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‘Health Spotlight’: Psychiatrist shares her mental health toolkit

Health Spotlight: One psychiatrist shares her mental health toolkit

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — More people are seeking mental health treatment than ever before. The CDC reports more than 21% of people are seeing a psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, counselor or social worker.

But what keeps our mental health professionals sane? Here’s what one therapist keeps in her mental health toolbox.

Jessi Gold, a psychiatrist with Washington University in St. Louis, helps people through tough situations.

“Our work is really hard, and we listen to really hard things all day,” said Dr. Gold.

Diagnosed with depression during her college days at the university of Pennsylvania, she’s sharing how she balances the stresses of work and life. First and foremost, in her mental health toolkit: Therapy.

“We wouldn’t come to work if we didn’t know how to manage it, and one way we manage it is often getting treatment ourselves,” said Gold.

Gold asks herself routinely, “How am I doing?” She says it’s important to track your answers. A few apps to help are Daylio and IMoodJournal. These apps help you see trends so you can deal with them.

Coping starts the minute her day begins. Morning routines center her.

“I exercise, walk my dog. I have a little dog, she’s helpful for that in a lot of ways, but also dogs have a lot of emotional sensing and they’re really good in that way,” said Gold.

At work, Gold keeps a stress ball handy to refocus. Freewriting in a journal is another essential practice, but doctor gold knows everything doesn’t work for everybody. For example, mindfulness doesn’t work for her.

“I’ve tried it every which way, and I can’t get myself to like it,” said Gold.

Most importantly, Dr. Gold wants you to know it’s ok not to be perfect.

“I would love to say that I practice what I preach, but I would say I’m a work in progress,” said Gold.

One more piece of advice from Gold: It’s healthy to set boundaries. That means you don’t always have to say yes. You can learn to say no to things and people that don’t make you happy.

This story was created from a script aired on WISH-TV. Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network.