Blog

  • New Crisis ahead? Benzodiazepines discussion on the Talk of Connecticut 1360am

     

    On April 26th, 2019 Jim Moutinho joined Paul Pacelli of the Talk of Connecticut 1360am to discuss the risk of increased use of Benzodiazepines in adolescents and adults. Topics include what they are, addiction potential and alternative treatment options. Go to www.talkofconnecticut.com or subcribe to the Talk of Connecticut Podcast for all the latest topics impacting Connecticut. 

  • The Opiate Crisis in Connecticut

     

    On March 29, 2019 Jim Moutinho, Founder/Director of Advanced Treatment Solutions stopped by the Talk of Connecticut WDRC 1360 and spoke to Brad Davis about the opiate crisis and best practices for treating individuals struggling with opiates. Topics include overdose, evaluations, Medication-Assisted Treatment options, and counseling. Click above for the entire interview.

  • Jim Moutinho on Brad and Paul 2-15-19 WDRC 1360AM

     

    JIM MOUTINHO, National Board Certified Counselor and Founder of Advanced Treatment Solutions was on with Brad Davis on February 15th, 2019 to talk about the new legislation that would provide Medicare reimbursement to counselors and marriage and family therapists.

    For more about the legislation and it's importance for seniors read below taken from www.counseling.org

    On Jan. 31, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Representative John Katko (R-NY) introduced the Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2019. This measure would include Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) and Marriage and Family Therapists as covered Medicare providers.

    Why this bill is important.

    Medicare does not include Licensed Professional Counselors in its coverage. Medicare beneficiaries are often at higher risk for mental health problems, such as depression and opioid addiction, yet older Americans are the least likely to receive mental health services. Only 1 in 5 older Americans receive needed mental health care, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

    Medicaid recipients can see an LPC and Medicaid will cover them—until they reach 65. Many individuals with private health insurance have mental health coverage but, once they retire, find that they can no longer afford to see an LPC. The passage of this legislation will enable Medicare to help the 4 out 5 seniors currently not receiving much-needed mental health care. In rural areas, there are often more LPCs available than all of the other types of mental health professionals, combined, in practice.

     

  • Side Gigs to Make Ends Meet When You’re Recovering from a Mental Illness

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    Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash

     

    Side Gigs to Make Ends Meet When You’re Recovering from a Mental Illness

     

    When mental illness takes control of your life, you likely do not have the energy necessary to focus on much more than your recovery. Many people find that when their mental illness has spiraled out of control, they need to put their careers and aspirations on the sidelines while they work on recovery. However, after some time working with professionals and doing plenty of soul-searching, it can be healthy to get back into a working mindset. Maybe it’s not time to throw yourself back into the pressures and anxieties of your former position, but taking up one or two side gigs that tap into your hobbies and creativity while making some extra money can provide a sense of purpose and utility that is essential for healthy self-esteem

     

    The side gigs mentioned here are generally home-based. When working from home, it’s imperative to have a workspace separate from the parts of your home used for socializing and relaxing. Your own home office helps you avoid distractions for optimal productivity. If you live with family or roommates, communicate with them that you are not to be disturbed when working unless it’s an emergency. Another great home office hack is setting up your space in a part of the house with as much natural light as possible. Light stimulates feelings of productivity and positivity, keeping you on track during your workday. If your place is a bit lacking in the natural light department, feel free to make do with your own lighting design that combines ambient, task, accent, and decorative elements. 

     

    Sell Handmade Goods on Etsy

     

    Etsy is an online marketplace where people go to find handmade versions of their favorite things. If you are a handy person, you probably know how to make something that people want to buy. Etsy allows makers to sell products ranging from prints to jewelry and homemade beauty supplies. You can even sell digital downloads if your talents are more about graphic design or coding. While Etsy charges for the products you list, you get the added benefit of using a marketplace people already use. People who shop on Etsy want to support small businesses. 

     

    Dog Walking and Pet Sitting

     

    If you’re the type of person who finds themselves hanging with the dog at the party, this is the side gig for you. Spending time around pets is good for your mental health. Household pets ease anxiety and promote mindfulness. Combine the benefits of spending time with four-legged friends with the opportunity to make some extra bread, and it’s the perfect post-recovery side gig for many out there. To get started with dog walking and pet sitting, consider going through a third-party site that connects you with pet parents searching for services while adding a level of security for both parties involved. Many pet-sitting websites have limited insurance that will cover damages or injuries should they occur during the time employed. 

     

    Teach Music Lessons

     

    If breaking out your instrument is your go-to move whenever you feel stressed, teaching music lessons taps into that therapeutic release while generating a healthy hourly rate. The thing about music lessons is that while you may spend time instructing and going over teaching materials, a lot of the lesson time is spent simply playing together with your pupil. Furthermore, you get to enjoy the self-esteem-boosting benefits of teaching somebody a healthy skill. 

     

    If you’re recovering from mental illness and you’re not quite ready to jump back into your career, it may help to make ends meet with one or two side gigs that you enjoy. Not only can the extra money help, but taking on minor responsibilities also helps re-build your self-esteem. Look into ways to turn the things you love into a money-making venture, whether that involves selling your handmade wares on Etsy, helping pet parents with their furry loved ones, or passing on your love of and talent for music to willing pupils. 

     

    Constance Ray

    Recoverywell.org

    constance@recoverywell.org

  • Radio Interview on the Talk of Connecticut WDRC 1360 with Brad Davis

    Radio Interview on the Talk of Connecticut WDRC 1360 with Brad Davis

     

    On Friday December 7th, 2018 Jim Moutinho was interviewed by Connecticut radio legend Brad Davis on the popular morning talk show "The Brad and Dan Show" on the Talk of Connecticut WDRC 1360.  

     

    Topics discussed during the interview include mental health and addiction issues facing CT, addiction and the brain, marijuana, counseling for mental health and best practices in addressing opioid crisis. 

     

    To hear the interview click here: 

     

     

     

    Or go to www.thetalkofconnecticut.com search for Jim Moutinho December 7th, 2018. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • WDRC 1360 Appearance on December 7th, 2018

    Our very own Jim Moutinho will be a special guest on the legendary Brad Davis Show on WDRC 1360am "The Talk of Connecticut" on December 7th at approximately 8:30am.  Jim will be discussing mental health and addiction issues facing CT. 

    Go to www.talkofconnecticut.com for more details. 

     

     

  • Annual Holiday Photoshoot 2018 Complete

    We just completed our annual Holiday photo shoot and got some great shots for this years card. After much thought the winner for this years card is....

    Included in Photo: Jim Moutinho, Dr. Jane Clark, Katherine Hernandez, Kelly Anziano, Brian Carberg and Erica Cahn.

  • Getting Started with Yoga and Meditation

    Getting Started with Yoga and Meditation

     

    Yoga and meditation each provide phenomenal support to overall well-being at any age. For seniors in particular, yoga is a low-impact exercise that has the added benefits of aiding flexibility and balance while encouraging healthy lifestyles. Mindfulness, either through yoga practice or during meditation, provides another layer of support to mental, emotional and physical health. It’s never too late to get started with yoga and meditation. Here are some tips to start your journey to self-knowledge and flexibility.

     

    Yoga can target ailments common as we age

     

    Joint pain and arthritis are common among seniors. Yoga helps alleviate these conditions, because yoga isn’t just an exercise - it is a practice. The practice of yoga encourages mindfulness that extends beyond the poses into the life of the person who is doing the exercises. Yoga’s mindfulness adds a stream of positivity throughout one’s life. Those who practice yoga tend to follow healthier diets, and incorporate additional exercises into their daily routines. 

     

    Yoga can be done almost anywhere

     

    Starting a new exercise regimen like yoga may bring to mind difficult classes and time and financial commitments. Many yoga poses are simple and can be done right where you stand. Chair yoga even brings parts of yoga practice to anyone with balance concerns. A perfect way to slowly introduce your body to the practice, chair yoga has many of the benefits of traditional yoga. It helps reduce stress and alleviate pain and fatigue. Some chair yoga poses include:

    • Seated mountain, which activates your core.
    • Warrior I, which reinforces good posture while reaching for the ceiling.
    • Seated forward bend, a pose that introduces light bending into core-strengthening movements.
    • Reverse arm hold, which is a routine part of traditional practice that develops upper arm flexibility and supports shoulder health.

     

    Not all yoga poses twist your body into pretzel shapes

     

    Many traditional yoga poses are more about stability, breathing and posture, and less about getting all tied up in a contortionist’s knot. Beginner poses focus on light stretching and serene comfort. The following are perfect beginner moves:

    • Standing mountain pose.
    • Child’s pose. This basic pose resembles sitting on the floor while bowing your body and arms forward, as in a prayer.
    • Warrior II. Similar to the seated Warrior I pose, this movement develops balance by having you turn sideways while stretching your arms out - one in front and the other pointing backwards.
    • Tree pose. A little more advanced, as it has you lift one of your legs off the ground, tree pose is the ultimate beginner’s movement for balance and posture.

     

    Yoga can be done at home

     

    Although the practice of yoga can be done in a chair or just with a little floorspace, as you advance through practice, you may find that you prefer a little more room to flex, move and try new poses. As far as exercises go, yoga requires only a small investment in equipment, so it’s easy and affordable to create a simple home yoga studio.

     

    The most important thing to remember is that yoga requires calmness. In our busy lives, serenity may be hard to come by. Wherever you choose to locate your home yoga studio, make sure it is a quiet and clutter-free space. When decorating, think minimalism and light colors. Natural light is helpful, as are some other natural elements such as a plant or a small fountain.

     

    Done right, your yoga space can double as a meditation room, where you’ll be able to benefit from mindfulness even when you are not planning on doing any yoga moves. Beyond the physical and stress-reducing effects of yoga, meditation is highly beneficial to seniors in areas of mental health, including strengthening cognition.

     

    Yoga and meditation help older adults thrive physically and mentally. Both encourage healthy living in a sustainable, unobtrusive way that fits well with any senior’s lifestyle.

     

    Harry Cline | info@newcaregiver.org

    newcaregiver.org

    The New Caregiver’s Comprehensive Resource: Advice, Tips, and Solutions from Around the Web

    Photo Credit: Pexels

  • What You Should Do After a Relapse to Get Focused and Continue Your Journey

     

    What You Should Do After a Relapse to Get Focused and Continue Your Journey

     

    Anyone who says addiction recovery is a straight and narrow path is optimistic at best. Recovery can be a winding road full of pit stops, speed bumps and detours. Many addicts who have come through the other side clean and are now living healthy, substance-free lives had their share of setbacks. It’s normal. You will recover, but here are some things you must do after a relapse to get yourself back on the path. 

     

    Forgive yourself immediately

     

    You cannot move forward with your recovery if you don’t first forgive yourself for your relapse. Think about it this way: If you are driving somewhere and you suffer an unexpected flat tire, do you just pop the rest of your tires and give up? Of course not. You change the tire and keep driving. The key to forgiveness is knowing that relapse can be part of the process. Be honest with yourself. Is it ideal? No. Can you move on? Yes. 

     

    Focus on boosting your self-esteem. This starts with reframing your own narrative and refusing to compare yourself to others in your situation. 

     

    Resist the urge to become isolated

     

    Addiction is a lonely disease. People with substance problems often push loved ones away as their disease progresses and takes hold of their life. This is due to guilt, shame, embarrassment, and a host of negative emotions. When you relapse, you are falling back into old habits - and that doesn’t just mean abusing. Isolation is an old habit that you have to work to overcome

     

    When you’re working to avoid isolation, you have the danger of being thrust into tough social situations. You must work on asserting yourself with your friends and family and dictating social scenarios that work for you. Avoid triggers and stressful locations. Don’t hang out at a bar, for example.  

     

    Focus on finding some distractions

     

    If you’re addicted to something, you spend a lot of time on it. When you’re in recovery, you have to find things to fill the time void that’s left when you stop drinking. Filling your days with distractions is key, especially following a relapse. A new hobby could be a good idea and there are plenty that are suited for those in recovery. Try something that promotes mindfulness like yoga or gardening. Or just make a list of all the things you’ve always wanted to do.

     

    Another “distraction” better described as a life shift is focusing on your physical health. A healthy body begets a healthy mind, which begets a better foundation for recovery. Dive into some sort of exercise - running, basketball, racquetball - it doesn’t matter what (as long as it’s fun). As long as you are doing enough to replete your brain’s serotonin you are helping yourself recover. 

     

    Lean into therapy

     

    Even the strongest people are not equipped to handle recovery and especially recovery post-relapse - alone. Therapy - whether it be one-on-one counseling, guidance from a spiritual leader, group therapy, or step meetings - is something you should lean into at this moment in your journey. Not only does it help to hold you accountable for your actions, but also the people who lead therapy have seen it all. They know how to help you succeed. 

     

    Often a relapse is a feature, not a bug, of the recovery process. It happens to most everyone in your boat, and if you reframe the situation you can come out of it stronger and more determined to get clean. Instead of thinking of a relapse as a failure, think of it as a teaching moment and a character booster. 

     

    Photo by Anna Sullivan on Unsplash

     

    Constance Ray

    Recoverywell.org

    constance@recoverywell.org


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