OCHN offers mental health tips during extreme weather

OAKLAND COUNTY — The Oakland Community Health Network (OCHN), which is contracted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, has released tips for families and individuals to manage stress or anxiety during extreme weather and cold temperatures that we typically get this time of year in Michigan.
Severe weather can disrupt lives in significant ways, affecting both physical and mental health. It is natural to feel scared, anxious, and nervous during severe weather conditions like the current deep freeze being experienced in Oakland County. The public behavioral health agency is reminding people to take care of their mental and physical health needs. Recognize your emotions and try these tips to alleviate your anxiety.
— Create a plan for overall health – a well-prepared plan for your family can help reduce anxiety and chaos before, during, and afterward.
— Ensure prescriptions are re-filled, if necessary.
— Be mindful of overexertion when outdoors, especially when shoveling snow.
— Use telehealth for non-urgent appointments.
— Be informed – stay up to date on weather information and warnings. Being aware may gain a sense of control over the situation.
— Talk it out – share your feelings with family members, friends, or others who can offer support to strengthen your emotional well-being.
If you are having difficulty coping, consider the following:
— Do something positive – prepare care packages, or volunteer to help others, all of which can provide a sense of purpose.
— Follow your usual daily routine as much as possible.
— Rest, get exercise, and eat properly. Seek out activities that involve both mind and body.
— Spend time with trusted loved ones or talk with others and seek support.
— Recognize that you cannot control everything.
— Talk with a relative, friend, doctor, or others about getting help, if needed.
If you or someone you know needs immediate assistance, call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. Non-emergency access services can be reached at 248-464-6363. OCHN’s school mental health navigators connect youth and families to behavioral health and substance use supports.
OCHN is contracted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to lead a provider service network and manage care for approximately 29,000 Oakland County citizens at more than 400 service sites across the county. People who receive public behavioral health services through OCHN’s provider network include those who have an intellectual or developmental disability, mental health concerns, or substance use disorder. Most of these individuals have Medicaid insurance coverage.
OCHN’s goal is to ensure these individuals are aware of and have access to services and supports that will improve their health and quality of life, as well as ensure their engagement in full community participation.
Its mission to “inspire hope, empower people, and strengthen communities” reflects an unyielding belief in a “Valuable System for Valued People.”
Programs and supports provided by OCHN’s service network are available at www.oaklandchn.org.
For more information call 248-462-6294 or email schoolnavigator@oaklandchn.org.
To learn more about OCHN, visit www.oaklandchn.org.
— Matt Mackinder

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