2019 is the year of caring for mind, body and spirit
December is the time of year most of us start looking towards the new year – resolutions, new beginnings, and new changes. Some of these resolutions are more popularly targeted to physical health and wellness, going to the gym, more travel, and family time. But for optimal overall health and wellness, remember that we are more than a singular element, but actually a triad of mind, body, and spirit.
Neglect one or two and we can find ourselves living a less fulfilled and even shorter life than others. Mind, body and spirit are intertwined and work with and off each other. More and more, medical professionals, health providers and even insurance companies are supporting what is termed ‘integrated care,’ a treatment model that combines primary and behavioral health; essentially it is addressing and treating the whole person.
Caring for our bodies goes beyond a trip to the gym. Prevention care, check-ups and attention to our physical wellness plays a big part. For instance, those with severe mental illness are more likely than those without to ignore their physical health. In fact, it is estimated that people with serious mental health disorders have a life expectancy of 25 years less than others.
Dental care is often overlooked and one that is important in more ways than just a bright smile. According to a survey from the American Dental Association, 42 percent of Americans don’t see a dentist as often as they should or not at all. Proper dental care can be a key indicator to serious conditions such as heart disease, respiratory infections and kidney disease. And research from the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society shows that those who have gum disease are four times more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis.
When addressing substance abuse addiction, studies show people with a connection to spirituality have a greater chance of recovery. This sense of spirituality can take many different forms and is up to each individual to decide what provides spiritual fulfillment. That may be through faith and the connectivity that comes from being part of a congregation or place of worship, it may come from meditation and mindfulness or by volunteering and giving time to those in need. Wherever the spiritual flame comes from, having that passion can give a more positive outlook on life, and therefore pour into a better mental and physical state.
Next year, Community Care Services will be incorporating more integrated care into our service offerings, such as a mobile dental clinic and blood lab and we look forward to announcing these new programs very soon. We are committed to empowering our clients and want to remove barriers that prevent them comprehensive care.
With the new year right around the corner, it’s an ideal opportunity to reflect and take inventory on our lives and be sure to take the time to care for your self – mind, body and spirit. From all of us at CCS, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!
Susan Kozak has been a licensed social worker for the past 31 years and currently serves as the executive director of Community Care Services, a position she has held since 2011.