Hamilton Health Network hosts ‘Happy Mind, Better Health’ discussion on heart health

FLINT, Michigan — In honor of American Heart Month, Hamilton Community Health Network (HHN) hosted the 'Happy Mind, Better Health' discussiona free behavioral health event discussing the effects of stress on heart health while providing helpful tips to manage stress. The free event was facilitated by Hamilton's Stephanie Cates, LMSW on Feb. 20 at Hamilton’s North Pointe clinic (5710 Clio Rd). 

“A common misconception is that physical health and mental health are separate from each other,” shared Cates. “If your mind isn’t healthy, your body will start to feel those effects. We must train the brain to take on a healthy lifestyle, and we are here to help guide you.”

Because stress continues to be a leading cause of heart disease, HHN took this as a sign to increase its community outreach specifically around managing stress and prioritizing mental health and wellness to improve physical health. 

“Imagine how we could decrease that number by being aware of our health, be that physical or mental. The first step to a healthy body is a healthy mind,” said Crates.

Because heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in America, HHN saw the discussion as not only necessary but timely. 

“Heart disease affects 1 in 20 people over 20 years old, and 1 in 2 people in America experience high blood pressure. We want to encourage everyone to know their number so they can be proactive in their health and prevention of heart disease,” said Allie Sue McKenzie, HHN Marketing and Communications Specialist.

“We hope to build a community of people who can support each other,” McKenzie continued. “We also hope to educate people on mental health illnesses or mental health issues they or others may be experiencing.”

Participants enjoyed breakfast with food from Panera Bread and had a chance to win a gift card, courtesy of Meridian Health. They also took home Hamilton swag and informational packets as well as a wealth of knowledge from several HHN experts.

The next 'Happy Mind, Better Health' session will be held on March 19 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the North Pointe clinic and will cover teens' mental health. This topic will cover raising teens with mental health issues and understanding teens' mental health.

The 'Happy Mind, Better Health' program is part of a larger series hosted once a month by HHN to help create a sense of community while sharing pivotal health resources and expert tips. Since Albert Ujkaj, LMSW and Director of Behavioral Health Services, developed the concept for the series, HHN’s monthly informational discussions have touched many lives. 

Outside of the 'Happy Mind, Better Health' behavioral health series, Hamilton provides many resources and informational pamphlets on heart health on the website. HHN medical providers are also well equipped to provide preventative care for those at risk of being diagnosed with heart disease as well as management care for those who have it.

McKenzie shared that these opportunities help create “a better world, full of more understanding people. We hope to stomp out stigma and build acceptance.”

To learn more about Hamilton Community Health Network and its services, visit hamiltonchn.org or call (810) 406-4246.
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Read more articles by Brianna Nargiso.