Navigating Social Media and Mental Health

We’ve all been there: five minutes of scrolling through social media turns into an hour. It’s difficult to keep in touch, be part of community, and plan events without the use of social media but using it too often can significantly impact our mood and our mental health. So how do we find a balance?  

How Social Media Can Impact Your Mental Health 

While social media platforms offer many benefits, like connecting with loved ones, accessing information, and fostering a sense of community, they also pose significant challenges to mental well-being. Here are some of the ways in which social media can impact our mental health:

  • Comparison and Envy: One of the most common negative effects of social media is the tendency to compare our lives to the curated, highlight-reel versions of others’ lives. This constant comparison can lead to feelings of inadequacy, envy, and low self-esteem. Remember that when we see posts and videos from others, they’re often highly curated and edited – they don’t often reflect reality. 
  • Cyberbullying: The anonymity provided by social media can sometimes encourage cyberbullying, which can have severe emotional and psychological consequences, especially for young people. No one has the right to harass or intimidate you, even online. If they do, block and report them. 
  • Obsession: The constant notifications, likes, and comments can be addictive, leading to excessive screen time and neglect of real-life interactions and responsibilities. Make sure you’re seeing people in person and use social media and other technology to fill in gaps and keep in contact with those who might be far away. 
  • FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): Social media often portrays an idealized version of life, making it easy to feel like you’re missing out on experiences and opportunities, contributing to anxiety and depression. 
  • Negative Self-Talk: Reading hurtful comments or comparing oneself to others online can exacerbate negative self-talk. Make sure you’re following accounts that make you feel good and unfollowing those that don’t. 

Tips and Tricks to Make Social Media Work For You 

Yes, social media can be hard to navigate and we often hear a lot of negative news about social platforms. However, social media offers us the opportunity to learn what is happening around the world, meet new people, and keep in contact with those who might otherwise fade from our busy lives. Here’s a few ideas to keep your social media usage in check:  

  • Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries for your social media use. Decide on a daily or weekly time limit and stick to it. Avoid using social media during meal times or right before bed. Having a hard time sticking to this? Set a timer on your phone and stick to it. 
  • Curate Your Feed: Unfollow or mute accounts that consistently make you feel negative emotions or promote unrealistic ideals. Instead, follow accounts that inspire, educate, or entertain you in a positive way. 
  • Take Breaks: Regularly take digital detox breaks. Disconnect from social media for a few hours or even days to recharge and focus on real-life experiences. Make a list of things you can do, activities you’ve always wanted to try, and adventures you can go on to have a ready-made, personalized list at your fingertips when you need a break from your phone. 
  • Practice Self-Awareness: Pay attention to how social media makes you feel. If you notice it’s negatively affecting your mental health, take a step back and evaluate your usage. 
  • Engage Mindfully: Before posting or commenting, consider the potential impact of your words. Be mindful of the content you consume and share, and think about how it aligns with your values. 
  • Seek Support: If you’re struggling with mental health issues exacerbated by social media, don’t hesitate to reach out to friends, family, or mental health professionals for support and guidance. Here at C-WHO we offer behavioral health consultations for anyone who is looking to improve their mental health. They’re confidential, are less than 30 minutes, and designed to help you get on the right track.  

Social media is not our enemy but we need to make sure it’s working for us instead of us mindlessly consuming and scrolling. Need some help getting there, we’d love to help. 

  • mental health
  • behavioral health
  • social media
  • facebook
  • instagram
  • snapchat
  • pinterest
  • twitter
  • tiktok
Linda CardwellNavigating Social Media and Mental Health

Making the Motivational Interview Spirit a Habit in Integrated Care Settings

By Corinne Rogers, Project Manager

To say that integrated care teams are short on bandwidth is an understatement. Doctors, nurses, counselors, physician extenders, pharmacists, patient navigators and all members of the healthcare continuum work hard to help as many patients as they can yet feel like they never have adequate time. Moreover, providers are in the tricky position to treat immediate symptoms while offering preventative education. Over time, some patients may present certain behaviors that lead them to regularly return to be seen by an often overworked and understaffed care team for the same symptoms, stuck in a revolving door of illness and short-term treatment, no matter what they are told or warned. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is one strategy recommended to stop this revolving door by bridging communication gaps and facilitating behavior change that can be implemented at all levels of healthcare organizations.  

MI in a Nutshell 

Evolving out of addiction treatment, MI is a communication guide that has been shown to be beneficial across different health care professions, driving patient centered treatment decisions, improving health outcomes, and decreasing readmissions. Though called “interviewing,” MI is really a systematic conversation style that aims to elicit and identify change talk by evoking feelings, thoughts, and attitudes via the OARS (Open ended questions, Affirmations, Reflections, and Summaries) skills to craft questions and responses. Confidence and importance rulers are helpful framing devices when utilizing MI to measure ambivalence and facilitate change in a more targeted way. Asking questions should only comprise about ¼ of the overall conversation. MI is most effectively used when patients are already in a state of ambivalence about changing behaviors. Using the OARS principles to direct conversation during appointments can elucidate patients’ beliefs, values, and habits to discover barriers and motivations to change, which is crucial to informing an effective treatment plan. 

The MI Spirit 

One of the more compelling aspects of MI is its emphasis on sincerely respecting human autonomy with compassion, understanding that patients are the experts on themselves even when they need help. This mindset is known as the MI Spirit and is foundational to its efficacy. Asking open ended questions allows the care team to hear patients’ reasons to sustain behavior, reasons to change, and healthcare goals in their own words according to their own values and beliefs. Affirming can reinforce common ground between patients and caregivers in a way that helps make the patient feel heard and respected. Reflections allow patients to hear their words spoken back to them with an opportunity to make corrections and clarifications. Patient stories can be complex, so summaries allow caregivers to highlight patients’ values, competencies, reasons for change and barriers that can be addressed in a treatment plan, like flowers in a garden full of weeds. 

This communication style may feel like opening Pandora’s box, but the OARS tools can help caregivers respectfully keep the conversation on track while targeting patient concerns. The MI Spirit challenges providers to explain when recommendations are important (after asking permission) using call backs from past conversations, linking the patients’ stated desires and values to the treatment decision at hand. The style of MI also allows caregivers to roll with resistance while communicating with combative, defensive, or otherwise difficult patients. Practicing the MI Spirit and OARS skills can be useful at all levels of the care team. Those who are trained in MI can listen for change talk and discern when patients may be entering a state of ambivalence and respond appropriately. OARS skills may also help with de-escalation, burn out prevention, and improved patient experience.   

Slow is Fast and Fast is Slow 

In healthcare, time is of the essence. Some critiques of MI state that providers do not have the time for such a conversation when addressing serious issues. However, advice and education given by providers are filtered through patients’ personal perceptions and preconceived notions, often lowering the likelihood that patients will share their provider’s urgency. MI skills work with those perceptions when discussing a patient’s health, emphasizing patient centered and trauma informed care. OARS skills work to deliver care and education so that patients may be more receptive to information, reduce readmission, and improve overall timeliness at all branches of the healthcare continuum. When incorporated into a treatment plan, MI can strategically acknowledge barriers faced by revolving door patients to promote treatment adherence. Integrating MI core skills and the MI Spirit of listening for change talk in the patients’ own language can help reinforce that their barriers and values are understood by their caregivers, so they feel more involved in their treatment rather than feeling talked at (or worse, talked down to). With MI, more may get done in a 10-minute conversation than over the course of several doctor visits.  

Implementing the MI Spirit in an integrated healthcare setting can begin with using the OARS principles, i.e., focusing on mirroring the patient’s words and values when constructing questions and responses, emphasizing that patients learn better from their care team when caregivers meet them where they are. Combined with other treatment approaches, MI has been shown to be helpful with no adverse consequences. At most, MI helps patients change behaviors that negatively impact their health and quality of life. At least, it is a helpful communication guide that naturally reinforces patient centered care. MI is helpful to learn how to communicate. Effective communication makes care timelier, and timely care makes the difference between change and the revolving door. 

  • motivational interviewing
  • integrated healthcare
  • behavioral health
  • primary care
  • care management
  • compassionate healthcare
Linda CardwellMaking the Motivational Interview Spirit a Habit in Integrated Care Settings

Naloxone Saves Lives

You have the opportunity to save lives in your community.

The makers of Narcan are shipping out hundreds of thousands of doses of naloxone across the United States. It will be available over the counter in pharmacies without the need for a prescription. This update in policy has the possibility of vastly changing the way we respond to opioid overdoses in our country. While there is opposition to Narcan being available without a prescription, many of those reasons are rooted in unhelpful and unfair stigma of those suffering from Opioid Use Disorder. The data overwhelmingly tells us that naloxone saves lives. So, let’s break down some of the facts:  

  • Naloxone can reverse an overdose from opioids, including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid medications.  
  • There are two forms of naloxone that anyone can use even if they haven’t been trained: a nasal spray and an injectable.  
  • Naloxone won’t harm someone if they don’t have opioids in their system. But if they are overdosing from opioids, it can restore normal breathing within 3 minutes. 
  • Those who administer naloxone to someone who appears to be suffering from an opioid overdose are protected under Idaho’s Good Samaritan Law.
  • Carrying naloxone is no different than carrying an EpiPen for someone with allergies. It adds an extra layer of protection for those at risk of an overdose. 
  • You can find naloxone across the state of Idaho by using this online tool.

Here at Cornerstone Whole Health Care Organization, we’re all about solutions that are sustainable and make real impacts. We work with communities and organizations to prevent, treat, and manage opioid use disorders (OUDs). We’re working to break down stigma around OUD, recovery, and intervention by educating and providing information and resources that have been vetted and verified by our team of clinicians, public health administrators, and healthcare professionals.

We’ve compiled a list of resources to help you learn more about naloxone and how greater accessibility will impact our community.

Wanting to share this information more widely? We’ve created a Naloxone Resource Media Kit with printable assets such as takeaway cards, rack cards, flyers, and posters. Available to all, for free, to use, print, and distribute. The wider availability of naloxone is only one part of the puzzle that is OUD. Our resources are designed to educate and empower everyone to support recovery efforts. 

Our takeaway cards are designed to be used in conjunction with naloxone to provide essential information such as signs of opioid overdose, and what to do and how to administer naloxone in case of an overdose.  

We’re excited to be collaborating with organizations and institutions making an impact around opioid use disorder. If you’re interested in learning more, have questions, or are seeking resources, you’ve come to the right place. We’re so happy you’re here and ready to make a positive impact on your community.

  • opioid use disorder
  • pharmacy
  • naloxone
  • narcan
  • substance use disorder
  • recovery
  • healthcare
Linda CardwellNaloxone Saves Lives

Pacing with Our Patients: Recovery & Opioid Use Disorder

Pacing with Our Patients: Recovery & Opioid Use Disorder

By Sabrina Sherwood, Pharmacy Consultant

I recently ran my first half marathon and have my first full marathon in one month. I wouldn’t call myself a “runner”, but I find myself like a moth drawn to flame of the running community. The grit, the perseverance, the preparation. After finishing a race, I like to sit at the finish line.

It’s easy to get caught up in cheering for the first-place finisher but I find the real awe in seeing how many people cross the finish line with grimacing eyes, subpar posture, and sweat stains that will take weeks to resolve.

These are the runners who run not to get first place, but to accomplish their goal of finishing – and the running community has stepped up to help the majority. How? Race pacers.  A race pacer is a runner that keeps a consistent pace throughout a run. These are usual veteran runners – experts who can easily maintain a run speed for a long duration of time. Often, large groups of runners will find their pacer at the start line and run alongside them for the entirety of the race to ensure they achieve the goal time they seek.

Healthcare teams are in a strategic position to pace with patients in many ways – but particularly as it relates to opioid use. Over 27 million people were reported to be suffering from opioid use disorder in 2016. Of those suffering, few have the resources to seek help, and even less are receiving treatment. Providers (including partners such as behavioral health specialists and pharmacists) are highly skilled members of the healthcare team. Pacers are experts of running, and similarly, our healthcare partners are experts in therapy management.   

Like a marathon, our patients with opioid use disorder are not looking to secure the single first-place title of “best sober person to exist”. They just want to cross the finish line. There are a few ways that we can pace with them:   


Helping our patients develop and adhere to a plan that will maximize potential to reach their goals. Patient with opioid use disorder may have competing psychosocial and health related needs that should be factored in before setting up a “training” plan. Let’s help them see the path of least resistance to their finish line.  

Bring them into the Network   

We do better together. Studies show that running persistence improves in those who have a running social network. Pacers bring encouragement and motivation to runners when they’re tempted to quit. Similarly we can support our patients by providing them with their own healthcare partner “pacer” and other resources.

Match the Cadence    

Let’s pace with our patients to meet them where they are at. As a provider, it is easy to sprint to the finish line and waiting for our patient to catch up. We are tempted to tell the patients exactly what needs to be done for them to improve their health and expect them to adhere to our plan. Our patients aren’t robots – they need water breaks, and they need time to tie their shoes occasionally. Let’s pace by continually assessing their progression and helping them move closer to their goal.   

  • pharmacy
  • opioids
  • opioid use disorder
  • recovery
  • opioid epidemic
  • substance use disorder
  • healthcare
Linda CardwellPacing with Our Patients: Recovery & Opioid Use Disorder

Unintended Harm and Intentional Hope

By Tyler Hemsley, PharmD, C-WHO’s Chief Officer of Healthcare Innovation

The scramble to understand and strategically tackle the opioid epidemic continues. It’s still difficult to know the full depth and breadth of the unintended harm that has been caused.  Even as we try to gain our footing through appropriately limiting and tapering opioid prescribing, increasing availability of naloxone and educating patients and caregivers on its life-saving impact; we continue to see overdose deaths rising at an alarming rate – almost entirely due to high potency and synthetic products like fentanyl.  An incredible demand has been created over the past 15-20 years, and the response to a diminishing, or more tightly regulated supply line appears to be to seek cheaper, more dangerous, illicit alternatives.   

There are so many contributing factors in this atrocity, and I don’t see the benefit in finger pointing, so I won’t.  

I find it more helpful to take a thoughtful look at the current state.  The circumstance is neutral.  We are where we are.  So where to from here?   

Our goal in the rEASON project is to coordinate with existing stakeholders on the care team, incorporate feedback and representation from the patient/caregiver community, and help providers navigate the difficult discussions around pain control. 

The hope is that through these efforts, we can improve the current state as it stands, meeting people where they are, and offering help.

In addition, we hope that by normalizing these conversations we can have an impact upstream, as so many programs have shown is possible – limiting or eliminating opioids in favor of a multi-modal pain control plan.   

There is real hope in this.  It doesn’t completely reverse all the unintended harm, there’s no hope in changing or reversing the past.  This is a course correction for the future.  It is a better path.  Intentional hope and systematic progress build positive momentum.  I hope you can feel it too.  Please follow the links to learn more about rEASON and other transformational projects currently underway at C-WHO.  For more resources, check out our Resource Library. 

  • pharmacy
  • opioids
  • opioid use disorder
  • opioid epidemic
  • substance use disorder
  • recovery
Linda CardwellUnintended Harm and Intentional Hope

Burnout and Stress for Healthcare Professionals

Our lives look vastly different than they did two years ago. We have lost friends, family, and neighbors to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have experienced severe social and economic disruptions. Yet we have also learned a lot about what it means to take care of ourselves, to make space for small acts of joy, and dream of how we can do better.  

Healthcare professionals know this better than anyone. You have been on the frontlines of some of the most challenging circumstances of generations. You see patients everyday experiencing symptoms of stress and burnout. You know the very real consequences of stress on the body. And yet it is so often the caregivers who struggle the most with setting boundaries, reducing stress and burnout, and developing plans for wellness. You do this work with your patients, let us help you do it for yourself.  

Here at C-WHO we have partnered with Master’s level trained clinicians that will help you identify your stressors. Together, you will create a plan to reduce stress and burnout so that you can look forward to a better future. Our consultations are not therapy. We are not here to diagnose mental illness. And we are not a crisis line. But we are 100% confidential – we’ll never share information with your employer – and you can speak to one of our clinicians over Zoom. 

Burnout is different from stress. We often characterize stress as being over-engaged, reacting with urgency, anxiety-inducing, and taking a physical toll on the body. Burnout creates symptoms of confusion, apathy, depression, and is emotionally draining. Burnout is not going to get better with a week-long vacation or catching up on sleep over the weekend. It requires sustained and consistent habits of mindfulness, boundary setting, and support.  

Mental and emotional health does not happen overnight. It takes practice. And let’s be honest, practice does not make perfect, but it can make things better. We will work with you to develop plans for building resilience, finding tips and tricks to re-center yourself when things feel like they are overwhelming, and make sure that you are equipped for wherever your career takes you.  

Here at C-WHO we work to inspire and create radically innovative solutions across the health spectrum. We could not do the work we do without healthcare professionals like you. Let us help. Call 208-812-4999 to schedule your virtual consultation today. Not a healthcare professional? Our virtual consultations are for you too!

  • mental health
  • mental wellness
  • behavioral health
  • healthcare professionals
Linda CardwellBurnout and Stress for Healthcare Professionals
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