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Marcie Timmerman - Mental Health and Wellness

Marcie Timmerman - Mental Health and Wellness

Renee speaks with Marcie Timmerman, executive director of Mental Health America of Kentucky. Timmerman discusses her organization's work to help those suffering from mental illness find effective treatment.
S13 E43 Length 28:03 Premiere: 8.24.18

Building Effective Programs to Improve Mental Health

Some 40 million Americans have a mental health condition.

But more than half of them won’t receive treatment because they lack access to care.

The national nonprofit Mental Health America is trying to change that statistic by working to get people who need help to receive the care they need before they reach a crisis point in their lives. Marcie Timmerman is the executive director of the Kentucky chapter of the organization. She appeared on KET’s Connections to discuss mental health issues. The program also featured Kelley Kitley, a licensed clinical therapist in Chicago, who has written a memoir about her own struggles with abuse, addiction, and anxiety.

Normalizing Mental Health Care
By the time a person with a mental health problem reaches the critical stage, they are likely to either be in a hospital or a jail, according to Marcie Timmerman. If they can be reached sooner, Timmerman says they can likely be treated with a simple intervention by a mental health professional or with medications.

So, why don’t more people get help? Timmerman says access is a major issue, especially in smaller communities across the commonwealth.

“We have major problems with getting our rural folks into the system at all because there’s simply not someone who lives and works there… to lean on,” Timmerman says.

Other factors that inhibit care include a lack of transportation, the ability to take time off from work to see a counselor, insurance that doesn’t include mental health coverage, and the social stigma that’s still associated with therapy.

“It’s not different than going to the regular doctor for a heart attack, or cancer, or diabetes,” says Timmerman. “Not everyone who sees a therapist is really crazy, they don’t always have an illness, they may just need some tools that maybe they didn’t grow up with.”

Mental Health America outlines four stages of mental health conditions. Stage one is a sense that something is not right, such as feeling blue for a couple of days. In stage two, those feelings deepen and last for a longer period of time. They may also affect a person’s performance at work or school, or impact their family and social life.

Stage three involves recurring episodes of severe symptoms and a serious disruption of daily activities. By stage four, the physiological symptoms are often paired with physical health conditions, and have the potential to lead to homelessness, hospitalization, incarceration, or even death.

The organization offers free screening tools on its website to test for a variety of mental health concerns. Timmerman says the online tools also provide guidance on whether the individual may need to seek help from a professional. At the earliest stages of a potential problem, she says people often simply need to learn some general coping skills such as how to regulate their emotions, or how to set proper boundaries with a family member or coworker.

From Victim to Survivor
Kelley Kitley knows what it’s like to reach a mental health crisis point. It started when she was sexually abused when she was only 10 years old.

“There was a piece of me taken that I’ll never get back,” she says, “and so many women and men can relate to that experience.”

When she summoned the courage to tell her parents about the abuse, Kitley says they simply encouraged her to put the incident behind her and not to talk about it. That led to Kitley developing an eating disorder. When that threatened her physical health, Kitley finally got the treatment she needed to recover from both the original abuse and eating problem.

Later, as an adult, Kitley suffered new rounds of trauma when she was assaulted on the streets of Chicago, and when she suffered postpartum anxiety after the births of her four children. Today, she is a successful counselor, mother, and author of the memoir, “MY self: An Autobiography of Survival.”

“I so want to break the silence and stigma of addiction and mental health,” she says. “It actually bothers me when people think that my life is perfect just by what it looks like, because it has been so far from that.”

Kitley uses cognitive behavioral therapy to help people overcome trauma. She says her own experiences taught her how thoughts like self-blame can lead to an eating disorder or other self-destructive behaviors.

“There was a lot of ‘It’s my fault’ and ‘If I only would have done this differently,’” Kitley says. “When we play that negative mental tape, we just stay stuck and more depressed and more anxious.”

But when life circumstances are viewed through a different, more positive perspective, Kitley says the person can evoke more functional feelings and behaviors. They go from being a victim to being a survivor, she says.

Connecting with Others
Trauma-informed practices are becoming more common among primary care providers and in schools and workplaces. Timmerman says Kentucky schools are training teachers and other personnel to help them recognize mental health concerns among students and be sensitive to the factors at home that may contribute to misbehavior at school.

“Often a kid who hasn’t eaten last night, who didn’t have a home to sleep in, who’s been couch-surfing between friends, that teenager is going to have more problems than the average teenager,” Timmerman says. “So let’s start addressing those core problems.”

Timmerman says it’s also important for young people to have a trusted adult that they feel comfortable talking to, whether that’s a teacher, an administrator, or a janitor or lunchroom worker. When encountering a traumatized person, she recommends avoiding phrases that imply blame.

“They’re learning is to ask, ‘What happened to you?’ not, ‘What did you do?’” Timmerman says. “When you change that conversation, that completely changes the way a kid relates to you.”

Many Kentucky communities do have mental health centers, but Timmerman says the state could use more of them, especially in rural areas. The commonwealth also suffers from a shortage of child psychiatrists, she says. That’s why she encourages people young and old to look out for one another and be open to the personal connections that can benefit us all.

“It’s easy to get very isolated… and forget to reach out to others and check in on those folks,” Timmerman says. “We say check in on everyone, not just the ones you’re worried about.

“We all have our black moments, and our bad days, and our rough times, and we all build from them,” she adds. “It’s what makes us stronger and it’s what makes us better people.”

Program Details

Connections

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Each week, host Renee Shaw and a variety of interesting and engaging people - including business leaders, entertainers, authors, celebrities, and more - explore a broad array of topics impacting Kentucky and the world.

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  • Saturday September 18, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 15, 2021 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday September 15, 2021 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday September 15, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday September 15, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday September 12, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday September 12, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday September 12, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 12, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 12, 2021 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday September 12, 2021 11:00 am CT on KET

Cynthia Knapek - Leadership Louisville Center

  • Sunday September 12, 2021 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 12, 2021 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 8, 2021 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday September 8, 2021 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday September 8, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday September 8, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday September 5, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday September 5, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday September 5, 2021 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday September 5, 2021 11:00 am CT on KET

Bill Farmer - S10 E8

  • Friday September 10, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 10, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 10, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 10, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 10, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 10, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Diane Follingstad - UK Women's Circle Endowment Chair - S10 E6

  • Thursday September 9, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 9, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kevin Chapman - S10 E5

  • Wednesday September 8, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 8, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 8, 2021 2:20 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 8, 2021 1:20 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 8, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 8, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Soreyda Benedit Begley and Chris Begley - S10 E3

  • Tuesday September 7, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 7, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 7, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Chris Rabb - S10 E1

  • Friday September 3, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 3, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 3, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 3, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 3, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 3, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Tanya Torp and Holly Houston - S9 E46

  • Thursday September 2, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 2, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 2, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 2, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Frontier Nursing University - S9 E45

  • Wednesday September 1, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 1, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 1, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 1, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

SWAG - Sisters and Supporters Working Against Gun Violence - S9 E44

  • Tuesday August 31, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 31, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 31, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 31, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 31, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 31, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Marta Miranda - S9 E43

  • Monday August 30, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday August 30, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday August 30, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday August 30, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday August 30, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday August 30, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Sarah Taylor Vanover - Early Childhood Education

  • Sunday September 5, 2021 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 5, 2021 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday September 4, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday September 4, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 1, 2021 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday September 1, 2021 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday September 1, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday September 1, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday August 29, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday August 29, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday August 29, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday August 29, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday August 29, 2021 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday August 29, 2021 11:00 am CT on KET

The Rise of Anti-Asian Violence

  • Sunday August 29, 2021 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday August 29, 2021 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday August 28, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday August 28, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET

Judi Jennings - S9 E42

  • Friday August 27, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday August 27, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday August 27, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday August 27, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday August 27, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday August 27, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Dr. Robert Hilgers - S9 E41

  • Thursday August 26, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday August 26, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday August 26, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday August 26, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday August 26, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday August 26, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Wil James - S9 E40

  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday August 25, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

African Americans and Mental Health - S9 E39

  • Tuesday August 24, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 24, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 24, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 24, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
Top

Season 13 Episodes

Marcie Timmerman - Mental Health and Wellness

S13 E43 Length 28:03 Premiere Date 8.24.18

Tiffany Manuel - Affordable Housing

S13 E42 Length 27:32 Premiere Date 8.17.18

Jessica Dueñas - 2019 Kentucky Teacher of the Year

S13 E41 Length 28:52 Premiere Date 8.10.18

2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book

S13 E37 Length 28:48 Premiere Date 7.13.18

A New Task Force on Opioids

S13 E36 Length 28:07 Premiere Date 7.6.18

Shining a Spotlight on Epilepsy

S13 E35 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 6.29.18

Criminal Justice Reform

S13 E34 Length 28:32 Premiere Date 6.22.18

Jay Box - Kentucky Community and Technical College

S13 E33 Length 28:03 Premiere Date 6.15.18

Interim Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis

S13 E32 Length 28:03 Premiere Date 6.8.18

Bob King - Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

S13 E31 Length 28:09 Premiere Date 6.1.18

Rachel Childress - Lexington Habitat for Humanity

S13 E30 Length 26:22 Premiere Date 5.25.18

2018 Kentucky Primary Races

S13 E29 Length 29:52 Premiere Date 5.18.18

Dr. Donna Grigsby

S13 E28 Length 28:03 Premiere Date 5.11.18

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention

S13 E27 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 5.4.18

Kosair Charities Face It Movement; Terry Brooks

S13 E25 Length 28:27 Premiere Date 4.20.18

Child Marriage Laws in Kentucky - Donna Pollard

S13 E24 Length 28:42 Premiere Date 4.13.18

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

S13 E23 Length 29:22 Premiere Date 4.6.18

Secretary Derrick Ramsey - Apprenticeships

S13 E22 Length 28:09 Premiere Date 2.23.18

Educational Innovation

S13 E21 Length 28:45 Premiere Date 2.16.18

Gerald Smith

S13 E20 Length 28:12 Premiere Date 2.9.18

Perry Bacon Jr.

S13 E18 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 2.2.18

DV8 Kitchen

S13 E17 Length 28:37 Premiere Date 1.19.18

Silas House, New Novel

S13 E16 Length 28:03 Premiere Date 1.16.18

Tawanda Owsley

S13 E15 Length 26:32 Premiere Date 1.5.18

Sexual Harassment Issues

S13 E14 Length 28:37 Premiere Date 12.15.17

Disability Rates and Benefits

S13 E13 Length 27:27 Premiere Date 12.8.17

Good Samaritans

S13 E12 Length 28:42 Premiere Date 11.17.17

A Salute to Heroes

S13 E10 Length 26:18 Premiere Date 11.10.17

Legislative Health Policy

S13 E9 Length 28:12 Premiere Date 11.3.17

Elder Care

S13 E8 Length 29:31 Premiere Date 10.27.17

Preventing Youth Suicide

S13 E7 Length 28:17 Premiere Date 10.20.17

A Proposal for Pension Reform

S13 E6 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 10.13.17

Rethinking Pain Medication

S13 E5 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 10.6.17

Former Gov. Steve Beshear

S13 E4 Length 28:53 Premiere Date 9.29.17

Secretary Elaine Chao

S13 E3 Length 28:52 Premiere Date 9.22.17

Smoking Cessation and Pregnancy

S13 E2 Length 29:32 Premiere Date 9.8.17

Author and Journalist Sam Quinones

S13 E1 Length 28:52 Premiere Date 9.1.17

Author and Journalist Sam Quinones

Preview Length 28:52 Premiere Date 9.1.17

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