2017 NAMI walk at Riverwalk Park
According to www.nami.org as qtd. by www.nihm.nih.gov as of 2015;
- Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.
- Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
Ready? Set? ...Back to School!
On Thursday August 3, 2017, from 9 am to 12 noon, The Kern County Department of Child Support Services presented its 8th annual Health and Wellness Fair. An estimated, over 4000 individuals endured the sweltering heat and humidity to come out to the fairgrounds where their children were able to obtain free haircuts, free immunizations, free backpacks and so much more.
There were dozens of booths speckled across the lawn with a wide variety of businesses who were eager to distribute an abundance of goodies to all in attendance. As a compassionate and caring member of the Kern County Community, Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital wanted to make sure they did their part to help all those families in Kern County that need a little bit of extra help in preparation for the new school year. It is said that it takes a village to raise a child, and we believe that here in Kern County we truly have the best village there is.
Bakersfield Behavioral has included MediYoga in our Therapeutic Activity Groups!Written by Natalie, Activity Supervisor, Therapeutic Activity Department
We are happy to announce that this week we started offering MediYoga to our patients. According to www.mediyoga.com, “MediYoga is a very powerful tool in combating stress, burn out and other imbalances and it is simple to use. There are yoga exercises to suit everyone, yogic techniques that you can easily incorporate into your everyday life. Yoga has been a source of inspiration for many modern disciplines and treatment methods.” Some of the benefits of MediYoga are increased concentration, awareness, and balance, blood circulation, reduced levels of stress, clarity, and patience.
Yani Valdes is our new MediYoga instructor. During Yani’s sessions, our patients sit in a comfortable chair and listen to relaxing music. The main focus of the session is on breathing and light stretches, and the goal is to help patients explore alternative ways to relax and cope with symptoms while using yogic techniques. After their session, patients reported feeling relaxed, calm, and with improved affect. We encourage our patients to use these techniques when they discharge to cope with their symptoms and improve their life style and created balance.
"Yoga is not just a workout – it’s about working on yourself." – Unknown
Bakersfield Behavioral has included Art Therapy in our Therapeutic Activity Groups!Written by Natalie, Activity Supervisor, Therapeutic Activity Department
Groups are a very important part of the treatment plan for our patients. During activity therapy groups, we encourage patients to explore new activities they can implement in their daily life, and once they discharge, these activities can help them cope with symptoms. We provide different art materials and encourage patients to explore and express their emotions through the use of art.
Art can help us reduce stress, focus on something positive, provides sense of accomplishment, boosts self-esteem, helps our brain to be active, helps improve our affect and mood, and can be used as an alternative tool for communication. After engaging in art, many of our patients report feeling less anxious, with more energy, and with improved affect.
The collective painting/project below was made by our adolescent and adult patients and our staff. We wanted to create something that represents our emotions and experiences with mental illness, and we were able to create this amazing and beautiful piece of art that gives us hope. Art is for everyone and there’s not a right or wrong way to do it. It does not matter the outcome of your painting, what matters is what happens in your brain and soul while doing it.
Like Pablo Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Bakersfield Behavioral now has Pet Therapy!
Written by Natalie, Activity Supervisor, Therapeutic Activity Department Supervisor
We would like to introduce you to Fred and his owner, Liz.
Fred comes once a week for an hour, every Friday, and goes to the units’ day room where we do group. Because we only have Fred for a short period of time, we do a different unit each week so everyone gets an opportunity to engage in pet therapy.
Prior to Fred coming on Fridays, we assess each patient on the assigned unit for allergies and to determine if the patient is fit for pet therapy. We want the patients and Fred to be and feel safe.
During pet therapy, patients spend time with Fred and share their stories about their own pets and how having a pet has influenced their life in a positive way. We talked about the unconditional love pets provide and how similar our self-care is. Humans and pets need balance in their life to be able to function properly (sleep, eat, shower, doctors’ appointments, work, love…).
Lastly, we talked about a few benefits of owning a pet. Pets can help us improve our fitness, by walking your dog daily you can benefit from low-impact exercise. Walking is a coping skill that can help individuals with mental illnesses, like depression and anxiety, to reduce their symptoms. Pets can help boost our mood, lower our levels of stress, and give us unconditional love.
We are still working towards having more volunteers so we can expand this service to more patients.
Patients loved Fred and the pet therapy group. They reported that being in a psych hospital is depressing because you are far away from the people you love but bringing a dog helped them cope with their symptoms, motivated them to get better, made them smile, and feel unconditional love.