Monday, October 22, 2012

Fat Talk Free Week October 22-26

Fat Talk Free® Week is an international, 5-day body activism campaign to draw attention to body image issues and the damaging impact of the 'thin ideal' on women in society. This annual public awareness effort was born from Tri Delta's award-winning body image education and eating disorders prevention program, Reflections: Body Image Program®. For more information, visit the BodyImage3D website.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Out of the Darkness Walk: Thank you!

Thanks to all who donated to the OPA/COPA team in Columbus, OH for the walk on October 7th, 2012. As of that date, the team donated $1865 -- and there are mailed-in donations yet to be counted. It was a little chilly start, but a beautiful day to walk for a worthy cause.

Walking team of Mary Lewis, Catherine Malkin and Beth McCreary

Walking for a good cause! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October 11th: National Coming Out Day

October 11th marks the Human Rights Campaign's National Coming Out Day. 

From the HRC's website: On Oct. 11, 1987, half a million people participated in the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It was the second such demonstration in our nation’s capital and resulted in the founding of a number of LGBT organizations, including the National Latino/a Gay & Lesbian Organization (LLEGĂ“) and AT&T’s LGBT employee group, LEAGUE.  Recognizing that the LGBT community often reacted defensively to anti-gay actions, they came up with the idea of a national day to celebrate coming out and chose the anniversary of that second march on Washington to mark it. To this day National Coming Out Day continues to promote a safe world for LGBT individuals to live truthfully and openly.
Please visit the HRC website for resources about National Coming Out Day. 

Supporting Mental Health - Beyond Your Practice

I blog for World Mental Health Day

Psychologists often support mental health through education, practice and research efforts within their job settings. However, there are numerous other ways to support positive mental health for individuals beyond the practice, research or education setting.

Here are some tips for supporting mental health beyond your practice:

1. Provide pro-bono work. 
This can include participating in prevention walks, doing volunteer work in the community, or being a resource for the media regarding psychological issues. For example, the Ohio Psychological Association and Central Ohio Psychological Association has co-sponsored a walking team for the Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walks in Central Ohio for the last 7 years. This year the walking team raised over  $1800 to support direct suicide prevention efforts in the Central Ohio area and prevention research nationally. 

2. Organize community programs.
Psychologists are often excellent resources for health awareness, and can provide community programming within schools, libraries, YMCA's, etc. that target specific psychology topics. One good example is the VA Mental Health Fair, which is held in May during Mental Health Month. Each year the CoSR assist with the organization of speakers and booths so that veterans can increase their awareness of community resources and mental health support networks.

3. Educate colleagues.
Psychologists are often aware of resources and social advocacy efforts that their colleagues are not. Sharing this information, whether through a blog (e.g., OPA Member Kevin Arnold, Ph.D.'s "The Older Dad" for Psychology Today), twitter posts (e.g., @DrFinnerty, @ohpsychassn, @marylewisphd, @stress_doc), or listservs, can educate and assist colleagues in better serving their clients. 

4. Be an advocate.
Advocacy in psychology is often seen in the legislative realm, and effectively communicating with legislators on positive mental health legislation is a crucial part of supporting mental health. However, advocacy does not just mean testifying at legislative hearings or signing petitions. Advocacy could include emailing legislators, making phone calls, attending OPA's Legislative Day, or sharing information about relevant legislation with others. 

In today's world, time is precious and limited; however, many of these activities do not require a significant commitment of time and may positively benefit someone's mental health in ways we do not realize.

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This mission of the Ohio Psychological Association Committee on Social Responsibility (CoSR) is to promote and coordinate the involvement of psychologists in programs and projects in the community, including advancing a social justice agenda by applying the science and practice of psychology to human welfare, as well as advocating for the fair treatment of Ohio residents through education, training and public policy.

October 7-13: Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) takes place October 7-13 and is an opportunity to learn more about serious mental illnesses such as major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Mental illnesses are medical illnesses. 

One in four adults experiences a mental health problem in any given year. One in 17 lives with serious, chronic illness.  

On average, people living with serious mental illness live 25 years less than the rest of the population. One reason is that less than one-third of adults and less than one-half of children with a diagnosed illness receive treatment. 

When mental health care isn’t available in a community, the results often are lost jobs and careers, broken families, more homelessness, more welfare and much more expensive costs for hospital emergency rooms, nursing homes, schools, police and even courts, jails and prisons.
Learn more about mental illness support, education and advocacy at or the Ohio Psychological Association's website at