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Executive Mental Health Blog

Read the latest articles by EMH staff
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At this juncture in the history of our nation, we are witness to a crisis, COVID-19, that is unparalleled in most of our lifetimes with regard to the devastation that it has wrought. In the United States, over 4,500,000 individuals have been diagnosed with the disease and 154,000 have died. While the number of new cases reported in the United States on a day-to-day basis is lower than the peak levels reported on 07/17/2020 and 07/24/2020, the epidemiological data do not reflect a clear diminution of the incidence of new cases. These staggering numbers are deeply concerning, but those data fail to capture an important cohort of individuals who are adversely impacted as a result of coronavirus.

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To say that the past few weeks have been a whirlwind for me would be an understatement. The last time I can recall having such a high intensity, wide range, and unpredictability of emotions was during my first year of college in Williamsburg, Virginia, at the 2nd oldest college in the nation, where racial and class divides were glaringly and gut-wrenchingly obvious – to me at least, and especially in hindsight.

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When the stay-at-home order was implemented in California in mid-March, Executive Mental Health (EMH) was faced with the challenge of how best to manage the unexpected changes associated with the pandemic so that we could continue to provide mental health care for our inpatients and outpatients. EMH chose to adapt to and overcome these obstacles, which were formidable, with the assistance of its partners, i.e., the staff members at acute and long-term care facilities. Some ten weeks later, we are pleased to report good news – the changes we have made together are working!

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Even before COVID-19, staff at long-term care facilities managed stress and hardship on a daily basis. Every day they care for people facing serious and life-threatening health problems, putting residents’ needs ahead of their own. The nurses and caregivers, rehabilitation therapists, social workers and administrators, and kitchen and housekeeping staff are all essential workers. But what happens when that team needs help to carry on? When is it ok to say you can’t handle the new normal?

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Last Saturday, I purchased two iPads at BestBuy. The process of ordering them online was cumbersome, and the wait to collect them from curbside delivery was equally slow. While waiting in the parking lot to collect the equipment, I could hear other customers grumbling, voicing their frustrations regarding the time needed to fulfill their orders, and, in some cases, berating customer service representatives for the slow process.

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At Executive Mental Health, the safety of our patients, partners, and team is the highest priority. Thus, we are closely following the guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and educating our clinicians and field staff regarding best practices regarding the coronavirus.

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