I see you! You may be re-emerging into society with a new sense of freedom or perhaps you are fearful of what's to come as our communities return to "normal". Maybe the smile we see is hiding the pain of your struggles. Once again, we are in a state of transition.

Let's honor Mental Health Awareness month by showing others empathy and kindness, while accepting where you and your loved ones (and not-so-loved ones!) are in the process.

We are all in this together.

All my best,
Dr. Pam McCaskill

McCaskill Family Services Newsletter
Term: Spring | Issue 17| May 18th, 2021
May is for Mental Health Awareness

We might be a little biased being mental health professionals and all, but May is our favorite month at McCaskill: Mental Health Awareness! We proudly live, breathe, learn and preach mental health! This month, we've provided you with all of our favorite resources to help strengthen your brain!

We don't have all the data yet, but if you have been tuned-in over the last year, it's pretty obvious to assume that mental health statistics are not looking so good thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Want to hear our thoughts? Read Dr. Pam's blog below!

Anxiety and depression rates have likely increased in our communities given the chronic instability, separation and loneliness, ongoing grief, lack of coping mechanisms, and financial stressors we've been experiencing. Now, more than ever, addressing and managing our mental health has become a necessity. We can no longer ignore our need for stress management, validation, and support with processing the past year, while preparing ourselves for what's to come.

If you have been on the fence about speaking with a mental health professional for yourself or for someone you love.. May is the month! When left untreated, difficulties with depression and anxiety can potentially lead to other issues such as substance misuse, interpersonal difficulties, cardiovascular problems, eating disorders, insomnia, and OCD. Now is the time. You deserve support.
Throughout the remainder of this newsletter please enjoy helpful resources and information to support mental health this month and every month!
At McCaskill Family Services, we specialize in working with adults, children, teenagers and families with various presenting issues. If you or someone you know could benefit from our services, please contact us. Our clinicians are trained in empirically-based techniques, and would be happy to promptly schedule an appointment in person or via tele-health. We can be reached by phone at 734-416-9098 or by email at office@mccaskillfamilyservices.com.
Our Favorite DBT Skill for Mental Health
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is an empirically supported treatment modality that teaches important skills for managing intense emotions and our reactions to them.

The ABC's of emotional vulnerability is a useful proactive strategy from DBT to help reduce the effect of negative emotions and aide in successful emotional regulation. Happy Skill Building!
Our Favorite Mental Health Meme's
Emily Brzak, MA, TLLP
Dr. Nicole Wozniak
Dr. Pamela McCaskill
Barb Dunn, MA, LPC
Dr. Amanda Klingensmith
Jaclyn Rink, MSCP, LLP
Dr. Ellen Koch
Horses Are Our Favorite Therapy Buddies
Last Day To Register is June 7th
Reserve your spot now!
These amazing groups fill up quickly in the summer!
Our 8-week-equine groups are back!
Summer session runs June 14th - August 9th

Join a group tailored to your mental health needs, lead by a licensed psychologist with the help of your own Equine partner.

Teen Anxiety and Depression
Tuesday's 4:30-6pm, Ages 13-17

Emotion Regulation for Pre-teens
Monday's 4:30-6pm, Ages 9-12

Adult Mindfulness & Stress Reduction
Monday's 10:30am-12pm

Get to Know Our Staff
Clinician Spotlight

Barb Dunn, MA, LPC, is a fully licensed counselor who specializes in working with the LGBTQ community, adolescents, and adults struggling with anxiety, depression, self-esteem and parenting difficulties.

In addition to working in a therapeutic setting, Barb previously worked as a school counselor and is versed in developing 504 plans that support academic success for students with disabilities.

Barb is also a counselor in our equine-assisted therapy program, and enjoys the outdoors, camping, music and biking. She is a lover of animals and has her own mini farm at home: 2 horses, 2 dogs, 2 goats and 12 chickens!
Join her tonight via zoom for a free presentation about helping your child transition back to in-person learning this fall.
If you or someone you know could benefit from working with Barb, please contact our office at 734-416-9098, or email us at office@mccaskillfamilyservices.com
Our Favorite Mental Health Apps
Virtual Hope Box
Access your unique hope box in times of intense emotions. Create personalized visual inspirations and coping skills, while finding guided meditations/relaxation tracks and games to help distract you.
An application for building healthy routines, setting and achieving goals and gaining motivation through community and coaching, all backed by behavioral science.
Practice mindfulness through fun videos, guided meditations, and useful articles. Partake in mood-boosting mindful workouts, improve your sleep hygiene, and regain your concentration.
Our Favorite Resources from MHA
We snagged two great resources from "Tools 2 Thrive", a workbook for mental health from Mental Health America. Find more useful tools at mhanational.org
Newsletter Editor's Notes
When we look at some statistics according to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), we learn that 44.8% of people who struggled with mental illness in 2019 sought treatment in the United States, and that 50.4% of our youth (ages 6-17) received treatment.
That's half.
Half of us that need help are getting help. The rest of us, well.. what's going on?

One of the most common things I hear from my patients upon meeting them goes something like this, "There are people that have it way worse than I do. I have nothing to be sad about." Sometimes I hear parents use statements like, "She's not depressed, she's just being a moody teenager. Aren't they all depressed nowadays?"

Why is it that we downplay our emotional struggles and needs? I urge you to reflect personally on this statement. Is it fear of being judged? Fear of taking action? Low self-esteem? Difficulties managing priorities? Fear of accepting your reality?

How might things start to look differently in our world if we started talking openly with each other, and addressing our emotions in a proactive (instead of reactionary) fashion? Our honesty would help push us in the direction of proper care sooner, "I guess it is more serious than we thought" and would likely gain us more support and connection from one another, "You feel that way, too?! Phew. I thought I was crazy."

Your emotional experience, no matter how big, small, tidy, messy or deeply rooted it is, deserves attention. Whatever you are feeling is valid, and needs to be addressed. Emotions serve as our communicators, and want to be felt, heard and acknowledged. When we attempt to ignore them...they just sit there... waiting.. growing.. causing other issues.

It can always be scary to take a step forward in improving your mental health, but as this positive little snake plant says, "I see a new beginning." It's never too late, and you are always worth it.
Greetings reader! I'm a masters level clinician at McCaskill Family Services who specializes in the treatment of OCD, anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders for all ages. I co-run the McCaskill Family Services DBT groups for teens and adults, and specialize in psychological assessment. I am also our monthly newsletter editor and social media manager!

I'd like to personally thank you for staying in touch with our practice, and hope you find this newsletter inspirational and informative. If you or someone you know would like to schedule an appointment with me, please contact our office at 734-416-9098 or email us at office@mccaskillfamilyservices.com. I look forward to working with you!
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