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Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital Helps Teen Struggling with Thoughts of Suicide

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February: Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. As experts in providing specialized mental health treatment, Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital is prepared to take on the challenging task of treating victims of teen dating violence at their facility and through community outreach.

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Mental Health Awareness: A Guide for 2019

October was recognized as Mental Health Awareness month, but while that has passed us by, the discussion shouldn’t be limited to a single time of the year. It is more important than ever to address this delicate subject and oft-misunderstood mental illness in the light of the Thousand Oaks Shooting, and other prevalent tragedies like […]

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SSGT Petry Visits Military Patients at Smokey Point Extra Mile Military Program

On January 29, 2019, Medal of Honor recipient Leroy Petry paid a surprise visit to patients in the Extra Mile Military Care Program at Smokey Point. He met with mental health patients as a group and inspired many of them with his words of encouragement. If anyone can relate to the challenges associated with combat stress and transition from military life, it is SSgt Petry. For several patients, his visit felt like a turning point in their inpatient treatment process. “Hearing that he understands how I am feeling is something that I will never forget,” said one Veteran. It is moments such as this, and the camaraderie associated with military service that is what makes the EMMC program so impactful in the lives of our active duty service members, Veterans, and dependents.

MSG Petry has endorsed the Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital’s new Extra Mile Military Care™ program.  “If having my name associated with the Extra Mile program encourages someone to seek the help they need, I’m all for it,” says MSG Petry.

On May 26, 2008, while serving with the elite 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment, headquartered at Fort Lewis, Washington, then Staff Sergeant Petry was participating in an audacious daylight raid against a well defended Taliban encampment in Paktya, Afghanistan.  The enemy, well dug in and exceptionally determined to withstand the Rangers’ assault, engaged Staff Sergeant Petry and his team of Rangers within hand to hand combat range.  Petry, the senior non-commissioned officer during the clearing of the enemy compound, was wounded in both legs during the assault.  Almost immediately afterward an enemy grenade landed among Petry and two other Rangers.  Without hesitation, Petry grabbed the grenade, throwing it away from his fellow Rangers.  Per the official Medal of Honor narrative “Staff Sergeant Petry threw it away from his fellow Rangers resulting in a catastrophic amputation of his right hand and multiple shrapnel wounds penetrating his body.” After the explosion Petry applied his own tourniquet, reported he had been wounded again but was still in contact with the enemy.

Master Sergeant (MSG) Petry became the first Army Ranger to receive the Medal of Honor for his actions that day.  He would recover from his wounds and go on to work closely as a wounded warrior advocate with the Special Operations Command’s Care Coalition.  Master Sergeant Petry, a longtime Washington resident, will speak about reducing the stigma of combat related PTSD in our Active Duty, Guard, Reserve and Veteran populations and the importance of self-care and seeking help for the invisible wounds of war.

Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital Welcomes New Director of Business Development and Admissions

MARYSVILLE, Wash. – (2019) – Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital announces Julian Thompson as the new Director of Business Development and Admissions. Thompson is joining the hospital from his previous position at Amerigroup in Seattle as the Clinical Director of Behavioral Health. After receiving his Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Salem State College, Thompson dedicated […]

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Sally Anne Schneider Discusses Substance Abuse with K5News

Earlier this week, Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital CEO Sally Anne Schneider, as well as Director of Clinical Services Dr. Stacey Shaw sat down with K5News to discuss a range of topics related to women and alcohol, trauma, associated mental health issues and available treatment. This stems from a recent study published by the Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

The following were reported:

  • Researchers found that from 2007 to 2017, the number of deaths attributable to alcohol in the U.S. increased by 35%.
  • The overall death rate rose 24%
  • Alcohol-related deaths for men rose 29%
  • Alcohol-related deaths for women rose a shocking 85%

Dr. Shaw stated, one of the possible reasons why there was such a significant increase in alcohol-related deaths could be attributed to the shift in “cultural norms”. We are more welcoming to alcohol in our homes or places of work. This shift in our culture could create problems for those who are suffering from addiction, either because it enables them to continue to drink more, or they are simply not aware they have a problem.

Sally Anne Schneider said it best: “If you think you have a problem, and you can’t cut it in half successfully in 3 months, you might have a substance abuse problem”.

Someone may be using addictive substances to numb themselves from other mental health illnesses, such as depression or anxiety. Previously there were fewer effective methods of mental health treatment available and less awareness. That has thankfully changed, and facilities such as Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital are not only trained to provide care to patients in need of mental health treatment, they have designed programs specifically for women, known as the Women’s Connection Program and outpatient programs for substance abuse problems.

The Women’s Connection Program at Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital was designed specifically for women who are in need of mental health care. The inpatient program is geared towards offering a safe & welcoming environment, with the goal of treating depression, anxiety, and any trauma they might have experienced in the past.

If you or a loved one is in need of help overcoming addiction, or in need of any mental health care, please call us at (844) 202-5555 to speak with a mental health care counselor. Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital is proud to help positively impact the lives of those who are in our care.

The full interview with Sally Anne Schneider & Dr. Stacey Shaw is embedded below.

September: Suicide Awareness Month

September is nationally recognized as Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month. This month is a chance for people to reflect, pay attention, and raise awareness of this important, and tragic epidemic. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with approximately 45,000 Americans committing suicide each year, which is a staggering 123 American suicides per day.

 

Depression & suicidal thoughts are different than other mental health illnesses. Sometimes it can be very difficult to see the signs of depression in your loved ones. Depression does not discriminate across age, gender, religion, it can impact anyone and that is what makes it so scary.

 

The sad truth is the statistics previously mentioned about depression and suicide are most likely underreported, due to stigmas surrounding mental health. It is so important to spread awareness about treatment centers & depression treatment to help create a positive environment and remove the social stigmas surrounding mental health. At Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital, it is our goal to ensure that our patients receive the counseling they need to combat suicidal thoughts & emotions. Do not wait! If you or someone you love is experiencing suicidal thoughts, or if there is a mental health emergency, please call us immediately at (844) 202-5555.

The Warning Signs of Suicide: How to Recognize When a Loved One Needs Help

September is nationally recognized as Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month. Because of this, Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital has made it our goal to become a leader & ally to those who are experiencing suicidal thoughts and emotions. First off, if you or a loved one is feeling suicidal, or are showing severe signs of depression (we will discuss several of these signs of depression in this article) please, call us IMMEDIATELY at (844) 202-5555.

There is no single cause for suicidal thoughts, but there are certain stress indicators that could lead to someone feeling extreme hopelessness. If someone you know is showing signs of depression, anxiety, or substance abuse, this could be an indicator of poor mental health and can lead to increased thoughts of suicide. When these mental health disorders are left untreated, they can lead to an increased risk of suicide. You should seek immediate help from a mental health counselor if someone you know is exhibiting any of the unusual behaviors mentioned below:

 

  • loss of interest
  • impulsive or reckless behavior (Aggression)
  • sleeping too much or too little
  • giving away possessions
  • calling/visiting to say goodbye
  • dramatic mood swings
  • withdrawal from friends & family
  • writing about death
  • threats or comments about killing themselves
  • expressing how they are a burden to others

 

If a friend or family member is experiencing one or more of these signs of depression, especially if the behavior is new, you must speak up to help them. When this sort of behavior increases, possibly due to a tragic event, loss, or a large-scale change in their life, staying silent is no longer a choice. We understand it is difficult to confront these situations, but when someone is displaying signs of depression and you want to help them, you must speak up or you risk an escalating situation.

 

For your convenience, we’ve attached a downloadable pocket reference card provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA for short

Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital has the experience, mental health resources and capacity to help those who are experiencing suicidal thoughts and emotions. If you or somebody you know are experiencing a mental health emergency, call us IMMEDIATELY at (844) 202-5555.

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Medal of Honor Recipient Visits Troops at Alaskan Military Bases

Medal of Honor recipient Master Sgt. Leroy Petry visited soldiers at Eielson Air Force Base and Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska. Petry is the official ambassador and quality control advocate for the Extra Mile Military Care program at Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital, located in Marysville, WA. Petry is currently advocating for mental health services that are available for active military personnel and veterans.

The goal of the Extra Mile Military Care program is to help veteran patients succeed in personal and professional endeavors while overcoming depression, anxiety attacks, substance abuse or PTSD.

During his visit, The Daily Miner, Fairbanks local newspaper chronicled the retired Master Sergeant’s events.

The front-page article detailed the events that earned Petry his Medal of Honor. The following is an excerpt from that article:

“Master Sgt. Leroy Petry is a retired Army Ranger who received the military’s highest honor for grabbing a grenade thrown near him and saving the life of fellow soldiers during a 2008 attack on a Taliban compound in Afghanistan’s Paktia province”.

At Eielson Air Force Base, Petry spoke to over 250 Airmen and civilian employees about the importance of the mental health services that are available for soldiers. He met with the base commander and Air Force clinicians afterward to discuss the resources available to active military and veterans in need of behavioral health services. Petry’s interview at Eielson detailing how he received the Medal of Honor has since gone viral.

Petry also met with members of the Army’s elite MEDEVAC unit at Fort Wainwright and several Gold Star Families afterward at the USO. Gold Star Families are those who have lost loved ones in the line of duty.

Petry’s service dog, Tommy, accompanied him throughout the entire visit. Also visiting Fairbanks was Mr. Randy Kiniecki of US HealthVest, Dr. Stacey Shaw, program director for EMMC, and, Mr. Greg Walker, senior military liaison for EMMC.

MSG Petry (L) and retired Ranger Andy Poncho (R)

Petry concluded his visit by leaving a memorial bouquet of red, white and blue flowers at the Fairbanks Veterans Memorial Park. Retired Army Ranger and resident Andy Poncho assisted Petry.

Petry is also invited to speak at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington State and on O’ahu in Hawaii on behalf of Extra Mile Military Care.