• Celebrating Connections: National Recovery Month 2020

    September is National Recovery Month. This month is dedicated to educating Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy and rewarding lives. Now in its 31st year, Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those living in recovery. We asked some of …

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  • Communication: A Key to Alcohol & Substance Use Prevention

    For many school districts here in Florida, students have returned to the “classroom” – virtual or traditional brick-and-mortar – this week or will be returning next week. With the return to schooling, there is sure to be stress on students as they begin a new school year the same way the ended the last one …

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  • Coping with Grief

    Grief is defined as “keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.” Grief is often associated with death, and it is a challenge that each of us must face in our lives, unfortunately. There are some who are able to adapt to or process grief in a healthy manner, but …

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  • Social Media and Mental Health

    “Look, I have 3 new followers on Twitter!”  “I have over 500 friends on Facebook!”  We wear it like a badge of honor.  For some of us, our virtual friendships have become just as important (or more so) than the friendships that we live out in our actual day-to-day lives.  Social media has taken over …

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  • Stories of Transformation: Danielle Moye

    June 7, 2018. That was the day that Danielle Moye entered SMA Healthcare’s Women Assisting Recovering Mothers (WARM) program. It is also her sobriety date. In other words, that was the day that her life was changed. Forever. Where it All Began Danielle grew up in North Carolina. For most of her life, from age …

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  • Expectations of Treatment

    Unfortunately, there is a stigma that continues to surround mental illness. For many, that stigma and the fear of being seen as weak or less-than that keeps them from seeking the treatment that they need. Further, there are unknowns or uncertainties surrounding treatment that keep these individuals away – some of those things are created …

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  • Step Away from the News Feed

    Let’s face it: living through a pandemic is challenging. We all want it to end, we want the threat of disease to go away, and we want to return to some sort of normal – well, the extroverts probably do. As we wait for it to end, we can find ourselves paying close attention to …

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  • Combating Feelings of Inadequacy

    We have all been there before, and have had the feeling. No matter how untrue it is, we have all at some point felt like we weren’t good enough. Maybe you have a little voice inside your head saying, “You aren’t smart enough to do this job”, or “you are a bad parent”, or even …

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  • Mental Health Services are a Necessity

    If there is one thing that COVID-19 has not changed, it is the necessity of mental health resources and services However, with the immeasurable that anxiety and stress that the virus has caused on our society, especially on those frontline workers, the need will surely be greater in the aftermath. We have yet to see …

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  • SMA Healthcare Awarded CCBHC Grant

    SMA Healthcare has been awarded a two year $4 Million grant by SMAHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) to establish a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) in Daytona Beach. CCBHCs are facilities specifically designed to provide a community with an all-inclusive range of substance use and mental health disorder services, especially for …

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  • Motivation: Striving to Be Your Best

    Motivation is defined as “the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.” That begs the question: how can one motivate oneself to strive to be the best they can be while at work? That all depends and changes based on the environment. However, it is sometimes done simply by surrounding yourself with reminders …

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  • Addiction: A Chronic Brain Disease

        Since 2011, there has been a growing public understanding and acceptance of addiction as a chronic brain disease and the possibility of remission and recovery has increased. So, what exactly is addiction? According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM): “[Addiction is] a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain …

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  • Taking Care to Those In Need

    A national survey indicated that as many as one in six U.S. children (between the ages of 6 and 17) experiences a mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)1.             The CDC reports: 4% of children aged 2-17 years (approximately 6.1 million) have received an ADHD diagnosis.2 4% of children …

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  • Worried Mind – A Quick Guide for Anxiety Disorders

    Anxiety is a normal part of the human experience.  It’s a defense mechanism designed to keep us alive.  We worry about things that may harm us, and that keeps us alive.  Whether it’s a sabre tooth tiger, your boss, or tax day, we all worry about things and that keeps us alert and prepared to …

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  • COVID-19 and Mental Health

    The unimaginable has happened — a pandemic like no other has hit the United States and the world like a ton of bricks.  In the minds of most, and rightfully so, is the health and safety of our loved ones, our community, our nation, and ourselves.  We must heed the warnings and directions from medical …

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  • Music to Our Ears

    Music has been recognized as a way of relieving stress for thousands of years.  The Bible even records a young David playing the lyre for King Saul to relieve the torment from a “harmful spirit.”  Music has a healing effect that few can deny, and most individuals can point to a favorite song that lifts …

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  • NARCAN 101 – Opiate and Opioid Overdose Reversal

    In 2018, there were 67,367 drug overdose deaths in the United States, a 4.1% decline from 2017 (70,237 deaths).1 Even with the decline from 2017 to 2018, drug overdose deaths are still an epidemic in our nation. So, what can be done to help alleviate the situation? One solution is the administering of NARCAN. NARCAN …

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  • Opiates and Opioids: New Understanding of an Old Problem

    Opiates and Opioids are two words (and substances) that can often be intertwined and confused, but have some major differences. Opiates are derived from the opium poppy plant and are naturally occurring substances.  Opiate drug types include heroin, opium, morphine, and codeine. While similar to opiates, opioids are synthetic drugs (man-made) that produce opiate-like effects.  …

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  • Do Good, Feel Better – The Science of Service

    What if someone promised you a happier, healthier life – no exercise necessary – and had the secret to reducing stress and improving your mood? Would you be interested? It all starts with service.   The definition of service is “the action of helping or doing work for someone.” Generally speaking, there are two areas …

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  • Providing a Case for Support

    Teacher, guide, planner, supporter, collaborator. We all know somebody who could be described with one of these words — some more than just one. In the behavioral healthcare field, a case manager can be any or all of these. A primary focus of case managers is to help clients get their lives on track, no …

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  • eCare: Bringing Healthcare to You

    SMA Healthcare’s mission is to improve lives through exceptional substance abuse and/or mental health services. As the society at large turns to digital tools to access care, SMA remains dedicated to providing its clients with the best care anywhere. eCare from SMA’s Telehealth Services is key in supporting this mission. eCare uses common place technology …

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  • Safe Place to Talk – Volusia Rape Crisis Center

    The Volusia Rape Crisis Center (VRCC) may be one of SMA Healthcare’s smaller programs, but its staff is making a major impact. Last year (2018-19), they provided a safe place for 446 victims of sexual assault to talk, cope, and begin to heal. Located in New Smyrna Beach, VRCC is the only sexual assault/rape crisis …

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  • Saving Lives One Question at a Time

    Question. Persuade. Refer. Also known as QPR, these three letters (or words) can save lives. Similar in nature to CPR, QPR is a three-step process to help save lives from suicide. The goal of QPR is simple: To save lives and reduce suicidal behaviors by providing innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training.1 When someone …

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  • Enrichment: Opportunity without Limitation

    SMA’s Enrichment Program works with clients who experience severe mental illness, developmental disabilities and/or co-occurring disorders. During fiscal year 2018-19, more than 191 individuals received services, 308 individuals were employed, and sales and services contracts yielded more than $3.2 million in revenue. Michael Warriner, who oversees the psycho-social rehabilitation day program, sat down for a …

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  • Beating the Holiday Blues

    Congratulations! You have made it halfway through the holiday season with a smile and (probably) more pumpkin pie than you’d like to admit. Now the heavy hitters, Christmas and New Year’s, are right around the corner, when nearly everyone seems to radiate jolly and good cheer. How do you handle feeling blue when the world …

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  • Raising Successful Adolescents

    In 2002, Dr. Gary Tyson, an adolescent psychologist working at SMA Healthcare’s Residential Adolescent Program (RAP), died of bone marrow cancer.  Before his death, Dr. Tyson transformed this program at SMA by modifying the phase system and overseeing the clinical operation of it.  He was awarded the Adolescent Services Leadership Award posthumously in December 2002 …

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  • Doing the Work That MAT-ters

    Florida State’s Medical Examiners Commission released interim 2018 data which illustrated drug-related deaths reduced by five percent, with opioid-caused deaths reduced by 13 percent (in comparison with 2017 data).1 This recent information released by state officials demonstrates some relief from the opioid crisis that Florida has been battling for nearly a decade, and is welcomed …

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  • Grateful Hearts, Healthy Minds

    Walking into the kitchen on Thanksgiving morning can be like walking into aromatic heaven — turkey, pumpkin pie, stuffing, green beans, potatoes all mingled together into the most comforting smell.  Not long after that, family fills the house, shoulder to shoulder, with stomachs full of food and hearts full of gratitude.  This is the season …

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  • Who is Jay: Finding Hope in the Midst of a Loss

    This Saturday, November 23, is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.  Also known as Survivor Day, the day was designated by the United States Congress as a day on which those affected by suicide can join together for healing and support. It was determined that Survivor Day would always fall on the Saturday before American …

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  • Crisis Intervention Team – Building Relationships and Finding Solutions

    Each year, two million people with mental illnesses are arrested and placed in jail.[i]  People with mental illnesses often don’t need punishment — they need treatment. Law enforcement officers receive extensive training on how to handle criminals and dangerous situations.  People with mental illnesses are not criminals, however, and special skills and techniques are needed …

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  • Support and Services for the Homeless Population

    When the Volusia-Flagler County Coalition for the Homeless (VFCCH) completed its most recent Point In Time count in April, there were 745 Volusia County residents experiencing homelessness.  According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, these are just a few of the causes of homelessness: employment/financial reasons, family issues/domestic violence, medical/disability, substance use, and mental …

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  • Reality of Recovery

    During the 2018 legislative session, reentry-focused therapeutic programs for inmates were closed by the Florida Department of Corrections to reallocate $6 million for use within the prisons. Locally, that program was known as “Reality House,” a successful therapeutic community established in 1980. The Reality House included a culinary arts program, a GED program, individual and …

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  • Compassion Fatigue

    Working in the behavioral healthcare industry has its benefits — there is opportunity to be part of an individual’s journey to recovery and to help celebrate milestones, among other reasons. Working in this field also has its challenges. Listening to heartbreaking stories of individuals and the trauma they have experienced, six to eight hours a …

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  • Fighting for the FACTs

    Today, October 16, SMA Healthcare is attending Behavioral Health Day at Capitol Hill in Tallahassee. A group of behavioral health care staff and community members will spend a day in the Capitol building spreading awareness for mental illness and substance use disorders while advocating for mental health funding. The group from SMA Healthcare advocates on …

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  • Prioritizing Self Care

    When thinking about maintaining your health, annual physical exams, preventative screenings, and vaccinations often come to mind. While it is important to utilize measures to look after your physical well-being, it’s just as important to prioritize the care of mental and emotional health needs. Making mental and emotional health a priority can not only boost …

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  • Sticks and Stones

    While working in an assisted living facility, one of the residents happily reported to me that he had a job interview. He was obviously excited about the opportunity, but he admitted being nervous about the interview. I offered to help him, and we decided to role play the upcoming scenario, with me playing the role …

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  • Hill Day 2019: Q&A with CEO Ivan Cosimi

    SMA Healthcare’s CEO, Ivan Cosimi, participated in Hill Day 2019 in Washington D.C. last week, and sat down for a Q&A to discuss his experience. Generally speaking, what is (or was) Hill Day? Hill Day is a day that occurs once a year where professionals from the behavioral health field descend on Washington D.C. and …

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  • Bringing Change to Putnam County

    SMA Healthcare is expanding its substance use disorder service continuum in Putnam County. On September 1, SMA was awarded the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Implementation Grant. The goal of this program, as defined by HRSA, is to strengthen and expand substance use and opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, …

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  • What Can You Do? Turning a Question into Action

    Have you experienced trauma, suffered from depression, struggled with addiction, experienced loneliness, or suffered from a mental illness? According to Mental Health Daily,the nearly 47,000 Americans who died by suicide last year experienced similar struggles. This week, September 8-14, is National Suicide Prevention Week, but the efforts to end suicide are not limited to just …

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  • A Double-Edged Sword: PTSD and Substance Use

    What came first: the chicken or the egg? In substance use treatment, we often come across a very similar question – what came first: trauma or substance misuse? Individuals who have experienced both typically find themselves trying to answer that question. Sometimes the answer is clear, other times it is not. Research shows that between …

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  • SMA Healthcare: New Name, Same Game

    Our team at SMA Healthcare is very excited to introduce our new website to the communities we serve and to those who seek our services. Our rebranding efforts have been taking shape over the last year, with the website being the latest in those efforts. This is what the interested public will now be seeing; however, internally, …

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