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American Diabetes Association Celebrate Removal of Medicare Requirement that Delayed Access to CGMs

American Diabetes Association Celebrate Removal of Medicare Requirement that Delayed Access to CGMs

The American Diabetes Association and diabetes patients across the country are celebrating a recent change to a Medicare requirement that delayed access to continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) for many patients with diabetes. Before July 18, 2021, Medicare patients with diabetes had to stick their fingers at least four times a day to qualify for coverage for a CGM. This requirement prevented many patients who could benefit from a CGM from access to the technology. 

Advocate teams for the American Diabetes Association (ADA) worked closely with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove the finger-stick requirement. The ADA has championed the removal of this requirement for many years. Considering one in five Medicare beneficiaries also have diabetes, the removal of this barrier makes a considerable difference for the community of patients with diabetes.

What is a Continuous Glucose Monitor?

A continuous glucose monitor delivers real-time, “dynamic” information about blood sugar levels to patients with diabetes. This technology has led to better management of diabetes and overall improved health outcomes. 

How Newly Qualified Patients Get Coverage

Newly qualified individuals with diabetes now only need to undergo a simple, no-finger-stick approval process to get coverage for a CGM. Out-of-pocket costs depend on a variety of factors including the type of Medicare plan you have and where you choose to purchase your CGM. Talk with your healthcare provider and Medicare representative to find out what if any out-of-pocket costs you may incur. 

Mantachie Rural Health Care is thrilled about new access to coverage for this groundbreaking and life-changing technology. If you are a patient with diabetes and would like to learn more about getting coverage for a CGM, contact us today to schedule a time to talk with your provider. 

How Vacations Help You Stay Healthy…Plus Ideas for Relaxing Staycations!

Ah,  vacations. Seems like we’re all constantly dreaming of our next getaway. Turns out there’s a good reason for wanting more time off or away. Science says vacations help you stay healthy, even staycations have their benefits! Here’s how:

Vacations relieve stress.

The pressures of everyday life can set off stress hormones including cortisol and epinephrine. Over time, these same hormones can lead to depression, weight gain, poor sleep habits, and other serious health problems. 

Getting away makes you feel happier.

You know how you instantly get in a better mood the minute you hit the road to begin a vacation? That feel-good mood often carries on for weeks after as a post-vacation buzz. The key to staying happy is about how often you get away rather than how long. 

Time off improves your heart health.

Taking time off from work can reduce your risk of coronary artery disease, better known as heart disease. According to WebMD, one study shows that time off for a staycation is linked to lowered blood sugar levels and higher levels of good cholesterol. 

Vacations bring better sleep.

Plan your trip in advance for better sleep before, during, and after your vacation. Take advantage of the break from everyday chores and responsibilities and get in as many naps and late sleep as possible. 

Getaways help you recharge your energy and focus.

Having trouble concentrating at work? It’s time for a vacation. Even a staycation can leave you re-energized and ready to tackle any task coming your way.

Time off strengthens your immune system.

Remember those stress hormones we mentioned earlier? Those hormones can also weaken your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to infections and other illnesses. Taking a break helps keep those hormones in check.

Vacations help you live longer.

From reducing your risk of infections and conditions like heart disease to lowering your stress level, time off or away from the everyday routine can lengthen your lifespan. 

Trips strengthen relationships.

Studies have shown that couples who travel together are happier than those who don’t and are both individually more physically and mentally fit than others. If your relationship with your spouse or another loved one could use room for improvement, try traveling together for the ultimate bonding experience. 

Relaxing Staycations

We get it. There isn’t always room in the budget to save up for a vacation. Good thing there are plenty of staycation ideas that are fun, relaxing, and still offer a break from everyday life. Here are a few of our ideas:

  • Visit your local and state parks. We promise there is a state park within a short driving distance of your hometown. And if it’s still too far, pack a picnic and head to your favorite local park to spend the day basking in the sunlight and feeding ducks. In North Mississippi, try your hand at disc golf at Tombigbee State Park just south of Tupelo or canoe Bear Creek or hike a trail at Tishomingo State Park in Tishomingo County. Camp out at Trace State Park in Belden or hit the highway to Holly Springs for a fun day at Wall Doxey State Park. Wall Doxey and JP Coleman, located at the northeasternmost tip of Mississippi are especially fun for boaters. 
  • Host a backyard campout. Invite a few friends or keep it just the family. Leave the household responsibilities inside, gather your camping gear, and head out back to set up camp. This is possibly the easiest camping trip you’ll ever take because everything you need is already there! You may think your backyard isn’t far away enough but just getting outside improves your mood and your health. 
  • Plan a no-connection day or weekend. Tell your friends and loved ones that you’re cutting ties with all things digital for a day or a weekend if you can swing it. Spend the day reading a book, practicing a hobby, or channeling your creative side. We know you may need to check your phone occasionally for missed calls or texts, but keep those phone checks to a minimum. Simply unplugging for a while can help you recharge and refocus.
  • “Tour” a nearby town. Mississippi and all of the great states that make America have a slew of amazing little towns that are full of surprises. Pick a nearby town on the map and start researching things to do, places to eat and shop, and other fun adventures. New Albany is a great place right here in North Mississippi that offers unique shopping and eating opportunities along with fun outdoor activities like the Tanglefoot Trail. Or you can travel a little closer to Tupelo, North Mississippi’s cultural hub and home of the King of Rock n Roll. Dine on some of the best food in the state, visit the Elvis Presley Museum and Birthplace, and spend some time at Veterans or Ballard Park. 

Why You Need to Know Your Family’s Health History

November is Family History month and while we are sure you will enjoy combing through old photos and signing up on an ancestral tree website, there is one type of family history we consider more important than some. We’re talking about your family’s health history. Knowing your family’s health history is more vital than you may realize…in fact it may even save your life. 

What is a Family Health History?

Your family health history is a record of health information about you and your closest relatives. A complete family health history includes information from three generations of your relatives including children, parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. 

Why Do I Need to Know My Family’s Health History?

Your family’s health history is important for a number of reasons. You and your relatives often have similar genetic backgrounds, environments, and even lifestyles. Family health records reveal common patterns of disorders and clue healthcare providers to health conditions that run in your family. 

Your healthcare provider can learn information about rare diseases caused by genetic mutations that run in your family. They can also identify people with a higher risk of developing more common diseases such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. Having this information informs your provider about your risk of disease and the need for certain tests throughout your lifetime to screen for conditions that run in your family. 

Arming your healthcare provider with your family’s health history means they will monitor you for signs and symptoms of certain conditions. This is another reason why yearly health exams are vital for everyone. Wellness visits give you a chance to share and discuss your family’s health history with your provider so they can make better-informed decisions about your health and provide those important health screenings. 

Do you need to update your family’s health history with your Mantachie Rural Health Care provider? There is no better time than right now to schedule a routine wellness visit! Click here to request your appointment. 

How to Prevent Lung Disease

Lung disease refers to any disorder affecting the lungs. These illnesses include but are not limited to asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), infections including pneumonia and influenza, and lung cancer. Lung disease is a common cause of death in both men and women. Thankfully, you can prevent or reduce your risk of developing lung disease with these steps.

Signs and Symptoms of Lung Disease

One of the best ways to reduce your risk of a disease is to get educated on its causes and symptoms, as well as ways to prevent it. Signs and symptoms of lung disease include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling like you aren’t getting enough air
  • Persistent, chronic cough
  • Coughing up blood or mucus
  • Pain or discomfort when breathing 

Causes and Prevention

Although it is possible for lung disease to develop with no known cause, most cases can be traced back to a certain cause. Smoking any type of tobacco or marijuana product and exposure to asbestos, radon, and air pollution are the most common causes of lung disease. Preventing these exposures are part of the many steps you can take to reduce your risk of lung disease. Prevention steps include:

  • Quitting or never starting smoking.
  • Avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke. Ask smokers to take it outside both at home and in the workplace. Avoid public places that allow smoking.
  • Test for radon. Exposure to high levels of radon can lead to lung disease. Test kits are available in most hardware stores and you can visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website to learn more about dealing with radon
  • Avoid exposure to asbestos. Workers who are exposed to insulation and other materials containing asbestos as well as mechanics who work on car brakes and clutches are at risk for exposure. Wear a mask and protective clothing and ask your employer about other ways to reduce exposure to asbestos.
  • Protect yourself from dust or fumes. Those many masks you bought during the pandemic can also reduce your risk of lung disease by reducing your exposure to dust and fumes during certain household chores or work duties.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Studies have shown that a diet rich in fruits and veggies helps prevent lung disease.
  • Ask your healthcare provider if you should get a spirometry test. This test measures how much air you can breathe in and out as well as how fast you can blow air out. 
  • Ask your provider about vaccinations for the flu, pneumonia, and other infections that can lead to lung disease. 

Are you concerned about your risk of lung disease? Your Mantachie Rural Health Care provider can help. Schedule a visit to discuss your concerns and get tested for certain lung conditions. 

What to Expect After a Suspicious Mammogram

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women with the exception of skin cancer. One in eight women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. Women who get screening mammograms regularly are more likely to find cancer early and beat it. 

Why Women Over 40 Need a Mammogram

Some women are anxious about getting a mammogram, especially their first one. This is understandable as the unknown can be frightening, but it’s not a reason to skip the screening especially if you are over 40 and you have a family history of breast cancer. Most women will receive clear results. Only about 10 to 12 percent of women are called back for further testing after a mammogram.

What Happens if Your Mammogram is Suspicious

Even if you are called back for further testing after a mammogram, it’s not a reason to freak out. Most abnormalities found in mammograms are benign. 

The next step after a suspicious screening mammogram depends on your age and the type of screenings you’ve already had. In most instances, the next step is to undergo a diagnostic mammogram, which is a more in-depth mammogram, or a breast ultrasound. Depending on certain factors like the pattern of the abnormalities and medical history, your physician may also order an MRI of the breast or a biopsy. 

Growths found in the breast can be benign or malignant–most are benign or non-cancerous. Some benign breast conditions may cause pain or discomfort and require treatment while others are harmless and painless. However, many benign breast conditions mimic the warning signs of breast cancer, and a biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis. 

Calcifications and microcalcifications are bits of calcium that may appear in mammograms. In fact, calcifications are common and appear in about half of all women over the age of 50. However, only about 1 in 10 younger women will have calcifications appear on their mammograms.

Most but not all calcifications are benign. Certain patterns such as tight clusters or lines of microcalcifications can be an early indication of cancer. The appearance of calcifications may be due to age, a past breast injury or surgery, an infection in the breast, or past radiation therapy. 

Malignant Test Results

Unfortunately, over 320,000 women in the United States will receive a breast cancer diagnosis this year. A cancer diagnosis still isn’t a reason to panic or expect the worst. Breast cancer treatments have come very far over the last several decades and deaths from breast cancer dropped 39 percent between 1989 and 2015. 

If you do have breast cancer, you will be diagnosed with one of two types–non-invasive breast cancer also known as ductal carcinoma in situ or DCIS, or invasive breast cancer. DCIS occurs when abnormal cells grow in the milk ducts of the breast. Non-invasive breast cancer is considered non-invasive because the abnormal cells in the milk ducts haven’t spread to other parts of the breast or body. DCIS typically appears as a cluster of microcalcifications on a mammogram.

Invasive breast cancer happens when abnormal cells inside the milk ducts break out into nearby breast tissue and can even spread to the lymph nodes in the underarm. Invasive breast cancer does not mean metastatic breast cancer, although metastatic breast cancer is a form of invasive breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is when abnormal cells in the breast spread to other parts of the body. It is also known as stage IV or advanced-stage breast cancer. 

How to Get the Best Results from a Mammogram

You can’t prevent breast cancer, but you just might save your life if you start getting early mammogram screenings. Women between the ages of 40 and 44 should begin screening and have the option to get a mammogram each year. Women ages 45 – 54 should be screened each year. After age 55, women with low risks can switch to being screened every other year. 

Mammograms often follow routine women’s exams that include physical breast exams. If it’s been awhile since your last women’s exam and you are reaching the age of 40 or older, it’s time to schedule an appointment. Click here to request your women’s health appointment with Mantachie Rural Health Care today

FDA Approves Generic Swap for Brand Name Insulin

Good news came at the end of July 2021 for diabetic patients who are struggling to afford insulin. On July 28, 2021, FDA regulators took action to make a cheaper, near-duplicate of brand-name insulin more accessible. 

This approval could save diabetic patients and health plans millions each year. It could also encourage drug companies to create more biosimilar meds. Biosimilar is the term used for medicines that are near-duplicates of a brand-name drug. Diabetic patients who want to swap to the generic form of insulin must ask their provider to either specifically prescribe the biosimilar or okay a substitution for the brand-name insulin.

FDA approval for the new generic insulin came after the administration agreed that Viatris’ Semglee is interchangeable with Lantus, a fast-acting brand-name insulin. The generic Semglee was launched in the summer of 2020 after Mylan, N.V. merged with another company to form Viatris in December 2019. 

Why Generic Insulin Hasn’t Been Widely Available in the US

Research from health data company, IQVIA, projects that US savings from increasing the use of biosimilars will top $100 billion by 2024. So why aren’t more generic biosimilars already available in the US? Red tape, lengthy patents, and pushback from brand-name drug companies are mostly to blame for the limited sales of biosimilars. 

Despite delays, 29 biosimilars have been approved by the FDA including biosimilars for brand-name cancer and immune disorder drugs. Only 20 of those 29 are actually sold here at this time. 

What You Can Do to Help Increase Biosimilar Sales

As a patient, you have more power to enact change than you might think. If you are a diabetic patient using Lantus simply ask your prescriber to swap your medicine for the generic Semglee. The more patients who switch to the generic form, the more likely it is that other drug companies will begin offering more generic versions of costly brand-name meds.

The approval of Semglee as a swap for the brand-name insulin could change the lives of many diabetic patients who are not taking the proper amount of insulin they need each day in order to preserve their costly medicine. The cost of Semglee compared to the brand-name Lantus is less than half. Semglee will run around $150-$190 without insurance for a month’s supply while Lantus runs between $340-$520 a month. 

Are you a diabetic patient struggling to afford your insulin? Your Mantachie Rural Health Care provider can help by swapping your brand-name medicine for the new generic form. For more information or to request an appointment, click here.

How Food Choices Affect Your Cancer Risk

“You are what you eat!” We’ve all heard that phrase at some point in our lives and thought it might sound silly, the phrase couldn’t be more true. What we eat influences our health greater than any other influences like our diet, lifestyle choices, and environmental factors. The foods we consume affect every part of our bodies from our brains to our bones. Diet choices can lead to certain health conditions or make them worse. Type II diabetes is a great example of a health condition affected by food choices. Another serious disease your diet can lead to is cancer. That’s right. Your daily food choices affect your cancer risk. 

How Unhealthy Food Choices Affect Your Cancer

Science and the medical community still have many unanswered questions about the links between food choices and cancer. One link we are sure of is between red or processed meat and cancer. Consuming any amount of processed meat and more than eighteen ounces of red meat each week strongly influences your cancer risk. Red meats include beef, pork, or lamb. Processed meats include but are not limited to bacon, sausage, lunch meats, and hot dogs. 

Processed sugar is another food strongly linked to higher cancer risk. Diets that are high in sugary beverages such as sodas, juices, and sports drinks, as well as processed sugary snacks like cookies and candies are bad for your health in a number of ways. Even “healthier” choices like granola and fruit and grain bars as well as “sugar-free” beverages are still high in sugar or artificial sweeteners. 

What to Eat to Lower Your Cancer Risk

Healthy eating habits aren’t just good for your waistline, they can actually lower your risk of developing certain health conditions and diseases including cancer. A healthy diet is rich in plant-based foods, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. A healthy dinner plate is filled with colorful veggies and fruit, whole grains, and one protein-filled food like fish, poultry, or beans. 

Plant-based foods are your best fighters against cancer and other diseases. These foods contain naturally occurring substances called phytonutrients. Phytonutrients include:

  • Carotenoids, or carotenes, found in red, orange, yellow, and some dark green veggies
  • Polyphenols, found in herbs, spices, veggies, tea, coffee, chocolate, nuts, berries, apples, onions, and other sources
  • Allium compounds, found in chives, garlic, leeks, and onions

Plant-based foods are also rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants protect against oxidants, which cause cellular damage and increases your risk of cancer. Examples of antioxidants include beta carotene, selenium, and vitamins C and E. Other vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, iodine, and vitamins A, D, K, and B also contain antioxidants.

Dietary fiber is also essential for lowering cancer risks. Fiber helps nourish a healthy community of microbes, better known as microbiomes. Healthy microbiomes are linked to lower cancer risk. Foods that are high in dietary fiber include whole grains and seeds, whole-grain bread and pasta, beans, lentils, split peas, and fruits and veggies.

Shopping Tips for a Healthier Diet

Before we go, we’ll leave you with a shopping tip for your next grocery store visit. Stick to shopping the outer aisles. Fresh foods like produce, meats, and dairy products are always found in the outer aisles or boundaries of grocery stores. The inner aisles are where you will find the majority of processed, sugary, and high-fat foods. The only inner aisles you should visit are aisles containing coffee, tea, and dry beans and peas. Don’t tempt yourself by visiting other inner aisles like the baking and snack aisles. 

One more shopping tip for healthier eating habits is to make a list before you head to the grocery stores. Sure, you may remember to restock the milk and bananas but keeping a list will help you stay on track and away from impulse buys that often come with unhealthy food choices. If grocery pick-up or delivery is available in your area, consider these options, too. You can shop online according to your list without the temptations of unhealthy foods being all around you. Plus, pick-up and delivery will save you time that could be spent on cultivating a garden of fresh fruits and vegetables or preparing healthy meals for your family. 

Have more questions about your diet and cancer risk? Your healthcare provider is an excellent source of information and advice. Annual wellness visits are the perfect time to discuss diet changes and health concerns with your provider. As an added bonus, patients of Mantachie Rural Health Care can request to speak with our registered dietitian during their appointment for no extra cost. Click here to request a visit with your Mantachie Rural Healthcare provider today. 

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How Vaccines Have Improved Over the Years

Vaccines have come a long way since the “father of vaccines” Edward Jenner first successfully developed a smallpox vaccine in 1796. It wasn’t until the mid to late 1940s that the smallpox vaccine and a vaccine to prevent diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis were mass-produced. By the late 1960s, vaccines for polio, measles, mumps, and rubella were also developed and distributed. Vaccines have improved over the years as new studies and developments revealed the need for changes.

As happy as people were to finally have protection against some of the world’s most devastating illnesses, many became concerned about the safety of vaccines.

Patients began to express concern about the possible adverse effects of vaccines and some claimed that they or someone they knew had become injured or ill after being inoculated. By the time the 1970s rolled around, demand for better regulation on vaccines surged. Citizens also wanted more understanding and transparency on vaccine safety.

The US’s Response to the Demand for Better Vaccine Safety

The demand for better vaccine safety resulted in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA). The NCVIA established several programs and regulations for physicians and government agencies to protect patients and provide education about vaccines and their safety. Programs and regulations established as a result of the NCVIA include:

  • The founding of the National Vaccine Program Office (NVPC). The NVPC coordinates all vaccine-related activities between Department of Human Services (DHS) agencies, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). 
  • The requirement of physicians and healthcare providers who administer vaccines to provide vaccine information statements with each and every vaccine. This requirement is included for multiple doses of vaccines, which means you should receive one of these statements every time you get an immunization, even if it’s a second or third required dose.
  • The requirement of providers and physicians to report any adverse events occurring in patients following inoculation. This is required even if the provider is unsure that the adverse event and the vaccine administration are related. 
  • The establishment of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which helps patients and their families after having an adverse reaction or event due to a vaccine. 
  • The formation of a committee within the Institute of Medicine that reviews the literature on vaccine reactions. 

Improvements of Vaccines Through the Years

All vaccines, even the oldest vaccines, continued to be studied for safety and efficacy. These continued studies have resulted in changes and improvements to vaccines over the years. The first major change occurred with the introduction of a new, more purified acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP). The DTaP vaccine replaced the original whole pertussis vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. This new version of the vaccine was proven to be more effective in preventing illnesses and had fewer mild and severe side effects. 

Another big change that improved the safety of a vaccine was the changes in when the vaccine is scheduled to be administered. These changes resulted in fewer reported adverse events following inoculation. The first change established a schedule that included sequential administration of an inactivated vaccine and an oral polio vaccine. Later, it was found that the inactivated polio vaccine had better prevention results and fewer side effects. The inactivated polio vaccine is the only type of polio vaccine administered today. 

It’s important to know that all vaccines go through intense research and development phases that include multiple small and large study trials before they are considered for approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Once vaccines are licensed by the FDA, the ACIP must review and establish recommendations on how to use the vaccine for disease control in the United States. 

Vaccines have saved many lives and prevented many severe illnesses since their inception centuries ago. As you can see, approved vaccines must go through a rigorous process before they are ever considered for the open market. Even vaccines against acute illnesses like the flu and covid-19 must go through this process. 

We hope today’s article helps you understand vaccines and the safety of vaccines better. Vaccines are developed for your protection and we want you to feel safe about getting inoculated yourself or having your children vaccinated. Your Mantachie Rural Healthcare provider is an excellent source of information regarding vaccines. To learn more about vaccines or to schedule yourself or your children for a vaccine, call us at 662-282-4226.

The Delta Covid-19 Variant in Mississippi

On the day this article was written, at least 12 children were in an intensive care unit. Seven of those children were on life support as a result of the delta covid-19 variant in Mississippi. 

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs shared this information on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, and encouraged Mississippi residents to take the new delta variant seriously. Dobbs stated that the delta variant is the most common type of covid-19 that’s been recently diagnosed in Mississippi. Most cases are occurring in non-vaccinated residents. He also reminded residents that we are currently seeing a surge in covid-19 cases and precautions should be established to help curb this uptick.

On the same day that Dr. Dobbs tweeted this new information, the Mississippi Department of Health reported more than 200 new cases of covid-19 and released new public health guidance. These recommendations include:

  • Asking those 65 and older and residents with underlying medical conditions, even those who have been vaccinated, to avoid large indoor gatherings. 
  • Asking all Mississippi residents aged 12 years or older to get vaccinated. 
  • Requesting unvaccinated residents to wear a mask during all public outings.

Why the Delta Variant is Rising in Mississippi

At this time, only 33.5% of the state has been fully vaccinated against covid-19. A large portion of those unvaccinated in Mississippi are children and the delta variant seems to have a strong transmission among younger people. 

Children aren’t the only ones at risk. Anyone unvaccinated, is 65 or older, or has an underlying medical condition is at a greater risk for contracting covid-19. These same groups are also at a greater risk for serious illness or death from the disease. 

What You Can Do to Help Stop the Spread

After enjoying several months of “freedom” from masks and social distancing, it’s time to dust off the mask and implement some social distancing rules again. We don’t expect the state to go into a shutdown but you can help stop the spread of this latest variant by practicing your own safety guidelines. Keep washing your hands often and avoid large crowds. Wear a mask if you aren’t vaccinated and consider getting inoculated soon. 

If you do develop covid-9 symptoms, isolate yourself right away and get a proper diagnosis from your provider. It is extremely important to get tested for covid-19 as soon as you notice symptoms. An early diagnosis and treatment can save your life and the lives of those around you. 

If you are experiencing covid-19 symptoms, contact Mantachie Rural Healthcare today at 662-282-4226 to get help. 

Should You Discuss Your Mental Health Struggles with Your Boss?

Mental health is a hot topic these days and many patients are more open about their mental health struggles than ever before. (Read about why tennis star Naomi Osaka decided to open up about her mental health here.) However, many people still find it difficult to open up about their mental health in their workplace. As understandable as this is, everyone has a right to privacy, but in some circumstances, you may benefit from discussing your mental health struggles with your boss. 

How to Decide if You Should Talk with Your Boss About Your Mental Health

Deciding if you should talk with your boss about your mental health depends on your relationship with them. Do they know you well and are you comfortable discussing private matters with them? Or do you work in a company in which you rarely see your boss and you are sure they don’t know your name? Knowing who you are working for is extremely important.

If your mental health is impacting your job in any way, even if it creates a problem with a co-worker, it may be time to discuss your mental health. If you still don’t feel comfortable, you have some rights as an employee to protect yourself. Ask your mental health provider to complete an FMLA form (Family Medical Leave Act) to protect yourself in case you need to take time off for treatment. Your HR department is obligated to protect your privacy and will not disclose your medical information to anyone, including your boss. If your company has 15 or more employees, you are also protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Preparing to Talk with Your Boss About Your Mental Health

If you’ve decided to talk with your boss, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Making a list of discussion topics to cover can help ease your anxiety and help your thoughts stay organized during your meeting. You should also know your rights as an employee before any discussion begins. Mental health costs employers a whopping $225.8 billion a year. Even if you don’t know your employer well it is still in their best interest, as well as yours, to listen. 

Your mental health provider can also help you prepare for your meeting. They can help you decide what to share with your employer, and they can help you prepare mentally for any anxiety or stress you are feeling about the meeting. 

Is your mental health impacting your job and other areas of your life? Don’t struggle alone. Talk with your mental health provider as soon as possible. The providers at our behavioral health clinic are highly experienced and caring providers who want their patients to succeed. Request an appointment today at 662-282-4226. 


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