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May is Mental Well-being Month

In the 2019 National Health Survey, 4.7% of adults aged 18 and over reported regular feelings of depression. In 2020 that grew to 6% or 14.8 million!

Suicide and Depression

We have all had days where we feel down. A failed project at work or an argument with a
friend can cause you to feel blue. But when you feel down or low for multiple days or weeks, you may be experiencing depression.

Clinical depression is defined as feeling down for an extended amount of time. Lack of sleep, difficulty concentrating, hopelessness about the future, or even thoughts of suicide are common symptoms of clinical depression. Untreated depression or mental illness is a major cause of suicide. An important way to take part in suicide prevention is to understand the issues that concern those in crisis and to help change the conversation around suicide and mental health.

Spot the Warning Signs

People who are contemplating suicide can show many signs,
but here are some of the common ones to look for.

  • Talking about wanting to die and/or talking about death often
  •  Starting a will and getting their affairs in order
  •  Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone
  •  Increased use of alcohol or drugs

Take Action

Five action steps for communicating with a friend or family member who may be contemplating self-harm:

  1.  Start a non-judgmental conversation. Ask “Are you thinking about suicide?”
  2.  Keep them safe from lethal items or places.
  3.  Be there, listen to them carefully, and acknowledge their feelings.
  4.  Help them connect with resources and professionals.

    • Make It OK provides support in dealing with stigma of mental health at makeitok.org.

    • The NIMH Helpline can be reached Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET, at 1-866-615-6464 or by email at nimhinfo@nih.gov.

    • Right Direction crisis hotline provides free information, tools, and resources to help raises awareness about depression in the workplace and demystify the symptoms and treatment options at rightdirectionforme.com/for-you or call 800-273-8255.

    The Trevor Project supports LGBTQ+ at thetrevorproject.org and 866-488-7386.

    • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24/7 in the United States. Go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call 1-800-273-8255.

    Beginning July 16, 2022, 988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the NSPL

  5. Stay connected with them and follow up often.
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Financial Wellness

Financial Wellness

Planning for the future can prevent you and your loved ones from experiencing unwanted stress during big life moments, whether they are expected or not.

Whether you are investing your hard-earned money, saving for retirement, creating a will, or putting aside some money for a child’s college fund, taking time today to assess these matters can help greatly in the future.

Here are some steps you can take to prepare for your financial future:

Get organized. Create a list of all accounts: bank, investment, credit, health savings, retirement, etc. Include account numbers, passwords, and links to their online sites. Store these in a safe place along with other important documents, like a will, and update as needed.

Seek advice. Meet with a financial advisor to talk about your long-term financial goals and concerns. These professionals can help you take the proper steps toward financial security.

Learn more:

Debt Management

Voya Financial

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30 Days of Biking – Healthy Saint Paul

30 Days of Biking –
Healthy Saint Paul

30 Days of Biking is a pledge to bike every day in April. Any amount of time on a bike counts for the day.  Down the driveway, practicing wheelies in the street, or a commute to work all would count for a bike ride that day!

You will have to track your bike rides in My Healthy Saint Paul under the “workouts” feature.

Enter the type of biking you did and how long (time or distance) your ride was and it will go towards your 30 Days of Biking.

Once you’ve entered all of your rides for April, take a screenshot of your Workout Tracker and send it to patrick.williamson@ci.stpaul.mn.us by May 7th and you’ll receive a code to earn 1,000 points!

It is worth noting that a fitness tracker does not automatically upload bike rides into Healthy Saint Paul.

30 Days of Biking is an event hosted by the Joyful Riders Club. You can find their weekly rides on their

Facebook Page (facebook.com/30daysofbiking/) and take an official pledge on their website at www.30daysofbiking.com. You are encouraged to share your rides and adventures through social media using #30daysofbiking. This is not necessary to earn the 1,000 points.

Below are instructions for logging your bike rides – feel free to contact
patrick.williamson@ci.stpaul.mn.us for assistance or more information on 30 Days of Biking!

Login to My Healthy Saint Paul at: iam.virginpulse.com/

Hover your mouse over “Home” and click on “Stats

Scroll down to and select “Log a Workout”

Select the type of cycling you did and how many minutes your ride was

Once finished select “Save” and that’s it!

*NOTE* You must enter an amount of time to record your ride but do not have to enter distance

Once you have recorded all of your bike rides for the month, you’ll have to take a screenshot of your  “workouts” for the month and send it to patrick.williamson@ci.stpaul.mn.us. You will then receive instructions on how to redeem your points! **You must send the screenshot by MAY 7th**

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Citywide Spring Cleanup

Annual Citywide Spring Cleanup  Saturday, April 23rd from 9:00am-11:30am.

This family-friendly, community-focused event is designed to engage citizens, neighbors, and friends to clean up our parks and neighborhoods.

Each year, volunteers gather across Saint Paul at multiple cleanup sites to pick up litter that has recently become uncovered by melting snow. The cleanup sites are places where volunteers come together to meet one another, register, collect supplies (trash bags/gloves), and enjoy refreshments.

There are 18 cleanup sites this year that volunteers are free to drop in at. Visit stpaul.gov/citywidecleanup to register and for more information.

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Bridge the Gap between healthy and tasty

Find healthy and tasty food with help from a dedicated health coach

Food choices influence your energy, sleep, and even mood. Work 1-on-1 with an Omada health coach to find food that fits your lifestyle and health goals.

Four steps to healthier lunches

Step 1: Fill up half of your plate with non-starchy veggies in a variety of colors.

Step 2: Pick good quality protein that can be enjoyed hot or cold, like tuna.

Step 3: Healthy fats help give your body everything it needs.

Step 4: Add a bit of fun like blueberries or dark chocolate – to help you stay on track.

Start new healthy habits with personal support:

  • Speak with a dedicated health coach
  • Get connected devices to track progress
  • Enjoy a community of support
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Healthy Goals & Habits

Goals and habits go hand-in-hand. GOAL SETTING is a tool to think about your ideal future, choose where you want to go in life, and help clarify your purpose. HABITS are the daily activities and discipline to achieve those goals. When it comes to your health goals, habits are the key to success!

Goal Setting

When you are clear about what you want, it becomes much more attainable. By setting clearly defined goals, you can measure your progress and take pride in your accomplish-ments along the way. If you don’t know where to start, start small. What do you want to get done tomorrow, in the next month, or in the next year? Once you become more comfort-able and confident, you can adjust your goals to fit a larger scale. Don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments along the way!

Habit Stacking

After your alarm goes off, drink 8 ounces of water.

Waiting for your coffee to brew, meditate or deep breathe.

Brushing your teeth, balance on one leg or do squats.

After taking your shoes off when you return from work, put on your workout clothes

After dinner, spend 15 minutes tidying up the house and prepping for the next day (make a healthy lunch, set out clothes, review your schedule).

Getting into bed, say or write down something for which you are grateful.

Starting your car, turn on a self-help audiobook or podcast.

When you get a text message, stand up and do a stretch or two.

Habit Stacking If you want to adopt a new healthy habit, experts say to tie it to an existing habit. For most people, our morning routine is our strongest habit and an easy time to stack on a new healthy habit. However, there are other routines and cues throughout your day that you can attach a new habit to.

First, identify habits you do daily, then pick one to add a new habit to. Keep it small. Begin with one simple habit. Once you are successful with the new habit (30 days or more), stack on another new habit.

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Employee Assistance from Optum through Medica

Get answers and resources to tackle the tough issues you and your family face. 24/7 support from trained professionals,
call 1 (800) 626-7944 (TTY: 711) Your call is free and  conversations with EAP specialists are kept confidential, in accordance with the law.

Services include free counseling, legal consultation, help with second opinions and child or elder care, financial consultations, and so much more. Find online resources to help with everyday work and life challenges at LiveAndWorkWell.com.
Use the access code “MEDICA”.

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Healthy Holidays

Try these tips for healthy holidays with your family and friends:

Cook with in-season fruits and veggies:

They ripen naturally leading to higher levels of antioxidants.

Create a food-free space

Decrease visibility by keeping food in one room and socializing in another.

Offer alcohol alternatives for adults too

Sparkling water, apple ciders and teas are all great beverage alternatives to alcohol.

Use portion-friendly dish ware

Set out smaller plates, bowls, and glasses for your guests.

Boost your vaccination and mask up

Schedule your COVID 19 Booster shot if you are due and wear a mask at your indoor gatherings if you’re in an area of high transmission. See the CDC guidelines here: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot

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Women’s Wellbeing Month

Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common
cancer in women. Mammograms are the best way to find
breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat and before it
is big enough to feel or cause symptoms.

ACT NOW: Schedule a your age and gender-appropriate
preventive screening this fall. If you are up to date on your
care, encourage someone you love to do so.
Other things you can do to lower your risk:

  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly (at least four hours a week)
  • Avoid or limit alcoholic drinks
  • Avoid exposure to carcinogens (like tobacco)
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Employee Assistance

Employee Assistance
Optum through Medica

The Medica® Optum® Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is here for you through life’s challenges. You can
get answers and resources to tackle the tough issues you and your family face. Get 24/7 support from trained professionals, call 1 (800) 626-7944 (TTY: 711) Your call is free and conversations with EAP specialists are kept confidential, in accordance with the law.

Services include:

  • Counseling sessions (five sessions per issue, per year) at no extra cost.
  • Help with child support, divorce, adoption, wills and trusts, and more.
  • Talk with a financial advisor about debt, saving money, foreclosure, and more.
  • Care for children or elderly parents with support and second opinions.
  • Find online resources to help with everyday work and life challenges at LiveAndWorkWell.com. Use the access code “MEDICA”.
  • Get help with issues like tobacco, gambling, or substance use.