously offer is appreciated as they aim to reach their final campaign goal of $3.5 million in donations.
As of July 16, 2022, the United States has updated the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, available simply by calling 988. Shifting from a longer 1-800 number to a three-digit code is anticipated by experts to be easier to remember during a mental health crisis. Learn more about the new 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, as well as how you can support someone who may be considering self-harm or suicide.
What happens when you call 988?
When a person in crisis calls or texts the new 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, they are connected to a trained counselor who can listen to their concerns, provide support and connect them with resources as needed (not unlike the function of the Healthy365 Connection Center). The 988 Lifeline is available 24/7 and is staffed by counselors and trained volunteers at more than 200 crisis centers nationwide.
Why is the number changing?
Formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the 11-digit phone number could be cumbersome for some to remember, especially an individual in distress. So much so that popular music artists Logic, Juanes, Alessia Cara and Khalid collaborated on a song about the pain of suicidal feelings called “1-800-273-8255” in order to bring more awareness to the Lifeline and make it easier for people to recall in a crisis.
With a short three-digit code (similar to the 911 number that most people know by heart) the new Suicide & Crisis Lifeline expects to meet the growing need for mental health support in our country. However, the 1-800-273-8255 Lifeline phone number will remain available indefinitely to connect those in need with a trained counselor.
What is the point of the 988 Lifeline?
The ultimate goal of the Lifeline is to direct people who are in crisis to the care that is most appropriate for their situation. With the support of trained counselors, the official 988 Lifeline website reports that “numerous studies have shown that callers feel less suicidal, less depressed, less overwhelmed and more hopeful after speaking with a Lifeline counselor.”
This will also ideally minimize the contact they have with law enforcement, public health and the justice system. Did you know that the rate of mental illness in jails is at least three times higher than in the general population? With resources like the 988 Lifeline, we can help reduce the over-incarceration of people with mental illness & substance use disorders by keeping them out of the justice system in the first place.
How can you support someone who is feeling suicidal?
One of the ways that local residents can support someone in crisis is by taking a QPR training class. QPR stands for “Question, Persuade and Refer,” which are three steps you can take to assist someone who is considering self-harm or suicide. Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response that you can learn to save someone’s life. We host QPR suicide prevention trainings at the Healthy365 Connection Center and across Central Indiana on a regular basis, with our next class taking place on Sept. 12 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Hope Center Indy (11850 Brookville Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46239). You can register for QPR training online or contact our Healthy365 Support Navigators at 317-468-4231 to learn more.
The Healthy365 Connection Center has a new team member! We are proud to welcome Connor McCarty, who will be serving our team as a Support Navigator with a special focus on clients and families within the justice system. His past social work and child welfare experience makes him the perfect fit for this role and we can’t wait to see our connections with the justice system continue to grow!
A background in child welfare
Connor is a familiar face at the Connection Center because of his past working relationships with his fellow Support Navigators. “I first got involved with Healthy365 through Christina Dewitt, she and I have worked together for about 7 years through social work,” said Connor. “She mentioned what she was doing here and that they were launching their justice program.”
Connor got his professional start in child welfare and has been serving Central Indiana for nearly a decade. “I have been in social work for about 10 years now. I have been working in child welfare for over six years,” he said. “When I was doing my undergrad I did various placements typically related to child welfare, and the majority of my professional work has been at the Department of Child Services.”
Transitioning into the justice system
When you think about working with clients in the justice system, you may just think about those who are incarcerated or on probation. However, families and children who have loved ones in the justice system are also largely affected. “I have worked very closely with the justice program because a lot of our clients overlap,” explained Connor. “I have worked directly with clients that have been in jail or prison, and that have transitioned out and worked with probation. I’ve learned to work collaboratively with them.”
A lot to love about Healthy365
Connor started working at the Healthy365 Connection Center just about a month ago on June 20, but it didn’t take much time for him to fall in love with the environment. “It is an amazing environment to work in and very supportive. Healthy365 is really client-driven and I love that,” said Connor.
He also appreciates how passionate Healthy365 is about our clients. “I love that the client is truly the main focus,” he said. “Everything we do relates to how this is going to benefit the client and, in turn, our community.”
Unsurprisingly, one of his favorite programs at the Connection Center is one that can benefit children and families: “We can help link families to get coverage for health insurance. It’s an awesome resource because it’s not just Medicaid or the marketplace, it’s all of them. We can help families identify what works best for them and get them applied.”
A heart for Hancock County
Connor has a special place in his heart for local residents because he is one as well. “I’ve lived in Hancock County for about six and half years,” he said. “I lived in New Pal for most of that and then I recently relocated to Greenfield.” He also appreciates both the professional and personal benefits to be found here locally. “It’s a great community as far as collaboration,” he said. “It’s so easy to build those connections and relationships with people. I’ve worked in other counties and that is not always the case.”
Like many Hancock County locals, Connor loves the “small town” feel that can be found alongside a number of “big city” amenities. “I know a lot of people love that ‘small town feeling,’ but there are a lot of things to do and I love that it’s growing,” he said. “I love being able to be part of that growth, not just in this role but as a community member and being able to benefit from it.”
If you were a superhero, what superpower would you have?
“Telekinesis… I would probably never get up.”
What is your favorite Indiana season and why?
“I love the springtime because I love the outdoors. I love getting our garden and our yard ready for summer, planting and getting things pruned and cleaned up from the winter – that’s the best time.”
What is your favorite way to kick off a Monday?
“If I’m being honest, it would be to drive through and get a McDonald’s Coke, and then show up to work and I am ready to go.”
What’s your most recent favorite read, movie, or show?
“We just started Season 2 of ‘The Umbrella Academy’ on Netflix. I’m trying not to binge because we want to extend it but it’s awesome. Elliot Page is in it as a trans character, and as supporting and being in the community I love to see it. Sometimes I think major networks try to exaggerate real life and so it’s really refreshing to see it done well, in my opinion.”