How to Care for Your Mental Health in Retirement

Mature man sitting at desk

Most people who have full-time careers look forward to the day that they can retire. Reaching that milestone is certainly an accomplishment and something to be celebrated. However, the transition into retirement is a major life change, and like any change, it can present mental and emotional challenges. At our mental health clinic, we encourage those approaching retirement age to give some thought to steps they can take to stay happy, healthy and well-adjusted as they advance into this new phase of life.

Tips for Making the Move Into Retirement

For most people, the number one concern as their chosen retirement date approaches is whether they will have enough money to take care of their physical needs after they stop working. That is an important determination to make. However, it is also crucial to think about how you will address your mental and emotional needs. Below are 10 proven tips for increasing overall well-being in retirement.

  1. Decide what you want out of retirement. Do you want to travel extensively? Spend most of your time with family? Start a second career? Having a goal can keep you challenged and focused, and both are good for your mental health.
  2. Do the math. As noted above, there should be more to retirement than simple survival. If you can, be sure you have the funds you need to support an enjoyable lifestyle.
  3. Confirm your plans with your partner, if you have one. Happiness starts at home. If your partner isn’t on board with your approach to retirement, it can be a stressful situation.
  4. Pick your retirement date and stick to it. Whether out of a sense of obligation to keep working or a fear of what comes next, it’s easy to put your retirement on hold indefinitely. Unfortunately, doing so may leave you feeling frustrated and unfulfilled.
  5. Tend to your physical health. Do your best to stay healthy. Medical concerns – especially about conditions that could have been avoided – can adversely affect your mental health.
  6. Consider part-time employment or volunteer work. Having endless days with no obligations may sound like a dream come true. However, most people find that they are happier when they have some recurring items on their calendar and are making a contribution to society in some form. A sense of purpose is key to happiness.
  7. Stay connected with old friends and ideally make some new ones. The love and support you feel when you spend time with people you care about is good for your mental health. Making new acquaintances is also good for your wellbeing and provides some variety.
  8. Maintain a schedule. Even if you aren’t working or volunteering, it is a good idea to stick to a schedule to some degree. Committing to tasks like gardening every other morning for an hour and walking the dog daily in the afternoon provides a healthful lifestyle.
  9. Spend time with family regularly. If you live near your children or grandchildren, make time to see them on a regular basis. Even if you or they only have time for short visits, maintaining those relationships is very important.
  10. Pursue a new hobby or interest. Learning new things takes on a whole new feeling when you aren’t pressed for time and can relax and immerse yourself in the activity.

Putting the Shine on Your Golden Years

Even though you’ve stopped working, a happy, healthful life does require some work. Make a plan for how you will care for your mental health after retirement and you will get much more enjoyment out of the next chapter of your life.

If you are facing mental health challenges before or after you retire, you can connect with our mental health clinic at communityreachcenter.org or contact us by phone at 303-853-3500 to learn more about our services, and please have a look at our array of Senior Reach services located on our website. We have centers in the northside Denver metro area of Adams County including the cities of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City and Brighton.

Denver Mental Health Services Provider’s Strategies for Improving Self-Confidence

Woman Smiling

Self-confidence or self-esteem can be defined as trust in your own abilities, judgment and personal qualities. As we tell people who use our Denver mental health services, while self-confidence feels good in general, there are many other benefits from having appropriate self-esteem, including:

  • Fewer feelings of guilt, shame or worthlessness
  • Stronger relationships built on a foundation of equality
  • Greater ability to deal with adversity
  • Lower stress level
  • Increased assertiveness in getting what you want and need in life

While it takes time and commitment for a person who is lacking in self-confidence to develop more of it, the end result is worth the effort.

11 Tactics for Taking on Your Insecurities

The key to improving your self-confidence is taking action. That action may be physical or mental, but the goal is to continually move in a more positive direction. Below are some tactics you can use to elevate your self-esteem.

  1. Think positively about yourself. One aspect of having a more favorable opinion of yourself is to listen for negative self-talk and when you hear it, immediately counteract it with positive mental statements about the fact that you are a unique person with many positive qualities who deserves to be happy and respected.
  2. Practice good personal hygiene. While putting effort into looking “presentable” can create a positive impression of you in others, the real reason to do it is that it creates a positive impression of you in you.
  3. Exercise regularly. Whether it is a brisk walk or a vigorous workout, elevating your heart rate releases “feel good” hormones that can have a positive impact on your mood and outlook. 
  4. Eat a healthy diet. Fueling your body properly helps give you the physical energy you need to be confident.
  5. Get adequate sleep. Sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on your health in general and your emotional health in particular.
  6. Improve your posture. Poor posture can be an external sign of internal feelings of fear and submissiveness. Standing or sitting up straight with your chin up and shoulders back communicates a more upbeat message to yourself and others.
  7. Use stress reduction practices. It is more difficult to be self-assured when you are experiencing stress. Use techniques such as meditation, yoga or prayer to manage and reduce your stress.
  8. Pursue hobbies you enjoy. Taking time out from your daily obligations to indulge an interest makes a statement to yourself that you deserve enjoyment.
  9. Prepare for life’s challenges. One of the biggest threats to your self-confidence can be the fear that you are not up to a particular task. The best way to eliminate that fear is to do all you can to prepare yourself for it. Researching the topic, role-playing the conversation or doing other prep work can make a big difference in your belief that you can handle the situation.
  10. Practice gratitude. The more you recognize the good things in your life, the more you start to see that you are deserving of them.
  11. Be kind. Observing yourself being thoughtful on a regular basis confirms that you are a good person with much to offer your friends, family and community.

Perhaps most importantly, have realistic expectations for change. If you have suffered from a lack of self-confidence for years (or decades), reshaping your self-image will take time. Be patient with yourself and know that there will be setbacks along the way. However, if you are persistent in your efforts, there is no question that you can be a more confident person in the future than you are today.

Helping You See Yourself in a More Positive Light

Developing the ability to consistently face the world with confidence can be life-changing. If you need help with increasing your self-esteem, we’re a leading Denver mental health services provider, and we’re here to help. Visit communityreachcenter.org or contact us by phone at 303-853-3500 to learn more about our services. We have centers in the northside Denver metro area of Adams County including the cities of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City and Brighton.

Apps Apt to Fill Some Needs

Self-help apps continue to pop up everywhere with seemingly one for every occasion. They can help you remember to drink a glass of water when you wake up in the morning. They can help you learn basic meditation techniques or help to monitor vitals. They can do so many things.

Bookstores have wonderful self-help sections, but we have to admit a simple search to find a silent partner app at your fingertips offers convenience. They are available 24/7 to boot.

In our Mental Health First Aid course we provide at Community Reach Center, one of the five ALGEE action steps is to “Encourage self-help and support strategies.” Using a self-help app is one of the things you can do to help yourself or someone else. However, self-help is no substitute for therapy. So please be aware of the limitations of digital apps and the advantages or professional help, which may include specific treatments and prescriptions.

A few picks

So let’s tap into some apps.

As we mentioned last January, Garmin is an excellent fitness app. It sets health and exercise goals. When this app is paired with a smartphone, you can have your vital signs at your fingertips. As the saying goes “healthy body, healthy mind,” so please consider this one among the fitness options.

Here are a few other well-known apps to consider:

  • Pacifica helps with anxiety by tracking the user’s daily activities, providing relaxation techniques and setting goals to promote calmness.
  • Breath2Relax takes the user through breathing exercises for stress management. The exercises are intended to be beneficial for mind and body.
  • Happify targets stress and anxiety. This perky app focuses on positive thinking and setting goals.
  • Headspace is another popular app that helps with lack of concentration, stress, anxiety, memorization and relationships. It uses a variety of approaches to instill overall wellness.
  • Twenty-Four Hours A Day app is based on the book of the same name and offers more than 350 meditations with the intention to make it easier for people in recovery from addiction to find solace.

Nonetheless use caution

If you are unsure of an app or feel uncomfortable about what it asks of you, check into it. Groups like ClinicalTrials.gov have been testing and assessing more and more apps, according to an article titled “Mental Health: There’s an App for That,” in Scientific American magazine.

Knowing what you need

We know that sometimes a person is not quite ready to talk to a therapist or professional about their challenges, perhaps due to stigma or other reasons. Consequently, trying a few apps can amount to the first steps in a worthwhile direction, and the use of an app can help you think about how professional help may meet your needs or perhaps lead to a support group.

Please remember we encourage anyone experiencing significant depression and anxiety to visit a mental health center to seek a therapist. At Community Reach Center, our goal is to enhance the health of OUR community. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, contact us online at communityreachcenter.org or by phone at 303-853-3500 Monday through Friday to learn more about our treatment programs. We also provide family counseling. We have centers in the northside Denver metro area of Adams County including the cities of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City and Brighton.

 

Social Media and Mental Health: Tips on Setting Boundaries

Woman typing on computer

Social media platforms can be helpful for keeping in touch with family and friends. Seeing photos and videos of events you couldn’t attend or major life changes can make you feel more connected and up to date. However, social media use, especially excessive use, has its negative side as well. At our mental health center in the Denver area, we encourage the people we work with to set safe and healthy boundaries regarding the use of social media.

How Social Media can Hurt Your Mental Health

For all its positive benefits, social media can cause harm if not used properly. For example, social media use can:

  • Be addictive. For some people, social media use reaches a level where it has many of the characteristics of addiction, including that they are mentally preoccupied with it, they forego other life experiences to use it, they hide or downplay their use, and they use it to produce a mood alteration that they crave.
  • Decrease truly social behavior. While a person may have a large number of “friends” on social media, the hours required to maintain those online relationships will often cut into the amount of time spent with people in real-life settings.
  • Promote comparison. Frequently or continually comparing yourself to others is unhealthy. However, getting updates on all the fun things that your social media connections are doing tends to encourage that kind of behavior and the inevitable envy and jealousy.
  • Increase sadness and depression. There is growing evidence that social media use, which we believe will make us happy, can actually increase sadness, anxiety and depression.

5 Strategies for Setting Social Media Boundaries

Even when the intent of a social media platform is positive, excessive use can have a negative impact on mental health. Below are some ways to set boundaries.

  1. Give yourself permission to unplug. Checking social media can start to feel like a requirement. However, the reality is you have the right and the ability to choose when and how often you use it (or whether you use it at all). Simply acknowledging that fact can be very empowering.
  2. Set time limits. What’s a reasonable amount of time to spend on social media each day? Two hours? An hour? Thirty minutes? You have to decide. But once you choose a time limit, commit to sticking to it. Not only does that help you today, it also gives you a good baseline if you choose to cut back on social media at some point in the future.
  3. Cut ties with negative people and organizations. If interacting with or reading posts from a person or group doesn’t make you happy, but instead makes your blood boil, cut ties with them. It may feel good to vent after being fired up by their statements, but in the long term, that relationship is doing more harm than good for your mental health.
  4. Only contribute in a positive way. Lashing out at others or promoting negative thoughts or ideas do not just harm the target of your posts, it hurts you as well. The age-old advice that “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” is very relevant with social media. Even if you are speaking out against something, you can do so in a positive way by offering alternatives rather than criticism. And sometimes prefacing with something like “I have another perspective” can prevent discussions from becoming adversarial.
  5. Provide and seek clarity in your communications. Social media doesn’t offer the physical cues we typically use to understand people. Consequently, a message where no offense was intended can easily be misinterpreted, and a negative reply can then create an escalation of tension that didn’t have to occur. Be as clear as you can in your communications, and if you feel a comment directed at you was negative in some way, politely ask for clarification. A question such as, “I took your comment to mean this… Did I have that right?” can help keep a conversation from spiraling into negativity.

Making Your Mental Health a Priority

The key to proper social media use is continually assessing how it is affecting your mental and emotional health. If your interactions are not encouraging and uplifting, you need to make a change. To learn more about our mental health center, visit communityreachcenter.org or contact us by phone at 303-853-3500. We have centers in the northside Denver metro area of Adams County including the cities of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City and Brighton.

The Mental, Emotional, and Physical Health Benefits of Gardening

If you ask someone to name activities that provide mental, emotional and physical health benefits, it is unlikely that gardening will make the short list. However, this safe, low-impact form of exercise delivers all of the above. As a leading provider of mental health services in the Denver area, we encourage the people we work with to consider planting a garden if they have the time and the space in which to do so.

Great Reasons to Give Gardening a Try

If you have never tended a garden before, below are some reasons why you should consider giving it a try.

  • Aerobic exercise. Especially for those who find vigorous exercise too taxing, the walking, bending, reaching, and other actions associated with gardening provide an excellent way to maintain flexibility, increase muscle tone and promote better blood flow.
  • Stress relief. Not only does gardening help relieve stress, one study in the Netherlands found that it provides even more relief than other relaxing activities. People who performed a stressful task and then spent 30 minutes gardening reported being in a better mood. They also had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
  • Increased Vitamin D. Exposure to sunlight increases Vitamin D, which leads to an increase in calcium levels that benefits the bones and immune system. However, it is important to use sunscreen and wear sunglasses.
  • Elevated mood. As any gardener will tell you, a little time in the garden is an excellent way to improve your outlook. It has been observed that gardening may help improve depression symptoms.
  • Improved diet. People who raise fruits or vegetables in their garden tend to eat more of these healthy foods. Plus, no food is fresher or more healthful than food you grow yourself and take directly from garden to table.
  • Increased social connections. Whether it is talking with other gardeners at the supply store or sharing tips at the community garden, people who garden tend to have a higher number of social interactions than people who don’t.
  • Improved self-esteem. Seeing the seeds you’ve planted grow and mature into healthy plants produces a very positive feeling of pride and accomplishment. Those feelings are even more pronounced if you choose to share your harvest with friends and family.
  • Better brain health. From the increase in physical movement to the need to remember the watering requirements and other tasks associated with different plants in the garden, research suggests that gardening can lower your risk of developing dementia.

An Excellent Holistic Health Activity

Health experts have long known that physical health and mental-emotional health are very intertwined. Gardening is an activity that addresses many aspects of overall well-being. For people suffering from mental or emotional health issues, it can be very helpful when combined with counseling and other treatments.

To learn more about our mental health services, visit communityreachcenter.org or contact us by phone at 303-853-3500. We have centers in the northside Denver metro area of Adams County including the cities of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City and Brighton.

What You Should Know About Opioids

opioid prescription

The opioid crisis has been with us for a while now. The impacts are harsh, and the work of increasing general knowledge is well underway. For example, the Mental Health First Aid curriculum was recently updated to include a section about opioid disorders. Why? Because opioid addiction has become so prevalent that knowledge about how to help someone experiencing an opioid overdose or addiction has become increasingly important.

What caused the opioid crisis?

In the late 1990s, healthcare providers increasingly prescribed opioid painkillers to relieve chronic, non-cancer pain. This occurred with some lack of evidence about long-term effects, such as addiction and overdose potentials. Information in the Mental Health First Aid manual indicates that opioids have been prescribed at higher rates over the past 15 years for treatment of moderate to severe pain. Common types of opioids include oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), morphine and methadone. Thankfully measures of all sorts are in motion by communities, law enforcement, government and the medical community to address the opioid crisis.

What are the impacts?

The statistics are alarming:

  • Each day, 140 individuals in the United States die of a drug overdose, 91 specifically due to opioids.
  • Between 2011 and 2015, overdose deaths in the United States from opioids tripled.
  • By 2017, life expectancy in the United States declined due to opioids.

What does addiction look like?

Someone who may be experiencing an opioid overdose may exhibit depressed or slowed breathing, confusion, lack of oxygen to the brain and potential for death.  The person may have cold, clammy skin, and may have blue or purple-tinged fingernails or lips. They may be unresponsive and drowsy. If you suspect someone is experiencing an opioid overdose, call 911.

Be caring

Sit with the person who needs medical attention. Remain calm, be nonjudgmental and compassionate. Show concern, gather information and engage the person in conversation after help has been called if it seems appropriate. Let that individual know that his or her safety is the most important matter at hand. 

What is naloxone?

Naloxone, also called Narcan, can be administered to someone experiencing an opioid overdose. Narcan reverses an overdose by binding to the same receptors in the brain for opioid drugs for a period of around 30 minutes. Narcan can be injected, however, a nasal spray version is often considered the easier route and may be administered by non-clinical individuals.

Employ safe practices

Should you or someone in your household be prescribed an opioid, take time to understand the risks.  The drug can cause nausea, breathing irregularity and a host of other side effects. Please read the labels carefully.

Further, remember to:

  • Lock up your meds and keep them away from children.
  • Use only as directed. Never double up on dosages or increase dosage without consultation.
  • Don’t mix with other medications. Be sure your physician has reviewed all medications in use.
  • Don’t mix opioids with alcohol, which can increase the risk of respiratory depression and other issues.
  • Don’t drive while taking an opioid prescription.
  • Please take time to review all information from your physician and find extra information as needed, such as The Ten Rules of Safe Opioid Use.

If you would like to attend a Mental Health First Aid course to learn more about opioid disorders, as well as learn more about signs and symptoms of numerous mental illnesses and how to help others, please visit the Community Reach Center website for a schedule of MHFA classes. The courses are free to Adams County residents and $35 to others. And if you have concerns about your mental health or a loved one, we are happy to talk with you and help with counseling services. Get more information on our metro Denver mental health centers at communityreachcenter.org or by phone at 303-853-3500. We have centers in the north-side Denver metro area including the cities of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City and Brighton.

LGBTQ Pride Month – A Time to Increase Awareness

Mental health plays an important role in all of our lives. It contributes to our experiences with people and the emotions we experience towards events that happen in our lives. Mental health effects more than just our emotions and can go beyond how we react to certain situations. These conditions can cause changes in how we act, think and feel.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) community faces mental health conditions just like the rest of the population. Although, some individuals may experience unique negative stigma, prejudice, and other biases that affect their mental health. 

To learn more about how mental health conditions affect the LGBTQ community read this information from the National Alliance for Mental Illness. 

National Men’s Health Week Celebrates Fathers, Sons, Brothers, Husbands, Friends

Men talking

Each year, Men’s Health Week is observed leading up to Father’s Day in mid-June. In fact, many organizations recognize June as Men’s Health Month. The point of these observances is to support men, who too often try to “go it alone” when it comes to managing their health. As we share with people at our mental health clinic, Men’s Health Week is intended to draw awareness to health problems that affect men and boys, and to encourage early detection and prompt treatment of these conditions.

Checkups are Critical

Many serious medical conditions have few if any symptoms. Consequently, it is important to have regular physical exams and the medical tests that can help identify these illnesses. Reminders and encouragement from family and friends can be very effective to prompt a man, who may have the attitude, “I’ll see the doctor if I get sick,” to make an appointment.

To maximize the effectiveness of these visits, it is important that men keep track of their own medical history as well as their family history. This information can help their physician more quickly zero in on illnesses and prescribe effective treatment.

Mental Health is Key to Overall Health

In encouraging the men in your life to take good care of themselves, it is important to remember that mental health is just as important as his physical health. Men have a well-deserved reputation for keeping their emotions bottled up inside, and that behavior can cause or exacerbate both mental illness and physical conditions like high blood pressure.

If a man or boy you care about acknowledges they are struggling or you are able to detect the signs of a problem, it’s crucial that you urge them to seek help. Mental and emotional health challenges can be successfully treated, and there is no shame in seeking help. For most, it takes more strength to confront mental illness than to pretend it doesn’t exist.

The Many Ways to Improve Wellness

In our busy world, it’s easy to get caught up in “to do” items and fail to take proper care of ourselves. Men, in particular, are known for putting off actions and activities designed to increase health and wellness. So, during Men’s Health Week, and all year long, it’s important to providing loving reminders to men and boys to:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get plenty of exercise
  • Eliminate unhealthy habits like smoking or excessive drinking
  • Enjoy some leisure time every day
  • Maintain strong ties with family and friends, and get together often
  • Learn about and be aware of the signs of chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes
  • Express their emotions
  • Read good books or magazines about health

At Community Reach Center, we’re proud to play a role in helping to keep men and boys happy and healthy. And if you have concerns about your mental health or a loved one, we are happy to talk with you and help with any counseling services at communityreachcenter.org or by phone at 303-853-3500. We have centers in the northside Denver metro area including the cities of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City and Brighton.

Leading Denver Mental Health Center Says Enjoying ‘Recess’ Helps You Stay Centered

Colleagues walking outside

To say that the world today can be hectic or chaotic at times would be an understatement. Unfortunately, many adults have lost touch with one of the best tools for achieving or maintaining a sense of calmness and of being “centered.” That tool is play. Like adults, children face a number of stressors in their lives. They naturally turn to play as a way to release tension and temporarily free their mind of worries and concerns. However, since our adult daily lives are so consumed with work, family responsibilities and obligations that others rely on us to handle, making time for play isn’t as reflexive for adults as it is for children. Therefore, we need to make intentional choices to incorporate play into our routines.

The Many Benefits of Play

Ask any child what the best part of their school day is and they will almost certainly say, “Recess!” Whether you can work it into your schedule regularly or on an “as time permits” basis, taking a recess can be something that you, too, eagerly anticipate and from which you derive a variety of benefits, including:

  • Stress relief. True childlike play, away from your work, laptop and smartphone, can be an excellent way to shed your mental and emotional burdens for a few minutes.
  • Improved cognitive function and creativity. Adults who engage in playful activities often find that they have the unintended benefit of helping them think more clearly and creatively at work and elsewhere.
  • Increased energy. Even a brief midday play session can have a very positive impact on your energy level when you turn your attention to afternoon tasks.
  • Improved relationships. Nothing helps build or repair relationships like sharing laughs while playing games or enjoying adventures with one another.
  • Emotional healing. Not only is play a great way to relieve stress, it can help you release and move beyond emotional pains.
  • Improved teamwork. Many playful activities involve teamwork, a skill that can be diminished or lost for adults in our competitive culture. Reconnecting with the joy of shared victory can have a positive impact on many areas of life.

The Five-Minute Recess

Getting away from your tasks and your To Do list for 30-minutes or more can be very invigorating. However, when that’s not possible, even five minutes of “play” can be helpful. Having some interesting and engaging toys close at hand in your work environment (whether that is outside the home or at home) and allowing yourself to become completely engrossed in them for a few minutes here and there is a healthy habit to develop.

We know that play can certainly be a centering influence. Please keep it in mind. And if you have concerns about your mental health or a loved one, we are happy to talk with you and help with any counseling services. Get more information on our metro Denver mental health centers at communityreachcenter.org or by phone at 303-853-3500. We have centers in the northside Denver metro area including the cities of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City and Brighton.

PTSD and secondary trauma

Post -Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is often thought of as condition experienced by those who have served in military combat. Some terms in the past included battle fatigue, soldier’s heart and shell shock. But PTSD is experienced broadly in all walks of like. This mental health condition can develop in anyone who has experienced  or witnessed a life-threatening event, such as a natural disaster, a car accident, sexual assault or other crime involving violence.

 Most people gradually return to normal after a traumatic experience. After an extreme event, it seems typical for people to experience upsetting memories or to feel on edge for a while. However, when symptoms persist for several months – affecting normal day-to-day living – and continue to reoccur, it could be PTSD.

Symptoms

Symptomatic concern is identified when disturbing thoughts, emotions and dreams continue for months after an event or even emerge long after an event. Often the affected person may attempt to avoid trauma-related triggers, such as places and situations that prompt memories. The person will also often avoid trauma-related thoughts and emotions, as well as discussion of the disturbing event.

Other symptoms involve unwelcome memories, often called flashbacks, in which events are relived. These can be triggered by anything that reminds the person on an event, such as a news report of a natural disaster or a loud noise that is similar to gunfire. These unwelcome memories can come in the form of a dream.

Another symptom is an overall mood change. After a traumatic event, an affected person might be sad or numb, and unable to enjoy everyday life, such as spending time with friends. The person may be less trusting of others. Another common symptom is hyperarousal, such as having trouble relaxing and instead being geared up or jittery much of the time.

With proper treatment, recovery from PTSD is highly possible. Actually, the term Post Traumatic Stress Injury is sometimes preferred by professionals rather than Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because it suggests that people can heal with treatment, while a “disorder” can imply that something is permanently wrong.  It is also important to not assume that most members of the military will develop PTSD, as  the majority of those who experience or witness traumatic events during their stint in the armed forces are able to manage the experience relatively well and don’t develop trauma related mental health conditions.

Secondary trauma

We know that someone experiencing significant PTSD symptoms should be treated. At the same time, someone who knows the affected person or experiences the trauma from a distance may need treatment as well. While the spouse of someone who has returned from military combat comes to mind for secondary trauma, it is important to remember other possibilities. For example, when a family loses a home in a natural disaster, the children may experience secondary trauma, due to the stress and instability of an affected caregiver. A child can also experience secondary trauma when witnessing verbal or physical abuse.

If you or someone you know is struggling with the impacts of trauma, please consider our mental health services, contact us online at communityreachcenter.org or by phone at 303-853-3500 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. We have centers in the northside Denver metro area of Adams County including the cities of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City and Brighton.