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The Recent Oregon Wildfires

We're Here For You

In the past week, wildfires have swept across Oregon and the rest of the west coast. With little relief from current weather conditions, Governor Kate Brown stated that, "This could be the greatest loss of human lives and property due to wildfire in our state’s history." Many people across Oregon have had to evacuate and some have tragically perished. Others have lost their homes and belongings.

At Eugene Therapy & Oregon Counseling, we want to be here for you and support you in any way that we can. Many of our therapists specialize in grief and loss counseling, as well as depression and anxiety. If you are experiencing loss or displacement due to the recent fires, and need someone to talk to, you can request an appointment with us today. If you have limited means to afford sessions we will work with you to provide services or appropriate referrals wherever possible.

Please stay informed & stay safe.

Wildfire Resources:

In this issue:

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Taking care of your mental health, throughout all stages of life, is the most important thing you can do for yourself. Regardless of age, gender or background, suicidal thoughts can affect anyone. When people act on those thoughts with suicide, it is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. That is why managing your mental health is so essential.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Thousands of people die from suicide each year and it is a tragic event for friends and family. Unfortunately, it is still highly stigmatized and not always talked about openly. During this month, mental health professionals and initiatives aim to raise awareness of suicide, provide resources and connect people to treatment services. 

One way that you can help with suicide prevention efforts is by educating yourself on the signs of someone who may be contemplating suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention acknowledges that there are risk factors and warning signs to look out for. The difference between the two is that risk factors are signs that increase the probability that a suicidal crisis will occur and warning signs indicate a suicidal crisis has already begun. 

Risk Factors

Health Factors

  • Existing mental health conditions (such as depression, substance use)
  • Serious physical health conditions 
  • Traumatic brain injury

Environmental Factors

  • Stressful life events and prolonged stress factors (divorce, financial crisis, rejection)
  • Access to lethal means (firearms, drugs)
  • Exposure to another person’s suicide (in the community or the media)

Historical Factors

  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Family history of suicide
  • Childhood abuse, neglect, trauma

Warning Signs 


  • Talking about harming themselves
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Expressing having no reason to live
  • Feeling like a burden to others
  • Feeling trapped
  • Unbearable pain


  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Searching for ways to end their life (on the Internet)
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Fatigue, sleeping too much or too little
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Aggression
  • Giving away prized possessions


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loss of interest
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Shame
  • Relief/sudden improvement

Crisis Resources 

Below is a list of crisis resources if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts:

  • If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately. 
  • If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255).
  • You can also access the crisis text line by texting TALK to 741-741 to text with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free, 24/7.
  • Call CAHOOTS Crisis Assistance in Eugene at 541-682-5111.
  • The Trevor Project is a support network for LGBTQ youth providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention. You can call the 24/7 TrevorLifeline at 1-866-488-7386 or access a 24-hour text line (Text “START” to 678678).
  • To access the Veterans Crisis Line, send a text to 838255.

More Resources

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention Resources Center

National Institute on Mental Health

Supporting Someone Who is Suffering

How to Talk About Suicide

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline explains that suicide is not inevitable for anyone. By starting a conversation, providing support and resources, and limiting access for means to self-harm, we can all do our part to help prevent suicides and save lives. 

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The Election Year & Your Mental Health

This fall is going to be filled with political news, conversations and events. With the 2020 U.S. presidential election in less than two months, the climate of the country is increasingly divided. The unknown about the next four years of the country can cause a lot of anxiety, fear and distress. It may be a time of tension in your relationships, if people close to you have different political stances. And with the 24 hour news cycle and social media constantly going, it can easily become overwhelming. In the American Psychological Association’s most recent Stress in America survey, more than 80 percent of Americans reported that the nation’s future is a significant source of stress for them. No matter what political side you fall on, political stressors can impact your mental health. 

Here are six tips for maintaining your mental health during this election year:


Check In With Yourself Regularly

Political stress may be affecting you more than you think. That’s why it’s important to check in with how you are feeling and recognize when it may be good to take a break. You may realize that you could spend your time practicing more self-care to relieve stress. Journaling, meditating or taking a walk in nature are all great ways to become more in tune with yourself and your needs. 


Set Boundaries for the Conversations You Have

Conversations about politics can often get heated and put a strain on relationships. It helps to set expectations for how you want the communication of these conversations to go. Setting rules of respect will alleviate some of the frustration, so that you can discuss current issues in a calm and constructive manner. Instead of entering conversations with the purpose of trying to change someone’s mind, you can take turns hearing from each other and be open to hearing the other person’s perspective. Listening in an open and non-judgmental way definitely takes practice, but having that courtesy will make political conversations go much smoother.


Set a Limit for How Much News You Consume

It’s important to be informed about current events, but constantly scrolling through news articles and social media can also leave you feeling more overwhelmed. Set aside time each day for consumption, but also give yourself a limit. You can set a timer or some social media apps even have their own timers that you can set for them.


Make Peace With Things That Are Out of Your Control

At the end of the day, you aren’t going to be able to change everyone’s beliefs to match your own or control the outcome of a political race. Recognizing that some things are out of your control is something that we all have to make peace with. 


Take Action

That being said, we do have control over ourselves and our mindsets, which can be equally empowering. Instead of feeling powerless about current events, you can take action and most importantly: exercise your right to vote! You can work towards a future you want to see by voting, volunteering for a political campaign and finding meaningful ways to get involved in your community. Your voice is powerful and you can use it to advocate for what you believe in.

The voter registration deadline in Oregon is October 13, 2020 for the General Election on November 3rd. Register to vote now, if you haven’t already!


Seek Out Support

During election season, it helps to have someone who you can communicate your fears, anxieties and concerns to. To minimize stress, seek out someone who will listen to you and provide support. This could be a friend, family member or your therapist. If you are looking for a therapist to speak to, who will listen to you in a supportive, non-judgmental environment, you can request an appointment with us today.

Check out other helpful articles for managing stress:

C.A.L.M.— A Quick Stress-Release Exercise

Mindfulness for Managing Stress

Three Tips for Managing Stress


 Coping with Chronic Stress During COVID-19

When we are put into temporary stressful situations, we have adapted short-term survival strategies that we use to get through it. Earlier this year, many of us were using this "surge capacity" to confront stress and operate through the quick, drastic changes of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, six months have passed and most of the stressors of the pandemic have not gone away. Many people are still dealing with constant stress surrounding their health, mental wellbeing, relationships, work adaptations and finances due to COVID-19. As the pandemic has continued, people's surge capacities have become depleted. The result is that many people are experiencing burnout, the result of excessive stress over time. When stress levels are prolonged, they can easily become unmanageable and completely wear us out.

In a time when we are experiencing ambiguous loss, where the consequences of this major event are unclear and lack a quick resolution, it's important to develop coping strategies that are within our scope of control. Since the type of stress people are experiencing is chronic, it helps to work through it in ways that build your resilience. 

Take an Acceptance-Oriented Approach

Since we can't change our circumstances with the pandemic, we have to accept them. When we accept a situation that is beyond our control for what it is, we can let go of stressing about the things we can't change. The simple act of acceptance should already lift a big weight off your shoulders. 

Try Not to Take Part in Avoidance Coping

One way of coping is by avoiding thinking, feeling or doing difficult things. However, this is not the most healthy way to confront life's stressors. Avoiding can actually cause you more anxiety in the long run. Instead of stress avoidance, try focusing on stress management for your chronic stress to improve everyday functioning.

Change What You Can

Shift your focus to what you are able to change right now. Solution-focused coping strategies can help relieve stress because they involve small, tangible improvements in the midst of more consistent pressures. An example of solution-focused coping is implementing time-management strategies when you feel overwhelmed by a busy schedule.

Practice Positive Reframing

Despite the hardships in the recent months, there are probably still some small positive things you can draw from the situation. Reflect on what you have learned through this adversity and how you might have grown personally. You can also look back on what you may have created or done throughout this period. When you realize that there are still small victories you have accomplished, you can take a more positive perspective on this time as an opportunity for growth. 

Build Resilience Through Learning

One way to build resilience through the constant stresses of this pandemic is to focus on learning and trying out new things. Engaging with challenges can help us better deal with change. By pushing ourselves to learn new things, we also subconsciously teach ourselves to confront and move through the larger difficulties.

Focus on Healthy Habits

Despite the uncontrollable situation, you can still relieve stress through your daily habits. Regular sleep, healthy meals and exercise are always useful tools for dealing with chronic stress. Giving yourself breaks and practicing being kind to yourself is important.

Ask for Help

Sometimes we aren't able to fully work through constant stress on our own. And that's okay. Speaking to a mental health professional can give you an outlet to voice your anxieties. They can give you more tools for managing chronic stress. Request an appointment today with one of our therapists through our online telehealth counseling sessions. 


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