Category Archives: Mental Health Resources

Tip of the Week: Red Flags within a Relationship

Do you know the expression “love is blinding”? This is a true statement. Even when your gut is telling you that something is wrong, you often ignore it. However, your gut is never wrong. Here are some red flags to look out for when in a relationship:
• Blames others for own faults
• Drug/ Alcohol use/abuse
• Explosive temper
• Extreme jealousy or insecurity
• Fascination with weapons
• Strong gender stereotypes
• Difficulty with authority
• Cannot express emotions verbally
• Treats partner like property/possession
• Isolates you from friends and family
• Blows up about little things
• Thinks it’s okay to resolve conflict with violence
• Checking emails, cellphones and social media without permission
• Constantly insulting or putting down partner and/or humiliating partner in public or in front of loved ones

If you or someone you know sees the warning signs in their relationship, then remember you are not alone and that you have the option to seek help. You can always reach out by contacting NOVA Sexual Assault Services (SAS) directly at nova.sas@nvcc.edu or 703-338-0834.
https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/sas/dating.html
If you would like to learn more about this topic, join us for our Red Flag Campaign on Monday, March 2nd from 11am to 2pm in the LC Café on the Loudoun Campus. Hope to see you there! https://www.facebook.com/events/166424331470492/

Tip of the Week: Time Management

With the semester starting to pick up and midterms around the corner, managing all your assignments and responsibilities can be overwhelming. Here are some tips on how to manage your time the most effective way:
• Make a Daily To-Do List: With everything going on it is easy to forget an assignment. Make a daily to-do list to prioritize what needs to be accomplished in that day. That way you can use your time efficiently and not be overwhelmed!
• Establish a Routine and Try to Stick to It: You will be much more productive if you stick to a routine and are less likely to mess around when you first wake up.
• Try Not to Multitask: Dividing your time and energy between multiple things will take you twice as long to accomplish both things. Set up blocks of time to do each individual activity. That way you are fully engaged at each task at hand!
• Believe in yourself: Having a lot of assignments can make you feel overwhelmed, but if you believe in yourself that you can get the work done, then it is bound to happen!

For more information about stress management go to https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html

Tip of the Week: Self-Love

 

With Valentine’s Day coming up, there is a lot of talk about love. However, the most important love is self-love!

Here are some tips to feel good about yourself:
• Surround yourself with people who bring you up
• Take time for self-love
• Avoid spreading negativity
• Don’t compare yourself with others
• Spread kindness and optimism
• Appreciate what you have
• Be thoughtful of others
• Compliment a stranger
• Get more sleep
• Be open-minded
• Believe in yourself
• Don’t dwell on the past
In celebration of Valentine’s Day NOVA SEXUAL ASSAULT SERVICES (known as “SAS”) will be visiting the NOVA Annandale, Loudoun, MEC, and Woodbridge campuses to share information on Healthy Relationships. Stop by our table where you can gather information on HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS and create your own handmade Valentine’s Day Cards for family, friends or that special someone in your life for free! Hope to see you there and bring your friends!
Annandale- Monday, February 10th from 11-2 – CA 3rd Floor
Loudoun – Tuesday, February 11th from 11:30-1 – LC Cafe
Medical Education – Wednesday, February 12th from 11-2 – 1st Floor
Woodbridge – Thursday, February 13th from 11-1- WS Lobby

If you are interested in uplifting songs that inspired this post:
Surfaces- Sunday Best
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt3m04Tscc8
Lizzo- Good as Hell
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuq-VAiW9kw

For more tips about staying in a positive mindset, visit http://www.ulifeline.org/stay_well
Visit the NOVACares Resources page for more info: https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html

Tip of the Week: Feeling Unmotivated?

Tip of the Week: Feeling Unmotivated? Coming back from winter break can make it hard getting back into the flow of the new semester. Here are a few tips on how to get back on track:
1.) Stay Organized: Keep all your papers, books, and assignments organized which will make your life so much easier. If you are organized and know where everything is, you will be more motivated to do your work rather if you know you have to look for it before you even begin.
2.) Create Goals: When you have a lot of assignments due, they can be overwhelming to think about let alone do. If you create a set of goals you want to achieve each day, it will make you feel less overwhelmed and feel even better once you cross them off your list.
3.) Take Breaks When Needed: If your body is screaming at you for a break, you should listen to it! Take a fifteen-minute walk outside or listen to music for thirty minutes. Allowing your mind to re-energize is a great way to come back and be even more motivated than before.
4.) Get a Good Night’s Sleep: You will not get anything done if you are running on a couple hours of sleep every night. Getting a good night’s sleep is an essential tool to keep you motivated throughout the day.
5.) Treat Your Self: There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a reward after finishing a hard assignment. Having something to look forward to after your assignment is a great way to motivate you to keep going and finish!

For more tips about staying emotionally healthy throughout the semester, visit http://www.ulifeline.org/stay_well

Visit the NOVACares Resources page for more info: https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html

Tip of the Week: 5 Ways to Start a Mental Health Conversation with Your College Kids Over the Holidays. Shared by our friends at “This is My Brave”.

Five Ways to Start a Mental Health Conversation with your College Kids Over the Holidays

Five Ways to Start a Mental Health Conversation with your College Kids Over the Holidays

Hayley B. Sherwood, Ph.D.

Articles in the news media and online are aplenty during the holiday season, full of advice for coping with stress, difficult relationships, grief, and a host of other challenges. For parents with college students, the next several weeks is often one of the few times of the year that their children are home for an extended period of time. According to statistics on ActiveMinds.org, 39% of college students experience a significant mental health issue, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among this population.

As college students wrap up exams and return home, the long holiday break can be a good time to open up a discussion about mental health. Here are several ways to start a conversation:

1. Ask questions (without badgering!). Find time to inquire about self-care habits. How much sleep are they getting and how well are they sleeping? How is their diet? Have they gained or lost a significant amount of weight? Are they improving or at least maintaining their grades? What are they doing to relax? Are they managing their time well? Are they feeling connected to roommates and classmates? Is exercise part of their routine? Are they participating in any clubs or other extra-curricular activities?

2. Be honest. As your children reach young adulthood, share family mental health histories with them. Just as we discuss our family’s physical issues, like cancer or diabetes, many older teens need to hear about family addiction, depression, anxiety, psychosis, and other issues for which they might be at risk. These conversations can be uncomfortable. However, young adults in their late teens and early twenties are most vulnerable to serious mental illness, especially when those related to them have been diagnosed. For example, informing your children that addiction runs in the family might just alert them that excessive use of things like alcohol, drugs, video games, porn, or spending could lead to more self- destructive choices or long-term consequences down the road. Talk with your children about more adaptive ways of coping with stress.

3. Be a resource. Let your child know you support them in finding mental health help in college and in the college community. Most colleges have counseling and/or learning centers that offer individual and group services for a range of issues. Offer to assist in identifying mental health resources online, as well as on- and off-campus. If your child is struggling academically or has a history of receiving school-based support prior to college, consulting with staff in their college Office of Disability Services could lead to accommodations in the classroom. As legal adults, college-aged children must take the lead in seeking out these services, but parents can also encourage their child, along with track down paperwork or reach out for guidance from therapists or other professionals who may have supported their child in high school.

4. Equip. Think about offering your college students free or inexpensive apps that help ease stress and/or cope with a variety of mental health conditions, including Happify, Insight Timer, Calm, Breathe2Relax, Sanvello and What’s Up, as well as MindShift (anxiety), Recovery Record (eating disorders), Panic Relief (panic disorder), Twenty-Four Hours A Day (addiction) and eMoods (bipolar disorder).

5. Keep in touch. As your children prepare to return to college, especially if they are struggling with a mental health issue,
establish a plan for staying in regular contact. Setting aside time for a call or Facetime, not just texting,
allows parents to hear their children’s voice, which is a better way to see how they are feeling.

Taking the time to connect and engage in these vital conversations over the holidays can make a huge difference in how your young adult learns to prioritize and manage their mental health.

About the Author:

Dr. Sherwood is a Board Member of This Is My Brave, as well as the Owner and Clinical Psychologist of Oak Hill Psychological Services, PLLC, in Herndon, Virginia. She specializes in adolescent, women’s and family issues.

Tip of the Week: Eating Disorders

thyTip of the Week: Eating Disorders

While some people may see eating disorders as simply a phase to lose weight or a media glamorized fad, eating disorders are in fact recognized as a mental disorder. It affects you not only physically, but psychologically, and socially. The impacts can be life-threatening. The three main types of eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa (limiting your food intake), Bulimia Nervosa (consuming large amounts of food in a short time followed by purging), and Binge Eating Disorder (consuming large amounts of food in a short time without purging). No matter the type of eating disorder you or a loved one may experience, it is critical to learn the alarming symptoms and seek help.

You or a loved one with an eating disorder may experience:
-Extreme weight loss or gain
-Depression and/or anxiety
-Social isolation
-Hyperactivity or impulsiveness
-Low body temperature and sensitivity to cold
-Water-electrolyte imbalance and dehydration
-Brittle nails, dry skin, and dry hair
-Irregular or absent menstruation
-Dizziness and fainting
-Headaches
-Fatigue

You may not experience all these symptoms for the disorder to become life-threatening. Help is available! For more information, go to https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html
Or
Dial 211 on your phone 24/7 to be connected to a highly trained specialist to help you access the best local resources and services available to you.
Or
Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website for more information or chat online with a trained specialist: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support. You can also call their helpline Monday- Thursday from 9am-9pm EST and Friday from 9am-5pm to speak with a trained specialist: 1-800-931-2237.

National Vision Wall: September 2019

Imagine a world without sexual violence, what’s different?

(This was the question that was asked and these are the responses received.  Numbers behind the statement indicate how many times this particular statement was made.)

 

09.24.2019 Annandale Campus

  • I wouldn’t have had to grow up too fast. I could have enjoyed my childhood.
  • Free to get out at night x3
  • It’s a common misconception but men should feel the need to speak up when they are sexually abused!
  • Men wouldn’t be reliant on toxic behavior and would be more mindful and emotionally intelligent.
  • Everyone will be free x 4
  • Stay strong! You’re wonderful no matter what
  • Less murders
  • Less stress, feeling safe and more confidence x6
  • I would sleep better
  • Ability to love wholeheartedly
  • Respect to others would rise and fear between genders would diminish. A peaceful world.
  • There would be more freedom between all genders in all places like the subway!
  • One less hard conversation to have
  • Happy life and women would love themselves more. Avoiding pregnancy that they don’t wish.
  • Humanity would thrive and be unified
  • I wouldn’t need to double check my locks
  • Peaceful, safe and sound
  • I wouldn’t need to worry about wearing short skirts
  • Sweet dreams, good life
  • People are more friendlier and confident
  • A safer world for women, children and men
  • The world would be at peace
  • I would be able to walk outside comfortably
  • The world would be such a better place without worries for little girls and boys over what to wear and people destroying their lives
  • Happy x5
  • So much better x 5
  • No fear and no trauma
  • Less fear x5
  • We would be more confident in our bodies x3
  • It’s childish! We need to make better decisions. We are better than this. #savelives #protectwomen
  • More peaceful less violence
  • Less worry, less hate, less evil… My type of world
  • More love in the world
  • Progress
  • I wouldn’t have depression from past bullying
  • Better future
  • Wear whatever we want
  • Don’t let your past define you!! You’re not alone
  • Men and women would view each other as equals
  • More successful marriages
  • People would be open to try new things
  • No more child brides!
  • STOP THE MADNESS
  • Everyone would get along and be happy… not afraid of others
  • Women are not objects! Simple as it is! Respect us
  • Her/his body is not yours
  • Don’t need to walk with a knife
  • Never lie, never doubt, never fear, never cry
  • More trust
  • Full of love
  • Women would be happier to express themselves. the freedom of expression through clothing
  • Freedom of cloths
  • Not enough sticky notes to say. Many people would have been saved. PEACE OF MIND
  • No more social nervousness in public
  • Less therapy needed
  • Consent
  • Feel safe walking home
  • No more bully by the culture or disapproval by the same group of people
  • IT NEEDS TO COME TO AN END
  • STOP THINKING WOMEN ARE YOUR TARGET
  • Take down the institution of white patriarchy! The world suffers too much from them
  • Families would be happier together
  • Better, safer
  • Women feeling safer alone in public. Men shouldn’t fear that falsehood affect their future
  • A place where people have one less thing to worry about
  • When you speak up you are better
  • Love and affection
  • If the devil has to ask permission from Judas, what does say someone who doesn’t even ask for consent
  • Nothing to worry about, and less problems
  • You are great just the way you are
  • Women in CHARGE!
  • Women would not be afraid of expressing themselves
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say
  • GREAT
  • Amazing
  • What would you gain from sexual violence? NOTHING! I thought so too
  • My father shouldn’t have to warn me about boys

 

09.25.2019 Annandale Campus

 

  • A world filled with true happiness and equality. A world like that should be normal
  • A safe feeling
  • A wonderful world
  • Always love yourself
  • It would be a world where women would feel safe to accept themselves and own their sexuality without fear of judgment or harassment.
  • There would be more interpersonal trust between people and strangers
  • I wouldn’t be afraid to walk when its dark
  • People won’t feel ashamed anymore
  • More peaceful
  • My sister wouldn’t be scared to go clubbing with me
  • A perfect society
  • Better and safer
  • I would go back to my country without the fear of being raped or killed
  • Bring peace to the world. We all own one
  • Children can freely play around in the community. Women can enjoy free times safely
  • Freedom to be who I’ve always wanted to be
  • Children will be happy. Not scared when they’re alone
  • Walking in the streets with no fear
  • Parents wouldn’t worry this much anymore. I would be ok all alone
  • Better world
  • I wouldn’t have to worry what I wear, what I’m doing, where I’m going.
  • Families would stick together
  • We can all stick together and be there for each other
  • Equality
  • The world wouldn’t be the same without you
  • No fear
  • Better place
  • Wearing a short skirt wouldn’t be an issue
  • Women rule! Women power!
  • Women would be ahead of men and there would be a unified culture
  • Safer place
  • Supporting each other
  • There would be less dramas for the victims
  • People would feel safer regardless of what they wore
  • A lot less cases of powerful people getting off scott free
  • A world where people can live with confidence that when they walk out their own they’ll be safe
  • Everyone would be happy. Everyone would have self-confident on everything they do
  • Taking walks alone at night
  • A whole lot better
  • My daughters and granddaughters would not have to worry about their safety
  • I wouldn’t have to question everyday if I was bad enough
  • Less stress less lies
  • Learn without fear. I would remember more of my life. More opportunities

 

Tip of the Week: Dealing with Depression?

Depression is a very scary word. An official diagnosis of depression is not needed to know you have experienced depression at one point in your life. Clinical, major, postpartum, seasonal, or situational depression are all very real types of depression you may face in your daily life. This disorder can make a trip to the grocery store seem like you are attempting to climb Mount Everest. It is important to understand the warning signs and seek help. Depression may look like, but is not limited to the following:
– Excessive crying
– Irritability
– Social Isolation
– Insomnia or the need to excessively sleep
– Lack of concentration or being sluggish
– Excessive weigh gain or loss
– Thoughts of suicide

NOVA is here to help! If you are dealing with depression and need help please visit https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html

Or

Coping with Depression

Tip of the Week: September 8 -14 is National Suicide Prevention Week

September 10th  is World Suicide Prevention Day! Let’s celebrate awareness! 1,100 of college students commit suicide every year, and 10% think seriously about suicide as an option. Many of us have either been personally affected by or know someone who has been affected by a suicide. It is important to remember you are NOT ALONE! If you or your friends express an interest in suicide, it is important to take it seriously! The best way to prevent suicide is to recognize these warning signs and know how to respond if you spot them. Here are some signs to look out for:
• Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
• Looking for a way to kill oneself
• Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
• Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain
• Talking about being a burden to others; Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
• Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless
• Sleeping too little or too much
• Withdrawing or feeling isolated
• Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
• Displaying extreme mood swings.
For immediate help, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or for other resources visit:
https://afsp.org/find-support/
Or
https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html

TIP OF THE WEEK: Back to School Study Tips

With Fall 2019 semester now in full swing, the academic load can be overwhelming. Let’s take a moment to determine how we can make this a successful semester! Consider the following as you go about your everyday:
1. Stay Organized: Keep a detailed calendar for both your academic and social calendars and make sure they do not collide. Setting reminders in your phone and/or using sticky notes is a great method to staying on track.
2. Time Management: This may be the most important skill you master in your NOVA career and beyond. Prioritizing your work load is essential to your success! Make sure you set aside an appropriate amount of time for your class load each week in accordance to your work life. While you may be taking on a lot this semester, may sure you make time for self-care!
3. Don’t Cram or Over Study: As tempting as staying up until 3a.m. to study for that test may be, studies show that last minute cramming only leads to undo stress, sacrificed sleeping and ultimately poor test performance. Instead let’s practice time management discussed above.
4. Unplug & Disconnect: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be a great source for staying in touch with loved ones, friends, and acquaintances, however, it can be a huge distraction. In your appointed study hours consider turning off all social media accounts and focusing on the here and now.
5. Find Your Comfort Zone: It is all about finding what works for you. Whether it may be the quiet library, the busy coffee shop, or the local park with distance sounds of nature. We all operate different and finding the place to focus your mind is essential to your studying success!
6. Take a Break: Sometimes the work load can seem overwhelming. Take a break! Sometimes walking away from a tough paper you are writing or a stressful test you are studying for can give you a fresh perspective when you walk back to it. Allow yourself to clear your mind and regain focus.

We hope you can find these tips helpful in your NOVA success. Additional resources can be found at: https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html
If you need additional support, feel free to email us at: NOVACares@nvcc.edu