ATOMS Minutes 1-15-17

Tom opened the meeting at 2:50 p.m., by the time everyone arrived and got their plates of food. He went through the usual, announcing the month’s birthdays, upcoming events, and other news to share. The refreshments were provided by the NMSS, National MS Society.

There are two upcoming events this month by “Can Do MS Webinars”. They are, on Feb 15, Negotiating Reasonable Accommodations”, and on Feb 28, “Discrimination on the Job”. Check out the AtomsOKC.Org website for information on registering for either of these webinars.

We had two other guests from Dr. Larson’s office at OU-Norman, David and Greg, who are interns and wanted to see our group. They are both doing studies. Greg is looking at Foot Drop, and David is researching spinal reflexes and posture control.

Jason was introduced and passed out Journals from the Society for each of us. The extras will be placed on the ATOMS informational table at next month’s meeting.

Jody announced that there was a push to get people to sign up for the MS Walk on April 22, which will be at the Myriad Gardens. The registration for teams is lower than last year, at this point.

Our representative from the Office of Disability Concerns, Jacob, announced that they were providing CLEET Certified Training for Police Officers in the actions/re-actions of persons with disabilities, how to recognize and handle specific circumstances related to that. He stated that several departments in the state have already signed up for the training, and some have already gone through it. It was well received.

Next, Jason stated that he came into the Society with a background in Behavioral Health Practice, working with patients.

He has been given some additional duties, due to the reorganization of the local Chapter of the Society. One of those is working with the Can Do MS Jumpstart Program, and is doing a lot of research..

He announced that Dr. Rayna and Dr. Pardo will be doing a seminar on March 18 at OMRF on Resilience, Physical Movement and Mental Health. It is a one-day program, with food, etc..

Jason’s program today was “Behavioral Health Fitness or Staying positive in the midst of everything else”.

He stated that being depressed and depression are two different things – they are not the same. He stated that being depressed is the most common and the most treatable. An article about MS in the magazine, Neurology, stated that Depression is one of the common symptoms of MS. He said he would send Tom a whitepaper, on How to Cope.

There are several of the same symptoms of mental health and MS; and your psychologist and PCP (primary care physician) need to talk frequently.

Major depression disorder (fog) multiple symptoms can occur: low mood, loss of activities and at least 1 of 5 others equal major depression. Need referral to Mental Health professional.

There is still a stigma of mental health today! Physicians strongly look at “What can we do to get through this?”   Peer to peer support program, like this one, help some people cope.

Suicide is several times more common in mental health diseases, like MS, than in the general population.

Treatments of Mental Health: Talk Therapy, Medication: Psychologist and Primary Care Physician have to be on the same page; exercise activities improve mood.

Physicians can ease depression by restricting serotonin in brain. Lexipril can be used to help sleep

Suicidal feelings are 7.5 times higher with MS than general population.  Can be related to chemical imbalance in brain. COPES – helps with mental health services

Lose of support, from family and friends can lead to despair. Keep it positive; keep it comfortable.

Resilience is something different for every person. Resilience of MS Support Groups sometimes helps people get through each day.

MS Org – Organization changes – going to change nationwide, rather than chapter by chapter. Revenue is down nationwide. Major focus on Oklahoma & Arkansas. He is part of 7 person office; his main task is now Core Education programs.