New health initiatives promote resilience


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Michael J. Yates  DATE: January 23, 2017 PHONE: 865-719-7221

New health initiatives promote resilience - Five keys to well-being

Oak Ridge, TN – “In my end is my beginning,” wrote T. S. Eliot in Four Quartets. Many scholars think he meant something specific about the circularity of his spiritual journey, but the line has more than one meaning. Certainly for the Tennessee Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) Initiative, one of two exciting initiatives launched by the state, the phrase has a ring of truth in linking childhood adversities with the adoption of negative behaviors that lead to primary health conditions and diseases, e.g. stroke, heart disease, obesity, depression, suicide attempts, etc. Truly, our early childhood development can impact our later stages of life.

In November 2015, Tennessee launched its initiative “Building Strong Brains.” As the latest brain science shows, traumatic events called “adverse childhood experiences,” – or “ACEs”—can disrupt the brain-building process. ACEs such as abuse, neglect, domestic violence, substance abuse, and others are toxic to brain development and can compromise the brain’s structural integrity. Left unaddressed, ACEs and their effects make it more difficult for people to live a healthy life and contribute to the state’s future prosperity within our communities, our workforce, and our civic life.

Ridgeview offers ACEs training to agencies and the community interested in learning more about this initiative. Contact Michael Yates at 482-1076 to schedule a learning opportunity.

On December 1, 2016, another statewide initiative began, the Tennessee Health Link (THL) program; the primary objective of THL is to coordinate health care services for TennCare members with the highest behavioral health needs. Through better coordinated behavioral and physical health services, the THL is meant to produce, among other things, improved overall health outcomes for its members, and ultimately, a longer, healthier life. As a THL provider, Ridgeview commits to ensuring the best care for each of its members, expand access to care through its Same Day Access availability, improve treatment adherence, and a reduce hospital admissions. In addition, the program is designed to ensure the integration of physical and behavioral health, as well as, mental health recovery, giving every member a chance to reach his or her full potential for living a rewarding and increasingly independent, resilient life in the community.

So, how do these two initiatives intersect with the New Year? The promotion of resilience, for one.

“Resilience” is a word that has caught on these days and has become familiar within the two statewide initiatives. You hear resilience in social services, in geo-political debates, why you even hear it used by coaches, as in, “The team showed great resilience in overcoming adversity this season.” A recent blog by the New Economics Foundation introduced five key factors to bolster resilience and strengthen protective factors, especially during seasonal spikes of fatigue, stress, and anxiety.

The ingredients to help stave off the seasonal blues are simple and familiar: connect, be active, take notice, keep learning, and give.

As we lean into 2017, consider inviting resilience into your life by surrounding yourself with positive, meaningful connections and invest time in developing them. Be active in motion, in voice, and in choice - go for walks, share a story, and feed the positive influences in your life. Take notice of people and things around you. Observe the beauty of this season, and reflect on your experiences to better recognize what is most important to you. Keep learning new things. Reach for that book you’ve been putting off or pick up that instrument. Go explore. And finally, give to someone your smile, your time, your gratitude. Be good to you – you deserve it.

To be sure, these ingredients will not work for everyone all the time, but by practicing these protective factors, you just might keep the uninvited guests of stress, disappointment, and feelings of failure out, while boosting resilience.

Through participation in health initiatives like Building Strong Brains and TN Health Link, Ridgeview is advancing principles that promote resilience in people and communities; we’re mitigating the harmful effects of childhood trauma; and we’re coordinating behavioral and primary health care for a better quality of life across the lifespan of its members. In the end, 2017 begins with new health initiatives that promote resilience; as such, our shared end has a brighter, more hope-filled beginning.

If you are experiencing a prolonged sad or anxious state and you are feeling hopeless, help is available. Please contact Ridgeview Behavioral Health Services to find professional, caring staff that will help you get on the road of recovery and resilience today by contacting 865-482-1076. We are here to welcome you and provide caring support and hope.


Photo: Four of Ridgeview’s sixteen THL Care Coordination Team Members front, Andrew Lufkin; back row left to right – Allison Schipp, Myranda Robinson, and Mildred Beasley

Michael Yates, Director of Development
Ridgeview is a private, not-for-profit community mental health center with locations in Anderson, Campbell, Morgan, Roane, and Scott counties. To make a referral or schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-834-4178 or for more information, you can also visit our website at Ridgeview’s walk-in clinic hours at the Main Center are Monday – Friday 8:30 – 10:30. Regular office hours remain 8 – 5 weekdays. If you have an emergent need, please do not hesitate to contact our 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-870-5481. Follow Ridgeview on Facebook.