GET HELP® App Updated with COVID-19 Community Resources

GET HELP® News

GET HELP is a human and data-driven central solution that helps the helpers do their jobs more effectively and efficiently, improving access to services to those in need, and raising the standard for accountability. GET HELP is a tech tool for humans. Unlike many technology solutions, the GET HELP Ecosystem is rooted in service-provision. Founded by a licensed clinical psychologist with over 20 years-experience working in addiction and mental health, GET HELP is a solution for the humans navigating these systems, whether they are first responders, caseworkers, service-providers or individuals experiencing homelessness.

GET HELP® App Expands with COVID-19 Community Resources

Emergency Homeless Shelters, Food Bank Hours, and Senior Support Included

GET HELP®, a mission-based technology company, has released a COVID-19 update to their app. Homeless shelters, emergency shelters, food banks, and seniors support are just a few of the community resources added to an already rich database of hospitals, mental health services, providers, municipal services, professional services and recovery centers.

 

“GET HELP is actively working with municipal partners, homeless shelters, and service providers to load verified emergency and crisis services into our app every day. Real-time resources are available in the greater Los Angeles area, and we hope to add other communities,” says Tony Greco, PsyD, CEO / Founder of GET HELP. “I believe everyone should have access to the help they need, when they need it. Our team has developed the technology to connect municipalities, professionals, providers, and the public. We have the tools to support resource management and real-time availability. Whether our community is in acute crisis or navigating the ongoing epidemics of homelessness, addiction, and mental illness, GET HELP is here.”

 

GET HELP allows users to locate the resources they need quickly and easily. Simply open the app, choose from the resource category menu, and a search. Results will show relevant resources near the user. Get Help provides geo-located results from a database of over 20,000 facilities and counting, in a list or map view.

 

Users can always trust that the facilities and services listed are accurate. Our information comes directly from local authorities and nationally accredited sources.” says Michael Root, Chief Technology Officer for GET HELP. “Integrity and authenticity are top priorities at GET HELP.  Our team diligently verifies the data collected before publishing to the database.”

 

To download the app on the Apple App store CLICK HERE or on the Google Play store CLICK HERE.

 

GET HELP is a human and data-driven central solution that helps the helpers do their jobs more effectively and efficiently, improving access to services for those in need, and raising the standard for accountability. Unlike many technology solutions, the GET HELP Ecosystem is rooted in service-provision. Founded by a licensed clinical psychologist with over 20 years-experience working in addiction and mental health, GET HELP is a solution for the people navigating these systems, whether they are first responders, caseworkers, service-providers, individuals in need of mental health care or members of our community experiencing homelessness . For more information visit GetHelp.com.

 

For more information about this news release, contact Kristin Witzenburg at Kristin@gethelp.com

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Special Grocery Store Hours for Seniors During COVID-19 Crisis

Special Grocery Store Hours for Seniors During COVID-19 Crisis

GET HELP® Resources & Support

Albertsons

Tuesday, Thursday 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM

vulnerable shoppers, including senior citizens, pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems “who have been advised to avoid leaving home as much as possible.”

 

Baron’s Market

Daily 9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Seniors 65+ and persons with disabilities

 

Dollar General

Daily

1st hour for seniors

 

Erewhon Market

Daily 6:00 AM-7:00 AM

Elderly and Immune Compromised

 

Gelson’s

Daily 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

Seniors

 

Safeway

Tuesday, Thursday 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM

vulnerable shoppers,

including senior citizens, pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems “who have been advised to avoid leaving home as much as possible.”

 

Smith’s Food & Drug Stores

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

Seniors

 

Target

Wednesday

first hour of shopping each Wednesday will be reserved for vulnerable guests, including seniors and those with underlying health concerns.

 

Vallarta Supermarkets

Wednesday 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
seniors, pregnant women and customers with disabilities

 

Vons

Tuesday, Thursday 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM
vulnerable shoppers, including senior citizens, pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems “who have been advised to avoid leaving home as much as possible.”

 

Whole Foods Markets

Daily
1 hour before opening to general public for Customers 60 and older

What Do We Know About Resilience in the Wake of Disaster?

What Do We Know About Resilience in the Wake of Disaster?

We have evidence of what works, lessons learned, to guide us.

Lloyd Sederer, MD

Advisory Board Chair

During this time of “social distancing” and “sheltering at home,” this means over-communicating. Use whatever device works best for you and those you contact. It is not the medium that counts, it’s the message of being close despite the circumstances.

Protective Factors
  • Regular, frequent contact with others – phone, email, web-based video
  • Housing and food
  • Permission – a social norm – that talking about distress is beneficial
  • Employment, or the prospect of it returning
  • Faith
  • Hope
 
Risk Factors
  • Active mental or substance use disorder
  • Poverty
  • Limited education;
  • Physical inactivity
  • Unemployment
  • Domestic and neighborhood violence
  • Lack of access to health and mental health care
Below is an abridged version of an article that appeared yesterday on Psychology Today, written by Dr. Lloyd Sederer. Lloyd I. Sederer, MD, is Adjunct Professor, Columbia University School of Public Health; Director, Columbia Psychiatry Media; Distinguished Psychiatrist Advisor, NYS Office of Mental Health; and Contributing Writer for Psychology Today, the New York Journal of Books, and a variety of other print and on-line publications. He also has been Executive Deputy Commissioner for Mental Hygiene Services in NYC, Medical Director and Executive Vice President of McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA (a Harvard teaching hospital), and Director of the Division of Clinical Services for the American Psychiatric Association. To read the full article, which includes references and more clinical explanation, please CLICK HERE.

While every disaster—and every community and governmental entity—is unique, there are clear, universal lessons, to guide us. What works are: 

 

First, a set of organizational mandates. unfaltering urgency of response; clear accountability; continuous coordination among the myriad of agencies and organizations charged with responding to the disaster, responsible media coverage; and preparation for the next disaster.

 

That leaves the human responses, which are our focus here.

 

Protective factors include: a supportive family and friends – this has been shown to make for longer and healthier lives; over-communication, because isolation fosters loneliness, regular even frequent contact with others who care about us and whom we care about – phone, email, web-based video calls (Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, etc.); housing and food “stability,” permission – a social norm – that talking about distress  is beneficial; employment, or the prospect of it returning as the disaster abates; faith; and hope.

 

Risk factors include: a pre-existing or active mental or substance use disorder; poverty; limited education; physical inactivity (a sedentary life-style); unemployment; domestic and neighborhood violence; and lack of access to effective health and mental health care.

 

How can we protect our health and well-being? 

 

The Harvard Study of Adult Development asked “What is the best predictor of a long and happy life?” The answer was enduring and trustworthy relationships. That’s the protective power of healthy attachments to others, and it plays a vital role in resilience to disasters and crises.

 

During this time of “social distancing” and “sheltering at home,” this means over-communicating. Use whatever device works best for you and those you contact. It is not the medium that counts, it’s the message of being close despite the circumstances. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, because “even heroes need to talk.” But, remember, our aim is to buoy others, which happens when we find the positive.

 

Far too many people will not have the security of a home or food on the table.  Already, some cities are using empty dormitories and hotels, gyms, stadiums, shelters too, to care for those most vulnerable. We can support this work by urging our elected officials to stand by and for the most vulnerable, the moral measure of a society. We can also contribute to known non-governmental organizations that serve the poor and homeless.

 

Faith has many meanings. It may be with a religion, or secular, coming from within. Explore your own faith  during this time.

 

Andrew Sorkin urged that workers continue receiving their pay from government subsidies to employers, enabling businesses and workers to survive the economic tailspin underway. The alternative is a very, very long business recovery would be far worse. Being able to pay the rent and knowing a job would be there in the future are extraordinary sources of hope.

 

How can we take better care of ourselves? In five ways. One has been covered, relationships with those you care about and who care about you. The second and third are sleep and good nutrition – like a Mediterranean diet and easy on the sugars. The fourth is physically moving our bodies, which is much harder if we are confined. But as long as we have internet, music, and television we will have countless programs. Even 20 minutes a day can do the job. Finally, “mind-body” activities that lower stress, heart rate and blood pressure, and even protecting the insulin-making cells in the pancreas and other health benefits. These include: yoga, meditation, slow breathing, mindfulness, and Tai Chi.

 

We face a worldwide pandemic, in which no one will be spared in one way or another. Yet we survived the Great Depression and two World Wars. We are resilient, but it will take work. And solidarity. Kindness and patience too. This is the new normal, and we can do this.

 

 

The Business of Recovery

It’s time that the addiction/substance use disorder treatment system enter the 21st century and put patients, not profit, first.

 

The Business of Recovery

by Lloyd I Sederer, MD – Chair, Get Help Board of Advisors

Results guaranteed! 92 percent recover!
Pool, personal chef, and equine therapy included!

A promotion for snake oil? For a destination resort? Not exactly. That’s what families often read when they go online, frightened and desperate that a loved one with an addiction may die unless they are treated. That’s what those in the throes of an addiction read as well, and the seduction can be alluring.

People with addiction and their families often are (over)promised the moon, so to speak, and as we read in the accompanying story. But – they are required to pay rates from hundreds (to tens of thousands of dollars), every month for treatment. Some families mortgage their homes or spent their savings or money meant for the education of all their children.

The addiction treatment “industry” is principally for-profit. Many private, not-for-profits are in the business as well, with their CEOs and medical directors making high six-figure incomes. Annually, industry revenues are in the tens of billions of dollars. Addiction is ubiquitous in our society: Greater than one in 10 American workers have a substance use disorder, not counting tobacco (the greatest killer of all). The numbers of people affected is far greater when we consider the impact on family and other loved ones. 

This troubling substance use treatment system has largely escaped notice. That leaves patients and their families all the more subject to its false claims, inadequate treatments, and financial exploitation. That’s why we created Get Help.

A new study* (out of Harvard Medical School) importantly affirms the value of 12-Step Programs (like AA, NA). And we also know (see my recent book, The Addiction Solution: Treating Our Dependence on Opioids and Other Drugs (Scribner, 2018, now in paperback) how recovery interventions are additive: the best programs combine 12-Step with motivational techniques, cognitive-behavioral therapies, family education and support, and MAT (medication assisted treatment, like buprenorphine, methadone and Vivitrol {naltrexone}, which  can reduce cravings and help prevent relapse). 

Furthermore, what few addiction programs actually do (though many claim they do) is to assess the patient for the presence of a co-existing psychiatric condition, like depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and anxiety disorders. Unless a co-existing mental disorder is properly diagnosed and effectively treated the likelihood of attaining and sustaining recovery is markedly diminished because their mental health condition impairs their capacities to engage in the hard work of recovery.

What those affected by addiction, and their families, need is trustworthy information, which can keep hope alive. It’s time that the addiction/substance use disorder treatment system enter the 21st century and put patients, not profit, first.

*Kelly_JF, Humphreys_K, Ferri_M., Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs for alcohol use disorder.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2020, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD012880. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD012880.pub2.

The views expressed here are entirely my own. I take no support from any pharmaceutical or device company.


From Vox

She wanted addiction treatment. She ended up in the relapse capital of America.

Brianna Jaynes asked for help for her drug addiction. Then Florida’s rehab industry exploited her for profit.

Brianna Jaynes wanted help for her addiction to painkillers and heroin. She ended up trapped in a cycle that focused on running up big insurance bills and landing profitable kickbacks — not addressing her drug problem.

In 2015, when Jaynes was 20, she started her rehab search by calling a number she found through Google. The person on the other end of the line promised to get her help: She’d be fine, and she’d get into one of the best addiction treatment facilities in the country. Jaynes had little experience with addiction treatment, and, in a moment of crisis, it was exactly what she wanted to hear.

But what Jaynes didn’t know is that she was speaking to a broker who, despite his claims, wasn’t working with the best treatment facilities. Instead, she later found out, he worked with facilities that had promised him a kickback for sending them patients. The facilities, in turn, would bill the patients’ insurance for thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars. READ MORE

Homelessness is a Solvable Problem

Rates of homelessness increase every year.
But it is a solvable problem.

Homelessness Is A Solvable Problem

by Lloyd I Sederer, MD – Chair, Get Help Board of Advisors

You would have good reasons to contest what the title of this article pronounces.

Rates of homelessness, especially chronic homelessness (defined federally as lasting more than one year), increase every year. Especially among people who have serious mental and substance use disorders. 

Nationally, over half a million people ‘sleep rough’ on urban streets and in encampments. “Skid Row”, in downtown LA, has the highest, persistent and most alarming collection of chronically homeless people in this country. Are those data proof that homelessness is not a solvable problem? Only if you don’t know about the near to hundreds of US cities, counties and states that have had measurable, often impressive, reductions in those living (trying to survive is more accurate) on our streets.

Complex, enduring problems require carefully and persistently executed solutions –  dedicated to measuring and achieving needed changes. No one solution fits all – and can vary from place to place. We are best formulating solutions with local governments, community-based service agencies, advocacy groups, apartment building owners, faith and recovery-based organizations, Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), and others who must serve a role (or need to) in mitigating the suffering and blight that has spread in their neighborhoods. This approach has been called “teams of teams”.

My New York Times letter describes this problem today in NYC, and what I did to significantly reduce it during my five years as mental health commissioner for the city. That approach blended teams with performance-based contracting. One non-profit organization has enabled communities throughout this country to house over 230,000 people in the last 10 years; it also has enabled many cities to end chronic homelessness among Veterans. Their remarkable success has been achieved with about no new money. What works is when money is well spent, not wasted through fragmentation among those charged with responsibilities for making critical intervention, and lack of data and continuous quality improvement to keep on getting better. (Disclosure, my wife founded and is the CEO of that organization).

Get Help is working with LA government agencies and service providers by delivering an information platform that will allow them to know, in real-time, who needs assistance, where to immediately access it, and to follow each individual (with privacy protections in place) over time to understand and achieve better longer-term outcomes.

A recent Vice article depicted the limitations of shelters as a solution to chronic homelessness. It details why people on the street avoid them. As true as these reasons often are, they are not ubiquitous. There are shelters that are safe, clean, have on-site or local treatment programs and case managers and who do not “street” their residents every morning (as some do). We need to know and use those types of shelters – as well as Y’s and other safe accommodations; “first step, supported housing”; rental assistance vouchers; and mental health and substance use (and primary care) services in order that those on the streets can bring greater clarity and commitment to their housing and recovery efforts. And we must assiduously avoid criminal justice (jails and prisons) “solutions”: As Pastrisse Cullors, who founded BlackLivesMatter, and whose brother suffers from schizophrenia, has said, “no one gets well in a cell.”

The methods that make homelessness a solvable problem include: knowing each person by name, social security number, photo (which almost all consent to) or other reliable identification; relentless attention to real-time data; weekly performance meetings that show what is working where, by who, and what is not; a “command and control” approach where the Mayor, County Executive or Governor commits to the plan and has all her/his agencies abide; and performance-based contracting (organizations hew to what they are being paid to do – which in this case is to house people, not give them peanut-butter sandwiches, business cards and empty promises).

All that takes leadership, vision, and staying the course. There are no easy solutions to chronic homelessness, but there are solutions. Get Help stands ready to assist government (and other payers and providers) that are poised to make a difference. Our mission is to help reduce the human suffering that abounds on our city streets, needlessly, and at great social, community and economic cost. We are just getting started. But the light is there, providing illumination and direction.

Is a Detox Program Necessary?

Is A Detoxification Program Necessary?

Using is Dangerous. But so is stopping

Using is dangerous, but so is stopping - withdrawal must be undertaken with caution and, often, with medical supervision.

Depending on the substance being abused, withdrawal symptoms might include:

 

  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Agitation or hostility
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Seizures
  • Coma or death (in extreme cases)

 

Severity of these withdrawal symptoms varies from person to person. And, while some substances produce more serious symptoms than others, it is important to recognize that any substance used habitually can produce some symptoms upon withdrawal – even marijuana.

Using is dangerous, but so is stopping – withdrawal must be undertaken with caution and, often, with medical supervision. It is best for anyone who has been using addictive substances to be evaluated by an addiction specialist to determine if a medical detox is necessary, and what kind of detox program would be optimal.

 

In this article, we will explain drug and alcohol withdrawal, discuss the detoxification process, explain when it is necessary, and make suggestions about how to choose the right detox program.

 

Drug and Alcohol Dependency Results in Withdrawal

 

The extended abuse of drugs results in physical dependency.

 

Dependency means that the body no longer functions properly without the drug, and coming off can be painful and dangerous. This detoxification process is also known as “withdrawal.” Medical assistance may be necessary to make the process physically tolerable and safe.

 

Going through detox is not only a painful experience, it can also be life-threatening. Withdrawal from certain drugs (alcohol among them) can cause seizures, coma, or death. It is vital for someone in the throes of addiction to be evaluated by an addiction specialist to determine how best to detoxify.

 

What Is Medical Detox?

 

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that “medical detoxification safely manages the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal.” This is a basic explanation of a detox program. Let’s go a little deeper.

 

A medical detox is supervised by specialists in addiction medicine in a hospital setting, detox center, or rehabilitation facility. The individual who is experiencing withdrawal is stabilized and medical conditions preceding or resulting from detox are addressed. Round-the-clock evaluation and monitoring ensures that the detoxification process is safe, effective and therapeutic. Also, a medical detox is designed to keep the patient as comfortable as possible. There used to be a belief that a hard or traumatic withdrawal was essential to recovery; mostly medical professionals no longer think this way. An addict coming into recovery has suffered enough.

 

During detox, medications are used to provide comfort and prevent adverse reactions to the withdrawal process. These might include antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, anti-nausea medications, sedatives, or opioid-replacement drugs. These medications lessen withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.

 

Detoxification Is Necessary for Recovery

 

No one wants to have to go through withdrawal. Many people who are addicted continue to use simply because they fear the pain of stopping. Unfortunately, there is no way to experience the gifts of recovery without first arresting addiction through abstinence – and abstinence begins with detox.

 

Everyone who has been abusing an addictive drugs must go through a detoxification process one way or another. While not everyone detoxing from drugs or alcohol will require medical supervision, certain circumstances require admission to a detox program. Those able to detox safely at home still benefit from the advice and support of professionals through the process. Using over-the-counter detox cleanses or kits can be dangerous, especially if someone has underlying health conditions or has been using chemicals like alcohol, opiates or sedatives that can have dangerous effects upon withdrawal.

 

What Kind of Detox is Best For Me?

 

Most detox programs treat a patient in one to seven days. However, many who are addicted to alcohol, heroin, or prescription opioids choose Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), which can take up to a year.

 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA), MAT “is the use of FDA- approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.” MAT usually occurs in an outpatient setting; it’s slower, but especially for people with a high risk or history of relapse it may be more effective.

 

Proponents of inpatient detox and MAT may be strong advocates for their method; listening carefully and making a decision that is right for the addict is ultimately up to you. A confidential assessment with an addiction specialist can free you from guesswork.

 

Many detox programs provide free assessments over the phone. It is not a good idea to determine on your own whether you or your loved one needs a detox program – whether we want to believe that the addict “isn’t that bad” or that “we can handle this ourselves,” our denial can put us or our loved ones in jeopardy.

 

When it comes to withdrawal from alcohol, benzodiazepines (like Valium or Ativan), heroin, and prescription opioids like Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, and Fentanyl, medical detox is almost always recommended.

 

Loved ones may not have an accurate sense of what an addict has been using, and his or her self-assessment may not be accurate. For example, it is very rare that a patient needs medical detox from cannabis. However, synthetic marijuana is saturated with toxic chemicals that can make withdrawal problematic. Bringing professionals in early can limit some of the danger that comes with this process.

 

We encourage anyone who has been using to undergo an evaluation by a qualified, licensed addiction expert to assess their individual situation.

 

Find A Detox You Can Trust

 

At GET HELP, we have simplified the process of choosing a detox program. When time is of the essence, all you need to do is open up the app and click the service you are looking for. Within seconds, we’ll search our database of over 20,000 facilities and show you what is available near you. Using your current location, we are able to filter services within a 10 mile radius of where you are. You can change the search location at any time. 

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