CBHC PR Director wins Image Award

Friday, April 29, 2016 @ 03:04 PM
Author: Charlotte Behavioral

CBHC PR Director wins Image Award

The Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA recognizes PR excellence

Jessica Potts, Director of Public Relations was honored to receive an Award of Distinction at the 2016 Image Awards Ceremony on April 20 at Six Bends Harley-Davidson. The Image Awards competition is conducted annually by the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association to recognize outstanding public relations programs and to encourage and promote the development of public relations professionalism in the region. The Local Image Awards have become a standard of public relations excellence in southwest Florida. This competition provides PR practitioners an excellent platform to be recognized in their local markets for their public relations activities.

An Award of Distinction was presented to Potts for her work with the Fred Lang Foundation benefitting Charlotte Behavioral Health Care through the Annual Summer Ball. Historically, and average of 250 guests attend the Summer Ball on the last Saturday of July, with the event raising an average of $26,000 in net proceeds each year. In 2015, the ball increased net proceeds by 64 percent and 411 patrons enjoyed the “Summer Night in India”, 55 percent accounting for new guests. The foundations mission was spread throughout the community also welcoming ten new sponsors to the Summer Ball.  Together with the Summer Ball committee, the event cultivated awareness, increased revenue and attendance and solidified last year’s event as the most successful Summer Ball in 12 years.


Summer Ball Image Award

Charlotte Behavioral Health Care and Fred Lang Foundation

Charlotte Behavioral Health Care (CBHC) has served the behavioral and substance abuse needs of Charlotte County residents for 47 years since its’ founding in 1969.  CBHC is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) agency, serving over 11,000 patients annually. Charlotte Behavioral Health Care is where our community comes to find hope and the courage that has been lost. As an agency family, we are compassionate about implementing successful positive changes that make living hold value once again. Individualized treatment plans are developed through a collaborative effort between our consumers and our devoted and experienced staff.

The Fred Lang Foundation’s mission is to aid individuals find the hope for a brighter tomorrow through effective mental health and substance abuse treatment.  Funds from the Foundation are donated to nonprofit Charlotte Behavioral Health Care to underwrite services for low income residents of Charlotte County.  Without the Fred Lang Foundation’s assistance, some children, teens, adults and families might not be able to get the help they need. For more information on CBHC or Fred Lang Foundation. Please call Jessica Potts (941) 347-6407 or visit


Test Anxiety 101: How to Calm the Storm

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 @ 02:04 PM
Author: Charlotte Behavioral

Your child has been studying for days for their upcoming exam. They completed practice tests, received additional tutoring, joined a group study session, and felt more confident than ever. They arrive in class and receive their 30-question multiple choice exam. They write their name, today’s date, and subject, and that’s as far as they can remember. Their mind goes blank, their heart starts beating faster, hands start to sweat, and they can no longer concentrate. Despite the hours spent studying, they end up receiving a D on their exam. Does this sound like your child? Unfortunately, test anxiety occurs in many children and limits their ability to perform well on tests.

Anxiety creates a crippling effect that creates barrier blocking potential success. According to the American School Counselor Association, “Stressful emotions can inhibit a student’s ability to absorb, retain and recall information. Anxiety creates a kind of “noise” or “mental static” in the brain that blocks our ability to retrieve what’s stored in memory and also greatly impairs our ability to comprehend and reason. The key to understanding how anxiety inhibits cognitive and physical performance lies in understanding how emotions affect the rhythmic activity in the nervous system.”

For some students, they feel a lot of pressure from their parents to succeed. Thus, they have a fear of failing and put additional pressure on themselves. Unfortunately, the additional stress can limit their success on tests and negative outcomes hinder their self-esteem and confidence. Students who do not take out enough time to prepare may also experience test anxiety as they did not thoroughly go through the course material. According to the American Test Anxieties Association, “About 16-20% of students have high test anxiety, making this the most prevalent scholastic impairment in our schools today. Another 18% are troubled by moderately-high test anxiety.”

Parents, become involved in your child’s preparation and notice warning signs that they may be experiencing a difficult time in studying or comprehending the material. Hire a tutor if necessary to help your child become more confident on the subject being tested. Encourage them. Ensure your child receives at least 8-10 hours of sleep and eats a healthy breakfast.

Published by: Tyler Gibson

Marketing Intern, CBHC

CBHC-The Helpline-Check It Out!

Friday, April 22, 2016 @ 03:04 PM
Author: Charlotte Behavioral

Please welcome Tyler T. Gibson to our CBHC Public Relations team! Tyler attends Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers as a junior and is majoring in communication with a concentration in public relations.

Check out Tyler’s first publication here!

What Do Health Habits Mean To Your Mental Health?

Friday, April 8, 2016 @ 10:04 AM
Author: Chato Stewart

Do we have good health habits?

What does health habits mean to you? Some of us worry about not only our physical health, but our mental health as well…Well, one might say Health 360. We have to be worried about our health in total.  Body, mind and spirit–so to speak to find balance. Not one aspect can be overlooked.  What can help us stay balanced and keep this balance? Good health habits. What does this mean really?  Can it be done?

Acceptance is not giving up. I need to accept what I could do and what I can over do that causes me triggers.  Yes, I can work 48 hours without sleep.  Yes, I can skip my meds and do whatever I wanted to for weeks on end.  I can eat like a pig.  I can do whatever I want… it was my choice.  But these bad health habits took a negative toll.

  • Without sleep my schedule was off, my work backed up, the pressure and stress was extreme and I became very irritable.
  • Missing my medication (I believe in medication treatment for my wellness treatment, you may choose a different form of treatment or wellness plan that works for you. For me– meds work, so I take them.) I was slipping into a depression.
  • My diet went off the scale… I was eating non-stop to cope.

This was not healthy, so how to change it?

Good health habits can start small

Exercise helps many manage their emotions in positive ways.  Of course before starting a new exercise routine, it would be wise to consult your personal physician. And don’t be worried about the word “routine,” it’s not a bad word.  In fact, “routine” is want we want to start. Routines bring stability. By just starting to positively think that you can and stick to are steps in the right direction…  Did you know:  it is said that IF you keep a routine more than 18 times… you have a good chance of keeping to the routine.  So eighteen is that sweet-spot.  Don’t give up on anything until it passes the 18 day mark.  If it’s still too hard to keep up with after the 18 day mark, then you probably won’t keep that routine.  That can apply to quitting to smoke, to going for walks,

Remember,  It’s best to start small.  For me– I started by removing soda from my diet.  Now the very taste of it is nasty to me.  I also remove red meat from my main diet.  Now, I only treat myself once and while.  Still what we eat can have an effect on our mood.

Healthy foods to boost your mood:

  • Chocolate: eating dark chocolate (1.4 ounces of it, to be exact) every day for two weeks reduced stress hormones, including cortisol, in people who were highly stressed,…
  • Fruits & vegetables (and other whole foods): studies have shown that antioxidants in fruits and vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids in fish are associated with lower risk of depression. Folate, a B vitamin found in beans, citrus and dark green vegetables like spinach, affects neurotransmitters that impact mood.
  • Fish: Eating oily, fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, rainbow trout) and mussels will give you omega-3s—a key mood-boosting nutrient
  • Coconut: When you’re stressed, the scent of coconut may blunt your natural “fight or flight” response.
  • Tea: Fuzzy brain? Drinking caffeinated black, green or oolong tea may elicit a more alert state of mind.
    • By ‡Brierley Wright, M.S. R.D  7 Foods to Boost Your Mood Naturally


‡Brierley Wright, M.S. R.D. (2016). 7 Foods to Boost Your Mood Naturally. Retrieved on March 29, 2016, from


Losing a child to suicide; a Father’s perspective

Friday, March 18, 2016 @ 02:03 PM
Author: Charlotte Behavioral

Losing a child to suicide; a Father’s perspective

On January 3rd, 2010 my youngest son David took his own life at age 30. He was bright, funny, captain of his high school golf team, served his country in the U.S. Army, earned a degree in Business Administration and was married to a wonderful supportive woman and, by all standards, he was doing it right; so what went wrong?

When we lost my son, we were shocked but not surprised because he had a history of depression going back to childhood. In 1983, my then wife and I were planning on making a move with our three children after going through some difficult times during the economic downturn of the early 80’s. While packing to make the move, she decided to leave and abandoned me and our three children. On the day she left she walked out of the house with David in her arms, he was 3 ½ years old.  As she walked out she stopped by me and placed David in my arms and while he was screaming and clawing at the air crying out for his mother, she turned her back, walked over to and got into the car then drove off. I believe this event is what may have set things in motion.

He started to develop periods of deep sadness and during one of those periods when he was around 6; I asked him what was wrong. During our conversation he told me he felt that his mother left because of him; and when I asked him why he felt that way he told me it was because he was stupid. After hearing that, I knew it was time to get all three kids into counseling. After the kids had completed counseling things seem to settle down, and the older 2 appeared to be adjusting well but David still seemed to have this deep sadness, or to be more accurate depression, which would follow him the rest of his life.

After eight years of being a single parent, I married my wife Denise and knowing we were taking on a momentous task of blending two families we attended family counseling and our kids gelled exceptionally well, referring to themselves as the “Bratty Bunch.”  Things seemed to be going well until Middle School when David was again showing signs of depression, and we immediately got him into counseling where he was prescribed anti-depressants and seemed to come out of it and doing well overall.

Right after high school David started college but that wasn’t going anywhere for him, and he became frustrated. He told me what he wanted was to join the State Police, but he was too young, and my advice to him was to visit the State Police recruiter, which he did, and was advised that one of the best paths to the State Police was through the military. He decided to join the Army but about half way through his enlistment his depression reared its ugly head again. He went AWOL and after a hard search, we located him in Windsor, Canada and got him home. He told us that his intent was to kill himself.  We were able to settle him down, he returned to his Post and with proper treatment and medication he overcame it and seemed to be doing very well as indicated earlier, so what went wrong?

As with many things, there is a chain of events and the worst link in this chain was that he stopped taking his medication. On the night of January 2nd, 2010 he and his wife went out for dinner and drinks and a few things went on that most people would think were insignificant misunderstandings we all have. But in this case, he was off his medication and those normally insignificant things, fueled by alcohol, took on a life of their own and the downward spiral began. In the early hours of January 3rd things had spun out of control to the point he could see no way out. His last words to the world were in a Facebook post; “Got to go with your gut”, and then he then ended his life.

Q & A from CBHC:

  1. Did you see any warning signs? Yes, from an early age.
  1. How did you seek help for your surviving family and yourself? I believe in leading by example and sought grief counseling with the encouragement and support of my wife. We encouraged our other children to do the same.
  1. What is the most important statement you can tell a parent surviving the loss of a child from suicide? Seek out a good grief counselor and talk. While friends and family are a good support system, a trained grief counselor can help with coping skills.
  1. What was your best coping skill? Mine started out from the beginning. While we were shocked, we weren’t surprised due to past history. I put together the David Luke Andrews Memorial Fund and all donations go to research and treatment of depression. I wanted something positive to come out of this to honor his memory. Knowing that the money raised is used to help other families not to suffer this type of tragedy gives me peace.
  1. What support systems have helped you the most? My wife, who was always there to listen and encourage me.

There is one final point I’d like to make; depression does not respect age, class, color, wealth, social standing or anything for that matter. One of the 20th century’s greatest leaders, Sir Winston Churchill, suffered from depression referring to it as his “Black Dog” and once wrote; “I don’t like standing near the edge of a platform when an express train is passing through. I like to stand right back and if possible get a pillar between me and the train. I don’t like to stand by the side of a ship and look down into the water. A second’s action would end everything. A few drops of desperation.”


Unfortunately, even when we are aware that someone is suffering from depression, we never can know when those “few drops of desperation” may set off a chain of events that ends in suicide.  It’s even worse when the person suffering hides it so well that we are unaware of it until the unthinkable happens. We can work to prevent it, and it starts with an honest conversation and education on mental illness.