January 14, 2021

Dear friends,

This is tough time for many of us.  The future is full of hope with a vaccine arriving or, for some, an exciting milestone-a new baby or pet or even a new job.  However, it also a time of deep challenges as we live through a pandemic with social isolation, the loss of love ones, and financial insecurity; a lack of moral leadership at the highest levels of government; and real anger and frustration at the inequity in our country and the lack of justice. Our physical and mental health is affected in many ways. We wanted to share some important facts, resources, and tips on mental health, while highlighting the warning signs and who to call to get help, if needed. 

Statistics show that in a normal year 1 in 5 US adults experience mental illness each year and 1 in 6 US youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health challenge each year. Youth in particular are managing a lot during this pandemic, during virtual learning, being away from friends, and understanding what is happening can be overwhelming. Review this First Steps in Seeking Help guide for parents. Most importantly, please remember you are not alone. Seek help and look for the warning signs to help yourself or a loved one. 

Understanding Mental Illness 
NAMI PGC states that a mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. 

Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder. The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible.
 
Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable. 

Know the Warning Signs
Educate yourself on the following major warning signals and seek medical opinion if these symptoms persist: 
  • Changes in personality or mood
  • Withdrawal from others, abnormal self-centeredness
  • Confused or delusional thinking
  • Strange or grandiose ideas
  • Persistent depression, apathy or extreme mood swings
  • Excessive anxiety, worries, or fears
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Difficulty in coping with daily activities
  • Inappropriate emotions
  • Denial of obvious problems
  • Increased use of alcohol; use of drugs
  • Violent or suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Anger or hostility out of proportion to the situation
  • Hallucinations
Signs of Mental Illness in Youth 
Children's Mental Health Matters provides the following symptoms that vary depending on the type of mental condition, but general symptoms include:
  • Does poorly in school
  • Gets into fights constantly
  • Worries all the time
  • Maintains patterns of repetitive activity, and these actions interfere with school attendance, sleep or appetite
  • Frequently worries about death or talks about suicide
  • Never seems to laugh or smile
  • Has trouble making friends because of aggressive or frightening behavior
  • Avoids people; wants to be alone all the time
  • Loses interest in friends or things once loved
  • Can't stay with one activity as long as other children
  • Doesn't seem to listen to instructions
  • Acts without thinking
  • Uses drugs or alcohol
  • Displays babyish behavior which should have been outgrown long ago, like clinging, wetting or soiling
  • Displays sexual behavior that is more than normal curiosity
  • Repeatedly plays with fire
  • Is cruel to animals
  • Hears voices or sees things that aren't there
Who Should I Call? 
Community Crisis Center has outlined the following FREE hotlines for assistance AVAILABLE 24 HOURS A DAY:
  • DIAL 2-1-1 FOR INFORMATION & REFERRAL
  • 1-800-422-0009 - MARYLAND YOUTH CRISIS HOTLINE
  • 301-864-7130 - SUICIDE/CRISIS HOTLINE
  • 1-800-273-TALK (8255) - NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE



Resources 

NAMI Prince George's County Provides free support groups during this difficult time with COVID-19 social distancing and self-quarantining. Our support groups are currently offered over Zoom. For more information and registration, please visit
 
Online Connection Recovery Support Groups will meet:
Every Thursday
6 PM - 7:30 PM

2nd and 4th Mondays
6:30 PM to 8 PM

2nd Saturday
10:30 AM to 12 PM
 Prince George's County Public Schools
Tools 2 Thrive provides tools and resources for parents and staff. 

Maryland Coalition of Families offers a list of MCF Family Peer Support Specialists in Prince George's County. 

 Visit https://211md.org/ and click Mental Health and put in your zip code to find local centers and resources in your community. There are also other resources provided on this site. 

Children's Mental Health Matters provides a number of resources for parents & families; teens & young adults ; and educators & providers

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I continue to share regular updates about food distributions and other resources on social media, especially my Facebook page.  #onlytogether

Together Strengthening Our Community,




Like me on Facebook
 Follow me on Twitter

#onlytogether
Ways to Help
 
Route One Communities Care has partnered with Greater Riverdale Cares to support local restaurants and feed neighbors in need. Learn more at feedrouteone.org or
donate to Greater Riverdale Cares/Route One Community Cares.

Donate diapers and new or gently used winter coats to students at Riverdale Elementary and William Wirt Middle. Drop items at either school on Mondays and Wednesdays.



Starbucks at Capital Plaza is collecting coats for students at Woodridge ES and Glenridge ES. Please drop coats directly at the Capital Plaza location. 
 -----
 Contact Your 
D3 Team
301-952-3060

CouncilDistrict3
@co.pg.
md.us
 
Wanda Brooks 
Citizen Services Specialist
-- 
geneather Lloyd
Office Manager & Scheduler
glloyd@co.pg.md.us 
--
Aimee Olivo 
Chief of Staff
-- 
Alina Smith
Latino Liaison
--
Alesha Wilson
Community Outreach & Special Projects Coordinator
aewilson@co.pg.md.us


If you have received this e-news from someone other than my office, and are interested in receiving this update directly, please email CouncilDistrict3@co.pg.md.us or call (301) 952-3060.