Living With Mental Illness

Mental Illness

Mental Illness and the Family: Recognizing Warning Signs and How to Cope

Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. It is a disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, dementia and addictive behaviors.

Most people believe that mental disorders are rare and “happen to someone else.” In fact, mental disorders are common and widespread. An estimated 54 million Americans suffer from some form of mental disorder in a given year.

Most families are not prepared to cope with learning their loved one has a mental illness. It can be physically and emotionally trying, and can make us feel vulnerable to the opinions and judgments of others.
If you think you or someone you know may have a mental or emotional problem, it is important to remember there is hope and help.


If you or someone you know is in crisis now, seek help immediately.

Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and/or social withdrawal.

Mental health problems may be related to excessive stress due to a particular situation or series of events. As with cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental illnesses are often physical as well as emotional and psychological.

Mental illnesses may be caused by a reaction to environmental stresses, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances, or a combination of these. With proper care and treatment many individuals learn to cope or recover from a mental illness or emotional disorder.

In Adults, Young Adults and Adolscents:
> Confused thinking
> Prolonged depression (sadness or irritability)
> Feelings of extreme highs and lows
> Excessive fears, worries and anxieties
> Social withdrawal
> Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
> Strong feelings of anger
> Strange thoughts (delusions)
> Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations)
> Growing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
> Suicidal thoughts
> Numerous unexplained physical ailments
> Substance use

In Older Children and Pre-Adolescents:
> Substance use
> Inability to cope with problems and daily activities
> Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
> Excessive complaints of physical ailments
> Changes in ability to manage responsibilities – at home and/or at school
> Defiance of authority, truancy, theft, and/or vandalism, Intense fear
> Prolonged negative mood, often accompanied by poor appetite or thoughts of death
> Frequent outbursts of anger

In Younger Children:
> Changes in school performance
> Poor grades despite strong efforts
> Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
> Excessive worry or anxiety (i.e. refusing to go to bed or school)
> Hyperactivity
> Persistent nightmares
> Persistent disobedience or aggression
> Frequent temper tantrums


Is mental illness treatable?

Yes, mental illness can be treated. This means that many people who have a mental illness, and are treated, recover well or even completely. However,because there are many different factors contributing to the development of each illness, it can sometimes be difficult to predict how, when, or to what degree someone is going to get better.

Treatment means all the different ways in which someone with a mental illness can get help to minimise the effects of the illness and promote recovery.It can involve psychological therapy, medication, and various supports in the community, as well as people with the mental illness helping themselves.

A doctor, psychologist or other health professional talks with the person about their symptoms and concerns, and discusses new ways of thinking about and managing them

Support programs are especially important for people with recurrent symptoms or who have a psychiatric disability. This support may include information, accommodation, help with finding suitable work, training and education, psychosocial rehabilitation and mutual support groups. Understanding and acceptance by the community is also very important.

It is common for the person with the mental illness to become the focus of family life. When this happens, other members of the family may feel ignored or resentful. Some may find it difficult to pursue their own interests.

Many families who have a loved one with mental illness share similar experiences”
It is important to remember that there is hope for recovery and that with treatment many people with mental illness return to a productive and fulfilling life.


Live Well, Work Well – October 2016

Pink Pumpkins

Halloween Safety Tips

For some Americans, Halloween is one of the most anticipated holidays. Unfortunately, it can also be rather dangerous. Use the following suggestions to help keep your child safe this year.
–Choose fire-resistant costumes, wigs and accessories.
–Avoid potentially dangerous props, like hard swords.
–Opt for non-toxic face paint or makeup instead of masks.

Click Here for more tips on how to celebrate Halloween safely.

Prevent Backpack-related Injuries

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 5,000 children under the age of 19 suffered backpack-related injuries last year. The vast majority of these injuries were caused by overloaded and incorrectly fitted backpacks.

While you may not have complete control over the weight of your child’s backpack, you can purchase a well-fitting, comfortable backpack. When shopping for a backpack, search for:
–The proper size (never wider or longer than your child’s torso, never hanging more than 4 inches below waist)
–Padded back and shoulder strap

Click Here for more backpack pointers.


Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the United States. Top risk factors include getting older, race and family history of breast cancer, which are things you cannot change.

Regardless of your personal risk factors, you can use these prevention strategies to reduce your risk of breast cancer:
–Maintain a healthy weight.
–Exercise regularly.
–Avoid exposure to carcinogens and radiation.

Click Here for more information on risk factors and prevention tips.


September 11th – Never Forgotten

We’re Still Standing

Those twin towers
Standing tall with pride,
Fell with grieving hearts.
Stunned, America cried.

But we’re still standing.

Bin Laden tried
To crush our land,
But we stood our ground
With our flag in hand.

And we’re still standing.

Red for valor
And the blood that fell.
White for purity
Our heroes tell.
Blue for the justice
That will be done,
Proving once more
These colors don’t run.

And we’re still standing.

By: Hannah Schoechert, 7th grade student


Safety Advisory

Safety Advisory: Possession or Use of Battery-Powered Portable Electronic Smoking Devices Around, On or While Operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV).


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is issuing this safety advisory to provide notice and information to owners and operators of CMVs concerning incidents that have occurred relating to the possession and use of battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices (e.g., e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e- cigars, e-pipes, e-hookahs, personal vaporizers, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)) and the transportation safety risks associated with the use of these devices.

Download and read the full report here -> E Cigarette Safety Advisory


Retirement Update

Hi Raven,

As I approach my first year of retirement from Raven, living now in Lake Placid, just wanted to say Hey to all at Raven. I will forever be thankful for answering the small add in the paper in ’99 for dispatcher and fooling enough people to be hired!

It would be hard to find a better group of people, owners, supervisors, office, shop and drivers to work with. It takes good people to make a good Company and Raven is a good Company!

My wife Carol, and I wish you all the best and continued success.

Cal from Extended Coverage

The picture of me holding a fishing rod is a prop, I do not fish!, but the dog is real, we both lay around a lot!

Cal 2