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WJR: "Mental Health and the Holidays"

WJR’s Paul W. Smith

Dec 22, 2022

HHI’s Andrea Rodgers spoke on the WJR’s Paul W. Smith Show about stress during the holidays, maintaining mental health and sobriety, suicide prevention, and ending the stigma of mental health.

Hegira Health - WJR 950 Paul W. Smith Show "Mental Health and the Holidays"

Read transcript below.

Paul W. Smith (PWS): November is family caregiver month. And being a caregiver for a loved one can be challenging. It can be stressful, it can lead to strain on the entire family. Joining us is psychologist Andrea Rogers, and she works for Hegira Health. First of all, thanks for coming in.

Andrea Rogers (AR): Thank you for having me.

PWS: I didn't even know this month existed. I have family members in this profession as well, so this is a good time to bring light to this subject.

What is Hegira Health?

AR: We are actually the largest behavioral health care provider in Wayne County. We do community mental health, we do substance abuse, we do prevention for both children and adults in Southeastern Michigan.

PWS: Now, when you say "behavioral" - what does that cover? 

AR: [Behavior health covers] a high intensity or lower intensity of mental health needs; prevention needs; even inpatient or outpatient substance abuse. Behavioral healthcare covers the whole gamut of anything from mental health to substance abuse.

PWS: So you have physicians on staff, nurses on staff. How does that work? People call you and you come out into the community? 

AR: We actually do both. We do integrative healthcare, so we do have doctors, we have prescribers, nurse practitioners and psychiatrists. We have technicians and therapists. We do inpatient, where you can come to the facility and receive inpatient care. We also have in-office services, right? And we can do home-based therapy as well.

PWS: Now, let's talk about "caregiver." It's a very important profession that a lot of people don't know about, and they do need more people in this profession. What are we talking about when we say "caregiver?"

AR: Caregiving could be a family member caring for another family member or giving support to someone who isn't able to care for themselves.

It could be children, it could be adults, but it's definitely someone who is in need of care that they are not able to provide for themselves. 

PWS: What kind of tips do you give someone who is dealing with the mental strain of trying to care for someone? It can be mental. It can be financial, which is of course, again, mental as well.

AR: You know, as a caregiver, you're kind of on 24/7. So it's so important to take care of both your [own] physical and your mental health.

You are a support person for someone else who can't care for themselves. A lot of people forget to prioritize their own mental and physical health.

PWS: What does that involve? Take walks... join the gym? What are we talking about?

AR: We talk about the physical healthcare. You wanna be able to manage your stress. So you wanna have some type of physical outlet where you're getting exercise and you know you're eating healthy, but also you wanna be able to delegate.

You wanna be able to have a support system for yourself, not just the person that you're caring for. So you aren't the only person responsible for their care. 

PWS: We have 30 seconds left. Is there one more tip you'd like to give? 

AR: Just prioritize you. Don't forget about you. Whether it's eating healthy or getting the mental health help that you need as well.

Don't forget about you as you're caring for someone else. 

PWS: Where can people find more information about Hegira?

AR: You can find us on the web at

PWS: Andrea, thank you for coming in. We appreciate you. Thank you. We appreciate you working in our community.

Transcript edited for brevity and clarity.


If you’re struggling with your mental health or substance use, help is available. Call 734-793-5026 to schedule an appointment today.

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