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Welcome to Voices in Local Government, an ICMA podcast to share success stories, ideas, and lessons for local government leaders and their staff.
My name is Joe Supervielle, joined by ICMA co-host Jessi Atcheson and certified recovery peer specialist, founder of Cope Notes, and maybe the only person I've ever met that made anything related to healthcare easier instead of more frustrating and a dozen other unofficial titles, we could probably give you. Johnny Crowder, thanks for being here.
I'm going to change my LinkedIn title to that. The only person making healthcare less frustrating.
Yeah. It's true though. It's true. Which we're going to get to, and thanks Jessi for being here as well.
Excited to be here too with two friends.
So Jessi is ICMA's go-to person on any and everything content. And she is the host of ICMA Member Spotlights, which come out monthly and we might have a little bit focus in on mental health on that channel as well coming up soon. So, today the spotlight is on mental health for local government staff, for the residents that they serve and for the listeners, managers are otherwise listening right now. I'm guessing a lot of us tend to leave ourselves out of that equation, which Johnny's going to get to, but you're included in that group.
Yes. And Johnny is given two TED Talks and a great session at Columbus 2022 ICMA annual conference called The Three Pillars of Community Mental Health Residents, Employees and You. Though, by your own words, Johnny, is really the three mental health bubbles to burst? But today, we're not here to rehash those older presentations. We're here to answer the next level of details through questions and follow-ups about mental health and Cope Notes from people in local government, ICMA staff, and even regular people. So without further ado, Joe, let's get to it.
Thank you to audience members, to ICMA staff, and just to some people we know that helped send in some questions. Jessi and I are going to ask of Johnny. Now, we're going with that ask me anything mindset. There's no filter. I think the audience can already tell from the TED Talks and the conference that Johnny's not going to hold back, and he's going to be as real as it gets with this stuff, which again, it's not easy to do, so that's why you're here.
So some of these might come across as a little hesitant or even skeptical, but these are the questions Johnny's going to answer them as best he can. So the first one, why listen to you? Going through something doesn't automatically make you an expert or qualified to advise on something as serious as mental health. Johnny's backstory is available on the TED Talks and some other sources, so we don't want to rehash all that. But short version is you've been through a lot, but again, that's a little different than the expertise. So, what's your response when people ask you that?
Yeah. First of all, it's a great question. Yesterday, I spoke at a mayor's council meeting and it is basically all of the mayors in the center of this state that I was in. And I got up on stage and I just knew everyone was wondering, "What is this 30-year-old going to tell all of us 60-year-olds about behavioral health?" But the fact is science changes, and if you went to school for psychology 30 years ago, I learned different things than you earning the same degree.
So that's one thing I try to help people understand is yes, I have a lot of lived experience with behavioral health conditions and that really does count for something. That's where the whole idea of a peer support specialist came from. In fact, 80% of people who work in behavioral health do so because they have firsthand experience with lived symptoms. So, I am not unique in that. I'm not the one guy who faced mental illness and then decided to work in the field. This is actually almost every clinician, but-
Social services too, that's the thing.
Oh, yes. But beyond that, I think the lived experience component gives you something that my schooling didn't. So, I have a degree in psychology. I also have letters after my name, but I'm very clear with people that I'm not a doctor, I'm not a clinician, I'm not a medical doctor. So even though I'm a mental health professional and I'm a mental health expert, I've worked in the field for over a decade that honestly you could take the same schooling and give it to someone with no firsthand experience with mental illness, and their perception would be completely different.
And I'm not saying that that person shouldn't have a seat at the table, but I'm saying, I'm not trying to question clinicians who don't have lived experience with mental illness, but it's just a question. Imagine going to eat at a restaurant and asking the chef, "What would you recommend?" And the chef says, "Oh, I've never personally eaten here. I've never had any of the food." And you go, "Oh, weird. You don't know what it tastes like?"
So, I think there's this intangible thing that lived experience with mental illness brings. I'm not saying you should trust me because I've survived suicide or because I live with diagnoses. I'm saying that that's part of the reason why you should take what I say seriously, because it's not just book learning, it's a few decades of real life experience.
Okay. And to interject, correct me if I'm wrong, but I get the impression you're also not advocating Cope Notes instead of or to replace these other things that can be in combination with, or in addition, to compliment both.
I am always very clear and open about what we do and don't do. And early on, I had to make a decision, "Do I want to create something that is designed to replace medication and therapy?" And I genuinely feel like that would be so irresponsible with me because the only reason I'm alive right now is because of medication and therapy. So, I hold those things in very high regard. I always encourage people, if you use Cope Notes, that's outstanding, but should you need a higher degree of care, you should not think, "Well, I have Cope Notes. I guess, I can top stop taking anti-psychotic medication, or I guess I can no call, no-show my clinician." Don't do that. Continue with those things that they're helping you.
Yeah. And also for the managers out there where this might be an avenue with your local government, providing that service for the residents, again is not intended to replace those things they're doing personally. And it shouldn't be a conflict, so...
Yeah, really we're looking to support the efforts that exist and relieve the administrative burden on providers. And actually, at my session in Ohio, someone raised their hand and said the wait list in their community were one year long, one year long. Someone's waiting 52 weeks to see a clinician. So really, we're not saying, "Screw those clinicians." We're saying, "Oh, man, how do we reduce some of that burden and increase some of that provider's capacity by lifting some of that weight off their shoulders?"
That's great. And to expound on that a little bit, again, speaking from the skeptical manager out there, how can text messages possibly make a meaningful impact on mental health?
Awesome question. So this is where we get into trouble because we advertise ourselves, we advertise Cope Notes as a very, very simple resource, which it is. And then people think, "If it's that simple, how is it really helping you?" And the example I always give is water with nothing in it. How is that healthy for me? There's no vitamins in water, there's no calories in water. If it really was that good for me, it would have a nutrition label that tells me all the things in it that are good for me.
So we are similarly healthy in that we can provide support, but it's really difficult to look in from the outside and say, "Well, how can something that simple actually provide real tangible impact?" But I will say this, if you look at the things that we send as text messages, you will miss the underlying power, which is that each message, and I'll try not to get too sciencey here, but each message contains health education content. So it's a psychology fact, it's a journaling prompt, it's an exercise. Every message that we send is coded to proven psychological principles by clinicians and researchers. So we are not texting people, "Smile," and hoping that something positive will happen.
These are real clinically sound health education interventions that are delivered at random times to train the brain to think in healthier patterns. This is a neuroscience brain training resource. So there's all this science like technology and psychology underneath what we do, but my favorite part is that if you're using it as the end user, you don't even know. You read a couple sentences in a text message and you're like, "Huh, I guess I never thought about it that way." And you've gone on with your daily life not even realizing that the synapses in your brain are rearranging themselves to prioritize positive thought as a result.
Yeah. You said that the next question was how does peer support best fit in with neuroscience? And you also covered that how it fit in with therapy and medication, but can you speak a little bit more about... Again, not getting too sciencey because the Cope Notes website has that for anyone who wants to do more research, but neuroscience with peer support, how does that work?
Yeah. I want to real quickly say part of your last question was how do we know it's actually making a positive difference? Is it really making a difference? We have research. If you go to copenotes.com/research, it's right there on our website that proves that Cope Notes reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. So I'm certainly not making this up as I go along and hoping it works. We've served tens of thousands of people all over the world and measured... Actually research institutions have measured positive health outcomes. We have a study publishing in the Journal of Mental Health.
Any day now, maybe by the time this airs, it will be published that shows these positive health outcomes. So I wanted to say for anyone who just listened to me answered that question and said, "Well, you never actually linked us to any research." Well, go to copenotes.com/research and you will find it.
We'll put it on the podcast page too once is ready. We'll have it right there. Yep.
And then about peer support. So there are literally decades worth of research around the concept of peer support, about talking to someone who understands what you're going through. So anyone who's listening who's gone to school for psych has probably read about cognitive restructuring or cognitive reframing.
Think about it like this. So right next to me, I have a business card and I will make sure that the person's contact information does not show. But let's say this business card is laying on the table there and you see it and it looks like a business card, no story attached to it. But if I see it and go, "That is my great aunt's business card, she passed away when I was nine years old and when I was cleaning out her house, I found that business card, and I will keep it with me as long as I live because it's my one little token that always reminds me of my great aunt."
That means that my cognitive frame, my story around this business card is much different than yours. And all of a sudden it has tons of meaning to me. And then when I share that, you go, "Oh, well, wait, that's Johnny's great aunt's business card." So now, you're not going to throw it in the trash, you know there's value. So a similar thing happens when you're talking to a peer with lived experience, when you're hearing from somebody.
So let's say you live with schizophrenia for nine years, you don't know anybody else with schizophrenia. So your frame around that is, "I'm the only one. I'm being singled out by the universe. I am the one. I'm sick, I'm broken. No one can fix me. This is just my lot in life." And then, through meeting a peer and talking through a peer, you can recontextualize all these things that you've run into in your life because someone will go, "Oh, me too." And you'll go, "No." That breaks my cognitive frame. I thought that I was the only person. I thought I was broken and singled out and a freak. But here I am having a conversation with a peer that humanizes me and makes me feel like a real person who just happens to be going through something difficult. It is transformational.
Going into this one, I think of a bit of a misunderstanding by the person who submitted this question, but I'm going to pose it to you the same anyway because I want you to debunk this. So smartphones and screen time are a huge part of the mental health crisis and can definitely be attributed to that. So how can another app help?
Oh, I love this person. I want to meet them. So the person who asked that question has probably watched the Social Dilemma, which is a documentary on Netflix. If you haven't seen it, and also if you're a parent, I encourage you to watch it. It is extraordinarily powerful and it's obviously very dramatic, but it shows some of the misaligned incentives in the technology industry where a lot of tech companies measure success by screen time. They think if someone's using the device a ton or if someone is spending 5, 10, 20, an hour on an app, then that's successful.
And I want to mention that for me, that has always sounded like, imagine if toothbrush manufacturers said, "I know Jessi brushed her teeth for two and a half minutes this morning, but I wonder if we could get her to brush her teeth for hours?" Hours and hours on end. That would be a very silly way to measure the success of a toothbrush, is how much time someone spends brushing her teeth. In fact, the most effective way to measure success for a toothbrush is how much plaque is left on Jessi's teeth after she brushes them. That's really the ultimate goal, is you're trying to measure for an outcome, not for the amount of time someone spends using it.
So if you were to measure my experience with tech support for my phone by how much time I spent messaging back and forth with the person on tech support, then a six-hour troubleshooting session would be considered very successful by that company. And that's just not the way that we look at the problem we're solving. So instead, we want to optimize for the lowest possible amount of screen time for the highest possible good as far as outcomes.
So really Cope Notes is called a low touch high impact resource, which means you are only using your phone to interact with Cope Notes maybe 5, 10, 15 seconds a day. You're reading two sentences. Some people can do that in less than five seconds depending on how fast you read. But the goal is to experience this interruption and then transition out of whatever you in. In fact, I'll end with this. I've actually had people tell me that a Cope Notes' text message broke them out of phone use. So they're scrolling through Twitter or TikTok, or their newsfeed reading headline after headline for 20 or 25 minutes. They don't even know where the time's going. A Cope Notes text comes in and it jerks them out of that trance and they go, "Oh, shoot."
I'm sitting on my friend's couch, my friend's right next to me, and I've not been engaging with them or listening to them. So this is actually designed to use as little screen time as possible to drive as positive of a health outcome as possible. And the last thing I'll say here is if you go to Cote Notes' website, the person who asks this question, we have a little bit of information about how we are not an app. There's nothing to download or anything. And there's some reasons why we chose not to be an app that I think the person who asked that question would find really interesting because I agree with you more than you think.
It's not get this app, get into it, go through a bunch of menus, it's just an SMS subscription. It comes through as a text and like you said, 15 seconds, you're done. And you mentioned how do you measure success? What can we know how some of the tech companies do, but if a local government is interested in using the service for their residents and want to get into a mass subscription situation, how do they measure success? It's an intangible thing, like individuals could use it, not use it, and then we don't necessarily know how to measure what's happening. Use that plaque analogy might be relevant a little bit, but how does a local government manager who wants to use this justify it or show that I hate to make it about money, but the return on investment?
Totally. So we've worked with maybe a couple dozen different groups now who have really taken to the survey idea, which is instead of wondering how people enjoy their experience, they simply ask them, and you would be surprised at how willing people are to share their experience. Trust me, if they like using it, they'll probably tell you because they want to keep using it.
So we've done surveys in the past that have asked about specific areas of people's lives that they feel Cope Notes has made an impact in. We've actually asked for feature requests and all sorts of cool things through feedback forms. But another thing that we're very careful to keep an eye on is consistent engagement. So, we don't want someone on their phone four, six hours a day because that's not something we want to optimize for, but we do want to make sure that if someone is using Cope Notes, are they using it every day for 15 seconds? Are they using it for just one month and then they cancel, or are they staying for months and months and even years?
So we look at two main things. One is obviously their real feedback. So they're saying on a scale of one to 10, how big of an impact they feel that it's made. And then they can say different areas of their life that they feel that Cope Notes has improved. But then, also, there are these interesting intangible things like improved sleep or people being more social with their friends and family members, or trying to quit smoking, or eating better, or taking less time off of work because they feel more connected with their work partners.
There's a lot of people who wind up taking all of those things that I just mentioned and saying, "Well, that's not mental health." But those are some of the benefits that can come from improved mental health. And we always try to keep an eye on that, not only through feedback forms, but then also actually measuring engagement and giving hard data to our government partners.
Okay. So I was going to say, Cope Notes collects, and then shares at least some of that information. It's not on the local government to try and get those surveys done on your behalf. You do it and then share it with them.
So it depends, right? We have some local governments who say, "We have a very specific set of things that we're trying to measure for." Let's say they have like, "Oh, we have this county health program that we want to make sure people are engaging in. We want to see how it integrates." In that case where they have very specific needs, we've literally had some governments make their own surveys and send them out and link them. That way they're measuring exactly what they want to measure. But then also we've had groups who say, "Listen, we just want to get a sense of whether or not people are enjoying this and whether or not it's making a big difference in their lives." And in those cases we're a little more hands on. So it depends on what that government is trying to measure.
Okay, good. The flexibility there then.
That definitely ties a lot into this next question on how are the individual licenses maximized and how do we know that those messages aren't sitting unread or perhaps deleted?
Yeah. John, I'll jump in real quick too. I think for context, you did explain the surveys on the backend, but if a local government buys X number of licenses, it sounds weird to take them away, but is there a way to say, "All right, this one's not really being used. Can we give it to someone who will use it?" It's how I interpret that question.
Yeah. This gets tricky, right? So imagine, and we've had this happen before, so this is not a fake scenario that I will tell you about. This is a real one. Imagine, let's say, Jessi, you use Cope Notes for four months and you enjoy it, it's helping. And then you think, "You know what I'm doing okay. I think I'm going to text stop to cancel my subscription." So you do that. Then the municipality says, "Well, we have an extra one because Jessi canceled it, so we'll give it to Joe."
So now Joe activates Jessi's old subscription, and then Jessi is diagnosed with bronchitis, and now she's stuck in her house coughing, feeling miserable, and she says, "Man, honestly, I was doing okay, now I just really feel like I could use a little bit of support again." So you text start and you get a message saying, "Sorry, Jessi, you missed out. You gave it up. You don't get support anymore."
This happens more commonly than you think. So now, each time a subscription is activated, it belongs to that person. And if someone is listening and saying, "Well, what if someone activates and then a day later decides they don't want it?" I can just tell you from serving tens of thousands of people all over the country and beyond, that is not a very common occurrence. In fact, the average length of stay average, the average length of stay subscriber stays for over two years, like two and a half years. And the average monthly self-paid subscriber stays for between nine and 10 months.
So these people, when they use Cope Notes, they continue using it every single day for hundreds and hundreds of days in a row, if not thousands. But for subscriptions that are paid for by a municipality or by their employer, over 85% of people use it to the completion of the term. So we're talking a vast, vast, vast majority of people use it until the very last day they can. But I'll say this, if you think that someone will let you text them every day and they're going to ignore your text every day for seven months instead of just texting stop and being done with it, you are not super familiar with the way that people interact with their phones because I am fierce with hitting unsubscribe, hitting stop. If I decide that I don't want anything anymore, I hit that stop button real quick.
Yes, especially in this day and age, I know we're all trigger-happy with the unsubscribed button. You're right, if that's the average term of use, then people have to be interacting with it.
All right. The next question is, "I can't even convince my employees to take their earn pay time off. How can I encourage them to use this service if our organization had a subscription?" And I think you preempted that already by giving us that stat on how many used it, which is good. But I think the message there is like employers, local governments specifically try to do all these things for mental health or just wellbeing, happiness, whatever they're called. But it's true, there's all those stats. Like Americans don't take their annual time. I'm guilty of that often. How does the boss even communicate it? Let's say they get the subscription for their employees, not even necessarily their residents. How do they convince people to engage and sign up?
Another great question. So two things come to mind. The first is whenever we sign with an employee group, we do a live training. So we will Zoom in. We have several members of the Cope Notes team that will walk the entire employee base through all of the features and functions. We do a little bit of health education around the brain and how certain habits are healthy and not healthy. So there's a learning component, but then we also prompt people to activate their subscription right now on the call.
So we handle a lot of that, and in some cases we see 30%, 40%, 50% of the entire employee population sign up on day one. That is not uncommon for that to happen. So engagement is through the roof in large part because we prime the pump with this health education. But the other part is, Joe, if you take off a week and I'm your boss, I know it. I know it was you. I know it was Joe. There's no anonymity. But if you sign up for Cope Notes, your boss does not get a notification.
So that anonymity, that insulation, being able to use the resource without people knowing that you're using the resource is extraordinarily powerful and it's a big reason why we see such high engagement. But the other piece is you taking time off even for a day, 24 hours, eight hours, let's just say it's an eight-hour workday you're taking off versus a 15-second text interaction is a big difference in the amount of time and the lift that it will be for you.
So in short, we do a lot of health education in a live training setting. Then, it only takes 15 seconds versus eight hours, or 20 hours, or whatever someone would take off. And the third thing is it's completely anonymous. So no one feels any type of way about someone finding out that they're using the resource in the first place.
Yeah, definitely sounds like you're setting them up for success there because I know we tend through employee assistance programs and other things like that. We'll get the emails through, we'll get the things that you can set them up, but who's going to take that extra step in those trainings and resources I imagine can really help be the catalyst for that. I liked this question and this one that I didn't even think of when starting the outline was is the daily texting approach still effective for massive stressful events that our local government leaders can face, like natural disasters, financial stressors, political divide?
Wow, I'm going to stop saying great question because you obviously picked the best question, so that makes sense. But really, remember this goes back to something that we said earlier, whereas each message is not just a text, it is an ecological momentary intervention or an EMI. We are in the business. Yes, we are in the health education business.
Yes, we are in the positive psychology business. Yes, we're in the peer support business, but more than anything, we are in the thought pattern interruption business. That is what we do. We are professional interrupters. So, if you are telling me that you are reeling with anxiety and stress over some huge event, in fact, an interruption will be more valuable in a moment like that because your thought pattern is more entrenched.
If something is taking up the entirety of your conscious thinking and something snaps into that, it's called a pattern interrupt. You can Google it. That is really, really powerful, especially in those moments because if you frame it can a text message really help? I can understand how you'd be skeptical, but if you think, "Can a pattern interrupt help in those moments?" Absolutely. It just happens to be a text message.
I like the professional disruptors.
You need to put that in your LinkedIn title as well.
Yeah, you you're talking about LinkedIn titles. I've got a two and a four-year-old who are now going to be, that's their new nickname for the next month, professional interrupters.
Next question from one of our audience members. "In my experience, there have been great steps moving forward in normalizing mental health, removing that stigma and creating a more realistic avenues of help. However, one common reason or excuse to not speak out or accept support is some version of my troubles or trivial compared to some so many others. They need help more than I do. I should be able to handle this. How do you address that one when you hear it and how does the Cope Notes service take into account that preconceived notion?"
So I immediately think of being at the gym. So I started working out maybe when I was in my early teenage years, and I remember someone was using a machine or something and then they would get up, and I would go sit down and I would look to change the weight and they have 170 pounds on there and I'm like, "What on earth?" And I move it, I take the weight pin out and I move it all the way up to 30 pounds. And I just think. "That guy lifted 140 pounds more than me?" But we know that there's a difference. That guy has been training for years. His biceps are as big as my head. We know that 80% exertion for me is 30 pounds as a 14-year-old. 80% exertion for a 300 pound, six foot six dude who's been training for longer than I've been alive is 170 pounds.
We're better at contextualizing that type of thing. And I think the way that Cope Notes addresses this is we focus a lot on, and please, if you're listening and you hear the term validate, you're like, "Oh, yeah, we just want everybody to have safe spaces and feel validated." But there's a lot of clinical backing to the idea that if you don't take your feelings and emotions seriously, you cannot get better.
If you always downplay, "Oh, yeah, this thing, I'm just being a baby about it." If that's the way you approach it, you will almost invariably turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms like drugs, alcohol, and smoking. This happens all the time. And so, we focus a lot on helping people contextualize what they're going through by helping them take seriously their feelings and thoughts, and emotions.
And the things that we focus on in Cope Notes is we're trying to reduce self-stigma, which means the part of you that's judging yourself for feeling that way in the first place. And then we want to normalize help-seeking behaviors, which means if you weren't so comfortable reaching out to someone because you wanted a deeper level of support before, after using Cope Notes for a while, it starts to become a little more reasonable that you might reach out for that level of help.
And I think when it comes to comparing your struggles to other people, we actually have text messages about that, about comparing yourself and your circumstances to other people. But outside of the text messages, I think comparison is where people completely invalidate what they're going through and wind up making their recovery journey last decades and decades where they're really not making a lot of progress. But you've probably heard that you can't solve a problem if you don't admit it is one. And I think a lot of people, especially people in government and leaders who are trying to be strong, don't admit that their problems are real and it winds up taking a lot longer for them to improve,
Yeah. Especially in those leadership positions when they're trying to be strong, trying to make up for work because the short-staffed, lack of resources, and that's eventually going to lead to burnout, if not worse things that you mentioned. So, I take that seriously.
All right, last question. Many employee assistant plans EAPs are presented as if they are no charge mental health services. But in reality, it's a lot of hoops calls, whole times waiting list, headaches, and even ghosting to maybe get a couple free sessions before being charged for something. Insurance may or may not even cover and won't tell you until afterward. There's no follow-up question, just a rant.
So can you give us some encouragement or end on a positive note? And I'll admit that was submitted by Joe S from Loudoun County, so that was mine. But it's a real frustration like these EAP plans when all seriousness are there to help, but just don't get it done all the time. Cope Notes is one alternative as we've already explained, but Cope Notes aside even just what can you tell the audience for a positive outcome or positive outlook, like what to do to move forward? Just something good to end a serious topic on.
Yeah, so we work with EAPs, but we also call ourselves the anti-EAP or the opposite of an EAP because rather than you reaching out to us for help, we text you once a day. So we're doing the outreach. But I would also just want to encourage... And this might not be the answer you're looking for, but it springs to mind. I understand that the resources that exist aren't the best. However, I think about, "Have you ever tried to think of the name of an actor?" And you're like, "Oh, no, no, no. He was in this movie." And your friend is like, "No, he was not in that movie." And you're like, "Wait. What guy am I thinking of?"
And then you have this whole conversation about it. You go online, you're Googling, you're on IMDb. And you're like, "Wait, that was Ben Affleck? No, no, no, that's not the guy I was thinking of. Shoot. What is this guy's name? He had an accent." "No, he didn't." And you spend a lot of time and mental energy trying to figure out the name of some actor so you could prove a point to a friend who probably didn't care about it in the first place.
And I think people put less effort into engaging with the mental health resources that exist than something trivial like that. And it's because it feels heavy when you are going through the signup process, when you're trying to pick an appointment time, when you're typing in personal information and filling out an intake form and building a profile, it feels like, "Oh, I have to put in all of this stuff about myself." And it feels daunting and intimidating, and it stresses you out.
But I can just tell you from lived experience, and I'll end with this. I know you can't tell by looking at me and how much I talk, but I used to not be able to speak in complete sentences. I used to not be able to make eye contact. I used to not be able to drive. I was debilitated by mental illness. And I fought fiercely to engage with resources that already existed. And I will tell you, while it was harder than looking up the name of an actor and I may have had to jump through more hoops, it was far, far more worth the effort.
And I can tell anyone right now who says, "Oh, I've met with a couple therapists before and therapy isn't for me. Or, "I've tried one antidepressant and I didn't like it." Or, "I've tried two antidepressants and didn't like it." I will just tell you that the effort that you put into healing and getting better, you will never regret it as long as you live. Even if you spend the rest of your life working towards that goal of feeling a little bit better than you did yesterday, when you are 150 years old on your deathbed, you will not think, "I wish I spent less time and effort trying to get better."
So yes, look for other resources, but also understand that even if the resources that do exist aren't your favorite, you are not wasting your time and energy, you are proving to yourself that you're the type of person who will put in work to feel better, and that power lasts in you long after the attempt to seek help/
Copenotes.com is the website. Johnny Crowder, thanks for your time today.
Thank you for having me.
Yes, thanks for coming.
Johnny Crowder, certified recovery peer specialist, founder and CEO of Cope Notes
The first ten listeners that go to copenotes.com/enterprise/ and include “VLG podcast” in the “How’d you hear about us?” field will receive a free Cope Notes subscription they can use or gift to another.
Subscribe to the VLG podcast on Apple, Spotify, or whatever platform you like to get future episodes and catch when the next round of free Cope Notes subscriptions will be made available.
Mental health for local government leaders, their staff, and their residents is discussed with Johnny Crowder. ICMA Affinity partner, Cope Notes, is a daily text service that interrupts negative thought patterns with positive stimulus to help improve mental wellness.
Co-hosts Jessi Atcheson and Joe Supervielle collected questions about mental health and the Cope Notes model from members, staff, and others for an Ask Me Anything interview, including:
- How does peer support connect with neuroscience?
- How does it fit in or compliment with seeing a professional, certified therapist?
- Stigma to even have a conversation about mental health has made progress, but how do you show people it's okay to seek support?
- How can text messages possibly make a meaningful impact on mental health?
- How do local governments or other organizations with group subscriptions measure success if it's all anonymous?
Preliminary effectiveness study of the Cope Notes digital mental Health program in the Journal of Mental Health.
Recap from Crowder's session at ICMA Annual Conference Columbus, and his TEDx Talks.
Local government healthcare resources from Cigna.
ICMA Member Spotlight: Justin Battles on Mental Health