If you have any tips, news, or content that you would like to see in the Springs Staff Scoop, please feel free to email Stephanie Keister.

It’s time to nominate your colleagues for the 4th Quarter ABCD (Above and Beyond the Call of Duty) and Customer Service Superstar awards!

Click here for the ABDC nomination form and for the Customer Service Superstar form.

Trauma Informed Care: Resiliency and Wellness

by Megan Baker, Clinician – Aspen 

In the past two years, there have been a multitude of unique challenges, changes, and stressors not only in our field but in the world, in general. With that in mind, this month’s Trauma-Informed Care concept focuses on resiliency and wellness.

Emotional resiliency can be seen in one’s ability to heal from trauma and adapt to adversity without lasting difficulties. Building resiliency can be a long journey and some individuals are born with more natural tendencies to adapt. Despite some having a natural inclination towards adapting, resilience is not a quality that you either do or do not possess. Main characteristics of resilient people (emotional awareness, perseverance, internal locus of control, optimism, support, sense of humor, perspective, and spirituality) can be seen through the balance of whole health wellness.

SAMHSA (2016) outlines eight dimensions of wellness that can aid in processing and handling stressful situations. The eight dimensions are:

  • Social – Having healthy relationships with friends, family, and the community. This can also include having an interest in and concern for the needs of others and humankind
  • Environmental – Being able to be safe and feel safe. This dimension can include access to clean air, food, and water, as well as occupying and promoting natural environments and spaces.
  • Physical – A healthy body, good physical health habits, nutrition, exercise, and appropriate health care.
  • Emotional – The ability to express feelings, adjust to emotional challenges, cope with life’s stressors, and enjoy life. This dimension also outlines the awareness of one’s strengths and desire to improve oneself.
  • Spiritual – One’s personal beliefs and values which can be seen through meaning, purpose, and a sense of balance and peace
  • Occupational – Participating in activities that provide meaning and purpose and reflect personal values, interests, and beliefs, including employment
  • Intellectual – Keeping our brains active and expanding intellect through various means including looking at different perspectives of an issue and taking them into consideration
  • Financial – One’s income, debt, savings, understanding of financial processes and resources, as well as one’s satisfaction with current financial situation.

When an individual feels off balance in one or more of these dimensions they may notice impacts to their wellness in another dimension. For example, if one is worrying about money (decrease in financial wellness) as we often see in the lives of clients or personally, one may experience anxiety (decrease in emotional wellness) which may lead to problems seen in physical wellness, occupational wellness, social wellness, environmental wellness, as well as spiritual wellness. Resilience can be fostered through awareness of wellness and identification of dimensions that may need additional support.

As we reflect on our own wellness journey, consider what you have done to make it through difficult times in the past years. Additionally, what dimensions do you feel you may need to gain additional resources in? Attached is a link to SAMHSA’s guide to “Creating a Healthier Life” which can aid in identifying overall wellness and providing support to promote balance in one’s life. https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/d7/priv/sma16-4958.pdf

As we continue to add Trauma Informed Care (TIC) segments in the monthly scoops, please consider reaching out to Jackie Skramstad or Megan Baker with real-life examples of the topics you have read as well as areas you might like to know more about.

May and June PTO Winner

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mind Springs Health, one employee per month will be picked (via a random drawing) to receive a paid day off (to be used within 8 weeks of the date it’s awarded).  May’s winner of a paid day off is Mary Ellen Williams, a Clinician in our Eagle office and June’s winner is Chris Dunn, a Peer Recovery Navigator in Building A.

Nature Photo Day

Thanks to all who submitted images for Nature Photo Day on June 15!  Be sure to submit pictures for Pet Photo Day on Monday, July 11!

Pedal for Prevention

Save the Date! September 24-25

Registration details coming soon!

Join the Cultural Engagement Team!

Are you interested in helping our organization become more diverse and knowledgeable about equality and equity within our communities?

Please join the next CET meeting at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27, 2022

OR  . . .

Are you interested in sharing an experience or something you have learned?

Write a DEI piece for the Springs Staff Scoop!

 If you have any questions about the CET, please outreach Norma Roberts.  

Racism

By Jordan Stewart, Intern, Colorado Mesa University

“Racism is the marginalization and oppression of people of color by the systems created by white men to privilege white people.” (Perry& Winfrey, 2021, pg. 239).

Although the national history of racism and discrimination has progressed for the better, there is still continuous work and progress that must be made before considering true equality and inclusion for all mankind. To better understand the definition of racism and inequality we can look at the research that has been conducted to show race inequalities in various aspects of life and services provided to individuals of color. “Research shows that ethnic minorities are offered less support in higher education, are less likely to receive offers of employment, are treated less politely and offered less help in store, are treated with more suspicion in public places and are less likely to receive adequate care from physicians” (West et al., 2021). Racial disparities are part of a much larger issue that are impeded and practiced as part of the modern and contemporary society that is built to maintain power according to race-based hierarchies. Understanding the power that race-based hierarchical structures hold against individuals of colors and minorities. Exposure of racism and discrimination can leave detrimental impact on those experiencing either racism and or discrimination “discrimination increases vulnerability to health problems, exacerbating inequity. One meta-analysis found associations between racism and poor mental, physical, and general health” (Xie et al.,2020).

Racism goes depth beyond what we can see with the human eye. Racism impacts and affects the development of brain matter through epigenetics and trauma experienced. Epigenetics is the study of how an individual’s social and physical environment shapes that individual’s genes. The Polyvagal Theory explains how the different parts of our nervous system respond to stressful situations. The three different parts are the ventral vagal, sympathetic, and dorsal vagal. Ventral Vagal is the green zone, indicating that the individual is safe, sympathetic is the yellow zone, indicating that the individuals will move into flight or fight stage when dealing with stressful situations. Lastly, the dorsal vagal is the red zone, indicating that the individual is in shutdown or freeze mode. Focusing on racism, the initial experience that an individual of color has with a white individual activates different parts of their nervous system Dr. Bruce Perry states, “when the individual encounters a new white man, his original and therefore default association of white men and threat will cause a stress activation that can influence how he feels, thinks and behaves.’” (Perry& Winfrey, 2021, pg. 235). That individual’s brain has activated fear response, therefore that individual will always stay in between sympathetic stage and dorsal vagal stage due to the initial experience until change and action is implemented.

West, K., Greenland, K., & van Laar, C. (2021). Implicit racism, colour blindness, and narrow definitions of discrimination: Why some White people prefer ‘All Lives Matter’ to ‘Black Lives Matter.’ British Journal of Social Psychology, 60(4), 1136–1153. 
Winfrey, O., & Perry, B. D. (2021). Our Brains, Our Biases, Our Systems. In What happened to you?: Conversations on trauma, resilience, and healing (pp. 235-236). FlatIron Books.
Xie, T. H., Ahuja, M., McCutcheon, V. V., & Bucholz, K. K. (2020). Associations between racial and socioeconomic discrimination and risk behaviors among African-American adolescents and young adults: a latent class analysis. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 55(11), 1479–1489.