What is a Mental Health Technician?

October 26, 2016 / Alex Hanna  / 
mental health technician, mental health

Zach Good is a Mental Health Technician with a degree Political Science from Penn State University. He also has a double minor in Sociology and History.

mental health technician, zach good, mental health

Alex Hanna: What is a Mental Health Technician, anyway?

Zach Good: A Mental Health Technician, or MHT, is an inpatient psychiatric hospital employee who works directly with patients suffering from mental disorders to verify their safety and ensure that the therapy plans created by the psychiatrists and social workers are followed. That’s a summary for an MHT job description you might find online; but to describe it in simpler terms, an MHT is someone who spends the entirety of the day working with psychiatric patients—facilitating activities on the unit schedule, leading group discussions, addressing patient concerns, and generally keeping the peace. MHTs are a psychiatric hospital’s frontline employees in that they live in the trenches and do everything from serve as informal counselors to take out the trash. I like to say that the doctors make the hospital money but the MHTs run the show [laughs].


Why Did He Have to Ask A Stranger?

October 22, 2016 / Danei Edelen  / 
stranger, we listen

Losing the battle with my morning headache I awoke late one morning to see this email from a complete stranger (Names have been changed to protect anonymity), “My 26 year old daughter [Mary] is back in the hospital… As a parent I feel so helpless. Thank-you for helping to bring it out of the shadows. My daughter would rather die than to live with the side effects of medication… help us, please… [John].” (more…)

A Day in the Life with an Eating Disorder

October 12, 2016 / Jamie Doe (anonymous)  / 
eating disorder

I’m asleep, and dreaming of food. Foods that I want to eat, mainly. Lots and lots of them. Ice cream. Cake. Cookies. I wake up, and my stomach churns as I recall everything I think I ate during the night. Holy shit, I think, if I truly ate all of that, I am going to have to begin to plan my day around food much more meticulously than I normally would. Thanks, eating disorder, for making my day so frustrating and exhausting. Already. Damn you, eating disorder! (more…)

What Courage Really Looks Like

October 11, 2016 / Danei Edelen  / 
Let's do this, courage, courageous

“Thank you for sharing your story; you are so courageous,” a woman said to me at one of my “In Our Own Voice” presentations. As usual, I smiled and thanked her. It always surprises me when people thank me for speaking out—that the “speaking out” aspect is what they believe is most courageous. Yes, speaking out is cathartic. But when you’re like me, living with mental illness, what’s far more courageous is the journey to speaking out. (more…)

Has My Mental Illness Affected My Personality?

October 3, 2016 / Danei Edelen  / 
EQ, personality, mental illness

First introduced in a previous article released by Challenge the Storm , this article takes a closer look at the relationship between personality and mental health conditions, as seen through the eyes of of someone who has experienced the highest highs and lowest lows. To get caught up on the original piece, click here.

Personality tests can help you understand why you are energized or drained in certain situations or by certain activities. One well known personality test is Myers Briggs. Based on psychological types described by C. G. Jung, the mother-daughter duo Isabel Briggs Myers (daughter) and Katharine Briggs (mother) developed four categories with two extremes on a continuum: 1

  • Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extroversion (E) or Introversion (I).
  • Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).
  • Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
  • Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).


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