In this episode, we take a deep dive into mental health: how we can nurture it, how we can recognize the signs of a problem, and how it impacts every single one of us.
Meghan Skelton has always approached her work as a Therapist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker from a place of deep empathy. She has never felt more connected to her clients’ needs as she has in the last two years.
In the spring of 2020, Meghan was doing her level best to keep all of the plates spinning without letting any crash to the floor. When the world went into lockdown, Meghan and her husband were both working busy full time jobs. Schools closed and her three kids ages 7, 5 and 2 were all sent home, while Meghan, a high school social worker, pivoted to working remotely with students and their families on Zoom. Her five year old was being tested for –and later diagnosed with– autism. Her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Meghan lived far away from the family support and connection that she hadn’t realized she was craving. She felt profound loneliness and shame.
Like so many of us who suffer, Meghan didn’t want anyone to notice, but sometimes, it’s what others see that brings us out of the darkness. During a Zoom session with one of the families in the school district where Meghan was a clinical social worker, the mother of a student Meghan was working with interrupted their conversation to ask if she was ok. In that moment, Meghan embraced her vulnerability and admitted to the mom, and herself, that she was not ok. She was anxious, depressed, and had too much on her plate. Soon thereafter, she and her husband began discussing and ultimately decided to make the move from Connecticut to Texas, where they would be closer to her family.
As a therapist, Meghan has dedicated herself to actively participating in solving the mental health crisis in America. She and her partners at Linq Therapy take a holistic approach to treating the mental health care needs of their adolescent patients and families. They recently launched Linq Performance, which provides a toolkit and training program to destigmatize and demystify mental health, working directly with schools, students, coaches, and athletes. Meghan emphasizes that we all have mental health and need to come to a common understanding of how to recognize signs and symptoms, when and where to ask for help, and have access to everyday tools to manage our mental health.
We discuss social media, the pandemic, gun violence and other chronic stress triggers that affect adolescent mental health along with the everyday tools they can use to be more present in order to manage anxiety and depression.
Meghan also speaks openly about the long and challenging road to her son’s autism diagnosis, the grief she and her husband experienced, and how they work day-to-day to meet his needs. Rather than focus on his deficits, she celebrates his empathetic heart, compassion and emotional intelligence.
Episode Links and Resources:
- Meghan Skelton says: “If you or someone you know is showing signs of having a mental health condition, or struggling with a situational struggle please reach out for help. Psychology Today is a great resource to find certified therapists in your area to start working health. Mental health is equally important to our physical health. Let’s reduce stigma and start seeking support. You do not have to be in a dire situation to seek therapy.” Link to Psychology Today
- Contact Linq Performance for Mental Health Awareness Training at www.linqperformance.com for the following services and more:
- For adolescents, coaches, parents and club sports that are interested in virtual Mental Health Awareness and Peak Performance Modules that address warning signs, how and when to ask for help, proactive coping skills and mental health toolkit tor greater athletic performance.
- For School Districts that are interested in virtual trainings for students, teachers, administrators and parents on Mental Health Awareness – how to recognize when to ask for help (for self and others), where to go for help, in addition to proactive coping skills and toolkit for everyone to build healthy mindset and coping strategies.
- For Corporate Mental Health Awareness Trainings to include warning signs in employees, how to work with employees with conditions, structuring of policies to support proactive support.
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