Social Interactions and Mental Health

According to recent studies, mental functions drastically improve after certain types of social interactions. Psychologist Oscar Ybarra – a researcher at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research (ISR), who headed such a research – says, “This study shows that simply talking to other people, the way you do when you’re making friends, can provide mental benefits.”

This is a fact that even reputed treatment centers anywhere in the country would corroborate. So, “friends with benefits” is a real thing! Apart from all the benefits we enjoy in a friendship, the mental health angle can definitely be called the fringe benefit.

Let us take it with a pinch of salt to what late Lebanese-American writer Khalil Gibran said: “Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” Jokes apart, our social quotient has a direct bearing on our mental health to a great extent and it is always good to have a great social circle.

How does our social interaction help us in improving our mental well-being? An active social life offers oodles of other benefits apart from being in comfort among friends. Let us see some of the benefits of being a socially active person.

Cognitive enhancement: Any social interaction, however brief it may be, brings in the goodness of mental stability. Studies have revealed that even brevity of our social interaction has not failed in enhancing working memory, self-monitoring and problem solving abilities in us. People who frequently engage in social activities have a greater ability in solving issues in their lives. They are less perturbed by problems in their lives, whereas socially aloof people become timid and nervous when faced by similar situations.

Executive function: Ybarra also said “we believe that performance boosts come about because some social interactions induce people to try to read others’ minds and take their perspectives on things” and “we also find that when we structure even competitive interactions to have an element of taking the other person’s perspective, or trying to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, there is a boost in executive functioning as a result.” People with frequent social interactions become more adept in handling responsible jobs and manage others.

Physical benefit: Socially active people are more sporting and do not shy away from physical activity. A study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that young adults who exercise and socialize regularly reported better mental health than peers who didn’t. According to the researchers, few of the mental benefits associated with exercising may be due to the social aspect of it. So, this also affirms a co-relation between social interactions and a sound mental health.

Mental health centers in the country, be it the mental health centers definitely support this view and forming groups among the inmates is one of the reasons why they do it.

More Than Just a Psychiatric Facility – The Elgin Mental Healthcare Center

What is The Elgin Mental Healthcare Center? Suppose if a friend of you or someone in their family is to be treated in a mental care facility, we try to find the best facility for them. After all, the goal is for them to get well, and we believe that our choice of hospital is vital for the person’s recovery. In Illinois, when we speak of psychiatric facilities, one hospital easily comes to mind. That is Elgin Mental Health Center or EMHC. As the second oldest state hospital in Illinois, this facility opened in 1872 under its former name, Northern Illinois Hospital and Asylum for the Insane. The first-ever physiological measurements of mental patients were recorded by the Elgin Papers back in the 1890s. By 1997, the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations gave EMHC its commendation for two years in a row.

How the hospital was developed can be broken down into five phases. The first phase ended in 1893. A stable leadership was responsible for the gradual growth during this period. After this phase, the hospital immensely grew to more than twice its size. This second phase, which ended by 1920, was characterized by a lot of politicking, leadership changes and power struggles in the system. For the third period, growth was more rapid. Hospital population, which reached its peak by the 1950s, increased for both geriatric and veterans. This is because the period was post World War I and World War II. By the time the third phase ended, hospital population declined. During this phase, psychotropic medications were introduced. Other milestones for this period include the development of community health facilities, deinstitutionalization, until the decentralization of decision-making and authority. This fourth phase ended until the 1980s.

The last phase is what some call the “rebirth.” It began in 1983, when hospital census was at its lowest. Because of this, the hospital was on the verge of closure. However, the state decided to close Manteno Mental Health Center instead. During this time, the hospital was practically rebuilt. While the old buildings used a congregate model called the Kirkbride plan, new physical facilities were added such as cottages in order to adhere to a segregate plan. There are two divisions, civil and forensic. Each division has an acute treatment center, office and conference rooms which faculty and trainees can use. Forensic programs were further developed, and new affiliations with medical schools were also made. Affiliations include that with The Chicago Medical School, among others. An increase in educational activities showed that EMHC is also concerned with the education of future doctors and medical graduates. Hospital system operations were also modified. Activities of community mental health centers are integrated in the system operations. Community mental health centers refer their patients to EMHC. These community mental facilities include DuPage County Health Department, Lake County Mental Health Center, Ecker Center for Mental Health, and Kenneth Young Center.

At present, admissions are close to 1300 annually. Patients are usually African-American, Euro-American and Hispanic. The hospital holds 582 to 600 beds and about 40 full-time physicians. Just like any health facility, EMHC is harassed with problems and controversies with respect to their policies and programs. Nevertheless, Elgin Mental Health Center continues to do what it is supposed to do, and that is to provide the best treatment for their patients.

Choosing The Best Health Center For Pregnancy Termination

Becoming a mother is one of the most beautiful and cherished moments of a woman’s life. The experience is even joyful for the partners when proper family planning is involved. However, the situation can turn vice versa if the woman is conceived in an unplanned manner. In the case of unwanted pregnancy, the woman is not in a state of upbringing a child and it results in mental illness. In such a situation, terminating the pregnancy via abortion appears to be the best option. Abortion is a complete medical procedure that helps terminating the pregnancy in a safe and healthy manner. Abortion clinics follow various kinds of medical procedures are followed in order to abort the fetus, and the choice of procedures mainly depends upon the state of pregnancy.

Terminating the pregnancy involves a great deal of courage and firm decision-making on the part of mother. The procedure must be carried on with safe and secure medical arrangements, and this can be done only at the best abortion clinic. Choosing an ideal abortion clinic for terminating the unwanted pregnancy is one of the most crucial decisions for a woman and should be done after considering all the different deciding factors. In order to make it easy for you, here are some important considerations that must be taken into account before actually finalizing a medical center. Have a careful look at these points of consideration in order to get the medical procedures done properly.

1. Educational Qualifications And Credentials

First of all, you need to check out the educational qualifications and credentials in order to judge the expertise of the doctor. The doctor must be competent and well qualified to carry on necessary abortion procedures and must have good experience in the field. After all, it is a matter of life and death, and you surely don’t want to give away your life to the hands of an inexperienced and unqualified surgeon. You also need to check for association of the surgeon with any state or other medical departments/organizations. It serves as a proof of doctor following proper industry standards while carrying on the procedures.

2. Professional Experience

Secondly, you need to clarify that the surgeon holds necessary experience in the field of terminating pregnancy. You need to check on the past industry experience of the physician. This will involve figuring out how many successful abortions have been done by the doctor and if possible, meeting the happy patients in order to know their experiences.

3. Medical Facility And Equipment

You need to personally visit the medical center in order to figure out the medical facilities provided by the doctor. This is the place where you will be treated for your pregnancy and you surely don’t want to be treated amid unhealthy environment. It is also essential to check that whether the surgeon is having proper medical equipment and latest technology available at the center for successful completion of the operation.

Finding a Health Center That Offers With Spine Surgery Expertise

If you are going to have spine surgery, you may have a long road ahead of you. It will depend on the problem that you have, but most surgeries in this area are fairly extensive. If you are planning on having a procedure done in this part of the body then you may have an orthopedic surgeon already. If you do, it is important that the facility where he or she performs surgeries is a place that you trust.

A surgeon does the initial procedure, but then it is up to that hospital usually to care for you and even provide physical therapy later. If you have a problem with this hospital, you may want to look for a different health center where your surgeon would be willing to do the surgical procedure.

Much of your life depends on this part of your body, so if you are not treated correctly after the procedure and something is messed up that the surgeon did, you could be at risk of a number of problems. It does not really help to think about the worst though unless it helps to spur you on to find the best place to have your procedure done.

If you are unsure of how to proceed, you may want to sit down with your surgeon and ask him or her about the hospital where they most often operate. They of course support that hospital to some degree, but he or she would hopefully be honest with you as to whether it is the best place.

For more information, you can always look up the hospital and their service elsewhere to see what previous patients have had to say. Take some patients comments with a grain of salt because you never know what ones where heavily sedated while in the hospital. You should be able to tell the true comments from the habitual complaining ones. Some people just never have anything good to say.

Once you find a hospital where you feel confident in having spine surgery, you will want to take care of any preparations that need to take place before you can ever have the procedure. As you look into it, you might want to find out if spine surgery is ever done robotically. Robotic surgery is a very good way to make a more invasive surgery less so. It might not be possible, but if it is, it is worth considering.

Student Health Centers Boost Revenue By Billing Commercial Insurance Plans

With college health centers facing significant increases in the costs to provide health care services, as well as decreases in their funding sources, many health center administrators are having to think outside of the box for ways to extend budgets and maintain a high quality of care for their student patients. As a result, more college health center directors and their staffs are turning to commercial insurance plans.

“Health centers at many public institutions used to get 100 percent of their funding from the state, but times are changing,” said Jennifer Lepus, director of university health services for the University of Maryland – Baltimore County.

The UM-BC student health center is one of hundreds nationally that have struggled with state budget cutbacks. Health centers at impacted schools may still receive some funding by offering student health insurance plans, but reimbursements from those plans – which are provided by a handful of companies that contract with colleges to offer exclusive group rated coverage to students – are typically not enough to support a health center budget.

“Our difficulty in offering only a group rated insurance program was that voluntary enrollment was not enough to sustain it,” said Western Kentucky University’s Health Services Director Libby Greaney. “So, WKU’s solution has been to accept commercial insurance plans, and file those claims.

WKU began billing insurance companies in 2001, after student health fees were cut the previous year.

“If your doctors are board-certified and credentialed, they can establish themselves as primary care physicians. This enables you to see community patients who are in-network with the plans that your health center accepts. If balanced properly, you can increase your service net and your revenue streams.”

According to Greaney, more and more schools are realizing the benefits of opening their health centers up to commercial plans, and taking a similar approach to WKU’s.

“People are beginning to see the need. They are talking about it and addressing it,” she said. “Those in college health who are resistant to the idea may be viewed as ‘old school’ if they do not embrace the concept.”

“More and more senior vice presidents at colleges are hearing about this approach, and are giving the directive to their health centers. I would encourage health center staff to be more in the driver’s seat.”

But Greaney also recognizes a natural conundrum. While accepting commercial carriers can open up additional revenue streams for college health centers, it may also impact access to care. The reality is that not every student enrolls in school with insurance coverage. Students without coverage either go without care, or must pay out of pocket for medical costs that are growing more expensive each year.

With the American College Health Association and some states calling for colleges and universities to provide health care coverage to all students, some schools are offering a menu of options.

For example, Lepus and her staff at UM-BC have opted to accept both a student health plan and plans from commercial carriers.

“If the goal is for every student to have coverage, we can achieve that by offering both options,” Lepus said. “The school plans are less expensive for people, but we have found that many young people today are covered by their parents’ insurance plans until they turn 23 years old. That means that a large number of students have coverage through private carriers, and it seems logical that when they come in to be seen, we can bill those insurance companies.”

The University of Utah at Salt Lake City is another example of a health center that has found that billing to commercial insurance carriers as well as offering a traditional student insurance plan through the university is a win-win for both students and the health center.

“By offering both options, we have a medium-sized pool of students who are required to come to us with their insurance, but we are also affordable and convenient for students with out of state insurance who will be paying out-of-network percentages or deductibles,” said Tiffany Smith, office manager/patient advocate for the University of Utah at Salt Lake City’s health center, which attracts about 7,000 students each year. “When we bill commercial insurance carriers, we make the process easier for our student patients, and this keeps them coming back to us in the future.”

And when they come back, it means additional revenue for the health center.

Although accepting commercial insurance carriers might seem overwhelming, Greaney offers a bit of advice to other health center directors who are considering it:

“Start small, and utilize the resources that are available to you,” she said. “Namely, people who have gone through this either in college health or out in the community.”

Community Health Centers and the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare or the ACA) of 2010 garnered international attention when it famously mandated that small business owners with 50 or more full-time employees would be required to provide health insurance coverage for their full-time staff. Though the long-term effects of the law remain to be seen, the Affordable Care Act did establish the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), which allows small business owners to directly compare different public health insurance coverage plans. These are large-scale effects, however. How does the Affordable Care Act change how community health centers operate, if at all? What will the ACA mean for municipalities where CHC(community health center) provide the bulk of healthcare services rendered?

Since much of the Affordable Care Act is concerned with expanding access to healthcare services, community health centers have seen a large increase in the number of patients enrolled since the law was enacted. Total patients served annually have increased from 17 million in 2009 to over 20 million in 2012, and community health centers have added over 35,000 new staff positions in the same period (including over 7,500 physicians).

The ACA has also provided significant funding for centers (CHC) (as of 2013) over the next five years, designating more than $11 billion for the maintenance and renovation of existing health centers. A portion of this amount will be used to create new in medically underserved areas (MUAs). As one might expect, medically underserved areas are localities in which the physician-to-population ration is far below the national average. Residents may not have access to even very basic healthcare services, hospital procedures, or professional medical consultation, so community health centers represent their best chance at receiving the care they need.

Physicians and public health advocates alike continue to promote the development of CHC across the country, as they represent an affordable solution to the lack of hospital care for millions of residents. CHC’s are also particularly adept at addressing several different health conditions, given that they often house professional medical staff with diverse medical backgrounds. The Affordable Care Act will allow these vital community programs to expand and further evaluate local demographics and their medical needs. Should more specialized services be required, the community health center provides a gateway for policymakers to assess how future federal funding should best be spent in the area.

Popular Services Offered by Massage Therapy Health Centers

Many massage therapy health centers offer numerous services to accommodate the growing demand of their clients. Aside from offering the usual massage services, many health and wellness centers are now expanding their services to attract more clients. This is also one way to keep regular clients from going to other centers.

Aside from massage, what are other popular services offered by massage therapy health centers? What make them the ideal place to relax, unwind, and reenergize? Here are the popular services these centers often have in common:

Massage therapy
What is a massage therapy health center without offering massages? This is their primary service that is available in different ways and techniques. Massage therapy is a very effective way of relieving stress and aids the circulation of blood in the body at the same time. It is recommended for patients suffering from arthritis and those who are under therapy.

Skin care treatments
Many massages health centers also offer services for your skincare needs. A qualified dermatologist is readily available to assist you and give you the proper treatment for your skin. Facials, peeling, waxing, and bleaching are some of the most common treatments.

Body spa treatments
Body spa treatments are also an added feature to most massage therapy health centers. Most health centers offer unique styles for their body spa treatments. You can have a body scrub in a forest setting or even enjoy having your whole body moisturized by expert hands with scented candles all around the room. For a more romantic and relaxing feel, you and your partner can avail of these treatments together.

This added service for massage therapy health is a methodical massage that’s very beneficial to your body. Reflexology focuses in stimulating the reflexes of the hands and feet that relate to a specific area in your body. In just a short reflexology session, you will feel more relaxed and relieved of your body pain.

Many massages health centers now provide this type of service. Acupuncture is originated in Asia and is now widely practiced in many parts of the world. Acupuncture is a very complicated yet effective process that must be performed by a qualified professional. That is why massage therapy health centers offer it to clients.

Sauna is common in many massages health centers that cater to individuals who want to shed those extra pounds easily and instantly. This type of service is available in two modes. One is the public sauna wherein a space is provided for customers who want to try it and the other is a private sauna for those who want a more peaceful ambiance. The sauna is also effective in keeping the skin moisturized and young looking.

Massage therapy health centers offer services that help promote wellness and better health. The services they offer are all designed to benefit the human body. Further, they only hire experienced professionals to deliver their services. There are many spas and wellness centers today that all you have to do is visit them and see which ones appeal to you most.

Cholesterol Health Centers

Cholesterol word itself makes the chill run down the spine of many and gives them sleepless nights. Cholesterol is the most popular word within medical arena and many experts have defined it in various different forms. Cholesterol is the fatty, waxy and oily lipid substance found in the body. It circulates in the bloodstream and is carried in packages, which is known as lipoproteins. It performs various functions within the body like guarding the arteries, providing fat to the body and also producing hormones. Cholesterol is the essential substance required by the body but once it exceeds its certain limit it becomes a bane. High level cholesterol generally brings along various heart and liver related diseases. It also affect the brain functioning and tends to week the brain nerves.

By seeing the sudden increase in cholesterol related diseases many cholesterol reduction centers have popped up. They not only reduce the cholesterol but also cut down the growth of cholesterol in the body. Nowadays you can find many cholesterol centers on one straight road quoting they are the best. But use your judgment and instinct to select the best one which suits and matches your needs. Mostly cholesterol health centers makes you follow a strict diet as well as fixed exercise regime. They even provide you with guidelines to follow either you are at home or anywhere else. Generally they are tied up with many drug producing companies which give them a chance to create awareness regarding cholesterol and its related diseases. Cholesterol health centers also organize various camps and seminars for those who are unaware of cholesterol and its related effects.

Nowadays majority of cholesterol health centers have tied up with many experts and doctors so that correct information can be spread about cholesterol. They not only create awareness among you but also give you the detail and full-fledged information about it. Many cholesterol health centers organize regular exercise sessions so that exercises can be infused in your busy schedule. Apart of informing they also provide you with drugs and medicines which can prove beneficial in lowering down the cholesterol. They also full use of ayurvedic and herbal medicines so that you get a variety of options to choose from.

In short we can say that they don’t leave a single stone unturned in terms to provide you a healthy and disease free life. So if you’re having high cholesterol or even have a doubt over this then contact your cholesterol health center now else it can prove very fatal.

Homeopathic Health Centers – Treating a Large Range of Chronic Health Problems

Homeopathy is an alternative form of medicine benefiting everybody even those who are not benefited with traditional allopathic medicines. This is very safe and effective as compared to other form of medication. All other medicinal system are very costly, they lead to discomfort due to side effects and shows no substantial results even after long treatment. Advantages of homeopathy over these medicines have made it popular in recent times. One important thing for a homeopathic patient and doctor is to have patience as its remedies takes a bit longer time but then diseases is cured from its roots diminishing its chances to reappear.

There are so many homeopathic health centers established all over the world which are engaged in preparing medicines, treating people of all age and providing free suggestions for a healthy life. They have all latest equipments to prepare every type of remedy treating a large range of chronic health problems. Homeopaths believe that it uses very minute substances in its remedies therefore it is the safest modality to treat every age group of individuals. They assure that it is advantageous over traditional system because it works on the complete individual instead of symptoms only and it stimulates your immune system so as to work stronger. Conventional medicines work against the immune system.

Homeopathic health centers provide cure for all acute health problems. It treats all mental, physical and emotional problems. Emotional status like depression, anxiety, attention deficit, obsessive compulsive disorder, destructiveness, phobias etc can be solves by homeopathy effectively. Other physical conditions like asthma and respiratory problems, skin problems like pimples, acne, allergy, and lichen etc, digestive disorders like constipation, diarrhea, ulcer etc, migraine headaches, insomnia, and restlessness have been assuredly cured and treated with homeopathic consultation and remedies. In nutshell, you name the disease and homeopathy has its solution.

Whenever you will visit any such homeopathic center they will first of all discuss with you about your social and personal life. Every individual is unique in reference to his background, his heredity, behavior and surroundings. This concept makes them to find a different remedy for each individual which can be done only after having complete information about the person’s life. Although its treatment requires a bit lengthy time but exact time taken depends on individual’s needs and body response on remedies.

There are online consultation facilities with homeopathic experts but it is more fruitful to visit a homeopathic health center personally. But be cautious while choosing your practitioners as inexperienced and novice individuals cannot understand your problems and cannot suggest you right remedy.

Treating a large range of chronic health problems, homeopathy is safest and effective modality not only for human beings but also for animals like horses, dogs, cats etc. As homeopathy works on the complete individual, it not only treats disease but also raises individuals’ potential to work in life. It made him happy inside and he can have a healthy relationship with your family members.

Some patients are skeptical regarding this treatment due to time taken. It will benefit those individuals also but if you really believes in this medication, your body will show earlier results, because your belief can do wonders.

Benefits of Visiting a Family Health Center Regularly

Seeing a doctor at least once a year is an activity often disregarded by many families in America. They just seem to not see its relevance until one family member suffers an illness or so. Are you somehow guilty of this? Basically, going to a health center regularly gives room for prevention from possible health complexities that may come your way. As they say, “Prevention is better than cure.” Not to mention cheaper and easier than actually treating a particular disease. Not only that! There are other services you can avail like abortion and skin care services all in one stop. Now, let’s take a look at some of the advantages you can experience by making a few changes in the way you treat your heath!

Over-all health

To start-off, you become aware of how your body adjusts itself year after year and lifestyle after lifestyle. No one is getting any younger and no one becomes as healthy as he or she is 10 years ago! That is why you need to get checked every once in a while. Awareness is king when it comes to having or maintaining a good health condition. The more you know, the more you pay attention to the inefficiencies in your over-all health thus the more you become health-conscious. Thanks to companies that must their employees to have annual medical check-ups and the benefits and discounts that come along with it. Take advantage of that and visit a family health center you trust! It is an investment worth-having.

Other services

You become familiar with the other services they offer and take advantage of the ones you really need. Family health centers do not only provide health services on primary care. Most of them also offer genealogy, medical cosmetology and reproductive health services. For women, there are skin care treatments and various legal abortion services offered. Imagine how helpful this is for you and your family. Instead of hopping from one health center to another, you get all the services you need in one place. And you get to have your much-needed privacy especially when it comes to confidential medical processes like abortion.


Have you ever-heard of the phrase medical history? Well, yes. Continuity is an important part of knowing an exact data on how healthy you are. Annual medical check-up is really encouraged. If you face a very severe case, then there’s no problem asking for a second, third or fourth opinion from other doctors. But it is not enough reason that you go jumping from one physician to another. Wouldn’t it be great if there would be a specific person whom you can tell exactly what you feel physically about yourself without feeling too uncomfortable? Wouldn’t it be nice if there’s someone you can entrust your whole family’s health with? In an abortion procedure, such as, you get proper care not only in pre-abortion, but in post-abortion as well. Choose a reputable medical health center and capitalize on the health services they offer for you and your family’s own good. Health is wealth, you know.