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Interviews

  • Problem Gambling – Carissa D’Amico LMSW, ICGC-1, Outpatient Clinician

    Transcription

    0:00:00
    8:22 here at FM 97.3 WZBG. Third Wednesday of every month. We visit with folks from McCall Behavioral Health Network. And this time we’re connecting with Carissa D’Amico on the live line. Carissa, good morning. Thanks for joining us.

    0:00:17
    Good morning, Dale. Thanks so much for having me on.

    0:00:20
    So Carissa is a social worker, and she’s got advanced certifications in gambling addictions. And we’re going to talk about that this morning. You know, there’s so many ways to gamble now. And it seems like it just keeps getting broader and broader. And where people used to have to go to casinos, now you can do casino gambling on your phone. I mean, there’s just so much.

    0:00:47
    So problem gambling prevention, it’s time to share some tips this morning. So I imagine that that has made your job considerably busier with all the different ways in which people can gamble and maybe get addicted to it.

    0:00:58
    It has.

    0:00:59
    We have a bunch of different people from a bunch of different backgrounds that we didn’t have before gambling went on the internet. Right. But gambling can be a fun leisure activity. In order to do that, we do have tips for responsible gambling. Things like setting limits on how much time and money you spend gambling, avoid chasing losses, meaning avoid gambling more to regain the money you might have lost, avoiding gambling while under the influence, taking breaks from gambling, and staying educated about the risks associated with gambling like financial, mental health, relationships, legal problems, work, health, and things like that.

    0:01:42
    There’s a lot of advice out there now. I mean, even to their credit, gambling houses or organizations or apps that provide gambling, they do have websites or apps or information to try to keep you from getting into trouble. And that’s all to the good. And I guess the idea here is, the key word here is prevention. So let’s talk about some of those signs that gambling may be coming a problem.

    0:02:15
    Yeah, if you’re thinking about gambling or you have a preoccupation with gambling, planning your next gambling event, it might be a problem. If you’re experiencing urges to gamble or lying about gambling, if you have debts from gambling, if you’re borrowing money to gamble or neglecting your responsibilities at work, school, family. And it can also increase mood swings. to get, increase your anxiety or your irritability, then it might be a problem. Right. I would imagine one of the most heartbreaking aspects is, again, when you start neglecting responsibilities, when it starts showing up at work, when it starts showing up, you know, in relationships with your family members and your loved ones, when it gets in the way of that, that is a huge red flag.

    0:02:57
    And that’s when things can get tragic because it it goes well outside Just the person who is who is dealing with this addiction and brings a lot more people into the problem

    0:03:27
    Yeah gambling is a really big problem It’s getting more popular and people just aren’t as educated about it as is needed since all the changes to how you could gamble. But if you are experiencing an issue related to gambling, help is available. We at McCaw have clinicians who specialize in treating problem gambling. You can also reach out to the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling and there’s a 24-hour problem gambling helpline and there’s also peer support groups like Gamblers Anonymous.

    0:04:04
    If you’re joining us this morning, Carissa D’Amico is our guest. She’s with the McCall Behavioral Health Network, works out of their Waterbury Clinic. We’re talking about gambling addictions this morning. So when we when we talk about being able to help folks who are dealing with gambling, what’s in the toolbox for McCall? What are some of the things you can bring to bear that can help turn that situation around?

    0:04:26
    Yeah, so I can share a little story about someone who came in for treatment. So an individual came to treatment because their partner was pushing them in, and when they came to treatment, they had a vague idea of how gambling was impacting their marriage but not their life. So they decided they might want to cut down on the frequency that they were gambling. So when we worked together, we were able to kind of look at all the areas that it might be impacting, which increases person’s desire to cut back.

    0:05:07
    And when we used some of these tools, like creating a budget to decrease gambling debts or debts related to gambling, when we talked about maybe physically being present for your family, but mentally thinking about either the consequences from gambling or the next time you were going to gamble. They kind of, this kind of really helped them to see that they might be more committed to cutting back. So we were able to create a reasonable budget to pay off the debts associated with gambling. to work together so that the marriage could start to be repaired. And this person saw noticeable differences in their life, especially surrounding anxiety, fear, and the distress that gambling caused throughout their daily living.

    0:05:50
    So we’re still working on potentially not gambling at all, but a cut down on gambling is a win, so.

    0:05:58
    So it sounds like in this particular case the individual wasn’t really consciously aware, fully aware of just how deep in they were. And maybe it takes that objective viewpoint and that treatment between a loved one who intervenes and treatment at McCall to say, let’s look at the seriousness of your situation. Let’s look seriously about where you are right now in your life And and how things are going and I guess that’s got to be quite an eye-opener

    0:06:31
    Absolutely, I mean I feel like we all have behaviors that might affect our lives But we can’t always see them clearly when it’s us so just having somebody else to Go back and forth with talk with and really start to see oh, maybe this is impacting my mental health Maybe this is impacting my health. You know different areas that we wouldn’t generally think about.

    0:06:53
    Let’s expand on that as we wrap up the show, Carissa. Believe it or not, our time goes very quickly and is wrapping up. Carissa D’Amico is our guest this morning. She’s a social worker with the folks at the McCall Behavioral Health Network with advanced certifications in gambling addictions. In terms of a takeaway, for somebody who may think they may have a gambling problem. Can we leave them with a with a closing thought about how to get towards some help?

    0:07:18
    Absolutely, you can always call McCall We’re always happy to help and we’re always happy to work with you on what your goals are We’re not going to push you into never gambling again or do something you don’t want to do We’re going to work with you on what your personal goals are So you come to McCall. Like I said, there’s peer support groups. You can call the problem gambling helpline. And yeah.

    0:07:44
    Great place to start.

    0:07:45
    All right, Carissa, we certainly appreciate your time.

    0:07:47
    And as we said, there is so much pressure to gamble now because there’s so many opportunities to do so that we want to keep folks out of trouble. And if they feel like they’re getting into trouble, get them the help that they need. Thanks for your time this morning and have a great day.

    0:08:03
    Thanks, Dale. You too. All right, take care.

    0:08:05
    Carissa D’Amico, McCall Behavioral Health Network on this morning’s Carissa D’Amico, McCall Behavioral Health Network on this morning’s edition here on FM 97.3.

  • Engaging Families in their Teen’s Recovery Journey – Laura Cummings, LCSW, CCDP-D, Adolescent Clinical Supervisor

    Transcription

    0:00:00
    Third Wednesday of every month, we get a visit with the folks from the McCall Behavioral Health Network. We’d like to welcome back to the show Laura Cummings, and she is the Director of Clinical Supervisor, Director of Adolescent Services at McCall, and she joins us this morning.

    0:00:24
    Good morning, Laura.

    0:00:25
    Hi. I’m happy to be here. Thank you. Thanks for joining us.

    0:00:32

    We’re going to talk about adolescent services, which of course is right in your wheelhouse. And you know, I guess there’s been a program that you’ve been using at McCall now for about a little bit over a year.

    0:00:40

    Yes, that’s correct. Our adolescent services program, we developed an intensive outpatient program and we’ve now been in existence since September 2022. Why did we feel that we needed this? What was the goal here? Or identifying a need? Yeah, there’s a lot going on with young people and families. Winter can be a really difficult time. You know, the holiday stress is over, it’s cold, school problems are becoming more and more obvious as we go into that second half of the school year. So our IOP program, it’s like I said, it’s been running for over a year, it’s proving successful in helping a lot of our youth and our families navigate their problems.

    0:01:18
    We do serve ages 13 through 18, as long as the 18-year-old is still in high school. You asked about why we kind of created this intensive outpatient program level of care. A lot of our clients have mental health struggles. There’s depression, there’s anxiety, suicidal thoughts, self-harming behaviors. One statistic, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, their website, 49.5% of adolescents have had a mental health disorder at some point in their lives. That’s a high percentage. Yeah, nearly half. Yeah. There’s also substance use. That’s kind of the other side of what we do.

    0:01:56
    So a lot of youth struggle with that. Young people come in using marijuana, alcohol, pills, it’s negatively affecting their mental health, their school performance, and their relationships. SAMHSA.gov says, according to SAMHSA’s 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 8.2% of adolescents ages 12 to 17 drank alcohol in the past month. 13.8% of adolescents used illicit drugs in the past year. So again, kind of high percentages and substance use is really out there among this younger population.

    0:02:30
    At this program being out for just over a year now, did we notice really a surge or a rise post-pandemic? It seems like we’re still toting up the damage from this thing.

    0:02:39
    Yeah, yeah. So we kind of came into existence, I think that was part of it. Just kind of the after effects from that and young people trying to get over that. It really did affect the young children negatively.

    0:02:53
    How do young people  get into the program? How are they steered toward McCall?

    0:02:58
    Yeah, so I’ll give you a little bit of information about our program. We meet for three hours, three afternoons a week. Clients are given skills to improve their current coping with these different types of stressors that we talked about. We teach new ways to change their behaviors, their thinking patterns. That’s kind of the CBT, cognitive behavioral piece, right? The thinking and the behaviors. We teach them how to build up their social support networks. We help them identify alternative healthy coping activities and challenging their thinking patterns. So these are all different skills that we teach.

    0:03:33
    Because young people learn differently, we also include art in our program. So some people respond better to, you know, artistic creative ways to kind of bring these concepts into their lives. So we do painting, we do clay, sometimes we do games, or we’ve even included yoga to help the youth kind of learn different ways to heal and cope. And again, different people will respond better to different things.

    0:04:10
    Sometimes we have other agencies and other speakers come in and talk about different topics, like internet We offer snacks and fidget toys. And we also do individual sessions every other week with the young person. We can have family sessions once a month. And that’s a really key component as well because a lot of times the young person and their parent or guardian really needs that kind of to talk and open up and move together as a family. And we do provide medication management as well

    0:04:24
    I would imagine including the family too so that everybody is really on the same page. Because if you’ve got a child who is struggling, you get them into the program, and in part if they’re struggling because of the situation at home, that whole herd has got to move together if we’re not going to latch back into the same kind of behaviors or practices that got us there in the first place.

    0:04:43
    Yes, yes. So that’s why the family piece is really, really key. So if I can, I’d like to just say a little bit, kind of to demystify this whole process, how the initial intake process goes for the new families. Sure. So we begin with a triage phone call. So the parent or guardian can call our office and they’ll do a triage over the phone. They just call our main number, which I’ll just say it’s 860-496-2100. Sure. They get some basic information, answer some kind of safety triage questions, and then they schedule an intake with one of our clinicians.

    0:05:16
    At that intake appointment, we sign consents and releases. We do a drug screen. We collect information about what brings the young person to treatment. And then after we’re kind of done gathering information, we can make up a whole comprehensive biopsychosocial history. Together with the parent, we sit down and we make a recommendation for treatment. We decide how we’re going to move forward with the family.

    0:05:42
    In addition to our intensive outpatient program, we also offer outpatient level of care, and that level of care is only once a week for an hour. So it’s nice to have that. We can offer both, depending how kind of intense the young person’s problems are at the time. For both levels of care, we create personalized treatment plans with the youth and the family, and that’s how we make sure the goals are appropriate and attainable and they’re important to the youth and the family.

    0:06:07
    So if there’s a family out there, if there’s a parent that thinks their child may be struggling and they want to contact McCall, I think they’re being able to express in as much detail as possible their concerns or their fears about what their child may be going through is critical to setting up that personalized care.

    0:06:24
    Yeah, their input is really, really key. We’ll also ask them to complete a caregiver survey, which is just written and kind of reinforces what they tell us. So we definitely need their input as well.

    0:06:32
    If you’re just joining us, Laura Cummings is clinical supervisor of the Adolescent Services at McCall Behavioral Health Network this morning. We’re talking about their intensive outpatient program for youth ages 13 through 18. Believe it or not, we’re just about out of time on the program. It flies by, right? What’s a practical takeaway that could be most helpful for families in the here and now?

    0:06:56
    So one thing we’ve been seeing a lot of lately is parents and youth having difficulty talking with each other. We know that family conversations can get tense. And one important thing is for everyone in the family to be able to take space from each other when they need this. So it’s really important that they tune into their own needs enough so they can recognize when they’re starting to feel upset and need to take that space. They also need ways to calm themselves. And that doesn’t mean that these family conversations will never happen. It just means you need space to realize your emotions are spinning out of control.

    0:07:29
    Take that time to get regulated and then come back together and talk when you’re calm enough to access the thinking part of your brain.

    0:07:36
    It reminds me of an old adage on the lighter side when families were stuck together during COVID that there was this one particular household they had what they called the hat rule. If there’s a member of the family that’s wearing the hat, they want to be left alone. I like that. Don’t communicate with them just now. Yeah. So I thought it might be a great way for families to communicate or not when that is the key. Yes. Laura, we appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

    0:08:04
    One more time, if you could give the the mainline phone number for McCall Behavioral Health for any family out there that might want to get in touch.

    0:08:06
    Yes, sure. It’s 860-496-2100.

    0:08:08
    We appreciate your time today. Thank you. Laura Cummings is the clinical supervisor, director of adolescent services at the McCall Behavioral Health Network. We visit with them once a month here on FM 97.3. Back to the newsroom. Back to the newsroom.

  • Cultivating Joy – Maria Coutant Skinner, LCSW, President and CEO

    Transcription

    0:00:00 [Dale Jones, WZBG]
    It’s 8:22 on FM 97.3 WZBG. Guest this morning, Executive Director of McCall Behavioral Health Network, Maria Coutant-Skinner. Good morning, Maria.


    0:00:17 [Maria Coutant Skinner, LCSW, CEO]
    Good morning, Dale.


    0:00:18 [Dale Jones, WZBG]
    Welcome to the show.


    0:00:19 [Maria Coutant Skinner, LCSW, CEO]
    Thank you.


    0:00:20 [Dale Jones, WZBG]
    And, of course, we have an interview once a month with McCall. They have a different theme each month, and it’s interesting. On the heels of what they call Blue Monday. This is going to be a show about encouraging joy and happiness.


    0:00:34 [Maria Coutant Skinner, LCSW, CEO]
    That’s how we’re going to roll this morning. I love it. So, I know I asked you right before we came on, is it too corny to start with a knock-knock joke?


    0:00:42 [Dale Jones, WZBG]
    Not at all. Not on this show.


    0:00:43 [Maria Coutant Skinner, LCSW, CEO]
    So, are you ready?

    I’m ready.

    Knock-knock.


    0:00:47 [Dale Jones, WZBG]
    Who’s there?


    0:00:48 [Maria Coutant Skinner, LCSW, CEO]
    Interrupting Cow.


    0:00:49 [Dale Jones, WZBG]
    Interrupting Cow …MOOO!!   I was going to tell that joke.

    No way.


    0:00:52 [Dale Jones, WZBG]
    No Way. I have known that joke since my kids were little.


    0:00:56 [Maria Coutant Skinner, LCSW, CEO]
    I love it. My dad told it to me a long time ago. I love it. It’s so silly and ridiculous. And I thought, just like you said, contrasting what’s going on right now in our world, in this climate, in this chapter in our lives, there’s so much intensity, there’s honestly a lot of pain and suffering.

    There is.

    And so, are we being intentional about finding joy? And do we have permission to find these moments of just being silly, being light, and finding some laughter?


    0:01:32 [Dale Jones, WZBG]
    I think we have to give ourselves permission to do that. And it really is hard. I mean, because there are so many challenges facing humanity right now, and there have been so many tough hits. COVID was a big one. You know, we still are counting up the damage to people of all ages, but particularly our young people because of the isolation caused by all of that. And that’s just one glaring, you know, low light of what’s become a very anxious and difficulty culture-wise in finding happiness.


    0:02:03 [Maria Coutant Skinner, LCSW, CEO]
    So we really gotta work for that, don’t we?

    We do. I think that’s exactly the the right phrasing too. And I think I have this visual of what it’s like right now and it feels like there’s sort of this pressure and intensity and that there’s not a lot of space. And that we have to create some space for that. And how do we do that? We do it by slowing down. We do it by noticing. We do it by naming. So even on the drive over here, I was like, okay, let me take a quick check in of what I’m feeling like, okay, are the roads icy? I’m a little bit nervous. I want to do a good job with Dale. And then I’m like, okay, let me notice that. Let me name that. That’s like, I can feel it right here in my stomach a little bit. Then I noticed the light. It was gorgeous. The winter light. I drove along the Farmington River and the beautiful snow and the trees and everything else. And I’m like, okay, I can make space for that and feel good and at peace right now.


    0:03:06 [Dale Jones, WZBG]
    My mantra for this month has been find the sunshine and have an attitude of gratitude. Is that right? I see your… I wrote that down. I said, I got to share that every now and then, because we all are challenged by that, you know? And I find myself looking for the most positive things in my life. I just shared three of them with you.

    Yes.

    My grandkids. And the other is those people that light up our lives, because it’s easy to find kind of a dim view of humanity right now when you look around the globe, but there’s also those bright lights that make us appreciate humanity. So I feel like we need to think more about those people in our lives and their compassion, their empathy, their spirit that help lift us all.


    0:03:57 [Maria Coutant Skinner, LCSW, CEO]
    I’m choked up by that.


    0:03:58 [Maria Coutant Skinner, LCSW, CEO]
    It’s so beautiful.


    0:03:59 [Dale Jones, WZBG]
    It’s daily effort though.


    0:04:00 [Maria Coutant Skinner, LCSW, CEO]
    It is.


    0:04:01 [Maria Coutant Skinner, LCSW, CEO]
    Oh my goodness, that just resonated with my heart. I think that’s such good advice and definitely, well, that felt like a gift. I’m going to hold that. I see you that way and I don’t have to look far to find those people that bring light and joy. And I think it brings up another thought, which is we have to make a plan. We have to be active participants in our lives to make sure that this is happening. And I, you know, so one thing I thought about was there’s a lot of people that eat three meals a day alone. And loneliness is, that is crushing. And so if we’re actively making sure that we have plans, text that person, you’re not bothering them, call that person, make a plan. You can find the time. Have a meal together. It’s maybe lunch, it’s dinner, but don’t eat three meals a day alone. That’s important to do. Make sure that you’re being that light for somebody else. Do something kind for someone because acts of service give us joy. And you’re probably providing joy for somebody else and being that light for somebody else.


    0:05:09 [Dale Jones, WZBG]
    Exactly, and it tends to exponentially build on itself and people pay it forward. Breaking bread is of course one of the great cultural touchstones in which we connect. We connect over food and drink. It’s one of the best ways because you’re nourishing the soul and you’re nourishing the body at the same time and you’re connecting. All those things are important. It’s funny you opened with a knock-knock joke because Betty White was born 100 years ago today.


    0:05:38 [Dale Jones, WZBG]
    Oh, today is Betty White’s birthday.

    I’m sorry, no, it was 102 years ago today. But yeah, today is her birthday. And I was, and she lived to be almost 100.

    Yeah.

    And you think about her bringing laughs, and you think about the people that make us laugh. You notice their longevity. Oh my gosh, that’s so true. Betty White’s occasion point, Norman Lear, Mel Brooks.


    And who got a bigger round of applause at the Emmys than Carol Burnett. I know. You know? Yeah. These people that bring us joy, you know, and boy do we need it, right? But those examples are right there. And look at, because they laugh, look at how long they’ve lived, right?

    That’s a great point.

    So another reason to just kind of find the happy, you know, find the sunshine, get that attitude of gratitude. And we know it’s hard.


    0:06:24 [Maria Coutant Skinner, LCSW, CEO]
    Yeah. Yeah, I think we want to avoid the traps too because some things I think look like peace, contentment, relaxation, joy, but they might be what distracts or numbs or provides escape. It feels like kind of junk food for our soul, which everybody, you know, a little bit junk food every once in a while is okay, but I think things like drugs, alcohol, disappearing into our screens, binge eating, those are things that we can kind of justify and rationalize and say we deserve it because it’s been a hard time. Maybe there’s been grief or loneliness or divorce or something, but you have this moment of maybe feeling escape and then you end up feeling worse afterwards. So I think the other strategies that we’re talking about this morning are sustaining their nourishing and they’re not those traps that we can sometimes fall into.


    0:07:16 [Dale Jones, WZBG]
    Make that first place. That’s the first place you go to. And you really open the show with talking about that, getting in touch with yourself. If you’re bothered by something, figure out what it is and own it. And then process it and get back to a happier place. And it’s not always easy to do because it seems like it’s all coming at us at once right now. It’s like, all right, let me see if I can just try to get to the worst of it and sort it out. So, it is a challenge, but it’s one worth taking on.


    0:07:44 [Maria Coutant Skinner, LCSW, CEO]
    And I think if you’re doing these things and you still feel like you can’t access it, like laughter feels like you can’t even remember the last time you laughed hard, or if you did then it felt false and you didn’t really feel present and it was so hard to do all of these things.

    Forced. Yeah.

    Then that’s stuff that we can work with at McCall. We can do a screening for depression, anxiety. We can help because you don’t have to stay in that place. That’s a dark, difficult place and you don’t have to stay there. There is help and healing available.


    0:08:20 [Dale Jones, WZBG]
    Actually a very good way to wrap up our interview, which is just about there. Maria Coutant Skinner is our guest this time. We’re talking about finding that joy as we start the new year. Always great spending time with you.


    0:08:30 [Maria Coutant Skinner, LCSW, CEO]
    Delightful to be with you, Dale. Thank you so much. Delightful to be with you, Dale. Thank you so much.

    0:08:32 [Dale Jones, WZBG]
    Thank you, Maria.

  • Giving and Receiving the Gift of Compassion – Alicia Peterson, RSS, Family Recovery Coach, and Marisa Mittelstaedt, MBA, Director of Development and Marketing

    Transcription

    0:00:00
    8:22 and FM 97.3 WZBG. Once a month we visit with folks from the McCall Behavioral Health Network. This time we’re crowding up close to Christmas. So our topic today is really very timely. We’re joined at the microphones by Marissa Middlestats. She’s Director of Development and Marketing. Good morning Marissa. Good morning. Welcome back.

    0:00:28
    Welcome back.

    0:00:29
    Thanks for having us.

    0:00:29
    And also a welcome to Alicia Peterson. She is a family recovery coach with the McCall Behavioral Health Network. Good morning, Alicia.

    0:00:36
    Good morning.

    0:00:37
    Thanks for joining us on the program. So, we are right here in, really in the absolute thick of it, in the holiday rush. And there’s a lot going on for folks who have loved ones among them who are battling substance or just troubled with what’s going on with the stress of the holiday. We want to try to get a little bit of help here, some tips on how to navigate this and make it as good a holiday as possible. So how do we open this? How do we begin? For families that are in the midst of this, let’s try to set the mental state.

    0:01:14
    Absolutely. The holidays can be a really stressful time for anyone, but especially if you have someone in your family or a loved one who is struggling with substance use. I am actually the family recovery coach at McCall Behavioral Health Network, and I can work individually with people to help them create boundaries, communicate effectively, listen with empathy to their family members. And I’m available Monday through Friday, so anytime anyone needs help, they are more than welcome to get in touch with me. In addition to that, I am a person who is in long-term recovery, and I also have been in a family full of people who struggle with substance use disorder my entire life. I lost my father, my husband, my son’s father, and my sister all within a two-year period. I know how stressful holidays can be.

    0:02:17
    Wow, I would say so. First off, sorry for your loss. It’s immense. That is a whole lot.

    0:02:23
    Thank you. And I think your first point, managing expectations, is probably key here.

    0:02:30
    It’s a good way to start.

    0:02:31
    Absolutely. I think our society as a whole, we pay a lot of attention to social media and try to come up with the perfect holiday, the ideal holiday, and we have to be aware that there is no such thing. And to just be mindful of the things that you enjoy doing, not to overwhelm yourself with saying yes to every invitation and everything that other people expect from you, and to just take it slow. Sometimes it’s important to ask your family member or loved one if they’re trying to cut down their usage, what you can do to help support them. Coming up with new traditions, possibly alcohol and drug-free to help support that person, that is all key in this situation.

    0:03:26
    I’m listening to your statement right there and I was about to say how important is flexibility during the holiday season and you pretty much articulated it very, very well. Manage your expectations, but also you’ve got to go with the flow. As we know from people who are in substance in the battle, one day can differ very largely from the next in terms of what they think they can tolerate and resist. You’ve got to go and meet that where they are, right? Exactly.

    0:03:57
    On a day-to-day basis. Yes, meeting people exactly where they are. That’s what we do here at McCall’s, and that’s what I do in my personal life too. Our expectations are the biggest thing. We can’t have expectations of other people. We can just manage how we feel and how we act.

    0:04:15
    So take it day by day and this is a good time if you’re planning a holiday and you’ve got the family in and you’re going to celebrate with family and you do have some issues, steel yourself and take some of these cues that we just talked about. Set some boundaries that work for you. Be flexible. Try some new traditions. And just be realistic about what the holiday is. The fact that you’re all together and you’re celebrating together, start with that. Everything else is gravy or frosting on the cake or what have you. Absolutely. Our guest this morning, Alicia Peterson, she’s a family recovery coach with McCall Behavioral Health Network. This is the Giving Season 2, and Marissa’s here to join us a little bit. We talked a little bit about this last year. You know, I think there’s a greater awareness, and there should be, of the mental health stress that our population is under. That is what the McCall Behavioral Health Network is all about.

    0:05:10
    And there’s a way in which people can help support that through McCall VHN. Yeah, this year through our annual appeal we’re raising money for children, so of all ages, and seniors. You know, when we look at who is really experiencing, you know, really, they’re really struggling right now and oftentimes they can’t necessarily speak for themselves. Right. So we are raising money to support our programs, you know, for those two populations.

    0:05:39
    I didn’t realize, I’m just looking at one of the statistics, half of all lifetime mental health conditions begin before the age of 14.

    0:05:46
    Right.

    0:05:47
    So, early intervention or early awareness really is key, isn’t it?

    0:05:52
    Exactly. It’s really important. And it’s, when you look at statistics too, 23% of Connecticut residents, you know, aren’t getting the mental health support that they need. So yeah, that early intervention is key and having the programs to support, you know, these early interventions are really important. You know, we’re really looking and need our community to help us support, you know, these populations and all the people that we serve.

    0:06:18
    If they want to do that, the easy way to do that, if you wanted to, somebody wanted to support, make a donation, what’s the best way to do it?

    0:06:22
    Yeah, it’s really easy. Just go to our website, mccallbhn.org slash donate. You can pay by credit card. And yeah, we just really are so grateful for all of the support from our community.

    0:06:35
    And nearly one in four Connecticut residents have had some symptoms of mental health disorder. One in four. Yeah. That’s a lot. And during the holiday, it’s even more tough because it just exponentially piles on.

    0:06:48
    Exactly. Yeah, the stress of the holidays and all of it. So, you know, whether you are able to donate or you’re looking for help for yourself, you know, please reach out to us. We’re here, you know, anytime that you need support.

    0:07:01
    I’m going to circle back to you, Alicia, just to hit those primary points again for folks who have a family that is managing crisis or trying to manage substance about how best to have the best holiday possible.

    0:07:15
    Okay. Setting boundaries, communicating how you feel, taking time for yourself. If you need to step away for 10 minutes or ask somebody to help you, that is okay. Giving yourself grace and managing your own expectations are key to get through the holidays. Be realistic.

    0:07:35
    Yeah, absolutely. I want to thank our guests this morning joining us ahead of the holiday. We hope this has been helpful. Marissa Middlestadt is Director of Development and Marketing. Alicia Peterson is a Family Recovery Coach with McCall Behavioral Health Network. Best of the holiday to you both and to everyone at McCall for all the great work you guys do. And we look forward to seeing you in 2024. Thank you. Thank you. great work you guys do. And we look forward to seeing you in 2024. Thank you. Thank you.

    0:07:59
    Happy holidays.

  • LCOTF Conference “Reimagining Empathy: A Decade of Unity and Resilience” – Lauren Pristo, MPH, Director of Community Engagement

    Transcription

    0:00:00
    8:22 on FM 97.3, third Wednesday of the month, we get a visit with folks from the McCall Behavioral Health Network. Part of that network is the Litchfield County Opiate Task Force, and they’ve been around for 10 years. That’s part of the reason we’re here today. We’re joined in the studio by Tom Narducci. He’s the administrative director for behavioral health. He’s with Charlotte Hungerford Hospital. He’s co-chair of the LCOTF. Good morning, Tom. Welcome to the show. Good morning, Dale. We also welcome Lauren Pristo, who’s director of community engagement and coordinator for the Litchfield County Opioid Task Force.

    0:00:46
    Good morning to you both.

    0:00:47
    Good morning.

    0:00:48
    Good morning. Thanks for joining us. So we’re here to talk about a conference coming up next week called Reimagining Empathy at the Warner Theater. But I want to start by just saying congratulations on 10 years in this effort to fight addiction and these substances here in the Litchfield County towns.

    0:01:05
    Yeah, the task force has been together for 10 years and it’s really a unique cross-section of every role in the community, all the communities in Northwest Connecticut. That’s what we realized early on. If we were going to do anything about the opiate epidemic, we all had to come together united. And during that time, this journey we’ve had, we’ve learned so much about how to better serve those that struggle with substance use. So as we are approaching this upcoming conference that we’re going to talk about, we hope to share that knowledge, not just with the professionals in the community and healthcare workers and law enforcement, but you know, with friends and neighbors and co-workers of those who struggle with substance use. I have learned so much over the years with my interviews with the folks from McCall, and one of the things I’ve learned is the role of regular people and helping people who battle with this. And Lauren, I’ll let you speak to this with the focus of next week’s or the November 30th conference reimagining empathy and why regular everyday people should consider attending.

    0:02:15
    Oh absolutely. I think for this conference the title is reimagining empathy and we want to discuss how we center empathy in our day-to-day lives and how empathy informs how we wrap folks up who have been struggling. And it’s a way to come together as a community and for us to establish a way to move forward, a way to identify collective healing and collective compassion, and not just the opioid crisis but I think right now we’re in a world where it’s marked by crises and struggles and you know the discussions around the war was just on the news and how do we come together as a community and bring back empathy and move through this?

    0:03:10
    It’s absolutely a broader topic because it does seem like there is a coarseness in society right now and the lack of as that old saying goes walk a mile in their shoes and that really speaks to empathy so that’s going to be our focus what can you tell us

    0:03:27
    about our keynote speakers on that date we’re so excited to welcome some truly world-renowned speakers to the stage we have Johan Hari he’s a New York Times best-selling author, three times over actually. He has many excellent books. He’s going to be there in person for our morning keynote and also doing a book signing, so if you have any of those best-selling books, bring it with you or purchase it there. And then we are also joined by Dr. Gabor Mate. He’s also a best-selling author and well-known for his work in trauma and healing and really the human condition and improving lives through addressing those things.

    0:04:09
    Thank you for just joining us this morning. Tom Narducci and Lauren Pristo are guests this morning for Litchfield County Opioid Task Force as they commemorate a decade of efforts in this community or in our communities. Reimagining Empathy is a one-day conference coming up on November 30th. It’s going to be held at the Warner Theater right on Main Street in Torrington. This is open to everyone. Let’s talk about how people can register for it. Is there a charge and if there’s any deadlines as far as registering so that they know you’re coming.

    0:04:37
    Certainly we would love to welcome folks from our community, all folks from our community and folks can find information on how to register on our website that’s www.lcotf.org and through there they can purchase their tickets. They’re $60. If cost is a barrier though we do have some scholarship tickets available. So we have 50% off and then full scholarship available as well. And tickets are available all the way up to the day of the event and should they arrive at the Werner Theatre they can get their ticket day of as well.

    0:05:14
    Back to our topic, which really of course is this community effort to battle addiction. And 10 years on, 10 years on, there’s no sign of this battle letting up, is there, Tom? Unfortunately, no. You know, the opiate epidemic has a lot of complexities to it. But while we are still making battles, we’re also getting far more folks into care through medication-assisted treatment and through access to recovery, whether it be, you know, in a residential treatment or a local ambulatory type of setting. And I think underwriting that is that where we once judged folks, you know, for their substance use or their addiction in a negative fashion, we all know that most all folks that struggle with substance use, they’re suffering from pain or some type of trauma, maybe anxiety, depression. The substance use was a temporary masking of that pain. Unfortunately, it ends up with symptoms that cause negative behaviors. So we start reacting to the negative behaviors and see a person in a negative light. We know if we want to engage someone into recovery, we need to reach out and see them as human beings suffering deep inside, and that is where the empathy and compassion. So as we’re hoping to get a broader, everybody in the community, at the Warner Theater for this conference, folks can really hear from these speakers about how we’ve come to understand what suffering is like from substance use and how we can reach out as individuals, our neighbors, our coworkers, our friends, how we can reach out with compassion. That is what is needed for folks that make that first step into the road to recovery. Absolutely, I love the way that you both have broadened really this too. Of course, getting beyond the stigma of people struggling with substance and having empathy for that. But just empathy for our neighbors and friends right now in an environment that just seems way too combative, to use a word, these days. So reimagining that empathy, maybe doing a little bit of a community reset in how we look at others.

    0:07:26
    Yeah, I think it’s really, it’s the prime time to come together and think about where we’re going as a community. And as Tom mentioned, this work has been going on for some time in the northwest corner of Connecticut and Litchfield County really leads the charge. And so we’re hoping to come together as a community and as a state and celebrate the good work that’s happened and also reassess where we’re going next and hopefully centering empathy in that future work.

    0:08:00
    Once again, if you would, Lauren, how people can register and find out more about Reimagining Empathy coming up November 30th and about Litchfield County Opiate Task Force.

    0:08:07
    Absolutely. So please visit our website, www.lcotf.org. On there you can find information about the task force, about the conference, and you can also find the link to register.

    0:08:19
    All right. Sounds good. I thank you both for your time, and as you said, it goes quickly. We’re already out of time. But we hope we’ve got people thinking about this important topic of empathy and how important it is in our everyday lives, not only with the opiate fight, but really in the way that we treat one another going forward. And I hope anyone who attends, I hope they come away with new hope that we can help folks in recovery. All right, excellent way to close it. Tom, Lauren, thank you both for joining us on the show. Best of luck with the conference. Again, that’s November 30th, downtown Torrington at the Warner Theatre. Best to you both. Thank you. Thank you.

    0:08:54
    Thank you. Back to the newsroom now, and here’s Jeff.

  • Embracing Mental Health Awareness – Joy Pendola, LMFT LADC, Chief Clinical Officer

    Transcription

    0:00:00
    Day 22 on FM 97.3. Third Wednesday of the month, we always get a meeting or get one of our great guests in from the McCall Behavioral Health Network. It’s been a little while since we’ve interviewed Chief Clinical Officer Joy Pandola, but she joins us once again. Joy, nice to have you back.

    0:00:24
    Nice to be here. Thanks so much.

    0:00:25
    Now for those who have heard the ads that we have running, or the announcements, the messages that we’ve had going from a call for this month, mental health is our focus and the World Health Organization states there’s no health without mental health. Is this a new proclamation? Is this a new effort at awareness? Or have they been doing this every year and we’ve just been missing it? I think we’re a little more aware of it than we had.

    0:00:48
    We had just been talking about COVID and how I think both of us agree that COVID has really highlighted issues around mental health. But I think the concept has been around for a long time about mind-body connection. But what does that really mean? And also, what does the research show? And the research has shown that it’s just not a connection that there’s a fundamental link between physical health and mental health and when you really think about it, there’s no part of the human body that’s purely physical or mental. You know when we’re anxious, you know, we start having digestive problems and tummy aches. You know when we’re stressed, you know, we may develop a headache. But also, you know, when we’re in physical pain, it’s hard to concentrate and certainly not necessarily in a good mood. So when you think of anything, there’s a constant interaction between the two.

    0:01:48
    Well, I’m reminded of the phrase, I have a gut feeling. And it’s been said that your gut is like the mini brain and that it also intuits things that have an effect on environmentally how we’re doing, atmospherically, and how that’s affecting us and our stress levels and all of it. Some of it’s subconscious, but eventually that works up to the conscious, and that’s when problems begin, because that’s when it interrupts the harmony of our lives.

    0:02:15
    Yes, and I mean, we’re finding, you know, in research, you know, depression is linked to a lot of chronic conditions, arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular health. And then, on the other hand, they’re finding that some mental health interventions, like positive psychology skills and cognitive behavioral therapy, is actually helping with managing chronic pain or decreases the rate of having a stroke or heart condition. So there’s just constant threads there that if you treat both, you really are going to be in overall better health.

    0:02:53
    It’s a long path to get here. It was not that long ago and just being somebody who’s a bit of a political junkie, I remember the presidential campaign of Edmund Muskie which had to be abandoned because they found out that he was seeing a mental health therapist. That was seen as a sign of weakness. That’s it. So we’ve come a ways since then but we got a ways to go, don’t we?

    0:03:14
    We do have a ways to go. I mean, we are seeing more integrated health care. We are seeing more acceptance of mental health as being, you know, part of your overall well-being and needing to take care of that to truly be healthy. But we still have such silos with physical health versus mental health. And I think oftentimes, still in Western medicine, we still look at treating symptoms, right? And not looking at the root cause or looking at a person holistically and what can contribute to all of those things. We’re getting there slowly but surely. I think one of the best strategies is integrated care. So, you know, I don’t know, Les, have you been to your primary care physician, but now they have depression screenings that they do. Now they ask you questions about your job and your relationships and your stress level. So there are steps in that direction, but I think that ultimately the best thing would be that when you’re going to a healthcare practitioner, both your physical and mental well-being are being addressed simultaneously.

    0:04:21
    Or cause and effect, absolutely. And of course, to the core mission, or one of the core missions for McCall Behavioral Health Network, which has been aiding those who are substance challenged, there is always pain of some kind associated with someone who is in that fight. And quite often, that gets to their mental well-being. Yes.

    0:04:42
    I mean, substance addictions, substance use disorders are, you know, inherently linked to not only mental health, but also physical health. I mean there’s a lot of times that people are self-medicating that are looking for ways to cope and they are all interconnected. McCall, you know, has a reputation of treating people with substance use disorders but you don’t need a substance use disorder to come to McCall. We treat people with mental mental health disorders, anxiety, depression. We have licensed practitioners who, you know, work in evidence-based mental health practices and have med providers that also can consult around medication. But we also create those linkages to physical health as well. We always identify if somebody has a primary care physician and, you know, coordinate care and also linkages to care if necessary.

    0:05:40
    Our guest this time, if you’re joining us, Chief Clinical Officer Joy Pandola from the McCall Behavioral Health Network. The message from McCall is from the World Health Organization that there’s no health without mental health. So I guess what we’re seeing here is an increasing awareness that the two are inextricably tied, you know, just mental health and physical health. And when you look at one, you really need to look at both, don’t you?

    0:06:04
    You absolutely do. And the same things that help physical health help mental health. You know, regular exercise.

    0:06:13
    Those of us who do yoga know this.

    0:06:15
    Yes, regular exercise is one of the absolute best things you could do for your mental health and physical health. A nutritious diet, sleep, you know, avoiding alcohol and substances. All of those things, those four things alone, contribute greatly to your overall well-being.

    0:06:29
    That’s a terrific way to wrap it up. Chief Clinical Officer Joy Pandola, our guest this time from McCall Behavioral Health Network. So check in with your mental health this month and every month and could lead to a happier, healthier you. Oh, thank you. Same to you. Joy, thanks for and could lead to a happier, healthier you. Oh, thank you. Same to you. Joy, thanks for being our guest this time. And the folks at McCall Behavioral Health.

  • Celebrating Hispanic Heritage and National Recovery Month – Ana Aldana-Urquijo, LMSW, Outpatient Clinician

    Transcription

    0:00:00
    Dale Jones just switching studios here for our conversation this morning with Ana Aldana. She’s with the McCall Behavioral Health Network. Ana, good morning. Thanks for joining us on the program.

    0:00:23
    Good morning, Dale. Thanks for having me.

    0:00:25
    How long, you’re a clinical social worker with the folks at McCall. Can I ask how long you’ve been with McCall?

    0:00:31
    I started as an intern, so if you count the internship, I’ve been there for about a year.

    0:00:37
    Okay, well I’m sure you enjoy your work there and you’ve got an important role as a clinical worker there because what we’re talking about today has to do with Recovery Month, which is September. It’s also Hispanic Heritage Month. And we want to talk a little bit about how they intersect here. And we’ve had conversations with the folks from McCall about the unique challenges for the Hispanic community. Does it start with language? Is that a good place to begin?

    0:01:09
    Yeah, for sure. I mean, we know there are a lot of barriers to accessing services in general, but we see that there’s a lot more barriers for the Hispanic population. And you know, one of those reasons is, is language, but there’s a lot more to it. You know, we’re working on reframing the stigma regarding their internalized stigmas and their cultural stigmas, and we want to make them feel safe and accepted by also pointing them towards the resources they can access.

    0:01:36
    Let’s talk about that stigma. What, you know, is there something cultural here that has folks who may be in the battle from the Hispanic community from reaching out and seeking help?

    0:01:46

    0:01:47
    Well, yeah. I mean, language is the main barrier, but there’s also other things in the mix like, you know, folks that are undocumented and don’t have access to health insurance. So, you know, a lot of the times these services aren’t affordable to them, but at the McCall Center, at the McCall Behavioral Health Foundation, we actually offer payment plans and options for them to come and still get these services with us.

    0:02:12
    Now, I imagine you are bilingual, obviously, in your role you would need to be, correct? Yes, I am. I would imagine that is a great way to open doors. Let’s talk about people who come in and they know they need help and let’s go through the conversation. How does this begin and do people even realize why they’re stuck when they first come in and try to get some help?

    0:02:42
    Yeah, so stuck is a great way to put it. A lot of these people come in and they don’t even know they’re stuck. So what we do is we start with showing them what it looks like and what it feels like and when I say that I mean what mental health problems look like or what substance use issues look like. So I mean I’ve had clients come in not knowing that a change needs to be made so by helping them understand like what that depression trauma feels like in their body it helps them understand and learn the language of their mental health and start to, you know, they feel that they can be more vulnerable and begin to heal. And this is especially important in the Hispanic culture where mental health and substance use has been a taboo to speak about.

    0:03:26
    Well, it is in the broader culture as well, but I think when people come in, obviously, they know when they reach out to you, they know something is wrong. But it sounds like they’re not really sure how to get on a path to try to address it.

    0:03:42
    Exactly, yes.

    0:03:44
    When we talk about Hispanic Heritage Month, is this a good time to highlight that heritage and also hopefully to draw people out a little bit as we celebrate that heritage and say, you know, this is a time to break through those stereotypes and seek the help that you need. Is this a, has this been a good month to take a step in that direction?

    0:04:09
    I think so, Dale. I think you put it great.

    0:04:10
    Our guest this morning, if you’re just joining us, is Anna Aldana. She’s a clinical social worker with the McCall Behavioral Health Network. I want to talk a little bit about some of the other more practical barriers that may get in the way of folks getting help. You talked about perhaps someone coming in seeking help and they’re undocumented. So, you know, paperwork can be a problem. I’ve got a friend who was trying to help someone who was trying to, they were ready to go back to, return to the workforce. But because they had a driver’s license suspension in another state, they couldn’t get a job because they didn’t have a driver’s license for identification and the red tape was in the way because it’s from another state. So they were having a hard time breaking through that. Do you encounter that sort of thing as well with folks who come out and seek help?

    0:05:02
    Yeah, I mean, a lot of the people, you know, that are undocumented don’t have those identification documents that they need to access, you know, more resources available in the community.

    0:05:14
    So does McCall then network with some of the folks who can help get through this backlog and try to find a way forward? Is that part of what you do?

    0:05:22
    Well, we have case management services that can, you know, help them navigate those systems. And, you know, we’re connected with the communities we work in, and we always can link our clients to the resources they need.

    0:05:37
    When you talk with clients and they begin to face whatever their challenge is with substance, do you find that, again, that language barrier? Trying to get that, you need to build a sense of trust. And I imagine language is key to that because you need to understand where they’re coming from and you need to convey to them how you want to help them move forward. How long does that take and does it vary client to client on getting that breakthrough and getting them down that path?

    0:06:17
    Well I’ve had clients who are primarily Spanish-speaking who have, you know, had other services only in English and you know they’re very happy to have these services in Spanish and I think that helps build rapport a lot quicker because they know not only do I understand them linguistically but I understand them culturally as well. That’s key.

    0:06:34
    That’s exactly the point I was looking for. Ana Aldana is our guest this morning. She’s a clinical social worker with the McCall Behavioral Health Network. We’re in Recovery Month. It’s Hispanic Heritage Month. Anna, as we begin to wind down our time together here, any last words or message to reach out to the Hispanic community for those who are on the cusp and know it’s time to seek help?

    0:07:01
    Yeah, I just want to highlight the importance of being able to talk as a community about how it is a strength to ask for help. It’s a strength to be vulnerable and do the healing work of recovery. If we can shift our attitudes and truly celebrate, you know, recovery and Hispanic Heritage Month together, we can see a big change happen. If you or someone you care about might be stuck, please call our main number, 860-496-2100, and we’ll help you out.

    0:07:33
    And just one more thing before we let you go, because word got through to us that today is also your birthday So we’re going to put you on the spot on behalf of all of your friends in McCall behavioral health network And those of us here at WCBG a very happy birthday, and thank you so much for being our guest today. Thank you so much Dale. Have a good day. You as well Anna. Have a great day I put her on the spot there a little bit. Anna Aldana, our guest. Once a month we have a visit with the folks from the McCall Behavioral Health Network and coming back with your local news next.

  • Overdose Awareness Day – Lauren Pristo, MPH, Director of Community Engagement, and Alicia Peterson, RSS, Community Engagement Specialist

    Transcription

    0:00:00
    Usually around the third Wednesday of the month, we visit with the folks from McCall Behavioral Health Network. We have a pair of guests joining us on the program this morning. I want to welcome back Lauren Pristo, she’s the director of community engagement. It’s been a little while, Lauren. Welcome back. Thank you. And also, Alicia Peterson, who’s a Community Engagement Specialist with McCall. Alicia, welcome to the show. Thank you. Thank you both for joining us this morning. A pretty serious topic today. At the end of this month, we mark International Overdose Awareness Day. What’s this all about, ladies?

    0:00:45
    International Overdose Awareness Day is a day where we can recognize the grief of the folks we’ve lost, honor them, and let families and the community know that we are here walking alongside them.

    0:00:58
    So what are we doing in recognition of this through McCall Behavioral Health and your health partners?

    0:01:03
    Yep, and with the Litchfield County Opioid Task Force we have the Overdose Awareness Day Resource Fair and Vigil at Cope Park on August 31st.

    0:01:12
    So information wise, I mean this is a day to remember those we’ve lost, but also we want to share some knowledge here too, right? To try to keep this from going on.

    0:01:21
    Absolutely. I actually am in recovery myself. I have seven years clean, but before that I lost my father, my husband, my sister, and my son’s father all to overdose within two years.

    0:01:39
    Wow.

    0:01:40
    Yes.

    0:01:40
    That is remarkable. To you for your path so far, well done.

    0:01:46
    Thank you.

    0:01:46
    And best of luck. It’s not really luck, it’s hard work, isn’t it?

    0:01:50
    It is. Every day.

    0:01:52
    Yes.

    0:01:53
    Well, good for that. And about the day, we recognize grief, we honor those we lost. And grief doesn’t really have a finish line. It isn’t something that, there isn’t really any closure on this, is there?

    0:02:04
    No, there isn’t. But we want to let people know that you don’t have to have a certain milestone to meet before you get help. We’re here to walk with you throughout the process. We can meet you where you’re at and help you get the resources you need.

    0:02:20
    You know, I think that’s a recurring message as I talk to the folks from McCall, is to meet people where they’re at. Often we hear the phrase, you’ve got to hit rock bottom before you can begin to head back up. That’s a bit of a misnomer, isn’t it? It is. Don’t wait until you get to rock bottom, right? Lauren, a little bit about that and not waiting for the time to be right for recovery.

    0:02:44
    Right. It’s, there isn’t ever a right time because, you know, as people walk that journey, there is a lot of ambivalence. And instead of waiting for a specific moment, we’re saying, now’s the time. And Alicia actually has a really good story about that, kind of recognizing that there is no end point and that there is just now, you know?

    0:03:14
    Yes, absolutely. Right after I had lost those four people, I was in my grief and decided that it was time for me to make a change. There was no certain point that I had to get to. It was just I was fed up with the life that I was living.

    0:03:32
    And I knew I had to change things for my two kids.

    0:03:37
    And that’s where you were. So meeting you where you were, that started the path in the right direction. It did. You had made up your mind that this life was over and it was time to move on. Well done. Let’s talk about people who may be grieving, people who may be worried about reaching out and not waiting if you’re in this space.

    0:04:00
    Right. So navigating that system, it can be a challenge. It can feel overwhelming. It can feel scary. I think for grief, especially as it relates to losing someone to an overdose, has a lot of layers. There’s layers of guilt and shame. And it’s important to really come together and recognize that that is a shared experience and that we’re all beside and behind you in that journey. Also I think I want to point out that there’s there’s kind of two sides to the messaging for this day as well because there’s both the grief but then there’s also a part of this day that we want to recognize the hope of the day. The hope that there is still opportunity for recovery, that overdose can be a preventable death, that naloxone and never using a loan can save lives. So that’s kind of this careful balance in the messaging that we want to share.

    0:05:10
    It’s really important that this messaging gets out locally too because in national coverage it tends to come and go, but that scourge, that epidemic that we hear about from time to time, that’s not abated at all, has it?

    0:05:23
    If anything, it’s only getting worse because we have a really unpredictable drug supply that is causing a lot of deaths. There’s fentanyl-lacing pills, there’s fentanyl-lacing just about everything in the illicit drug supply in various amounts. It’s extremely dangerous. In Connecticut we lost about 1,500 people last year. Nationally, over 100,000, I think close to 110,000 people in one year. It’s a devastating crisis to this day.

    0:05:59
    If you’re joining us, our guest this morning, Lauren Pristo, Director of Community Engagement. Alicia Peterson, a Community Engagement Specialist with McCall Behavioral Health Network. We’re talking about International Overdose Awareness Day. Let’s bring it full circle back to the event which is the end of this month. The where, the when, and what

    0:06:17
    people can expect at our location. International Overdose Awareness Day, we We are holding a vigil. It’s August 31st from 530 to 8. If you’re grieving or worried about someone, we are here to help. We can be reached at 860-496-2100 or at mccallbhn.org.

    0:06:43
    Lauren, anything to add?

    0:06:47
    Yep. And if you’re considering reducing or stopping use, there is help and we are here for you.

    0:06:53
    All right, very important message again. It’s August 31st coming up downtown Torrington at Coe Park. Ladies, thanks for joining us on the program. Can’t say this message enough and we’ll continue to reinforce it up into and beyond the day of the event. So thanks for joining us and the good work being beyond the day of the event. So thanks for joining us and the good work being done in McCall Behavioral Health Network. Best of the day to you both. Thank you.

  • Celebrating Diversity – Conrad Sienkiewicz, Case Manager at Hotchkiss House

    Transcription

    0:00:00
    I want to welcome back to the microphone a gentleman who’s been on the air with us before in a different capacity, but this time he’s here as a case manager with the McCall Behavioral Health Network. Welcome back, Conrad Sienkiewicz.

    0:00:27
    Good morning, Dale. Good to be here.

    0:00:29
    Thanks for joining us on the show. So you’ve been with McCall for a couple of years. And we’re going to talk a little bit about this being Pride Month. There’s a lot happening with our population, our community, the LGBTQIA+. Difficult to cover it all. We’re going to talk a little bit about it though and really kind of a three-pronged approach here. Let’s start with the way McCall is set up to serve all communities including this one.

    0:00:56
    Yes, absolutely. At McCall we offer a wide variety of services for a wide variety of people. We understand that this is a diverse population. A lot of people think, oh, Litchfield Hills very homogenous, but there’s a growing change with diversity here in the area.

    0:01:18
    But I think really the community has been with us all along. Yes. I think I would say a little more, much more visible now.

    0:01:26
    Excellent point. Yes, most definitely.

    0:01:28
    So with that in mind, having that diverse service core to help that population better deliver the services to them. Let’s talk about how that manifests between the two.

    0:01:39
    Sure. There’s been a lot of talk lately about staff shortages and things like that, and McCall strives to build a diverse staff. We have an IDEA workgroup, which stands for Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility. We meet once a month to look at ways where we can welcome people and welcome staff in ways that are diverse. We’ve got trainings that we use on Zoom and in person, and working our hardest to make sure that we have a diverse staff, all different kinds of people.

    0:02:13
    So when folks need the services of McCall, and they’re from the community we’re talking about today, is there a particular need that they have? Is there something that differentiates themselves that leads to again having that staff that is plugged into that better able to answer that need?

    0:02:32
    I think a lot of folks are looking for a welcoming and non-judgmental environment and as you were saying these folks have always been with us but not always felt welcome not always felt embraced so at McCall we really do try to be welcoming and non-judgmental so that folks can address their needs without having to worry about whether they’re going to be accepted.

    0:02:52
     It can kind of be a second layer, a second barrier to trying to reach through and get the treatment they need because we’ve had a lot of conversations with McCall. Folks who get their services are coming from a place of pain in which they’ve answered that pain usually with some kind of substance that has then taken over their life. And when they get to McCall, they want to change that narrative. So, there is a stigma attached to people who are battling substance. You add the additional stigma, which a lot of folks who identify from the LGBTQIA plus community, trying to overcome that as well. So that’s a second layer to it.

    0:03:33
    So having that welcoming environment adds to be able to to reach those needs. You have a particular feeling that you have about the pride flag.

    0:03:44
    I do.

    0:03:45
    And the appropriateness. Share that with us.

    0:03:46
    I do. I love the pride flag. I’m in my late 50s, and I’ve seen that flag evolve. So often, we tend to look at the world through a binary lens. either good or bad, high or low, Coke or Pepsi, cats or dogs, and yet not everyone, you know, feels comfortable with one of those two labels. There’s so much in between and such a variety of life and living. And I think the pride flag, like the rainbow itself, you know, is all colors. Everyone is in there. Every shade is in there. And it’s natural and everyone is there.

    0:04:27
    So let me go ahead and get that the big old piece in the room identity politics short and that is so big right now with election politics and you’ve got uh… the most vocal sides of both parties from the far this side of the for that side uh… making their views known about this community and about uh… ways in which it should be accepted or handled or what have you. Does that make, I mean especially right now, given the current climate now, does that make the mission of McCall even more challenging?

    0:05:01
    It can. It most definitely can. We’re just trying to meet people where they’re at and just letting people know that who they are is okay. And as you and I were talking about earlier, you know, change and evolution. If we know anything about this world, survival involves change. So we are helping people to change as best as we can.

    0:05:28
    For folks who don’t have a lot of knowledge about the community, and I mean it is a spectrum community. It’s very broad. It’s like the flag, like you said. I grew up at a time where we were aware of the gay community, but that was as deep as it got. Now it seems that there is so many more facets of this community that want their identity known. Honestly, it can be very confusing for a lot of members of the general public. What do we say to folks who are trying to grapple with this and trying to have an understanding, but it only seems to get more complicated.

    0:06:05
    Ask questions. Be open-minded. I think starting with relationships, someone that you’re comfortable with, to ask a question. I ask questions of my 17-year-old daughter. Her generation seems to have more words to talk about what my generation struggled with when we were in our teens

    0:06:27
    I think people worry about sounding stupid or ignorant or insulting. If they do ask a question, it’s like is my question going to come off as bad. I admit this is this is a difficult landscape.

    0:06:39
    Yes, it is and some people are so quick to say oh I’m offended, and it’s not always being offended but just being uncomfortable and that’s okay we’ve all felt our moments of being uncomfortable.

    0:06:50
    Our guest this morning, Conrad Sinkiewicz, he’s a case manager with the McCall Behavioral Health Network. And I wish we had about 20 more minutes. We don’t. We’ve got about a minute. I want you to just really sum up your feelings and those of the folks at McCall in this month, in this Pride Month, in what they deliver to community and the message they want to make sure that the community, the LGBTQIA plus community should know as far as the folks from McCall.

    0:07:17
    All are welcome. We have BIPOC, Black Indigenous People of Color Recovery Support Group on Sunday evenings at 6 PM We have our LGBTQ plus peer-to-peer recovery support group Saturdays at 7 PM. We’ve been flying the pride flag not just for June but all year because that’s something that we just feel very strongly with. 

    0:07:43
    I appreciate you coming in this morning and giving us a little glimpse a little understanding we appreciate it. 

    0:07:48
    Thank you Dale.

    0:07:48
    Any move forward is a good one. Thank you, Conrad. Conrad Sienkiewicz, Case Manager with McCall Behavioral Health Network. Guest this time on FM 97.3. We’ll get to the newsroom with Jeff next.

  • Mental Health Awareness Month – Darian Graells, BA, Prevention Facilitator and Tobacco Treatment Specialist

    Transcription

    0:00:00
    Third Wednesday of the month on WZDG, we get to catch up with the folks from the McCall Behavioral Health Network. Want to welcome a guest who’s been with us before. She’s a prevention facilitator with McCall. Darian Graells joins us this morning. Darian, welcome back. Thank you so much for having me again, Dale. I’m happy to be here. Glad to be here. And we’ve got a gigantic topic, really, that we’re talking about today when we take up the topic of mental health.

    0:00:31
    We hear a lot about it in the news, virtually spanning the spectrum of all socioeconomics and age groups, whatever you want to do. So when we talk about mental health awareness, and there’s a lot of focus on that, and being mentally healthy, let’s try to set the parameters here. Yes. So May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to be talking about this. So mental health awareness really refers to the understanding and acknowledgement about mental health issues within society. It involves promoting education and knowledge about mental health conditions and available resources for support and treatment, which is really huge and important. Mental health awareness, really the overall goal is to reduce stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health. We’re really encouraging you know open discussions and ensuring that individuals are informed about the importance of seeking help and support. We talk about stigma, you know it wasn’t that long ago in our society that that mental health was really shunned as something, get over it, to use a phrase, or get out of your own head, where people who suffer clinical depression cheer up for crying out loud.

    0:01:39
    Yeah. You know, it wasn’t that long ago. Are we moving past that? Because we’ve got a lot more awareness and a lot more coming out, as it were, of people who suffer mental health. Yeah. I feel like now a lot more people are talking about it, and that’s really key to breaking down stigma is really just talking about these issues that can be really tough and hard for a person to discuss, but kind of pushing things under the rug just contributes even more to the stigma.

    0:02:06
    So during this month, we really encourage people to get educated about mental health and even check in with your own mental well-being and ensure that you have skills to cope with stress and can maintain positive relationships in your life. And all these little factors that we don’t consider sometimes because we get so caught up in like the daily grind. So it’s really important to also check in with yourself but also be aware of these issues that exist within society as well and try to support our loved ones as much as we can. I’m reminded of the saying that I’ve seen more than more than a dozen times, it’s okay not to be okay.

    0:02:42
    Yes. So with that in mind let’s let’s talk about how we how we approach this and the science of mental health and treatments. A little bit about your training and experience and what you’ve seen. Yeah, so through the prevention department at McCall, we offer a lot of like mental health education trainings. So we do mental health first aid and QPR, which stands for question, persuade, refer. And those trainings really teach people like what to look for and things to identify in, you know, people close to you and also just people that exist in society. And it’s really interesting. So after one of the trainings, I had an individual come up to me who shared his story of loss with me and it was someone very close to him.

    0:03:24
    And I think that the fact that this person was so close to you, we so badly want the people close to us to be okay. So sometimes we may minimize or not even notice signs or symptoms that are maybe cries of help from these people. So it’s really important to just be aware and also, you know, check in with those people close to you and make sure that they’re okay. And even just like, you don’t have to get directly to like, are you struggling right now? Just surface level. You could ask like, how are you doing today?

    0:03:54
    What’s on your mind? And those kind of open-ended questions can lead to a deeper discussion about truly what’s impacting them. But, you know, we all do that when we see each other. Hey, how’s it going? Right. Hey, how you been? It’s really, it’s just a casual greeting, but this is one where you make eye contact and you say, really, how you doing?

    0:04:13
    Yes. You know? Deep conversation. Deep conversation, and a lot of us, again, it gets back to that, I’m okay, I’m fine, I’m not gonna burden them with what’s going on in my head. Yes. But you wanna draw them out to do exactly that. Exactly. And how do we know whether it’s somebody who’s just going through a rough patch and maybe there’s something more deep-seated?

    0:04:33
    Is that where your training kicks in? Well, I feel like, yes, that too, but it’s also both are significant and important. Even if it’s just like a stressful moment or they can be stressed for an extended period of time, both are really important and we can kind of see what we can offer to take, you know, things off of these people’s plates. Definitely attending these trainings and like just getting educated and informed about, you know, signs and symptoms to look for and just really know what to look out for in those people that are close and far away from you. Because we hear a lot more about mental health awareness, because we realize we have an epidemic of mental illness in this country.

    0:05:18
    Is the science getting better? One of the things that always made me question is mental health and understanding it still seems pretty nebulous to me. You know? Yeah. So there are… It’s tough science. It’s really tough science. And there’s a lot of like terms and scary words that exist that can really make a person feel isolated and it’s really important to remember to like reach out and get support and like don’t isolate yourself and feel like you have to be in this pain forever. There’s tons of resources and organizations that are ready to help you through your healing journey and offer you know whatever support that you need to get through what you’re going through. So you’re not stuck there forever and that’s really important to remember. So we can do this in layers. Yeah. You know it’s not a it’s not an all in inpatient months of therapy necessarily thing. Kind of is a has to be a individualized treatment spectrum. Big time yeah and the time window you know it it’s not there’s no time window for getting over healing through something like this. Right. It can take someone years, it can take someone months, it all depends on, you know, what supports you have and what your experiences have been throughout your life.

    0:06:34
    Darian Graells is a prevention facilitator with the McCall Behavioral Health Network joining us during this Mental Health Awareness Month of May. Final words for people out there as we do a self-check on how we’re doing from the neck up and just a little bit of friendly advice about taking care of yourself. I would just remind everyone that we’re all human, and it’s OK to feel stress and to not be OK sometimes, as Dale said earlier. I really encourage everyone to get educated. Get out. I mean, we offer trainings at least every month.

    0:07:09
    So definitely look out for those, and try to attend one if you can. It really kind of teaches you more about what we’re seeing with mental health and the signs and symptoms to look for and how to how to identify that someone needs support and then how to connect them to those said resources. So training but also talking about it if you have questions like asking professionals or encouraging you know those that are struggling to attend like support groups or therapy. There’s there’s tons of different options. Art therapy, animal therapy, group therapy, there’s so many different things that a person can do. But also self-care is really important too, and just getting out and doing the things that you enjoy and you love and that bring you joy.

    0:07:52
    I really like Lester Holt’s sign-off in the nightly news, take care of yourself and each other. Yes. That could be our sign-off today. Gary Ingrails is our guest this time here at WZBG and we’re talking all about mental health awareness, Mental Health Awareness Month. You can always learn more at McCallBHN.org. Darian, pleasure having you on the show. Thank you so much, Dale. Let’s have you back again.

    0:08:12
    Hopefully I’ll be back soon.

  • Alcohol Awareness Month – Kelsey Dlugozima, LCSW, Director of Outpatient Services
    Transcription

    00:00

    On FM 97.3 WZBG once a month we check in with the folks from the McCall Behavioral Health Network. Our live line guests this morning we want to welcome Kelsey Dlugozima. She is the director of outpatient services at McCall. Kelsey good morning. Good morning Dale thanks for having me. Glad to have you on the the show and as we do the show this month, April is Alcohol Awareness Month. So we’re going to focus on that a little bit. Tell me a little bit about your experience with that as Director of Outpatient Services and the kinds of things that we want to make people aware of this month. Yeah, so it is Alcohol Awareness Month and it’s always a good time to talk about alcohol awareness because, you know, it is one of the leading causes of preventable death, and actually we saw that jump during the pandemic.

    00:57

    And you know, just some of the ways that we kind of see that on a day-to-day basis in the work that we do, you know, the pandemic really highlighted the ways in which collectively and culturally we don’t give people a lot of the resources that they need to deal with the stress that is going to come along with that. Absolutely. And because of the pandemic, too, there was so much isolation that people who may be battling alcohol use, they’re doing it by themselves because they’re cut off from a lot of the support system that maybe kept them in a better state.

    01:31

    Yeah, and I think just overall, there’s this kind of notion that people have to hit rock bottom for it to become something that’s concerning. But there’s a lot of people that sort of live in this gray area of drinking too where it’s kind of impacting their personal life, their work life, their health in a lot of really significant ways, but because it doesn’t look like rock bottom, it goes unnoticed, I think that we’ve got a lot of numbers of people who may fall into that gray area that we don’t even know about that’s not really front of mind. Because like you said, they may be functioning, they’re working, they’re maintaining their household or whatever the case may be, but nevertheless, they are having a problem that is approaching a crisis point.

    02:29

    Yeah, and even that in and of itself can be isolating. Just the constant questioning, you know, is my relationship with alcohol different now? And for a lot of people it did change. So, you know, we’ve had people reach out. We had someone in particular, they reached out. They weren’t really sure. They started to question, you know, hey, I think my relationship with alcohol is a lot different since the pandemic started.

    02:52

    Because they had a job, they were able to keep it remote while they were still working. You know, had friends and family, people they would see still, but they still kind of felt some guilt in questioning that because they would think, oh, you know, when is the time to clock out? When can I have, you know, a glass of wine? When can I, you know, can I do that while I’m at work? And there are people that feel that way and think that way. But this person had reached out to us, and they started treatment. They started processing, getting some supports, and exploring that, and noticed a better relationship with their work, with their friends, their family.

    03:33

    They felt less irritable at the end of the day. Do you think that people who perhaps are battling alcohol and other folks in the substance fight and something along the lines of narcotics or addictive pharmaceuticals, maybe don’t think of those substances in the same way? Don’t think of them as a dependency in quite the same way? And in terms of stigma, maybe don’t look at a dependence on those in the same way, even though they are very much alike when you get down to it.

    04:09

    Yes, certainly. I mean, I think like culturally and collectively we socialize alcohol in a different way, just simply because of, you know, the fact that it’s legal and that we, again, really socialize it in a way where it’s normalized, right? It’s a normal way of dealing with stress. And there’s, you know, this idea of social drinking. But I think there’s a lot of people out there that really still struggle with this, you know, kind of by themselves and thinking, you know, I don’t know, maybe this is a problem. Let’s talk about that because I think we’re talking about that gray area drinking. Our guest this morning, if you’re joining us, Kelsey Dlugozima, who is the Director of Outpatient Services at the McCall Behavioral Health Network. And I get a sense of what we’re getting to is folks who maybe are in that gray area, they know that they are either into trouble or heading into trouble, and they know that the use that they’re doing with alcohol is bad for them and getting worse.

    05:15

    So this is that time when it’s time to make a decision. What kind of advice would you recommend for people who may feel like they’re on that cusp? Well, I’d say if, you know, if any of this resonates with you or someone that you care about and love that you aren’t alone, there’s a lot of people experiencing this shift in their relationship with alcohol and that there are supports. You know, there’s programs, there’s treatment, there’s social supports out there, and McCall specifically has programs all throughout western Connecticut. We’ve got professionals that are ready to explore that with you and someone you love. Our guest this morning, Kelsey Dlugozima, Director of Outpatient Services at McCall Behavioral Health Network, talking about Alcohol Awareness Month and particularly talking into a little bit about gray area drinking, maybe someone who is not by definition an alcoholic, but someone who is definitely feeling some kind of dependency.

    06:12

    And we may have made our best points to folks who are listening, Kelsey, but any final thoughts on that for someone who may be, again, on the cusp of a battle that maybe they feel like they’re starting to lose. Yeah, I mean, I think if you’re questioning it, there definitely are some long-term effects, you know, health-wise, socially with friends and family. So if you’re starting to think about it a little bit, please, you know, reach out. Kelsey, appreciate your time today, and we hope someone who may be questioning that use will reach out to McCall Behavioral Health and get some help.

    06:46

    Thanks very much. Great. Thanks so much, Dale. Have a good day. All the best. You too. Bye. Kelsey Dlugozima, Director of Outpatient Services for McCall Behavioral Health Network. They join us once a month to talk about important topics like this Alcohol Awareness Month. Back to the newsroom, we find Jeff there in 90 seconds.

  • Bipolar Disorder – Joy Pendola, LMFT LADC, Chief Clinical Officer
    Transcription

    0:00:00
    821 FM 97.3 WZBG, third Wednesday of March already. And we catch up with the professionals at the McCall Center, or the McCall Behavioral Health Network this time of month. And this time we want to welcome back Joy Pendola. Joy is Chief Clinical Officer there. Joy, good morning. Good morning, Gail. How are you? I’m well. Good morning. Good morning, Dale. How are you? I’m well. Thanks for joining us on the live line this morning after that nor’easter. Hopefully not too bad in your neck of the woods. No, I did pretty well. Thanks for asking. All right. Glad to hear that. All right.

    0:00:37
    Our topic today is we’re going to talk about bipolar disorder. Let’s start really with a bit of a definition. You know, bipolar, I can remember inappropriately years ago, years ago, you know, anybody who is moody, it’s like, you know, are you bipolar? But let’s look beyond that. What are we talking about here? Well, and I’m glad you pointed that out because especially the past few years, you know, a lot of terminology used in our field of behavioral health has become kind of part of the common vernacular to describe people in a lot of ways, including diagnoses. And I think it’s actually created some including diagnoses. And I think it’s actually stated some misperceptions of actually what it is. But bipolar disorder is a significant mental health disorder. It is typically developed signs are usually in late adolescence to early adulthood when they start. And there is significant symptoms beyond Symptoms beyond moodiness.

    0:01:39
    These are persistent and extreme highs and lows for an individual experiencing bipolar. So I mean, somebody with a significant bipolar disorder may have up episodes that could last for days, even weeks, where they don’t need sleep. They have racing thoughts. They have an excessive desire for food or substances or shopping or sex. So that can be really debilitating to their day-to-day life. And then there are the also extreme lows, where somebody can feel very depressed and anxious, who have low energy and, you know, could really have a lack of interest in their usual activities. in their usual activities. So to kind of manage, you know, these extremes that can happen, you know, a few times a year too persistently, it’s a very difficult illness to manage and it can be often lifelong. Do we know what causes bipolar disorder? Is there a root cause? We don’t know yet and that’s actually And that’s actually very common for a lot of mental health disorders, not knowing the root cause yet.

    0:02:54
    I’m very encouraged by the advances in science that I do feel very confident we will find a root cause in the future. Right now, there are indications that it runs in families, so there’s a genetic predisposition. It doesn’t mean that just because you have a family member with bipolar, you will also have bipolar. It doesn’t mean that just because you have a family member with bipolar, you will also have bipolar, but it does seem to run in families. And also, they’re seeing that there are some differences in brain structure with people with bipolar as opposed to people without bipolar. I think in working with people with bipolar for many years now, I have found the individuals the individuals I’ve worked with being some of the most intelligent, creative, intuitive people I’ve ever met.

    0:03:46
    And I think that they’re eventually going to find a link between bipolar disorder and creativity and intelligence. Even without knowing what the root cause is right now, we do have some really good treatments we do have some really good treatments that can allow for people with even significant bipolar 1 disorder to have very fruitful lives and maintain work and relationships and everything else in quality of life. Now I know it can be misdiagnosed, some symptoms similar to other issues. It makes me think of someone who has clinical depression, except maybe without the manic highs. except maybe without the manic highs, but it is possible there are effective treatments anyway and maybe a commonality approach to these issues.

    0:04:34
    There is, absolutely. I mean before you diagnose anybody with bipolar disorder you really have to even go the route of doing a medical examination and lab work. There’s thyroid conditions that actually mimic a lot of the symptoms of bipolar conditions that actually mimic a lot of the symptoms of bipolar disorder. There’s other mental health disorders like schizophrenia that may also look like bipolar disorder. And also, you know, having a substance use disorder, you know, the periods of use and the periods of not using oftentimes can look like symptoms. compounding too is that substance use and bipolar disorder often go hand in hand as well. So you really do have to look at family history and you have to look at those significant upward trends of mania or hypomania and then those depressive episodes to really determine and rule out any other conditions or issues. Our guest this morning is Joy Pandola. Joy is chief clinical officer at Our guest this morning is Joy Pandola.

    0:05:37
    Joy is Chief Clinical Officer at the McCall Behavioral Health Network. We’re talking about bipolar disorder this morning. If there’s folks out there listening, they’ve got a family member, somebody close to them, who is suffering this condition or dealing with this condition on a daily basis, how can they help because I know this can be a challenge in relationships. It absolutely can. And this impacts loved ones and families deeply. Absolutely can, and this impacts loved ones and families deeply. I mean, imagine somebody you love, you know, witnessing them going through, you know, these challenges and these extremes.

    0:06:12
    And also, you know, particularly at the highest highs and the lowest lows, you know, just characterly looking very, very different as a person. And also, potentially doing things during a manic episode that is completely out of during a manic episode that is completely out of character. And it can be scary because at-risk behaviors also can come up. But family members, I encourage them to be part of treatment, encourage a loved one who has bipolar disorder to maintain their treatment. There are good medications out there. Mood stabilizers and antipsychotics are typically utilized and can help with mood regulation are typically utilized and can help with mood regulation and decreasing symptoms.

    0:06:54
    There’s certainly, you know, basic things like sleep. Sleep is so important to managing mood and can, you know, lack of sleep can trigger an episode for somebody with bipolar disorder. Nutrition, exercise are also great mood stabilizers. And family and loved ones oftentimes can see the triggers to an episode or early and loved ones oftentimes can see the triggers to an episode or early signs of it. They can be very, very beneficial to someone to prevent any kind of escalation. So it’s kind of important that they engage and be part of the solution to this. Absolutely, and also get the support they need as well. Joy, it’s a pleasure having you on the show. I hope we’ve opened people’s eyes a little bit about bipolar disorder.

    0:07:36
    We all hear about it. bipolar disorder. We all hear about it. Only those close to somebody who has the condition really know what they’re dealing with, but we hope we’ve shed a little light on it this morning and we appreciate your time. Thanks so much, Dale. Have a great day. We’ll talk to you again soon. Thank you. Bye-bye. Joy Pandola is Chief Clinical Officer at the McCall Behavioral Health Network. Bipolar disorder, our subject this morning. We’ll get back to the newsroom, catch up with Jeff We’ll get back to the newsroom, catch up with Jeff there.

    0:08:02
    Following the news, we’ll have a Storm Center update here on FM 97.3.