Using myStrength for Self-Care

In December, Burke therapist, Stephanie Knott, submitted her story to the myStrength “Stories of Impact” contest.  MyStrength selected Knott’s story as one of the top five finalists in this nationwide challenge.  She was interviewed by myStrength and recently featured on their Editorials and News page on their Provider Connect website. Read below Knott’s experience with myStrength and how she utilizes the tool with her clients. 
A provider shares her story and tips for staying healthy with myStrength
IMG_0169Burke therapist, Stephanie Knott, MA, LPC Intern, LCDC, loves to learn. So when her East Texas employer, Burke, a mental health provider, introduced myStrength last year, Read More »

East Texas Man Plants New Life Following Alcoholism, Leukemia Diagnosis

Jim Lemon of the East Texas Behavioral Health Network was recently recognized as Citizen of the Year by the Deep East Texas Branch of the National Association of Social Workers for his community development work with area gardens which support sustainability and foster healthy living.  Lemon recently visited with KTRE at one of these gardens to share his story of recovery and actualization. Check out the story (and some pictures) on KTRE’s website, or watch the video below.

It was a double-whammy for one East Texas man. Jim Lemon for years battled a never-ending struggle with alcoholism. And his life took an unexpected turn when the diagnosis of Leukemia came.
“37 years ago is when I chose sobriety,” said Jim Lemon.
A decision Read More »

Burke Offers a Place to Grow

Recently, Deidra Davis, director of Burke Industries, opened up the Nacogdoches workshop to the Daily Sentinel. Burke Industries staff and clients shared with the Sentinel details of their weekly vocational activities and training.
By NICOLE BRADFORD (The Daily Sentinel – Nacogdoches, TX

When she talks about the clients who have come and gone at Burke Industries Nacogdoches workshop over the years, longtime vocational specialist Linda Hayter can’t help but smile.
“Some aren’t very friendly at first,” she said of the approximately 30 adults with developmental disabilities who come to the facility during the day. About half of the clients live at home with parents or relatives, while others live in group homes. Just like anyone, they are leery of a brand new environment and Read More »

Woman Survives Bipolar, Suicidal Thoughts with Burke’s Help

Carolyn doesn’t mince words when explaining what Burke has meant to her. “Without Burke, I’d be dead.” She was tired, bitter and except for the elderly father she cared for, estranged from most of her family. For the better part of 10 years, she says, “my life was in shambles.”
Burke Counselor Cindy Carswell agrees, “she was as serious about suicide as anyone I’ve ever known. It seemed that nothing made her happy, but she’s become a poster child for not giving up. She’s become an incredible inspiration to me.”
Carolyn’s illness required a combination of medication and counseling. Both have been remarkably effective, but neither were quick fixes. Finding the right medication took some time, and Carolyn says many of her Read More »

Lufkin Woman Finds Hope from Depression in Music

Lufkin musician, Amber Dunn, recently shared with KTRE her journey to recovery, including finding the correct diagnosis, the best treatment for her and using her music to assist in carrying her out of depression. Check out the story on KTRE’s website, or watch the video below.

By Caleb Beams (KTRE – LUFKIN, TX)
On the outside, 23-year-old Amber Dunn looks like every other woman her age but her story will show how music can change someone from the inside-out.
Dunn picks up her guitar and begins to play in the Mixing Room Studio in Nacogdoches, pouring her heart and soul out. For Dunn, just to be in the studio is an accomplishment.
In November of 2015, Dunn would hit rock bottom. It all started with anxiety Read More »

Burke Employee Shares Her Story of Overcoming Depression and Helps Others Do the Same

Burke mental health specialist Meghan Spivey sat down with KTRE recently to share her incredible and courageous story. Check out the story (and some pictures) on KTRE’s website, or watch the video below.

By Caroline Manning (KTRE- LUFKIN, TX)
Depression is an illness that can affect anyone, even the happiest of people.
“Growing up, I was pretty much everybody’s friend,” said Meghan Spivey, a mental health specialist at Burke. “I was always so, so happy, everyone always asked me if I had ever had a bad day in my life.”
Spivey has certainly seen some bad days in her life, especially one day in particular six years ago, when she got call that her best friend had died unexpectedly.
“That took a really a toll Read More »

Advice On Helping A Struggling Teen

When a child struggles, the entire family is affected. Parents console, encourage and model behaviors, but for some kids struggling with mental health issues, it may not be enough. Knowing when additional intervention is required can be a tough decision. In a CNN article posted yesterday, Dr. Charles Raison, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers this advice:
“If your kid is going off the rails, and that means they are acting extremely bizarrely, they are totally different than they were before, they’re not functioning, it’s an emergency,” said Raison. “And the best thing you can do is push, push, push to get your kid the best care you can find and as quickly as possible.”
Parents of children with Read More »

Anxiety and Depression Are The Most Common Mental Health Diagnoses Among College Students

The photo above shows a traveling exhibition by Active Minds, an advocacy group, consisting of 1100 backpacks which represents the approximate number of undergraduates who commit suicide each year. This number has been on the rise in recent years in colleges and universities across the nation.
What is leading to this increase is multifaceted. According to an article in the New York Times, increased expectation both from the parents and the students themselves along with the relentless comparison to a  peer group through social media are two of the contributing factors.
Rather than helicopter parents one college administrator said we have moved into lawnmower parents who no longer hover but become intrinsically involved, clearing a path for their college student that potentially robs Read More »

Taking Off the Mask of Mental Illness

There are many reasons people may wear masks. They may be worn to present ourselves in ways that are socially acceptable or to shield ourselves from inspection. The reasons for wearing a mask are plentiful and the results can be both helpful and harmful.
Mental illness can also be a mask; it can mask who we are. As pointed out in the an article found on healthyplace.com, it can be a painful mask to wear and a painful mask to take off. The mask of mental illness can separate the wearer from the outside world but removing it can be difficult. To learn more about removing the mask see this excerpt below:
“When we remove the masks of mental illness, we find people Read More »

The System is Broken by CNN

The mother who founded the Facebook community “An Addict’s Mom” to give a forum of support rather than shame to parents with children battling the disease of addiction, has lost her son prematurely. Barbara Theodosiou’s son began receiving mental health care at age twelve. By age thirteen, he was using drugs.
“It shocks me. It crushes me. It steals my soul,” she said. “There are no breaks, no holidays, there is no solace here. And I spend every second wishing I had one more moment, one more day with my son before drugs.”
But despite her grief — and perhaps because of it, she is more determined than ever to make sure that Daniel’s life was not lived in vain.
She is now committed Read More »