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    • Pediatric Care
    • Primary Care
    • Mental Health
    • Expert Advice

    3 Ways to Foster the Wellbeing of LGBTQIA+ Kids and Teens

    © alessandrobiascioli via Canva.com Ensuring a healthier and more inclusive future for LGBTQIA+ children and teens is of utmost importance to health systems in our community, especially Renown. Supporting the physical and mental health of youth in this community is key to those efforts, especially as they face unique challenges in terms of identity acceptance and social integration.   Dr. Caroline Barangan, Adolescent Medicine Physician with Renown Children’s Pediatric Specialty Care, discusses what you as a parent, caregiver, friend or support system can do to be a safe space for children and teens who identify as LGBTQIA+. 1.  Create a Safe Space at Home The most important action you can take for your LGBTQIA+ teen or child is to accept and support them for who they are, regardless of how they identify. “Being a teenager is already difficult enough, especially within the LGBTQIA+ community, which puts them at risk of being stigmatized, rejected and targets for bullying,” said Dr. Barangan.  Your supportive words and actions can make a huge difference as a profound expression of love and understanding. Being patient and willing to learn are the foundations to a healthy and loving relationship with your LGBTQIA+ teen or child.  2.  Encourage Regular Check-Ups with a Primary Care Provider (PCP)  Establishing your child or teen with a PCP is not only important when an illness occurs but also for annual preventative visits and regular check-ups. “A primary care provider can screen for high-risk behaviors that would put a patient’s health in jeopardy, such as sexual experience, substance use, suicidality and self-harm,” said. Dr Barangan. “These screenings are an opportunity to provide the education and support these kids and teens need to stay healthy.”  One of the main concerns LGBTQIA+ youth often have is that they will experience judgment from their provider, or the PCP will disclose sensitive information, including their sexuality or gender identity to their parents, when they are not ready to do so. Dr. Barangan emphatically reminds us that this legally cannot happen. “If a patient asks me to keep something confidential, unless they disclose that they have plans to harm themselves or others, I am legally not allowed to share that information with anyone without their permission,” said Dr. Barangan.  3.  Locate Local Resources  Northern Nevada is home to a variety of resources for the LGBTQIA+ community at large, including youth members of this community. "Finding resources to help them develop in a positive way and provide them with the information they need, whether it be in school, the household, the community or through a medical or mental health provider, is incredibly important,” said Dr. Barangan.  Below is a list of local LGBTQIA+ community resources open to you and your children:  Our Center LGBTQIA+ Health Services at Northern Nevada HOPES Northern Nevada Pride Festival & Community Parade (happens every July in Reno) Sassabration (happens every September in Carson City) Lake Tahoe Pride (events and resources shared on Facebook)

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    • Behavioral Health
    • Pediatric Care
    • Primary Care
    • Kid's Health
    • Mental Health

    Nurturing Your Child's Back-to-School Mental Health

    The back-to-school season is here, and ensuring your child's successful transition involves more than just school supplies and schedules. At Renown Children’s Hospital, and in collaboration with Nevada Pediatric Psychiatry Solutions, we understand the vital role that mental health plays in a child's overall well-being and academic performance. Below we'll guide you through essential tips for a smooth back-to-school experience, with a special focus on nurturing your child's mental health. How to Support Your Child’s Mental Health from Home Remember, the below strategies can be adapted to align with your child's personality, learning style and household dynamics. Flexibility and understanding are key in tailoring these tips to suit your child's unique needs. 1. Be Open to Communication: Recognize that effective communication is the cornerstone of understanding your child's feelings and concerns. Create a safe space where your child feels comfortable expressing their thoughts. Listen to learn, without judgment. Make it a point to validate their emotions and ensure they are heard. Encourage sharing experiences,worries, friends and challenges they may be facing. Having open conversations about sensitive topics opens the door for discussion and understanding. Make yourself available. 2. Establish a Routine: A consistent routine can offer a sense of stability and predictability for your child, and anticipation helps to decrease anxiety and establish a sense of control. Join forces and design a daily schedule that includes time for schoolwork, play, physical activity, meals and relaxation. Be flexible about the structure to allow room for last-minute changes including extra activities based on that day’s needs as well. Always add time for play and bonding. 3. Practice Compassion: Back-to-school can come with big emotions. Listening reflexively and acknowledging these feelings can help you and your child act positively on these big emotions. 4. Get Involved: Actively engage in your child's school life by participating in school events, meetings and discussions. Show interest in their educational journey, ask about their experiences and provide guidance when needed. Being present in their academic pursuits not only boosts their confidence but also strengthens the parent-child bond. 5. Use Positive Reinforcement: Celebrate your child's achievements, no matter how small they may seem. This allows for a sense of accomplishment and boosts self-esteem. Praise efforts, progress and perseverance, whether it's completing an assignment, making a new friend or overcoming a challenge. This positivity encourages a growth mindset and resilience. 6. Organize a Schoolwork Zone: Create a comfortable workspace at home dedicated to school-related tasks. Customize the area based on your child's preferences and needs. Having a designated space for studying and completing assignments promotes focus, reduces distractions and enhances their overall learning experience.

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    • Tuesday, Nov 23, 2021

    Renown Health Leads Nation With Focus on Clinician and Employee Wellness

    New mental health benefits and two leaders Top Women in Wellness and HR by Ragan Communications Concern about clinician well-being has been top of mind for years, but the pandemic has exacerbated stress and trauma and presented a unique opportunity to reframe core approaches to fostering a thriving workforce. More than ever, clinicians require compassionate, holistic support to ensure that they feel safe, valued and engaged,” begins the introduction to the 2022 Health Care Talent Scan from the American Hospital Association. In line with this new report, Renown Health President and CEO Tony Slonim, MD, D.Ph., and a newly appointed member of the American Hospital Association Board of Directors, has announced a number of additional benefits to address some of the physical and psychological impacts of chronic clinician workforce stressors and to promote rest-and-recuperation strategies, essential for sustaining high-performing clinical teams. In an enterprise-wide communication, Dr. Slonim wrote to Renown Health employees, “I often say good health is a positive connection of a person’s body, mind and spirit. To honor you this holiday season, we have added to your comprehensive benefits package to help you achieve well-being, realize greater financial security, advance your education, enjoy enhanced life balance, and when needed, face illnesses and setbacks with the greatest possible peace of mind.” In addition to offering a $100 cash holiday gift for all frontline employees (up to manager level), Renown leaders are working to remove the stigma and barriers to using mental health services when needed, and reinforcing that seeking help indicates strength, not weakness. “By listening, recognizing and honoring our team member’s emotional health, we are looking to help each other process these experiences, grow from them and emerge more resilient and available to our patients and families,” said Michelle Sanchez Bickley, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Chief Human Resources Officer. “This could include taking a day off to refresh and recharge or taking advantage of confidential, mental health counseling visits at no charge. We have updated our policy to include mental and emotional well-being as eligible for use of sick leave.” Sanchez-Bickley is the newest inductee to the HR Hall of Fame this week by Ragan Communications, for leading the charge for health care organizations across the United States in employee health, performance management, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, training and development, and for implementing innovative employee benefits. She is the only health care HR leader named to the Hall of Fame this year. Also named to the national leadership list is Ann Beck, MBA, Chief Financial Officer, who, Ragan Communications noted, “despite being in the middle of a COVID pandemic and economic and financial down turn, was able to drive performance to secure Renown’s workforce and long-term financing to serve this generation and the next.” In addition, hospital staff will be offered free chair massages, courtesy of a local donor organization, MOBE. “Without a doubt, it’s the little things like this, free chair massages, food trucks at lunch time, a hot cup of coffee near the end of your shift, and a sincere “thank you” from a patient or family, that makes all the difference to us as nurses,” said Jana Elliott, DNP, RN, Associate Chief Nursing Officer Acute Services. Clinicians and employees are also encouraged to take vacation time away, and will continue to earn 10 paid holidays plus vacation time, employee recognition and rewards through the Everyday Amazing employee recognition program, enrollment in a free life insurance plan, and offered paid volunteer time and health insurance, 401k retirement planning, and education and tuition reimbursement. Dr. Slonim ended his communication by saying, “This year, as we readjust, realign and restore our way to a new world, I have never been prouder to ‘Be Renown.’ Thank you for standing by us, offering your time and expertise, and helping us emerge stronger people, and a stronger organization through a very challenging time. Please enjoy this holiday season with family and friends, and know you are appreciated.” Renown Health is currently hiring key roles to support the health and well-being of our community. The HR and Recruiting team are providing applicants with support during the application, interview and onboarding processes with a variety of digital and virtual tools. To join the Renown team to help Fight the Good fight, visit https://careers.renown.org.   About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. In U.S. News and World Report Best Hospital rankings, Renown Regional Medical Center was listed #1 in the State of Nevada. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to improve the care and the health of our community. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®. For more information, visit renown.org.

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    • Behavioral Health
    • Men's Health
    • Mental Health

    How to Spot Depression in Men

    Is a man in your life struggling with depression? Many men find it difficult to acknowledge when they need help. Recognize their unique warning signs of depression with insights from psychologist Dr. Herbert Coard. Over 6 million men are diagnosed annually, often displaying symptoms like anger and aggression instead of sadness. Learn how to support them and understand these often-misinterpreted indicators. Behavioral Signs of Depression in Men High levels of the hormone cortisol are released during stressful situations affecting the neurotransmitter, serotonin (a feel-good hormone), contributing to depression. You can identify depression or suicidal tendencies by paying close attention to the following behavioral changes: Anger, irritability, or aggression Avoiding family or social situations Losing interest in family responsibilities, passions and hobbies Lack of sex drive Becoming controlling/abusive in relationships Risk-taking behavior such as; unsafe sex, overspending or gambling Not being able to concentrate or remember details Excessive drinking or drug use Having frequent thoughts about death Talking about suicide Attempting suicide Factors That Lead to Depression in Men Life Events Work stress or long-term unemployment can be huge contributing factors relating to depression. This type of life event can be overwhelming, making it impossible for a man to cope. Changes in Relationships The loss of a relationship can be a significant contributing factor to the emergence of depressive symptoms and past experienced physical, sexual, or emotionally abusive relationships. With this in mind, counseling can often help individual to overcome this type of trauma. Grief and Loss Overwhelming sadness due to the loss of a loved one can trigger depression. Although normal, each person goes through their own grieving period. For example, normal responses to death are insomnia, poor appetite and loss of interest in activities. Pay attention if grief seems prolonged or out of the ordinary. Health Problems In particular, depression coexists with medical conditions. As men age, this can be passed off as normal aging, but it could be more serious. In addition, illnesses such as thyroid disorders, Addison’s disease and liver disease can cause depressive symptoms. Diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or Parkinson’s disease can affect any age, thus triggering or worsening depression. Some older men also feel like they may be suffering from dementia because of difficulties with memory this may be a symptom of depression. A trip to the doctor may be in order to help alleviate concern and worry. Depression in Men and Suicide Frequently the emotional pain occurring with depression can distort a man’s ability to see a solution beyond suicide. Individuals with depression become very rigid and constricted in the way they solve problems. The statistics below speak for themselves, helping us understand the need to reach out to those who need our support. Male suicide rates are on rising – men die by suicide 3.53 times more often than women, accounting for 70% of all suicides. Sadly, every day 129 men commit suicide. White males accounted for 69.67% of suicide deaths in 2017. In 2017, firearms accounted for 50.57% of all suicide deaths. Middle aged Men who are middle aged have the highest suicide rates. 40% of those identifying as transgender have attempted suicide in their lifetime. Males who are guy or transgendered are at an increased risk for suicide attempts, especially before age 25. Veterans often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, and are more likely to act on a suicide plan. How You Can Help Now that you can identify some of the warning signs of depression, here’s how you can help: Talk about your concern and communicate that you’re there to help him. Let him know depression is a medical condition and will usually get better with treatment. Suggest professional help from a Primary Care Provider, Psychologist or Therapist. Help set up appointments and offer to accompany him – let him make the decision, but make it clear you’re there for him, no matter what he decides. If you feel he is in a dire or life-threatening situation, contact 911. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to talk to a trained counselor. Call the Veteran’s Crisis Line at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) and press “1”

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