Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 2 years ago

Michele Hart | Average to Savage EP52

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the fifty-second episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring author Michele Hart. Paul Guarino talked with Michele Hart discussing her career as a social worker, mental health, and her book Mental Health Emergencies: A Guide to Recognizing and Handling Mental Health Crises. Check out her book https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B01HWKOGJQ&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_NRH7CbH5K9Y8C&tag=paulguarino-20

This is the average to savage podcastwith Paul Garno, everyone in anyone, athletes, suebs and much more.Soup. Everybody. On back for another episode of the average savage podcast.Or special guests. Today is Michelle Heart, Co author of mental health emergencies.Michelle, how's it going going? Well, thank you. I appreciateyou coming on. I appreciate you having me on. This is a greattopic. Yeah, so let's just get right into it. And how didyou make the decision to go into social work as a KURPA? Well,early on, I you know, I've always been a people person and Ihad an experience where I have sisternin law who was abductive and she through goingthrough all of these agencies. It became quite of your raw Percy that Ihad to navigate and through all these helping professions, I found really without evenknowing ahead of time, that the one person that guided me and gave mestrength and helped me through the whole or deal and manage it was a socialworker. And it wasn't even till about a year or so after that that, upon reflecting and looking back on you know where I wanted to take mylife. I wanted to be that person. I decided I wanted to be theperson to help navigate through tough times and help people that really are ina place that, an a normal situation, would be able to navigate their lifebut for whatever circumstances, have running obstacles and I wanted to be theperson to help navigate because that was the most influential experience in my life.Gotcha, it's deep. Yeah, yeah,...

...it was pre profound part of mylife. And then change the course of what I was doing. Gotcha, your bet. Your best selling book has a lot of great ships intactics for assisting people with mental health conditions, specifically dealing with subs abusing and suicide. But what was the first thing? What was the first thing we,the readers, in the future first responder, should understand about ourselves beforewe even try to assist someone deal with mental health issues? Well, Iwould say that what we need to understand about ourselves is that we are enough. We don't have therapists lined up on every corner waiting to help people.We are dealing with the people with mental health. We say them that it'sus, it's our neighbors, it's our co workers, it's our family members, it's our friends, it's our children, it is us, and so weare enough. As we navigate through our lives and we come across peoplein our lives who who are in need, we have to understand that professionals arethe second line. Usually we are the front line people, the peopleyou interact with on a daily basis. So the most important thing is youare enough. The person that's in that moment is enough for that moment.You don't have to have extensive knowledge or training or schooling or academics or experience. People are enough. Yeah, for sure. And how did you guyscome up with like starting the book and how to all get put together?Well, it's my coauthor, Nick Ghanness. He was a business director and Iwas the clinical director of an agency, and what he found was that hewas getting called out on situations because...

...as therapists were involved with client dailyclient interactions and you know, we don't have crisis is based on a ninehundred and twenty five situation or when therapists have availability. So as a asa mental health person in the field, he was able to go out andhold the situation and listen and use some of the techniques that the book talksabout to keep somebody in a stable place until further assistance could be rendered tothat person and actually be able to assess the situation they have a person furtherhelp through be a hospitalization or by just support of other people, family membersand such. And in doing so he realized that he is who this bookis written for. He is the non mental health trained person who deals withpeople on a daily basis, and in doing so he realized that this informationcould be out there for everyday people experiencing life with their family and jots.So when he approached me about putting in the clinical perspective of the book,I was more than happy to jump in with him. Yeah, it's awesome. And going back to what we're just talking about, how do we assistor determine the needs of colleagues, friends or loved ones when they're facing amind health concern or crisis? I would say the most important and what thebook reiterates, is to listen. So being present with somebody is the mostimportant thing we can do, and part of being present is to listen.We don't listen with a response in mind, we don't listen with the predetermined notionof what this person is experiencing.

We listen with the presence of justbeing with that person and we hear their words without assumption and we we tryto just listen to it. If we listen enough, they are going totell us what they need. And it's just this the sense of presence andusing your own body and energy to bring a situation down so a person canget themselves into a stable feeling and be able to relay what it is theirexperiencing. So ourselves, as listening, present people are enough. That definitelymakes sense. And can you, can you provide our listeners with the presentday stigma surrounding mental health? Well, I think you know, the mediahas has really portrayed it. As you know, people running around streets andbeing all crazy and dangerous and and the stigma. Nobody wants to talk aboutmental health. It's always them, and I think I started out with thisis people, it's them, it's other people. You know, we alwayssay they or them, but it's us and it's ourselves. If I thinkat some point in every person's life they're going to have a mental health crisis, whether it rises to the level of meeting higher level of care is tobe determined, but we all experience it and we all have had to touchour lives. So the fear surrounding mental illness, it's our mind and ourbody is one, so so it should be treated as one and we needto decrease the stigma of it being this scary, secretive illness. It's everydaythings and it's just when your mind and...

...body really aren't making the right connectionswe have a mental health crisis and we really need to understand that. It'sit's not a scary thing, it's something that happens daily and most of ushave the capacity to manage it. Yeah, for sure. Can you give meany stories that people share you who read the book that impacted like theirlife or someone that you mad a funny I did meet a person at abook signing and this person had had seen it was a burns and noble signand this person had seen a review of the book and the day I wasgoing to sign and realize that this might be something that would help them.They had had a family member with a military experience who had come back withsome PTSD and they were unaware of what to do or how to help andso they upon talking to him at the book signing, this was actually meantfor them. So this, this book was actually designed to give this womanthe tools that she needed to sit and reduce the fear and reduce the stigma. And I heard later on at another signing, I received an email statingthat she was able to utilize the power of presence and the power of activelistening, in the power of paraphrasing back to her family member so that shereally felt like, rather than presume, she could understand and get a betterunderstanding of what her family member needed, not only in that moment but toactually prevent another incident from happening. She learned to recognize science and symptoms andand then also, it wasn't in the...

...book that we talked a lot abouthaving people in your life, that every one of us should have a basisfor what we need in life. So if we're having a moment, whatis it we might need? Who are emergency contacts? So we all needsome sort of information given to the people we love and care about us thatif we were to have a significant life event, a care plan, ifyou will, that people can follow that. And then it just allowed her tohave more questions, because when you're dealing with this you really don't evenknow the question you need to ask. So through reading the book she wasable to develop a more thorough knowledge of what she didn't didn't know and askmore questions to gain insight, and to me that was really powerful. Asawesome hows it make you feel like your book has a back on People's life. You know, I don't know, they've been there, even there theworst. It's meaningful to me because this is my career, this is mylife, and I don't yes, it's a career and we have to makemoney and we have to do all this, but it's my passion. It's mypassion to lead this world or to leave my career knowing that somebody's beenhelped along the way, even if I have to help somebody to help somebodyelse. I did this because I was helped and so to know that Ican walk away going yeah, I've spent twenty five, thirty five years almostnow, doing the best I can. Have I always been right? Now, nobody's ever always right, but I've done the best I can and I'vetried to help along the way and I think that's the most any of uscan ask from each other. Yeah, for sure. Do you wish youwould have known, or what do you...

...wish you would have known when youfirst start out in the mental health field that you learned along the way?The kind of feel like it's what's in this book. You know this book. I actually in a couple I've had several book signings and I had acouple of people from a university current by the book because they said they're startinginto social work and they themselves. I mean, we start off and wedo all of these collegiate texts and we have to have all this, youknow, book knowledge, but they don't give us a lot of working knowledge, and this book is working knowledge. It's what do I do A,B and c? What turn that for? You know, these are the signs, these are the symptoms, and I wish I would have had alittle more insight into more specific common things rather than the generalist perspective. Notthat I would have used it in a professional way, but I almost hada stigma that it is professionals I have to help, and myself, asa person starting out in school, I needed an education before I could helpothers and realizing that. Now. This is why the book was written,because everybody can help. You don't need a professional education. Definitely, andI ready for some lighter questions. What are your goals for two thousand andnineteen? Two Thousand and nineteen, you know, I want to travel.I I work in a school setting right now, the summer's off, Ihave my trailer class and I just I am a traveler and I love tojust see the country and experience every kind of thing I could experience, youknow, any I find myself getting involved, you know, just through traveling,meeting the most unique people and hearing the greatest stories, and so mygoal is just to do more of the...

...same, you know, and andalways try to improve my knowledge. So part of my profession is continuing education. So there's always groundbreaking things happening and ending, you know, until theday I retire, even probably to a day I die, I will alwayswant to pursue knowledge and got you got it. And do you have anyplans of writing or co writing, like another book? Not at the moment. Now we are this one has taken you know, taken us where wewant it to go. I feel like it's out there. If the opportunitycame along, it certainly would be something I would consider. But this iskind of what I wanted to do. I just wanted to inform people that, you know, they're enough and I would expand on that if it neededbe. But right now and very happy with what we have and very busyin my life and I have a grandchild and I I just love life.So I find myself finding new adventures every day. Yeah, and I knowyou kind of touch on before. What do you like to do on yourin your free time? Oh, it could be anything from reading a bookall the way to, you know, just taking new adventures. I'm anadventurous kind of person and I'm not a risk taker against your seeker. ILove I love hearing stories of people's travel. So, you know, one ofmy passions is baseball. When I got to go there to game fiveof the dodgers and that to me was a pinnacle. You know, overa couple weeks ago I went to San Diego and visited my aunt, isninety eight and I went for birthday and we went to dodgers game and justI'm always up for experiences and I find try to find joy and happiness andeverything I do. There is also misserre any like country or state you reallywant to visit? You know, I...

...really want to get a lot backeast. I've I've seen most of the western United States, in the Midwest. I kind of want to start, you know, and I've got backeast, just flying to separate places that I would like to really spend alot of time exploring the highways and byways of the east. And then asfar as countries, Ireland and Scotland would be two of my must sieze.Sure. Last one. Can you give me like your top three favorite booksyou ever read? Boy, top three favorite books? That's a tough one. I have about about like three books you recently recently read. Well,you know, I like I am a selfhelp kind of guru kind of person, and so I I've been reading because of just knowledge. Wise, I'vebeen reading the principles, the seven principles of making a marriage work. Okay, I think it really has a lot of good solids stuff in it.I I I just like reading. I like reading like that and I likeautobiographies. Okay, so Adam Greenbird's book, Adam, like I'm a baseball fan. So Adam Greenberg wrote a book and it's an amazing book and heI don't know if you're familiar with that one or not, but maybe Ilove that book and I love each chapter how he gives just insight and ameeting to what what he experienced. It...

...puts it into life. I justlove that book. And then one of my other ones as captured Kennedy.He's one of my favorites and he wrote a book called the common struggle andI follow him a lot because the Kennedy's tend to do really there the foundationfor Mental Health Parity, which means that mental health should be separated from physicalhealth, that when you go to the doctor you should make it more highercopay because you're doing mental health versus going in for a physical exam. Sothe parody act and the cannedy's and anything the cannies do I follow because ofthat. They're big believers in equalizing mental health, destigmatizing mental health, andso that's that's probably my book I love the most just because I love howhis family what they've done for us. Yeah, for sure. I'll sayI'll take those answers. Okay, I appreciate you coming on. If yougot the people know where they get buy your book. You're so any it, you can buy your book. Yeah, I know. It's pretty easy toget stuff now and there's it is. Yeah, any start to do yourbook. Pop Up and it's they're ready to be purchased and we're justhappy to have it out there for anybody who can. Yeah, definitely.Again, I appreciate you coming up. Absolutely thank you very much.

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