WCCO Radio live interview with Paul Douglas and Jordana Green
Updated: Oct 13
Paul Douglas: Mental health and nobody wants to admit that they’re having a bad day or a bad week or a bad month right? YOu want to keep the images of ourselves in the minds of other people as: we’re bulletproof, we're fine.
Jordana Green: Yeah. You know its funny I was having this conversation with my friends, even just a day ago talking about our kids. There’s so much more anxiety, especially with COVID, in our kids that we’re seeing. And we won’t know the mental, the residual collateral damage for years. Especially with the kids. But we’ve said that a lot of the kids are anxious and were we that anxious? Or is it, did we just call it stress and now it's an actual diagnosis?
Did we just suffer through it and should have been treated or is it worse today? And of course nobody has answers to these questions. But maybe our next guest might.
Paul Douglas: Yeah hopefully
Jordana Green: Yeah hopefully he might actually, because me and my girlfriends couldn’t figure it out. The CEO of Harbor Health Integrated Care inc, is Dr Johnwick Nathan. And he’s joining us to talk about Mental Health awareness day which is on October 10th and this issue of mental health awareness and its increase. Doctor Nathan, welcome to the program.
Johnwick Nathan: Thank you so much, I appreciate you for having me.
Jordana Green: Yeah we appreciate you being here. So would you agree, what was it that 84 percent of employees report they rarely mean it when they’re fine or good, which means they are suffering. Is it that high?
Johnwick Nathan: To be honest with you I think it's even higher, because of all the times someone asks you “how are you doing” and you say “im just fine”, because it becomes a natural response. Someone asks you “Hi how are you” and you say “I’m doing well, how are you?” the thing is, we’re focused on the other person and that's a beautiful thing about human nature in how we’re worried about the other person. That's the one time we’re actually worried about another person.
If you think about it, how often do people walk up to you and ask “hey are you doing okay?” Do you know they’re two different types of questions? “Hi how are you, I’m good how are you?” usually the person says “I’m doing good” When a person says “hey how are you?” With concern, with thought, with meaning, they’re paying attention.
When someone says how are you normally, they’re not paying attention. They’re just asking you because that’s the polite thing to do. So but yeah, I actually believe its more than 84 percent.
Jordana Green: Hey doctor can you address that conversation that I was having with my friends, that a lot of kids seem more anxious these days and a lot of children, teens are getting diagnoses of anxiety disorder. Some are medicated and some are doing therapy, but is there more anxiety today than there was back when we were kids and we just had the Sunday scaries and we were just stressed out about school. Is it worse today, or are we just diagnosing it today?
Johnwick Nathan: It is worse today because there’s a lot of independent variables and different scenarios. Obviously I’m not sure how old everyone is, I’m not particularly old myself. 90’s babies for lack of a better word, we were outside to play. We played tag, we played kickball, we were outside playing all these different things. Gadgets, internet, they didn’t really catch on until what, the early 2000’s? Todays kids, the independent variables are the Ipads, Youtube videos, and all of these things are now influencing our children’s lives. It absolutely is worse than when we were kids. We didn’t have that much influence.
Our influence at school was who we surround ourselves with. The kids in the neighborhood, our parents, and now today, our children are being raised by gadgets.
Paul Douglas: Yeah. And there’s the ties to digital equipment, that’s a good point. Doctor Nathan, I’m curious, some days it seems we are the nation of the walking wounded. Nobody wants to admit they’re having a bad day or a bad week or a bad month. People who suffer extreme stress are less productive. Studies show that. They can lose as much as half a day in productivity. If you’re working with somebody, and nobody wants to be the snitch, most people want to help their colleagues and certainly their friends and family. What are some of the tip offs that someone is having a really rough stretch and maybe an intervention, or stepping up may be in order? What’s the trip on that?
Johnwick: Ask the question one more time, I lost the audio.
Paul Douglas: Oh sorry about that. How do we know when somebody we care about: a colleague at work, a friend or family member, is really having a tough stretch. Versus the everyday stress that any job brings. To be alive is to be stressed, but how do you know when it reaches the level that could potentially be dangerous, and recognize the symptoms of depression etc.
Johnwick: I’ll give you a well rounded answer that you can actually apply to to all sorts of work. And this is normally after one particular thing has happened which has changed. That’s one thing we can’t always necessarily catch. Because we do not know his mind, but the second thing that is going to happen is there will be a change of mind, a change of behavior. There is going to be a change of behavior, and a change of patterns will happen. Following that there will be a change of attitude.
I believe if you catch them in the change of behavior, sometimes people do not know what they’re doing. They’re aware of these things that are happening. For me, especially when I’ve dealt with my (part?) in the past, I’ll firstly acknowledge “what is the person’s normal pattern, what is the person’s normal behavior?” They always wake up in the morning, they go out there, they make breakfast, they sit down, and eat.
But next week I noticed that this individual is waking up a little later. Then I noticed this person didn’t show up for breakfast. Next thing you know this person is just sitting in the group not responding. Like they don’t exist.
Jordana Green: behavioral changes?
Johnwick Nathan: Yes, you’ll start noticing behavioral changes. That's the first sign of someone getting ready leave;
Jordana Green: Yeah. Now I know you run the organization that deals with mental health and addiction, and you say that there is a way for people who are really struggling to become fully functioning in society and to change and create a new environment. And that is your goal in Harbor Integrated Care, so tell us, I know we only have a minute or two left, but briefly your methodology for healing people in this situation?
Johnwick Nathan: First things first, you’ve got to love the person. Oftentimes the people who are down and out, at the lowest of their lowest in their life. You have to love them. They were lacking something before they got to you. That's number one, be consistent with them. Obviously it's a treatment center, in that particular part of treatment, it also allows them to understand self awareness. What are some things you like and don’t like? What are some things you want to do or you don’t want to do?
Most of the time when someone tells you what they want to do, you have to hold them accountable. And the decisions led you to do those things. And a lot of times the decisions in therapy is the decision to not, it leads them on a whole different path. I believe that people can heal through it, that people can recover from it, I believe that people can learn to love. That’s why I believe to coach through everything and it sounds so simple by saying “I love a person” and they’ll be able to give a level. Absolutely, because how long have we been doing all these studies on behavioral therapy, on individual counseling, all these things but guess what? One trigger can cause someone to go right back to where they were. Because love is a few different things. Love says I support you, love says I’m here for you, love says that no matter what is going on, I’m not going to change my outlook on you. These are things that people need because the thing is, because nowadays it's become more so a job. Than therapy.
Jordana Green: That’s beautiful, thank you for sharing that.
Paul Douglas: That was very helpful, CEO of Harbor Health Integrated, Doctor Johnwick Nathan.