The Holidays: Happy for some, depressing for others

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By Charles Glover, Jr.

We look forward to many things during the holiday season that begins with Thanksgiving and culminates with the New Year: extra time off from school and work, more time around family, home-cooked meals, and of course, the presents. Amidst all of these enjoyable moments are the extensive hours people spend trying to make the holidays wonderful for their loved ones.

A couple enjoy the holiday spiirit.--Photo: Getty Images

A couple enjoy the holiday spirit.–Photo: Getty Images

Simple tasks can lead to feelings of stress--Photo: Getty Images

Simple tasks can lead to feelings of stress–Photo: Getty Images

The added stress around the holidays can make what is a wonderful time for many a depressing, dreadful, lonely time for others. Michael Kerr from Healthline.com explains it this way:

“Depression may occur at any time of the year, but the stress and anxiety during the months of November and December may cause even those who are usually content to experience loneliness and a lack of fulfillment.”

While there is little evidence that supports that the suicide rate increases during November and December, it is still important to recognize that there not everyone views the holiday season as a joyful time. Stress is a well-known trigger for depression and the holidays often create new tensions as well as reignite old hurts and feelings of inadequacy or loneliness, resulting in morose thoughts and unhappy feelings.

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It is important to learn how to manage the stress and recognize if a person may be in need of greater help. As Brenda Patoine from The Dana Foundation summarized;

“Finding ways to cope with the heightened demands of holiday gatherings, or filling the gap where they aren’t, is key to surviving the season with affect intact. This can be challenging, because one’s coping strategies may be the first things to fall by the wayside in the busy holiday season.”

The Mayo Clinic lists a number of recommendations for coping with the stress of the holiday season. A few of the suggestion are regular exercise, maintaining a strict budget, and volunteering. If you feel that you or someone you know may need assistance dealing with the emotions of the holidays, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer for OnPointPress.net and aspiring author. Follow me on Twitter @GloverIsGood.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

The First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama speaks about the Let's Move program; an initiative targeting the youth to teach them healthy eating habits and emphasizing regular workouts.

The First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama speaks about the Let’s Move program; an initiative targeting the youth to teach them healthy eating habits and emphasizing regular workouts.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

As the holiday season approaches there is already plenty of planning for family gatherings and holiday dinners. While we wish everyone peace and joy, let us remember November is Diabetes Awareness Month. It is important to emphasize that most people can prevent the development of diabetes by adopting healthy dietary habits.

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This month the American Diabetes Association has initiated a campaign entitled “#ThisIsDiabetes,” which is intended to highlight the issues faced by diabetes suffers on a daily basis. While there is more information available about diabetes, there are still troubling trends of diagnoses for adults and children.

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The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, has been front and center with the Let’s Move! program she developed to help teach the youth healthier eating habits while also emphasizing the importance of daily exercise. This program may target the youth to start these healthy habits at a young age, but the tips apply to everyone.

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Unfortunately, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Native Americans continue to be diagnosed with diabetes at the highest rates, as highlighted by the chart above. While the holiday season should be enjoyable, let us also be responsible and mindful of the habits we might have to add or subtract from our routines in order to protect ourselves from a diabetes diagnosis.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer for OnPointPress.net and aspiring author. Follow me on Twitter @GloverIsGood.

BREAKING: NYC mayor launches major mental health initiative

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio launched a comprehensive mental health initiative today.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio launched a comprehensive mental health initiative today.

By Carmen Glover

On Monday, November 22, 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, flanked by his wife, two children and staff, announced a major mental health initiative that is right on time since studies show that people who have mental illness often feel more lonely and hopeless during the holiday season.

“Maybe there’s a little hope that we can stare down these challenges and not be afraid to talk about them and seek the help that people deserve,” Mayor de Blasio said, in announcing that he will allocate $800 million over four years to fund his bold and much needed initiative named “Thrive NYC: A Road Map for Mental Health.”

Among the highlights of the initiative is the plan to train 2,250 mental health first aide workers, hire 100 school mental health consultants and hire 400 doctors for the NYC Mental Health Corps.

For a video of the Mental Health Road Map in action click here:

The mayor is no stranger to mental illness and substance abuse because he grew up in a household with a father who struggled with both. His father was an alcoholic who committed suicide when the mayor was 18. Also, de Blasio’s daughter, Chiara, 20, has battled substance abuse, anxiety and depression. Asked how she was coping during the press conference convened to talk about the initiative, Chiara smiled and said: “I’m doing better. I would say there’s always challenges.”

New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray, who has spearheaded her husband’s mental health agenda, was pleased with the massive financial commitment to the issue.

“The good news is that mental illness is treatable. We know what works. We have the tools.”

As the homeless population has exploded in New York City, data has shown a correlation between mental illness and homelessness. The new mental health initiative will go a long way towards curbing homelessness by reaching affected individuals before they descend into despair and provide vital services to those who already suffer in silence–OnPointPress.net–

 

 

 

Having health insurance before emergency strikes is crucial

People rarely plan for hospital stays. Unfortunate incidents and illnesses force hundreds into the hospital on a daily basis. Are you prepared?

People rarely plan for hospital stays. Unfortunate incidents and illnesses force hundreds into the hospital on a daily basis. Are you prepared?

By Charles Glover, Jr.

If there is one lesson to take away from the month of October, which emphasized  Breast Cancer, Domestic Violence and Mental Health Awareness, it is that being proactive and prepared can save your life. Yet, how do you prepare for an accident, illness, violence, or natural disasters? While we pray for those harshly affected by Hurricane Patricia, it serves as a reminder that there is only so much we can plan for.

 

The job of a qualified insurance agent is to educate families and individuals about the potential pitfalls that exist in most insurance plans and help fill those gaps. Hospital indemnity plans and accident plans are the most common forms of protection that provide benefits directly to the insured in case of accident or illness, in many cases.

When you meet with your insurance agent, make sure you read the fine print in your insurance plan and ask many questions.

When you meet with your insurance agent, make sure you read the fine print in your insurance plan and ask many questions.

When a person is hurt or critically ill, the only thing they should have to worry about is healing. Unfortunately, healthcare costs can become an albatross resulting in substantial financial loss and, in many cases, bankruptcy.

As open enrollment continues, be sure to read the fine print on your health insurance plans and ask your insurance advisor as many questions as possible. There are plans to help those who have to go the hospital for a wide range of reasons including cancer, domestic violence, heart attack, stroke, slip and fall and mental health issues. Make sure you plan ahead so that when disaster strikes, the only concern is healing as soon as possible.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr., your Insurance Advisor, is a senior writer at OnPointPress.net and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets. 

Contact me directly at (470)755-9940 for your health insurance questions and concerns

 

Lamar Odom’s cry for help illustrates value of mental health care, coverage

There is a greater emphasis on recognizing and receiving treatment for issues such as grief, anxiety, and depression, all of which fall under the umbrella of mental health.

There is a greater emphasis on recognizing and receiving treatment for issues such as grief, anxiety, and depression, all of which fall under the umbrella of mental health.

Lamar Odom is in critical condition in a Las Vegas hospital after reportedly losing consciousness while indulging in a weekend filled with drugs, all while battling untreated mental illness.

Lamar Odom is in critical condition in a Las Vegas hospital after reportedly losing consciousness while indulging in a weekend filled with drugs, all while battling untreated mental illness.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

As people flock to social media to offer prayers for former NBA star Lamar Odom, who won two championships with the LA Lakers and is now fighting for his life in a Las Vegas hospital, his struggles with drug addiction and untreated mental illness have surfaced.

 

Mental Health Awareness week was October 5 – 10, but the importance of receiving the necessary treatment for mental health issues cannot be understood in a week. There have been concerted efforts by many advocates and associations to preach the significance of addressing issues that impact mental health and encourage individuals to seek help, instead of suffering in silence.

Mental Health awareness week may have just ended but the issue of dealing with mental health issues is a daily struggle for many.

Mental Health Awareness Week just ended but the issue of dealing with mental health issues is a daily struggle for many.

One of the major impediments to receiving mental health treatment is the perception that the treatment is too expensive.

Many people are unaware that most health insurance plans now include mental health care as part of the basic plan. In fact, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, mental health can no longer be used to exclude individuals from coverage.

new adAccording to Healthcare.gov, “all Marketplace plans cover mental health and substance abuse services as essential health benefits.”
All healthcare plans must cover:
•Behavioral health treatment, such as psychotherapy and counseling
•Mental and behavioral health inpatient services
•Substance use disorder (commonly known as substance abuse) treatment

These inclusions are designed to reduce the financial impact of receiving treatment for many issues that fall under the umbrella of mental health. Among those issues that qualify as mental health concerns are grief, anxiety, and depression as well as other more severe diagnoses.

A list of diagnoses covered under mental health.

A list of diagnoses covered under mental health.

The other huge impediment to receiving mental health treatment is the stigma many feel is associated with being diagnosed with a mental illness.

This concern is recognized as being a considerable problem in the African-American community which is why education and awareness is so vital with this issue. Untreated mental health conditions can lead to suicidal and homicidal thoughts and actions.

Acknowledging that there are personal problems that are beyond your understanding is a good step in the right direction. The next step is to contact your insurance advisor and make sure you have a plan in place to deal with mental health concerns.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr., your Insurance Advisor, is a senior writer at OnPointPress.net and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets. 

Contact me directly at (646)309-1938 for your health insurance questions and concerns

Health insurance is highlighted during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Many people are unaware of the costs associated with fighting cancer. Take the time to learn how you can be prepared for the worst case scenario.

Many people are unaware of the costs associated with fighting cancer. Take the time to learn how you can be prepared for the worst case scenario.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

The bombardment of neon pink on your television screens and in your neighborhoods is a reminder that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The goal is to encourage everyone to be proactive and visit their doctors to try and prevent cancer growth, in addition to helping fund research for cures for cancer.

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The desired goal is to prevent cancer from spreading by having it detected as soon as possible, but there are too many people who still have to cope with that dreadful diagnosis. While many have become aware of the physical toll a cancer diagnosis can have on a family, the financial toll should not be understated.

Let Breast Cancer Awareness Month be a reminder to be proactive with your health and plan for your family's future.

Let Breast Cancer Awareness Month be a reminder to be proactive with your health and plan for your family’s future.

This fall, when you speak to your health insurance agent, ask about ways you can be protected if you or a family member is diagnosed with cancer. Many people do not realize that most health insurance plans only offer limited assistance in case of diagnosis of cancer. For many people, the cost for a second opinion, experimental treatment, or treatment at the best facilities in this country becomes an out of pocket expense.

The unfortunate reality is that there are countless people who have had to use all of their savings, borrow money, sell their possessions or their homes, to fund their recovery efforts. However, there are very affordable plans available to assist individuals and families faced with fighting cancer. So while you’re wearing your pink in acknowledgement of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, remember to contact your insurance advisor and protect your finances and health at the same time.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr., your Insurance Advisor, is a senior writer at OnPointPress.net and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets.  Contact me directly at (646)309-1938 for your health insurance questions and concerns

CDC called in as 10 die in Bronx Legionnaires’ disease outbreak

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, speaks about the outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease in the South Bronx, which has claimed 10 lives so far.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to request help from the CDC, as Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak  spreads in the South Bronx, killing 10 and infecting 100 residents.

By Carmen Glover

As the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease widened in the South Bronx, New York, claiming ten lives and sickening 100 residents, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr appealed to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to call in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday, August 6, to investigate and provide specialized assistance.

Stating that the level of anxiety “is very high,” Diaz solicited intervention from the governor, as Mayor Bill de Blasio downplayed the seriousness of the outbreak, while City Health Commissioner Mary Bassett insisted that the city was taking the issue “very seriously.”

“During the course of our actions fighting the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in the Bronx, it has been revealed that there is no inspection mechanism for coolant systems, rooftop water tanks and other standing water infrastructure that could be a breeding ground for this disease and others,” Diaz said in a statement, “The city must create a new inspection system for these systems just as we inspect other critical systems such as elevators.”

legionnaires outbreak

Legionnaires’ disease has infected and killed more people in the Bronx than the three people who died from Ebola disease in the entire United States in 2014 when a national effort was coordinated to keep the nation safe.

The disease was traced to cooling towers in five area buildings, including Lincoln Hospital, which treats hundreds of patients daily for ailments ranging from mental health disease, drug addiction to respiratory disease. The South Bronx is considered an epicenter for asthma in the city. Governor Cuomo has indicated that business owners in the city and state can request for their cooling towers to be tested for contamination, at no cost to them.

Lincoln Hospital was the site of confirmed cases of Legionnaire's Disease and the hospital's cooling towers were subsequently disinfected and cleaned.

Lincoln Hospital was the site of confirmed cases of Legionnaire’s Disease and the hospital’s cooling towers were subsequently disinfected and cleaned.

On Monday, August 3, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, hosted members from the New York City Health Department in an informational session at the Bronx Museum of the Arts on the Grand Concourse, where worried residents sought answers and reassurance that they would be safe.

In the meantime, de Blasio has instructed a response team to make emergency calls to building owners and property managers in the Bronx to make sure that wherever cooling towers are located, they are cleaned within 14 days.

Residents of the South Bronx, New York City, line up to ask questions about Legionnaire's Disease at a public forum this week.

Residents of the South Bronx, New York City, line up to ask questions about Legionnaire’s Disease at a public forum this week.

This new outbreak comes on the heels of a similar Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak in Co-op City in the North East Bronx, last year, which left residents violently ill. So far, the residents who have died from the disease in the South Bronx have been elderly and had pre-existing health conditions which weakened their immune systems.

However, because the disease is spread from mists in the air, every person who walks in the South Bronx can potentially inhale the deadly mist and contract the disease, which made the mayor’s refusal to seek assistance from the CDC a head-scratcher for nervous residents.

Legionnaires

29-year-old Co-op city resident Ron Hines, is embraced by his father. Hines was sickened with Legionnaires’ disease in November 2014 and has still not fully recovered. He filed a lawsuit early this year. Residents sickened in the latest outbreak in the South Bronx have also begun the process of filing lawsuits.

Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s Disease travels in the air and is often concentrated in cooling towers from which the infected mist sprays into the atmosphere. The disease triggers a severe form of pneumonia that is especially brutal for residents who have pre-existing health conditions such as respiratory disease, those who are very young or elderly.

As the new round of the outbreak spreads in the South Bronx, the first lawsuit was filed against the city. Residents who were sickened in Co-op City filed lawsuits early this year.–OnPointPress.net.