Hispanic Heritage Month Meets Suicide Prevention Month: A Blend of Culture and Mental Health

September marks National Suicide Prevention Month and Hispanic Heritage Month. Our Lake Behavioral article will take a look at suicide among the Hispanic population and how culture plays a part in positive health and wellness.

Youth suicide in the Hispanic population is on the rise. To define “Hispanic/Latino”, this can refer to any 1 of the 62 million people who are from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Central America or South America, or Cuba. It is the foundation of each of these Hispanic cultures that may increase the potential for health among those Hispanics who are challenged by mental illness.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness indicates that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for youth, ages 10-14, and the 3rd leading cause of death for those ages 15-24. Nearly a quarter million Hispanic/Latinos attempt suicide. During the COVID crisis almost 5,000 of them died by suicide (CDC).

Non-culture oriented statistics indicate that although males complete the act of suicide in larger numbers (nearly 4 times as many as females), females attempt suicide more often. As reported by the Center for Disease Control’s, Youth Survey, 1 in 6 Hispanic/Latino teens experienced suicidal ideation. An astounding number, 1 in 4 females, have seriously considered suicide to eliminate mental health distress.

Hispanic/Latino groups may very well be at a mental health disadvantage with levels of stress related to marginalization, poverty in their country of origin, followed by poverty in a country chosen for a successful life, joblessness, and losses of family left behind. Faith and culture are often what lessens the burdens of new lives in a foreign land.

Connecting to peer networks through faith–based or Hispanic/Latino support organizations is healing. Utilization of familiar language with family and peers; sharing food, music and cultural rituals offer protective connections and create resilience and comfort. Places for safe communication and open discussion mean reduced anxiety, fear, stress, and depression; possibly heading off the distress that can lead to the hopelessness, worthlessness, and helplessness that can lead to suicidal thinking.

For Hispanic/Latino youth, school programs that offer solid ESL programs, peer activity groups like Hispanic heritage clubs and celebrations of culture are making a difference. For Hispanic/Latino youth who are needing mental health support, treatment programs that can change the course of mental illness are those who have cultural connections in language and understanding of needs of families and the youth.

Suicide, unfortunately, is universal. It crosses all socioeconomic groups and all cultures. It is important to understand both culture and mental health. In that regard, take any and all suicide talk seriously. Listen without judgment. Ask questions that are direct like “Are you thinking about suicide?”, and “listen” with all your senses. In all cases, do as NAMI asks; remind people that they are not alone and that recovery from mental illness is possible. A referral to professional help should occur and a call to Lake Behavioral Hospital can make a difference. Call 855-990-1900 for a free, confidential assessment to determine the level of care that is best.

Lake Behavioral Hospital: Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

The Lake Behavioral Hospital IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) is a mental health program that is different than outpatient therapy where a therapist meets with each patient individually. An IOP is a program that offers group therapy and modified individual work, three hours each day, five days a week.

Our IOP program is offered as a stepdown from hospitalization. This is a good way to transition successfully back to home from the hospital. This can offer someone a chance to continue to solidify the skills gained while in the hospital. IOP can also help someone avoid hospitalization as IOP is more intensive than traditional outpatient.

If you would like to explore IOP as a way to get the mental health support that you need, please call us at 855-990-1900. By appointment or even by walk-in, we’ll help you find the treatment options that best meets your needs.

Lake Behavioral Hospital: Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Program hours: Monday-Friday from 9:00am-2:00pm

The Lake Behavioral Hospital Partial Hospitalization Program for teens, ages 13-17, is a group-oriented program. Utilizing the framework of peer-based interactions, this evidenced-based program provides a safe and structured transition from inpatient support. Patients have also successfully found this program to help avoid hospitalization by entering when first experiencing behavioral symptoms that are interfering with home, school and community life. Patients and families can expect that the duration of the program, although individualized for each patient, would average about 2 weeks.

What makes this program so successful is that it is so behaviorally focused, helping youth understand what causes their feelings and behaviors. Coping skills, listening and communication skills help the adolescent maneuver through the triggers that, in the past, may have created a negative outcome. Because patients can leave the program at the end of the program day and practice skills, then report back to their peers and staff the next day, the learned skills are constantly being tweaked and individualized to accommodate communication styles and skill levels. It is amazing to watch the behavioral changes and improved self-esteem occur as the teens blossom behaviorally and in their confidence in managing their own behaviors.

As a parent, please consider our PHP program for your teen. It is an opportunity for positive peer interaction in a structured, proven, therapeutic setting. For an assessment for the program, please call 855-990-1900. We look forward to working with your teen.

If you have been an inpatient at Lake Behavioral Hospital

If you have been an inpatient at Lake Behavioral Hospital, at some point in your stay, we may have asked you about your interest in our Partial Hospitalization (adolescent) or Intensive Outpatient Program (adult). Why? Research shows that a step down into a less restrictive therapeutic environment like IOP or PHP may mean you have a really good chance of avoiding any further inpatient hospitalizations. The reason for this is that as an outpatient, you are able to continue to practice the skills learned during your inpatient stay. In IOP and PHP, you can then take those skills into your community, home or school, and practice them and then come to the program the next day and talk about what that experience was like and receive feedback from your peers about how it all worked out for you. Your peers are another aspect of benefit to IOP and PHP. Having peers who understand what you are going through and learning from their experience and hearing their stories is very helpful and meaningful.

IOP and PHP help you transition from inpatient back to home in a structured way. Your chances of success are greater when you solidify the skills gained during your inpatient hospitalization.

If you know of someone who has been hospitalized or could use some additional care for a mental health or substance abuse condition, please have them call us. An assessment to determine what program will have the greatest impact may be just what they need. Please call us at 855-990-1900, 24/7/365. We are here to help!

How SMART are you?

If you have ever heard of CBT and DBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), therapies based on both how we behave and how we think, then you have probably heard of SMART goals. SMART goals help provide hope for change because there is a structure that drives you to make things happen in a positive way. SMART Goals can help you compartmentalize problems and make them more manageable and less like trying to fight an invisible giant! Make SMART work for you.


Specific: Provide enough detail so that it is clear what your plan is. A goal of: “Take some time for myself” is too general. A more specific goal could be: “I’ll work on my knitting, with my favorite music on, in my favorite chair, for 30 minutes after dinner, and ask not to be interrupted.”

Measurable: If your goal is measurable you will have some tangible evidence of its completion. A goal of: “I will eat healthier meals” is not measurable. A measurable goal could be: “I’ll eat a fruit and a vegetable with each meal” You know clearly whether you accomplished the goal or not.

Acceptable: Your goal should be set by you rather than by someone else.

Realistic: Start small with what you can do, experience the satisfaction of meeting your goal, and then gradually increase the amount of work that you ask of yourself. It is better to be realistic and successful than to be unrealistic and disappointed.

Time frame: Deciding how much time you will spend on a goal helps to increase your sense of control over a task. It also helps to manage time effectively and keep balance in a day.

If this kind of information seems interesting and feels like something that you can use and help you manage your recovery in a stronger, more effective way, then contact the Intensive Outpatient Program at 855-990-1900. The team at Lake Behavioral Hospital can help you “Get SMART”!

Call for a free, confidential assessment to see if our program can help you make the changes you need to move forward in recovery.

Have PRIDE in Mental Health

June commemorates PRIDE month. The month is for celebrating and remembering both the best and the worst in the histories of our LGBTQ+ families and friends. Our goal during PRIDE month is to honor and embrace all that it means to be affirmed as an LGBTQ+ person(s).

Even during a month of celebration and pride in the many contributions and accomplishments of LGBTQ+ individuals and groups, stigma and mistreatment of gender identity has not gone away. Discriminatory practices around sexual orientation and gender identity are still needing to be confronted. PRIDE month, unfortunately, has to be as much about that as about celebrating the very best of humanity.

It is known that the LGBTQ+ population challenges related to mental health far outweigh that of other populations. For instance, 40% of the adult transgender population have attempted suicide compared to 5% of the general population. Our bisexual teens, are 4 times more likely to have attempted suicide than their heterosexual peers (Discovery Mood and Anxiety). 60% of LGBTQ+ youth who wanted mental health care in the past year were not able to get it (Trevor Project).

Much of what is happening with the LGBTQ+ population is that the stresses surrounding issues like isolation, stigma-oriented treatment at work, home and in the community, and lack of safety in any number of environments, creates pressures that other populations do not experience at the same level. The idea of “coming out” to family and friends and not being able to predict the outcome is definitely something no other population has to experience. Issues like these combined over time is more than enough to de-stabilize one’s mental health and positive life balance. When feeling consistently unaccepted by others, it becomes increasingly difficult to accept yourself.

Being affirming and accepting, providing support and seeing each person as valuable in their own right is key to helping LGBTQ+ individuals achieve self-acceptance and appreciation and find mental health. Any one of us can be the change and make the difference for inclusion and an environment of trust and caring. Some things you can actively do are: Ask and seek to understand the pronouns and comfort in identity of everyone. Just talk to people! Get educated. Be genuine and ask questions. Ask about everything: identity, aspirations, interests, and what someone needs to feel safe. Don’t be an uninvolved bystander. If someone is being singled out and treated badly, step in, stay safe, but step in. This can mean speaking up or calling 911, then staying with the person until they are secure. Vote! Make sure that the candidates that win support equal treatment for all. Make sure the candidates elected know the struggles for insurance and healthcare for the LGBTQ+ populations. Take a course like Mental Health First Aid to learn how to help in a mental health crisis.

In general, be kind in thought and action. It is that simple to make a difference for someone.

If you know someone who is thinking of suicide or is feeling mentally unhealthy, please take a moment to help them contact the Assessment and Referral team at Lake Behavioral Hospital. Our team is ready to provide a free, confidential assessment to help find just the right level of care. Call us at 855-990-1900, 24/7/365. By walk in or appointment, we are available to help.

There is Value in your Mental Health

Our health is valuable and mental health is a big part of our health continuum. Even if our body is healthy, if our mental health is unstable, nothing seems in balance. Feelings like depression and anxiety can make us unable to carry out even the simplest of daily tasks; tasks our healthy body should be able to do, but our thoughts and feelings just won’t allow them to be done.

If this describes you, don’t hesitate to explore treatment options that can help you feel better and get back to accomplishing tasks that are important to you, your family and your job. There are advantages to include outpatient as a part of your treatment options.

Outpatient programs allow you to keep your professional and personal life intact. Some programs provide virtual options which make things even easier. Outpatient programming is often about flexibility and is a good start for someone who wants to take a step toward positive mental health.

To learn more about Lake Behavioral Hospital and our Intensive Outpatient Program for adults and Partial Hospitalization Program for teens, please call: 855-990-1900.

Lake Behavioral Hospital: Always Finding a Way

Wisconsin residents who need mental health services can now be treated close to home. In an unprecedented agreement between more than a dozen municipalities and taking more than 5 years to complete the process, the team at Lake Behavioral Hospital proudly announces a “GO Live” date of May 30,2023, for Chapter 51 patients to receive treatment just minutes across the Wisconsin/Illinois state line vs several hours from their homes and communities.

The benefits for this agreement are many. Previously, people in a mental health crisis in Kenosha would be transferred from their local Emergency Room via police transport to communities like Winnebago. Although patients could receive appropriate treatment, having the patient be so far from home and away from family and other support systems could be quite the emotional burden in an already emotionally charged situation. For the police providing transport, nearly a full day of transport time and the work hours for two officers were a burden to their home department. Those officers need to be closer to the communities who depend on them.

To explain, Chapter 51 is a way of creating a safety net for someone who is substantially at risk for self-harm or is a danger to themselves or others. Being transported to services allows for increased safety and a defined location for a program that can help. In the case of Wisconsin residents needing crisis services for mental health, being transported over several hours certainly would elevate fear and anxiety. A 20-30-minute transport time makes a world of difference and allows for much easier discharge planning closer to home.

Lake Behavioral Hospital is grateful to be a part of this life changing process and proud to have worked with a multitude of professionals from a variety of law enforcement agencies and Kenosha –local government officials.

As always, any person who is not in an ER in Kenosha, can still come directly to Lake Behavioral Hospital via appointment or walk-in for an assessment for mental health services. One call to 855-990-1900 is the way to access the Assessment and Referral Team who will identify the best level of care for the mental health concern.

Lake Behavioral Hospital: Intensive Outpatient Programs

The Intensive Outpatient (adults) and Partial Hospital Programs (youth 13-17 years old) at Lake Behavioral Hospital are grounded in group therapy. Group therapy has proven successful in helping patients grow and learn, and thrive in recovery from mental illness and substance abuse. The following skills that are developed during our peer-supported programs are what makes our outpatient programs places of health and healing:

  1. By being involved in peer groups, a lifelong skill of learning to relate to others is naturally developed. The Lake Behavioral team then works to help patients explore concepts of sympathy and empathy which will cement relationship development and encourage kindness.
  2. Patients share their story. This is helpful in helping other group members fully understand that many people live with mental illness and thrive. They begin to understand that they are enough and that they are not alone. They also learn to listen non-judgmentally.
  3. The Lake Behavioral team ensures that patients have a clear understanding of who their support system is and how to development a solid foundation of support before they are discharged.
  4. Patients learn many levels of coping skills, social skills and communication skills. One of the big benefits of outpatient programming is that patients can practice these skills at home or work following programming and return the next day to group to re-report out on successes or struggles. This is learning followed by real time practice. It really makes a difference!
  5. Our patients feel a part of their group. They begin in outpatient, sometimes for the very first time, to understand the importance of feeling like they belong to something bigger than them. Discussing how to find this feeling after discharge is important to recovery.

If you would like to explore how you, a friend or family member, can benefit from IOP or PHP, please do not hesitate to call. We look forward to sharing program information with you. If you have already made the decision to be assessed for program, please call to schedule at 855-990-1900. You may walk-in for an assessment, as well.

Medication Management is Important

Managing medication can be tough; especially if you have medicines to treat both physical health and mental health conditions; or if you are taking several medications. For that reason, please allow us to help you learn more about your medications, hear any feedback about how your meds are helping you, and make sure that your prescriptions are just right for you. Allow us to help oversee the process of medication management.

Here are some benefits in allowing our team to support you as you navigate the world of medication and health:

  1. The team at Lake Behavioral Hospital cares about you. With that in mind, know that your medication management is all about you. We collaborate as a team and keep in mind that no two people experience the same medication in the same way. There are many things to consider and we are here to help. Medication management is more than just giving us a list and dosage information of all of your meds. To really make medication work for you, your Lake Behavioral Hospital team will pay close attention to your overall health, the number and kind of medications you are taking, and how your own personal lifestyle or work life may factor into having positive medication outcomes.
  2. Multiple medications, it seems, are the norm for many people. Our team pays attention to what you are taking so that risk of drug interaction is minimized. A comprehensive exploration of your medications will help make sure that you are living without unwanted medication side effects. We want to know what meds you are taking for what conditions, if you have any medication allergies, whether you take over-the-counter meds, and what impact each of these meds have had on you. If a new medication has been prescribed for you, we will make sure it is a match for you and your specific condition.
  3. Medication management will help you find a medication routine. Taking your meds consistently and on time is necessary. You will find that our program will help you develop a successful medication routine and you won’t have to worry about many different instructions and physicians to meet with to manage your meds. One team, in one location, is exactly what you need.
  4. With a busy lifestyle, it can be easy to mix up your meds like taking them on the wrong day or time or being forgetful and doubling up on a dose. Every day people misuse medications accidentally and take the risk of a real health problem like hospitalization. Routines and education are key to making medications that are life enhancing and life-saving. Medication management can help reduce adverse reactions and reduce the risk of hospitalizations related to these errors by ensuring that your medications don’t negatively interact, helping you learn when and how to take your specific medications, and identifying any foods to avoid while taking your medications.
  5. Medication management is an opportunity. Work with our Lake Behavioral Hospital medication management professionals. We can observe your progress and process your recovery. We can answer your questions and share information.

Let’s Get Going!

Call 855-990-1900 and ask to speak to our team regarding medication management. You will find increased comfort in knowing that we are helping you stay safe. Medication management is important. Let us show you how. We look forward to meeting you!