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Pam’s Personal Story of Mental Health Awareness

Pam Good Michelson, FAADOM with text, "real-world insights from AADOM authors"

Do you ever wake up and think… “Yes, I’m going to work today”?

I often wake in the morning and feel excited about heading to the dental office. I love my job, our patients, our staff, and our boss! When I’m at work, I can put all of my energy and focus into the day.

Maybe some of you feel the same way and enjoy similar aspects of your office.

But for others, you may have a family member or a friend that struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

If you do, you know that it’s hard to be present during the times when they are experiencing an episode. They often feel sad, angry, and possibly suicidal.

How mental health awareness plays a role in my life

My husband struggles with PTSD from his time serving in the military.

I was fortunate to get counseling on how to help handle my husband’s episodes.

Our counseling was provided to both of us through our local Vet Center; we both completed individual sessions and sessions with the two of us together.

I also struggle with my own PTSD due to tragic events that have happened throughout my life.

Most recently, my brother took his own life. It’s hard to lose a loved one that way.

I knew that he suffered from deep depression, but I also knew how much he wanted to live! He had been in a mental health facility and was trying to help himself through whatever was going on in his mind.

Unfortunately, he lost the battle against his demons. I wish every day that somehow, someway, I could have saved him.

My primary care physician referred me to a counselor who specializes in PTSD with training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

Discussing mental health in the workplace

I also spoke to my boss about the situation, who helped me by simply listening to what I had to say. Per his recommendations, I’m also seeking meditation training to concentrate on myself, even during the busy times at the office.

Having a boss that I trust and respect makes it easy to open up about my need; he’s helpful to each staff member both professionally and personally.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

We all have struggles. Today, those struggles are more challenging.

Most of us were at home self-isolating during the COVID shutdown, which can lead to depression, or be dangerous if you live in an abusive home. If so, reach out for help.

Don’t forget that your primary care provider can also provide non-emergency recommendations.

Whatever your situation is, there is someone who cares and who can help.

Please reach out and don’t be afraid to ask!

Mental health resources

Need help? Call the national suicidal prevention hotline at (800) 273-8255 or the hotline for national domestic violence at (800) 799-7233.

There are many avenues of support available through Veteran Affairs. Call your VA Hotline at (855) 948-2311, Veteran’s Crisis Line at (800) 273-8255, or the closest Veteran Affairs Office… This text opens a new tab to the official website… for more information.

Meet the Author

Pam Good Michelson, FAADOM wearing a black top smiliingPam Good Michelson has worked in the dental field for over 20 years. She’s passionate about building long-term relationships with patients by educating them in regard to their dental health, treatment options, and dental insurance.

Pam is a strong believer in continuing education and is a self-driven lifelong learner. She received her AADOM Fellowship in 2019 and is currently serving as a board member of the Central Oregon Chapter… This text opens a new tab to the Central Oregon chapter website….



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