Category Archives: News

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November Board Meeting Announced

The November 17th 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 Community Engagement 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, November 15, 2016 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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StompStigma

Join DeKalb CSB at NAMI Walks 2016

Join the DeKalb CSB Team at NAMIWalks

NAMIWalks Georgia – 5K
Saturday, October 8, 2016
Grant Park, Atlanta
11:00 am
(Check In: 9:00-10:45 am)

DeKalb CSB is a proud sponsor and supporter of the 2016 NAMIWalks Georgia! NAMIWalks is NAMI’s largest and most successful mental health awareness and fundraising event in the country! Through NAMIWalks public display of support for people with mental health challenges, we are changing how Americans view mental illness.

We are inviting all DeKalb CSB staff, family and friends to join together as we improve lives and our communities one step at a time. Join the DeKalb CSB Walk Team  and help stomp out stigma!

Click here to register today and join the DeKalb CSB Walk Team!
Click here to learn more.
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Psychosis Early Intervention: From Bench to Practice Recap

Psychosis Early Intervention: From Bench to Practice

Saturday, March 19, 2016
The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia

Georgia’s first ever conference dedicated to highlighting the emerging science of psychosis early intervention for youth was held at the Carter Center in March, 2016. Hosted by DeKalb CSB’s CEO, Dr. Joseph Bona, this conference featured some of the top researchers in the country who reviewed the latest scientific findings in this developing area of early schizophrenia and psychosis. If you would like to learn more about Psychosis Early Intervention, view the videos below or on YouTube.

DeKalb CSB’s Prevention and Early Intervention Program (PEIP) strives to reduce the duration of untreated schizophrenia in youth or those considered at high risk for developing psychotic illnesses. The surveillance and monitoring program identifies youth at ultra-high risk of developing schizophrenia before they experience their first psychotic break. “This program is imperative to stop individuals from being permanently disabled for the rest of their lives,” shares Rachel Weissman, Team Lead of the Prevention and Early Intervention Program. “A lot of things get taken away from those with schizophrenia, and we want them to have happy and successful lives in whatever way that means for them.”

 

 

Program Agenda & Highlights

8:30-8:45 a.m. Welcome: Joseph Bona, MD. Adjunct Associate Professor, Emory University Department of Psychiatry. Chief Executive Officer, DeKalb Community Service Board.

8:45-9:45 a.m. Stress and Neuromaturational Processes in the Prodrome to Psychosis – Elaine Walker, PhD. and Samuel Candler Dobbs, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Emory University Department of Psychology.

9:45-10:45 a.m. The Impact of Premorbid/Adolescent Marijuana Use on the Age at Onset of Psychosis and Other Early-Course Feature- Michael T. Compton, MD, MPH Professor of Psychiatry, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine Chairman, Lenox Hill Hospital Department of Psychiatry

11:00-12:00 p.m. Treatment Engagement Strategies in First Episode Psychosis: What does the evidence say?- Robert Cotes, MD Assistant Professor, Emory University Department of Psychiatry Clinical Director for Treatment Resistant Schizophrenia Clinic

12:00-12:30 p.m. Panel & Q&A with Morning Speakers

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Potential Markers of Risk and Early Interventions to Prevent Conversion to Psychosis- Joseph McEvoy, MD Professor, Department of Psychiatry Augusta University/ Medical College of Georgia Clark Case Chair in Psychotic Disorders

2:30-3:30 p.m. Organizing a Psychosis Early Intervention Program in the Public Sector: Lessons Learned- Joseph Bona, MD, MBA Adjunct Associate Professor, Emory University Department of Psychiatry Chief Executive Officer, DeKalb Community Service Board.

3:30-4:30 p.m. Kindling for a Growing Fire? Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, and High-Risk Psychosis- Brian Miller, MD, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry Augusta University/ Medical College of Georgia

4:30-5:00 p.m. Panel & Q&A with All Speakers

 

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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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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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Learn Mindfulness 101 in Two Easy Steps

Have you ever felt exhausted by the hustle and bustle of life? Can’t think or focus one thing anymore? Mindfulness 101 can help. Modern life demands a certain degree of multi-tasking as a requirement for the 21st century productive worker and many struggle to strike a balance between commitments. It can be hard to focus when the mind is drawn apart in multiple directions. Even at night, when the body tries to give in, the mind remains relentless- thinking through multiple events of the day; all the things done and undone; and cannot quiet down. The result is poor sleep and another day of poor productivity. The power to be mindful and be present at the moment may be one’s greatest asset and each one of us will be helped by being more mindful at whatever we do. And the good news is- it can be learned.

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The solution is easy and can be reached. One simple and easy way is to practice mindfulness meditation. If practiced for a short time, as few as ten minutes in a day, it can work wonders to join our distracted mind. Mindfulness is a kind of meditation where one becomes mindful of the present moment. It’s living in “here and now” and training the mind to stop dwelling in the past or jumping to the future.

Research has consistently associated numerous physical and mental benefits associated with mindfulness. To name few- mindfulness can help to treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, and improve sleep and digestion. Mindfulness also helps in the treatment of depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsiveness, and anxiety.

How is Mindful Exercise Done?

The goal is to relax the mind and detoxify the body with 101 breadths. This exercise may be practiced once or twice a day for about ten minutes. One can take a break during the busy day and go for a walk or sit down at a quiet place and practice Mindfulness 101. A relaxed, de-stressed body is the perfect abode for health and healing. Above all, it’s liberating to slow down, relax, and marvel at the rhythmic cycles of breathing and life itself.

Pause Mindfulness
Step 1: Breathing –
Eyes may be closed to focus better on the inner experiences; however, mindfulness 101 can be done while walking with eyes open. Begin by inhaling as deeply and as slowly as you can and feel your belly expand with this incoming air. Pause and hold for a split second, then exhale through the nose and feel the belly shrink to expel out the air.

Step 2: Counting – Mindfulness 101 works best when there is a goal and time limit. Begin to count each breadth and count till 101. Use any comfortable posture that you prefer, whether you are lying flat on a yoga mat, sitting on a chair, or taking a walk outside. If possible, an outdoor setting is best as you can inhale oxygen rich fresh air.

Check back often for more tips from Dr.Paul, staff psychiatrist at DeKalb CSB. Learn more about Mindfulness 101 here. DeKalb Community Service Board provides substance abuse services for adults and offers mental health services to children, adolescents and adults. Our staff of physicians, nurses, clinicians and support personnel is dedicated to helping our clients and their families recover and resume productive lives. View a list of services offered here. 

Dr. 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.


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.

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

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