• In Mood Rings

    IN Mood Rings provides opportunities for you to connect with your peers and offer support, encouragement and advice. We hope every time you visit, you find hope, support and the strength to live your dreams and goals.

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  • Peer Support

    Friendships are vital for wellbeing, but they take time to develop and can’t be artificially created. Good friends are good for your health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times.

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  • The Bell Story

    In 1950s, the National Mental Health Association issued a call to asylums for their discarded chains and shackles. At at the McShane Bell Foundry, MHA melted down these inhumane bindings and recast them into a sign of hope.

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Welcome to INMoodRings.org


Connect with your peers and friends for encouragement and advice.

InMoodRings-CommunityIN Mood Rings is an online community developed by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Indiana (DBSAI) for people and families dealing with any type of mood disorder or substance abuse issue. It's designed to connect members to important resources as well as to provide emotional support, education and inspiration for all people dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues.  INMoodRings.org is an online community that will help members find ways to be pro-active with mental health, stay strong and achieve goals by connecting people of similar interests with peer support groups and by building communities of information for sharing resources while making meaningful friendships and supportive relationships. Everyone with a mood disorder or substance abuse issue deserves to feel hopeful, supported and encouraged to love who they are.

INMoodRings.org provides opportunities for members to build their own social connections.  We hope every time you visit the INMoodRings.org community, you find hope, encouragement, support and the information necessary to live your dreams and goals. To become a member, you must register and create an account.

IN Mood Rings Blog

  • Study Finds Mental Health Providers Not Well Prepared for Military Veterans - from Medical News Today

    Most community-based mental health providers are not well prepared to take care of the special needs of military veterans and their families, according to a new study by the RAND Corporation that was commissioned by United Health Foundation in collaboration with the Military Officers Association of America. The exploratory report, based on a survey of mental health providers nationally, found few community-based providers met criteria for military cultural competency or used evidence-based approaches to treat problems commonly seen among veterans. "Our findings suggest that community-based mental health providers are not as well prepared as they need to be to address the needs of veterans and their families," said Terri Tanielian, the study's lead author and a senior social research analyst at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "There is a need for increased training among community-based providers in high quality treatment techniques for PTSD and other disorders that are more common among veterans." Although the Department of Defense and Veterans Health Administration in recent years have increased employment of mental health professionals, many veterans may seek services from practitioners in the civilian sector, often because they are located closer to their homes. In addition, policymakers have expanded veterans' access to community-based health providers as a way to meet demands, given capacity constraints in the VA health system. "Our veterans have served and sacrificed for our nation and deserve the very best care," said Kate Rubin, president of United Health Foundation. "We hope this study will focus attention on the opportunity that exists to better prepare our mental health workforce to meet the unique needs of veterans and their families." Recent military veterans are more likely than the general population to suffer from major depressive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorders, two conditions prevalent among those who have deployed to battle zones. RAND researchers surveyed a convenience sample of 522 psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers and licensed counselors to determine whether they used evidence-based methods to treat major depressive disorder and PTSD, and whether they had the training needed to be sensitive to the needs of veterans. Just 13 percent of the mental health providers surveyed met the study's readiness criteria for both cultural competency and delivering evidence-based care. Providers who worked in community settings were less prepared than providers who are affiliated with the VA or military health system. Only one-third of psychotherapists reported receiving the training and supervision necessary to deliver at least one evidence-based psychotherapy for PTSD and at least one for depression. While 70 percent of those providers working in a military or VA setting had high military cultural competency, only 24 percent of those participating in the TRICARE network, the Department of Defense's health insurance program, and 8 percent of those without VA or TRICARE affiliation met the threshold for cultural competency. "Veterans and their family members face unique challenges, and addressing their needs requires understanding military culture as well as their mental health challenges," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Norb Ryan, president of the Military Officers Association of America. "It's crucial that our civilian mental health providers acquire the training and perspective they need to guide their practice in the care of our military and veteran population." The study recommends that organizations that maintain registries or provider networks include information about mental health practitioners' ability to properly treat the special needs of military and veteran populations. In addition, researchers encourage policymakers to expand access to effective training in evidence-based treatment approaches and to create incentives to encourage providers to use these strategies in their routine practice.  If you are a veteran or would like resources for veterans, please check out these sites: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/employment-resources.html (employment resources) http://www.va.gov/homeless/resources.asp (resources for homeless vets) http://www.nami.org (resources for mental health) http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/GetHelp/ResourceLocator.aspx (veterans crisis line  1-800-273-8255 press#1) ...

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    by Michael Quesnel
    Wednesday, 10 December 2014
  • Managing chronic pain and its consequences

    I thought others may find this article from the Mayo Clinic helpful. More information at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/pain-and-depression/faq-20057823 Is there a link between pain and depression? Can depression cause physical pain? Answers from Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D. Pain and depression are closely related. Depression can cause pain — and pain can cause depression. Sometimes pain and depression create a vicious cycle in which pain worsens symptoms of depression, and then the resulting depression worsens feelings of pain. In many people, depression causes unexplained physical symptoms such as back pain or headaches. This kind of pain may be the first or the only sign of depression. Pain and the problems it causes can wear you down over time, and may begin to affect your mood. Chronic pain causes a number of problems that can lead to depression, such as trouble sleeping and stress. Disabling pain can cause low self-esteem due to work, legal or financial issues. Depression doesn't just occur with pain resulting from an injury. It's also common in people who have pain linked to a health condition such as diabetes or migraines. To get symptoms of pain and depression under control, you may need separate treatment for each condition. However, some treatments may help with both: Antidepressant medications may relieve both pain and depression because of shared chemical messengers in the brain. Talk therapy, also called psychological counseling (psychotherapy), can be effective in treating both conditions. Stress-reduction techniques, physical activity, exercise, meditation, journaling and other strategies also may help. Pain rehabilitation programs, such as the Pain Rehabilitation Center at Mayo Clinic, typically provide a team approach to treatment, including medical and psychiatric aspects. Treatment for co-occurring pain and depression may be most effective when it involves a combination of treatments. If you have pain and depression, get help before your symptoms worsen. You don't have to be miserable. Getting the right treatment can help you start enjoying life again. With Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D. ...

    by Tracie Wells
    Thursday, 10 July 2014
  • Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

    Bipolar Survey

    DBSA wants to hear from you. Take the parent/caregiver survey. Greg Simon, MD, MPH Ask the Doc: Do I Have Bipolar Disorder? Q. Question: I have severe depression, but I've often wondered if I have bipolar. My mood constantly changes. One minute I'm fine, the next I'm crying my eyes out. I snap over things I shouldn't get mad over. A. : Your question is a very important one, but it’s not an easy one to answer. As you may know, surveys of people living with bipolar disorder find that many people experience severe symptoms for 10 years or more before receiving a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. In many cases, people receive years of treatment for depression before someone realizes that depression is really part of bipolar disorder. The “textbook” picture of bipolar disorder includes clear manic episodes with euphoria or elevated mood. That kind of bipolar disorder is easier to recognize. But most people with bipolar disorder don’t experience that “textbook” picture. It’s more common to experience mixtures of symptoms (feeling depressed while also feeling increased energy, racing thoughts, decreased need for sleep). Or people may experience more rapid mood shifts between feeling depressed and slowed down to feeling irritated and speeded up. Those more mixed or rapidly changing types of bipolar disorder are not as easy to recognize. There are some things that should make us think more about bipolar disorder (instead of just unipolar depression): a family history of bipolar disorder, experiencing rapid mood shifts, and not seeing benefit from several different antidepressant medications. Information from family members or friends is often helpful. They may be able to see patterns over time: periods of increased energy, decreased sleep, or appearing speeded up. DBSA has online tools that can be helpful. Our Wellness Tracker can help you to keep track of things that might indicate bipolar disorder: not needing to sleep, feeling irritable or speeded up, doing impulsive things (like over-spending or driving too aggressively). Using that tool—and bringing it with you when you visit your doctor or therapist—can really help you to make better decisions about next steps. Greg Simon, MD, MPH, is a psychiatrist and researcher at Group Health Cooperative at the Center for Health Studies in Seattle. His research focuses on improving the quality and availability of mental health services for people living with mood disorders, and he has a specific interest in activating consumers to expect and demand more effective mental health care. Got a nagging question you want to ask a doc? Submit your questions online for a chance to get the answer. Check the next DBSA eUpdate to see if your question was chosen. In the meantime, take a look through our Ask the Doc feature page, a comprehensive archive of past Ask the Doc features which may already be home to the answers you seek. ...

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    by Dayna Switzer
    Monday, 23 June 2014
  • Counseling

    Family Rights vs. Patient Rights

    Balancing Family Rights to Know with Patient Rights to Privacy Posted on June 10, 2014 Family members are an inescapable fact of life for most of us—good and bad. So how do peers navigate personal decisions about their own treatment options and living a life of recovery with their family members? Today we continue our series on HIPAA with peers sharing their thoughts on the role of family members vs the right to direct their own treatment and recovery. Balancing Family Rights to Know with Patient Rights to PrivacyIt can be difficult for family members, who often have the best interest of their loved ones at heart, to provide enough space for their loved one to accept their disorder, seek treatment and build a life of recovery based on personal choice. But when speaking with individuals living with a mood disorder, many state that this is exactly what needs to happen. While it can be tempting to place oneself in a position of “knowing what’s best,” loved ones may need to recognize that they are on their own separate journey with an unknown destination. Creating space for recovery to take rootContributors to today’s post stated that their journey to recovery, began with a personal acceptance of a need for help. Providing space for that journey to evolve is often at odds with a loved-ones desire for things to “just get back to normal”. Choosing the course treatment takes may also require family members to keep a comfortable distance. For many people, making the step to embark on treatment is the apex for developing feelings of empowerment, embracing an attitude that they are capable of rebuilding their lives, and believing that they have some control over their own destiny. Family dynamics as well as stigma can also play a role in making the decision to keep family members at bay. Inaccurate stereotypes based on outdated information or worse, lack of interest in becoming educated about mental health conditions can lead to disruptive and unsupportive behavior. To quote SAMSHA, many peers tell their loved ones:We are human beings and we can speak for ourselves. We have a voice and can learn to use it. Supporting family membersAn often expressed concern from family member is that they need to speak to their loved-one’s clinician because the loved one is not telling the truth. Although well-intended, these attitudes germinate and take root in a lack of trust and understanding that the road to recovery is one of personal self-discovery. So what can a family member do when they believe that their input is vital? HIPAA does not stipulate that a family member is prohibited from reaching out. Family members can write a letter, send an email or leave a voice mail. It is not uncommon for the desire to contact the provider to originate from a yearning to “speed up” the recovery process and get things “back to normal”.  Attending DBSA family support groups or family education programs from NAMI has helped many family members adjust to a “new” normal. Ongoing communicationThe peers contributing to this post, hold a common belief that family communication can mitigate the HIPAA debate. One person sent emails to his family telling them he was doing well and needed space to develop his recovery. If anything, he was a little put out that they respected his request too well. Another peer shared with her mother her personal WRAP®. It describes and outlines behaviors of a bipolar episode that would warrant an intervention from a family member. Yet, another peer interviewed for this post has a 5 Wishes document. This document is notarized, is on-file with her doctors and provides instructions for care in the event that she is incapacitated. Studies have suggested that family involvement is important when recovering from a mental health episode and sustaining a life lived in wellness. Recognizing that recovery is a personal journey of self-growth can be difficult to accept when someone you love is hurting. It is a natural human instinct to want to help your loved one. As difficult as it might be, creating the space for a loved one to take that journey may result in open family communication that could make some of the controversial parts of the HIPAA discussion obsolete. YOUR TURN How do you involve your family, or how has your family involved you, in treatment and recovery? Are their circumstances where privacy needs to be protected from family members? What precautions have you taken to allow others to make treatment decisions for you should you be incapacitated? Share this:       Email Print More   Like this: This entry was posted in Care for Your Mind and tagged Bipolar Disorder, Depression, HIPAA, hospitalization,Inpatient, patient rights, Privacy, Treatment by Care for Your Mind. Bookmark the permalink.   ...

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    by Dayna Switzer
    Wednesday, 18 June 2014
  • JenniferPhoto

    Mental Health Privacy

    How Are States Addressing Patient Mental Health Privacy? Posted on June 17, 2014 Jennifer Bernstein, JD, MPHSenior Attorney, The Network for Public Health Law—Mid-States RegionUniversity of Michigan School of Public Health We continue our series on the interplay between patient privacy and families’ interest in their loved one’s care. Here, Attorney Jennifer Bernstein covers what two states are doing to allow for increased family involvement. How Are States Addressing Patient Mental Health Privacy?Though HIPAA is not necessarily a bar to family members obtaining information about their loved ones with mental illness, the wishes of patients are usually paramount. Some states have adopted more innovative legal provisions to help assist families and patients in both protecting privacy while improving care. New YorkIn New York, even in cases where the family members are unable to obtain permission to receive information about their relatives, New York State Mental Hygiene Law not only allows but requires the involvement of an authorized representative of the patient in treatment planning. Authorized representatives can include family members. The law presumes that such involvement has important therapeutic benefits to the patient and assists in the patient’s treatment and recovery. The law performs a balancing act.  It assists families by allowing the disclosure of limited information, but does not compromise or reveal confidential information that should be kept between therapist and patient. The goal of the law is to increase family involvement without obtaining the express permission of the patient and without violating confidentiality. Information disclosed to family members can include information about: programs available for the patient rights and privileges of the patient and family members family visits legal status of the patient, and discharge plans Also, if not clinically contraindicated and appropriate, health care providers can share information provided by the family with the patient, such as relaying messages of support. MinnesotaAn innovative Minnesota law creates a new type of information release for family caregivers and clarifies the rights of families with respect to the care, treatment and monitoring of loved ones with a mental illness. The law, called the “family involvement law,” allows for limited but important information to be released to family caregivers of patients with mental illness. In the case of patient’s that do not elect for a full privacy release of information to family members, the law creates an alternative to signing a full privacy release. Under the law, patient’s may sign a partial information release that allows providers to disclose information about: diagnosis, admission to or discharge from treatment name and dosage of medications prescribed side effects of medication consequences of the failure to take prescribed medications, and summary of the patient’s discharge plan In the Minnesota law, any person can request mental health information about a person with a mental illness if they either live with the person with a mental illness, or cares for or helps obtain care for the person with a mental illness, or directly involved with monitoring the well-being of the person with a mental illness To ensure the rights and privacy of patients, the law requires that the caregiver’s involvement must be verified by someone such as a mental health or health care provider, the individual’s doctor, or anyone other than the caregiver putting in the request. Family advocates for patients with mental illness were the driving force behind the laws in New York and Minnesota. Raising awareness about the benefits to family involvement in patient care, as well as the legal challenges families face in obtaining information about their loved ones can help spur change in other states. Your Turn In what ways are New York and Minnesota getting it right?  What’s wrong with their approach? What’s happening in your state? Are you supporting it or not? Do you want your state to make it easier for families to be involved in a loved one's mental health care?  Yes  No  Not sure View Results ...

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    by Dayna Switzer
    Wednesday, 18 June 2014
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