Monthly Archives: July 2016

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alvin and john

DeKalb Community Service Board Ushers In New Board Leadership

John Bushfield and Alvin Glymph Appointed Chairs of DeKalb CSB and Brighter DeKalb Foundation Boards

DECATUR, Georgia – July 28, 2016 – DeKalb Community Service Board (CSB) and the Brighter DeKalb Foundation has appointed two new board chairs. John Bushfield will serve as Board Chair for the DeKalb CSB, a public, not-for-profit treatment provider of community-based behavioral health and developmental disability services located in DeKalb County. Alvin Glymph will serve as Board Chair of the Brighter DeKalb Foundation, a nonprofit organization established to support the behavioral health and developmental disability services provided by DeKalb CSB.

In his new role as Board Chair of DeKalb CSB, John Bushfield provides a wealth of experience and a leadership style that emphasizes compassion, integrity and accountability. “I am honored and humbled to serve as Chairman of the Board and to provide guidance for a group of exceptional individuals in their efforts to deliver on Agency’s strategic mission,” said Bushfield.  As the proud father of a severely disabled daughter, Bushfield considers advocacy for those in need a personal responsibility. He provides personal insight on how to best serve the community while also leveraging over 30 years of professional experience.

Alvin Glymph is an entrepreneur, author, and newly appointed Board Chair for the Brighter DeKalb Foundation, who offers years of experience providing technical assistance to non-profits aiming to improve conditions for the underserved community. “The issues that DeKalb CSB addresses are very important to me,” said Glymph. “I have a deep appreciation of the organization’s mission and am honored to have this opportunity to utilize my professional networks to nurture strategic partnerships.” As an advocate for individuals living with disabilities, Glymph hopes to identify resources and partnerships to best serve those receiving services from DeKalb CSB.

“We are fortunate to have John and Alvin’s leadership and vision as Board Chairs,” said Dr. Joseph Bona, CEO of DeKalb CSB. “This is a pivotal time for DeKalb CSB and these individuals bring a depth of experience and perspective that will assist us in delivering on our Agency’s mission and vision.”

 

About DeKalb CSB

Founded in 1994, DeKalb CSB is a public, nonprofit organization that provides a wide range of evidence-based behavioral health, substance abuse and developmental disability services.  Through more than 20 locations across DeKalb County, DeKalb CSB serves more than 10,000 children, adolescents and adults annually to help them recover and resume productive lives.  DeKalb CSB employs more than 500 staff, and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).  Learn more about DeKalb Community Service Board at www.dekcsb.org.

 

About Brighter DeKalb Foundation

Brighter DeKalb Foundation is a nonprofit organization in metro-Atlanta established to help youth and adults reclaim their lives by supporting the full continuum of behavioral health and developmental disability services provided by the DeKalb Community Service Board (DeKalb CSB).

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Management of Depression

Management of Depression by Dr. Paul

Depression is a serious and debilitating illness that the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that around 350 million people suffer from, yet the cause remains unknown. This makes Depression the second leading cause of disability worldwide. It is important to diagnose and treat depression at the earliest sign. If left untreated, Depression impairs social, family, and work life; and worse can lead to death by suicide.

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Depression can be a part of many psychiatric conditions; the most common one is called Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). It contains other symptoms in addition to being sad or depressed. In the common media, the terms depression and major depressive disorder are used synonymously. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V (DSM V) lists the following symptoms for MDD namely:

 

DSM- V Symptoms for Major Depressive Disorder :
  1. Depressed mood most of the day, almost every day, indicated by your own subjective report or by the report of others. This mood might be characterized by sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness.
  2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all or almost all activities most of the day nearly every day.
  3. Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain.
  4. Inability to sleep or oversleeping nearly every day.
  5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day.
  6. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day.
  8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a   specific plan for committing suicide.

 

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While the exact cause of depression is unknown, it is believed to be a result of complex interaction between one’s environment and one’s genes. Any factor increasing stress like trauma, abuse, injury, loss of job, death in family, divorce, alcoholism etc. can increase the risk of depression. Also medical conditions like anemia, thyroid problems, cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diseases can predispose one to depression. Also people with pessimistic personality types are more prone to depression. Loneliness and lack of social contact, especially among the elderly in the industrialized countries, is a risk factor for depression.
The good news is that the treatment of depression is an intense field of research. We now have many evidence based treatments available. Two commonly used treatments are psychotherapy and psychotropic medications. Psychotherapy, or counseling, can be used with benefit in mild to moderate depression. Several types of therapy options are available namely cognitive behavioral therapy, psycho dynamic psychotherapy, and interpersonal therapy. The success of therapy depends on finding the right fit between the patient’s needs and therapists’ expertise.

 

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Severe depression requires the use of combination treatment using therapy plus medication or use of one or more psychotropic medications called the antidepressants. Commonly used psychotropic medications work through serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine pathways. One popular class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) like Prozac and Zoloft increases the availability of serotonin in the brain. Another group called selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) like Effexor and Cymbalta increases the availability of norepinephrine in the brain. For many who don’t improve with one anti-depressant may need an adjunct medication like the antipsychotics. The psychotropic medications can cause serious side effects and should only be taken after weighing the risks and benefits in consultation with a psychiatrist.

 

Natural remedies like exposure to bright light or sunvangogh has shown to improve the mood. St John’s Wort or hypericum extracts also helps with depression. Other lifestyle changes like regular exercise, healthy diet, mindfulness and adequate sleep can also boost mood and alleviate depression. However, in spite of all the above, about one third of patients continue to suffer from one or more symptoms of depression despite trying different medications. For them, more aggressive treatment modalities like Deep brain stimulation, Electro-convulsive therapy, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Vagus Nerve Stimulation, and Ketamine might be considered.

 

Depression is a complex and heterogeneous entity. Each patient is depressed for his/her unique condition. What works for one person may not work for the other. Thus having more treatment options is better.  The art of medicine comes in finding the right treatment match for the particular patient. In summary, depression or major depressive disorder is a serious illness which can cause disability and death. Early diagnosis and treatment can save lives. Many treatment options exist. If you suffer from any of the symptoms of MDD, consult your clinician and seek appropriate help.

 

dr_paul.7Dr. Panchajanya Paul, MD, ABIHM, ABPN, is an American Board certified - Child, Adolescent, and Adult psychiatrist. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine. He holds adjunct faculty position at Emory University School of Medicine; University of Georgia & Georgia Regents University, and University of Central Florida School of Medicine. He is a freelance writer who lives in Atlanta.
Sources:

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), 2013, by American Psychiatric Association.
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Shift Work Challenges to Health and Wellness

Anyone that has ever done shift work knows how disruptive these variable shifts can be to a person’s well-being and overall health. In one study, researchers in Denmark found that women who worked night shifts were up to four times more likely to develop breast cancer than women who didn’t work nights. With about 22 million Americans involved in shift work across various sectors, finding the optimal sleep schedule can be a catch-22 situation since shift workers typically face two challenges: sleeping during the daytime and being wakeful during the nighttime. Both are contrary to natural circadian rhythms, which are the product of millions of years of evolution during which humans have stayed awake during day and slept at night. The modern assault on this sleep-wake cycle (also called the circadian rhythm) may have dire health consequences and research suggests that shift work, especially night work, has been associated with increased risk of cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, substance abuse problems, and more.

 

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Other medications like stimulants, sedatives, and hypnotics, are used to correct the side effects from a disrupted sleep-wake cycle but term need careful oversight of a doctor due to adverse side effects. Melatonin, on the other hand, restores and increases sleep while being a safe and non-addictive choice, both for short and long term use. Another way promote sleep is to create an environment that is conducive to restful sleep by improving the body’s natural Melatonin production by avoiding bright screens and lights at night. This can be done by minimizing blue light found from TV, computer, phone, and tablet screens and keeping the room dark at night.

 

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Research also suggests that night shift workers are more likely to sleep less, work more hours, drive drowsy at least once a month, and have poorer overall health when compared with non-night shift workers.  Fatigue related to shift work and sleep deprivation has been attributed to industrial disasters like  nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania in 1979, and Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986. In summary, shift work is disruptive to our sleep and well-being. Unless one is careful and take steps to mitigate the sleep disruption caused by shift-work, one may endanger his well-being and the safety of others. If you do shift work and your sleep and well being remains compromised after all your efforts, consult a doctor.

dr_paul.7Dr. Panchajanya Paul, MD, ABIHM, ABPN, is an American Board certified - Child, Adolescent, and Adult psychiatrist. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine. He holds adjunct faculty position at Emory University School of Medicine; University of Georgia & Georgia Regents University, and University of Central Florida School of Medicine. He is a freelance writer who lives in Atlanta.

You can contact the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at 1-800-35-NIOSH for more information on your rights and options. NIOSH also provides training for Nurses on Shift Work and Long Work Hours which can be assessed at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2015-115/

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New Life Community Church 1-edit

With One Accord Community Event

The DeKalb Community Service Board had the pleasure of participating with other community leaders at With One Accord Community Event held at New Life Community Church on July 10th with Pastor Marlon Harris. With One Accord Community Event is a collaboration of local churches, political official, entertainers, professional athletes, and community members unified under the agenda to restore education awareness, wealth protection and advancement to black communities.

Ashunte Claybrooks, Brenda Cibulas and Major K.D. Johnson DeKalb County Police Department, South Precinct.

Attendees from DeKalb CSB included Dr. Joseph Bona– CEO and Chief Medical Officer, Brenda Cibulas- Chief Clinical Officer, and Ashunte Claybrooks- Center Director for North Mental Health Center. The representatives worked together with local political officials, law enforcement, and other leaders in our community to help gain educational awareness. Long time DeKalb county resident Ashunte Claybrooks also spoke at the event and informed the attendees of DeKalb CSB’s presence and work within our community. Claybrooks challenged attendees to decrease the stigma in the African American community regarding mental health.

DeKalb Community Service Board (CSB) is an innovative, community-based behavioral health and developmental disabilities services organization located in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, offering a full range of mental health services, developmental disabilities programs and substance abuse treatment to more than 11,000 citizens annually who are uninsured and under insured. As a public, not-for-profit organization, the DeKalb CSB operates more than 20 locations in DeKalb County with a diverse workforce of more than 500 direct-care and support staff.

 

 

 

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Notice of Budget Public Hearing & July Board Meeting Announced

DeKalb Community Service Board (CSB) will conduct a public hearing on the agency budget.  Interested parties who would like to comment on the budget can do so either in person or in writing.

The hearing will be held on July 14, 2016, at 6:00pm at the DeKalb Community Service Board, 445 Winn Way, 4th Floor, Room 421,  Decatur, GA  30031.  Those requesting to make comment must sign in.  Written comments should be mailed by July 10, 2016 to:

DeKalb Community Service Board
Attn:  Marianne Wilson
445 Winn Way, 4th Floor
Decatur, Georgia  30030

The July 21st  board meeting of the DeKalb Community Service Board is open to the public for those who are interested in services for mental health, addiction and developmental disabilities. The meeting will be held at 4:00 pm at 445 Winn Way, Room 421, Decatur, GA 30030.

The Advocacy Committee meeting will be held in the same room at 3:00 pm and is also open to the public.

The Audit, Finance and Compliance meeting will be held in the same room on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 12:00 pm and is also open to the public.

For those with disabilities in need of assistance or accommodations to participate in the meeting, please notify Community Relations at (404) 508-7875.

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DeKalb CSB Names Fabio Van Der Merwe Chief Operating Officer

ATLANTA, Georgia – July 5, 2016 – DeKalb Community Service Board (CSB), a public, nonprofit treatment provider of community-based behavioral health and developmental disability services, located in DeKalb County, has appointed Fabio Van Der Merwe to its leadership team as Chief Operating Officer.  In his role, Van Der Merwe will be responsible for overseeing, developing, and setting the strategic direction for the operations of DeKalb CSB.

Van Der Merwe brings over 16 years of experience in the behavioral healthcare field, with experience in clinical service delivery, managed care, and administration. Prior to his appointment, he held various leadership positions over an 8 year span at DeKalb CSB in the areas of Compliance, Quality, and Utilization Management.

“Since joining DeKalb CSB in 2006, Fabio has proven to be a dynamic, thoughtful, and productive leader,” said Joseph Bona, MD, DeKalb CSB Chief Executive Officer.  “His experience and expertise in the areas of technology, compliance, outcome measurement, and quality assurance has advanced our capabilities. His clinical grounding assures that our operational function always aligns with our mission and vision. I am proud to have him on our leadership team.”

“I look forward to working with the leadership team in a new capacity to position DeKalb CSB for growth and enhance the way that we provide services to those that we serve,” said Van Der Merwe.  “I am incredibly energized about this opportunity to help lead the agency to its next phase of operational excellence.”

Van Der Merwe earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Emory University, a Masters of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and holds a certification in Health Care Compliance.

For more information about DeKalb CSB’s leadership team or to read Van Der Merwe’s full bio, please visit http://dekcsb.org/about/executive-leadership/.

About DeKalb CSB

Founded in 1994, DeKalb CSB is a public, nonprofit organization that provides a wide range of evidence-based behavioral health and developmental disability services.  Through more than 20 locations across DeKalb County, DeKalb CSB serves more than 10,000 children, adolescents and adults annually to help them recover and resume productive lives.  DeKalb CSB employs more than 500 staff, and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).   Learn more about DeKalb Community Service Board at www.dekcsb.org.

 

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Mailing: PO Box 1648, Decatur, GA 30031
General information: 404.294.3834
Appointments, referrals and crisis support: 404.892.4646

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