236: Mental Health During a Pandemic with Sarah Johnson

This week’s guest is Sarah Johnson, mental health director at the YMCA in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She joins Brett to talk about working the crises that are amplified by the current public health situation.

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Sarah Johnson and Brett Terpstra-1

[00:00:00] Brett Terpstra: [00:00:00] Hey Sarah, how are you doing

[00:00:02]Sarah Johnson: [00:00:02] Hey, man, I’m weird. Just like probably everybody else right now, but on the whole, I would say, you know, managing.

[00:00:10] Brett Terpstra: [00:00:10] managing? I think that’s, that’s pretty good for, uh, the kind of current circumstances for everybody. Um, I, so I recently relaunched this podcast. I took a year off and I’ve been kind of going through and checking in with some of my favorites from the past. Right. You and I talked about, I have years ago on this podcast.

[00:00:33] And

[00:00:34] Sarah Johnson: [00:00:34] That long ago. Wow. Okay.

[00:00:36] Brett Terpstra: [00:00:36] And, and a lot has changed since then. Very notably in the last six months. Um, and I, and you as a mental health professional were definitely someone I wanted to hear from right now. So welcome back to the show.

[00:00:50]Sarah Johnson: [00:00:50] thank you. I’m really pleased to be here.

[00:00:53] Brett Terpstra: [00:00:53] So for people who don’t recall an episode five years ago, uh, you are, you, are, are you [00:01:00] still at the Y YMCA?

[00:01:01]Sarah Johnson: [00:01:01] I am. Yeah,

[00:01:03] Brett Terpstra: [00:01:03] And what is your, uh, what is your job title there?

[00:01:06]Sarah Johnson: [00:01:06] My, my official job title is mental health director, but I did convince an HR assistant to get me a name tag that says happiness ferry. Um, essentially my role is to try to take the contents of my brain with my.

[00:01:22]Brett Terpstra: [00:01:22] tell me a little more broadly. What? So I think of the Y as a gym. And I’m getting the sense that it’s a lot more than that. So tell me a little bit about, about what the Y provides that, that you are a part of.

[00:01:39]Sarah Johnson: [00:01:39] For 13, 14 years ago, we, we began our focus on teen mental health and supporting teens with healthy development. And so a lot of my early work while I was actually working with a medical center, um, and half my time there medical center was, was, um, [00:02:00] funding me to, to work with the Y to, to really develop this, this model of mental health and, um,

[00:02:08]Brett Terpstra: [00:02:08] Alright, so, so these days, are you working in the office? Is it an office? Is it in the facility? So what kind of, what kind of services? What, what is your day. Look like right now.

[00:02:24]Sarah Johnson: [00:02:24] um, my day right now looks like me on back-to-back-to-back zoom call with my cats, periodically drinking out of my water glass and grossing out our CEO grosses him out every time he sees it. Um,

[00:02:42]I’m offering a lot of webinars and trainings in small ways, big ways. So it’s really between me offering content, cramming in as much reading as I can, like early to keep up with all of the changes, [00:03:00] things that we see across our community, across the globe, and really, really kind of.

[00:03:06]Responsiveness, um, my own, um, ability to really be as effective as possible because I, you know, I, I already felt a sense of urgency around what I’ve been calling the mental health revolution, um, how we deliver mental health services does not make sense for the vast majority of people. And so really this model of.

[00:03:30] Helping everybody in our community know how to care for their mental health and know how to care for the mental health of the community. Is it a much more preventative model, a much more collective model? Um, And, you know, I’m just feeling an even greater sense of urgency around that right now is the, the impacts between the, the health emergency, um, the financial impacts of that.

[00:03:56] And then seeing this really beautiful and vital social uprising [00:04:00] in support of black lives and knowing, you know, we’re, we’re just falling short in terms of, of how we. Care for each other. And so right now, we, we need to up our game in how we, how we take care of ourselves in each other.

[00:04:17] Brett Terpstra: [00:04:17] so in your, in your job, well in your life, what are you doing to, to meet the, the new challenges?

[00:04:25]Sarah Johnson: [00:04:25] Mmm. I’d say an ever evolving

[00:04:29] Brett Terpstra: [00:04:29] Sure.

[00:04:29] Sarah Johnson: [00:04:29] Hanford, I would say. Um, well, just before. The reason I was late to this call is because I was supporting a couple of our staff, people who were supporting a teen in crisis. Um, and so providing support to, um, a new generation of, of healers and helpers to, to, to bring this model forward and to provide support and provide direct care to, to our friends and neighbors.

[00:05:00] [00:05:00] Um, Prior to that. I was on a call with one of my dear, dear friends and colleagues at Y USA talking about what are the needs of our, our, our YMCAs right now, how, how can we share some of the materials that we’ve developed and some of the trainings that we’ve developed and get those to other YMCAs so that they can get those to their members and their community.

[00:05:27] Um, and what did I do before that? Uh, For that I was meeting with an intern who will be joining. Yes. And you know, she’s joining us in this very strict change year where I’m like, I don’t, I don’t know if we’ll ever be in the same room together. I don’t know if I have any programs for you to do so we’re going to be making it up and whatever that means, we’re going to be trying to help support the mental health, the community.

[00:05:50] So it’s really in flux right now. Knowing that, you know, not only us, but yeah. Are all of our community partners [00:06:00] are at, um, a diminished capacity. And so some of the work is actually supporting. My colleagues, um, not just at the Y, but my community partners, social workers who are not able to go into people’s homes to help them right now.

[00:06:16] And, and, um, health workers coming, health workers who are, you know, under a barrage of stress and criticism, um, from some angles. And so how do I help support the people who are helping support the health of our community? So, um, Yeah, so it’s on a lot of levels. And in the meantime, you know, trying to have my own sense of balance and taking care of myself too.

[00:06:44]Brett Terpstra: [00:06:44] So are there, I assume that the social situation and the economic situation. Has exacerbated existing mental health issues. Have you seen anything new come up since the lockdown and [00:07:00] since the financial crisis?

[00:07:02] Sarah Johnson: [00:07:02] Sure. Yeah. Yeah. We’re, you know, very predictably and, and, um, you know, consistent with other. Crises and, and, um, disasters, we’re seeing a mental health impact. We’re seeing a much greater rise in anxiety. Um, yeah, even just, I did a survey with my team this week, uh, and 72% of my team said, yes, they’re experiencing increased anxiety around just in the last few weeks with the S with all the stress.

[00:07:38] And so, um, You know, it’s, like I said, mental health is how we think feel and act. We all think, feel and act all the time. And there’s no way that our current circumstances aren’t going to impact at least one of those elements or we think, or how we feel or how we act. So, um, yeah, so, you know, I would [00:08:00] say kind of by way, normalizing, if you’re finding yourself.

[00:08:04] With your mood, less stable, I’m feeling more anxious having sleep disruptions, you know, you’re not alone and you don’t have to suffer with that. Right. So there’s a little bit of a balance here of we’re all experiencing to some degree. Um, some of us more than others. An impact on how we feel. And, and if you’re finding that it’s getting in your way, um, you’re having trouble doing the things you typically do.

[00:08:35] You’re having trouble getting out of bed or getting motivated. Um, certainly if you’re having thoughts about is life worth it, or, you know, I wish I could go to sleep and never wake up again, or I’d rather be dead. Those, those are big, big red flags that, um, it’s going to be important for you to reach out and get some help with that.

[00:08:52]Brett Terpstra: [00:08:52] Do you think that, uh, being relegated primarily to zoom right. Has, uh, had a, [00:09:00] well, I’m gonna assume it has, has had an impact, but do you think it’s been a surmountable change in the way that you and your team provide the services you provide?

[00:09:11]Sarah Johnson: [00:09:11] I think we’re kicking ass despite the circumstances. Um, I think. I think zoom and the virtual environment. I mean, zoom is kind of now the Kleenex for the virtual environment, right. Or whatever the platform is. Um, I’m most comfortable with zoom and have had some good luck with that. And I’ve, I’ve actually found that, you know, certainly for psychoeducation and, um, just general teaching and, um, small group, um, preexisting.

[00:09:44] Uh, relationships, um, I’m finding it quite helpful and it’s actually been good for my mental health to be able to reach out to my teams and actually see them, you know, lay eyes on them. Now, in the, in terms of virtual environment for [00:10:00] psychotherapy, um, or in the, the realm of having more intimate conversations or.

[00:10:06] Or brave conversations like such as conversations around race and racial equity. Mmm. There are limitations. And especially if the team does not know each other, I think, um, I’m, I think we’re we’re ahead of the research around. The virtual environment in some of those ways, like we, we very quickly went to telehealth, which has been really good.

[00:10:31] And I think by and large for individuals tele-health has actually been way better than a lot of people fought. And I’m even hearing a lot of my colleagues say they have a much lower, no show rate in the virtual environment than they do in real life, which is. Makes sense, Comey, it’s kind of, duh, this is why we need a revolution to bring mental health services to people, not expect people to go to services, but, but you know, it’s group environment and, you know, younger children, [00:11:00] um, it provides some, some real, some real, um, Challenges, I would say, I don’t know that they’re insurmountable because we’re we’re babies at this and we’re, we’re right in the middle of it.

[00:11:13] But I know that for myself, I have led a few groups where I feel like I’ve learned the hard way, um, how awkward and potentially damaging it can be in the virtual environment. If you don’t have really good facilitation and really just some, some ways of addressing. Behaviors that can be potentially even unintentionally harmful.

[00:11:40]Brett Terpstra: [00:11:40] Um, I’m really glad to hear that, that you’re finding ways to adapt. Um, I see my current psychotic trust is, is telemedicine. Uh, weirdly they make me go into Hiawatha Valley and wash my hands and sit in a dark room. with, with my [00:12:00] doctor on a screen. Um, but for the last, for, for the last appointment, they did go full telemedicine and I got to meet with her from my basement where

[00:12:10] Sarah Johnson: [00:12:10] Good. Okay. Good.

[00:12:11] Brett Terpstra: [00:12:11] Um, but when I scheduled my next appointment, they said they were bringing everyone back into the office and I don’t understand why, but anyway, it has, it has worked out for me. Um, I think maybe I wouldn’t choose, I wouldn’t choose it over an in person visit if I had the choice, but. I started seeing her before the pandemic was a thing.

[00:12:37] And she, she, okay. Telemedicine was better than the in-person psychiatrist I had through another facility. So it wasn’t like it wasn’t an impediment to actually being able to talk. And it’s not psychotherapy it’s psychiatry, but, uh, but it still, it, it, it didn’t stop it [00:13:00] from being effective for me.

[00:13:02] Sarah Johnson: [00:13:02] That’s good to hear.

[00:13:03] Brett Terpstra: [00:13:03] I do.

[00:13:03] I like, I get panic attacks before every appointment, not, not full one time, a full on panic attack, but I get increased anxiety before every appointment, because I know that with one check Mark on a piece of paper, they can take away the meds that I depend on. Because it’s happened to me before.

[00:13:23] Sarah Johnson: [00:13:23] Yup.

[00:13:24] Brett Terpstra: [00:13:24] so I’m like, I get it sense of dread every time I have to go talk to a mental health professional now, um, it’s a gun shy thing, I guess, but.

[00:13:34]Sarah Johnson: [00:13:34] Well, but you know, that, that speaks to kind of what I. Again, call the mental health revolution. Um, you know, I, I think we have a ways to go, uh, before everybody’s really heard. And, and I think even in the mental health profession, there are times where patients I E humans are not [00:14:00] heard and not trusted to be the experts on there.

[00:14:03]Their lived experience their internal experience, what they need. So I hear you and I’m sorry that that’s, that, that was your experience.

[00:14:14] Brett Terpstra: [00:14:14] Yeah. Oh, well, my current doctor seems to think more of the way you do. Um, she, she always is able to comfort me in that area, but anyway, I’m looking at an article from the lacrosse Tribune. About, uh, the lacrosse, Y YMCA mental health toolkit, Wisconsin training. it’s yeah, because it’s all the way back from March and a bunch of people are sitting around tables together, what, what was the, uh, almost immediate impact of the pandemic on that initiative that you were working on?

[00:14:48] Sarah Johnson: [00:14:48] you know, it’s so funny that you should say that. Cause that, I mean, that was I, so the, the week before I had initially planned to have the Wisconsin [00:15:00] toolkit pilot kickoff, and I can explain a little more about what that is. Um, or you can add that article, which would be great, um, plan to have the Wisconsin.

[00:15:08] Toolkit kickoff on March 4th, because March 4th to revolution and we want to March 4th. So that was, wasn’t a little joke with myself, but then I got invited to speak at, um, national advocacy days about mental health, um, for our Y USA. And so March 4th, I had this incredible day where I got to speak to, um, CEOs and staff from every single why state in the nation about mental health and got to do some advocacy on, um, On the Hill and then, um, moved the Wisconsin pilot to March 11th and had this great day full day training.

[00:15:52] We had seven, including our own 45 people crammed into our multi multipurpose room. And then, you know, [00:16:00] this great day learning, kicking off this year of pilot to train and get materials across. Wisconsin around mental health. And then you took great pictures and arms around each other, feeling great, cleaning up the room and got in my car, turned on NPRs I’m driving home and learned that we were in a national or a global pandemic as of that day.

[00:16:23] And I was like, well, that was. Okay, that’s done. That’s okay. So that’s where my pivot has come is, you know, so what does that mean? How do we, how do we, how do we get the information out anyway, knowing that, you know, many, unfortunately, many, many Ys have. Have closed and may are in danger of closing. So we’ve got teams who are furloughed and laid off.

[00:16:49] So how do we get this information out to everybody? So I really appreciate you having me on this, this call because. You know, we need to be talking about it [00:17:00] everywhere. It’s not just mental health people who should be talking about it. It’s it’s all of us. Um, like I said, because we all have mental health and my, my belief, what I call the mental health revolution, what I’ve heard others call decolonizing mental health is we all need to be able to be peer helpers for each other.

[00:17:20] Right. Because I go to my friends and my family for support. I want them to know how to. Support me and I, I need to know how to support them. Um, the same is true for, you know, somebody across the, the town that I’ve never even met. They’re going to go to their friends and family. I want their friends and family to know how to support them.

[00:17:39] And I want them to know how to support their friends and family.

[00:17:41]Brett Terpstra: [00:17:41] So where, where can people go to, to learn more about, uh, what, what the Y is doing and why it’s important?

[00:17:49]Sarah Johnson: [00:17:49] Oh, that’s a good one. Gosh. And how people can be in contact with me, certainly. Um, I would say, I would say, be in contact with your local Y and [00:18:00] see what they’re up to. Um, there are some Ys across the country who are offering all kinds of social services and mental health support. They, you know, like the, the San Francisco, Y has.

[00:18:11]Several, a couple of clinics and several mental health providers who can provide low or no cost care. Um, my folks in old colony up around Boston are doing incredible work. Um, With shelters, actually sheltering youth who, who are, um, houseless and, um, connecting people with social workers, um, doing restorative justice work.

[00:18:35] So, you know, depending on, on your, why there’s all kinds of things that they may be doing. And no matter what. If Y says, you know, well, we’re not, not doing mental health work necessarily. It’s not true because all of the things that YMCA does. So if you go and you go to your YMCAs and you’re moving your body and you’re physically active, that is helping you be mentally healthy.

[00:19:00] [00:19:00] If you are connecting with other people, That is helping you be mentally healthy because connections and relationships are one of the key stones to good mental health. And if you are connecting with the Y in a, in a way of serving or, um, donating or volunteering, you’re connecting to it. Yeah. Greater purpose.

[00:19:20] And that is another really good way to support Goodman mental health. So, you know, whether or not a Y. Is, you know, I’m putting in air quotes, doing mental health. You’re going to have mental health benefits from, from going to the Y and being involved in the why. I always say the why is medicine?

[00:19:38] Brett Terpstra: [00:19:38] Yeah, I really liked the idea that it’s such a varied. Yeah. Like there’s no unifying. This is what the, why does, uh, that it is more of a community service that provides what’s needed at the time. That’s really cool.

[00:19:55] Sarah Johnson: [00:19:55] Yeah. And I would say the unifying is our mission and, and we have a [00:20:00] really, there’s a very distinct why voice and why culture. Um, and it’s it, you know, it, it feels good to be in a room full of people who are quote unquote Y people. And it turns out, I didn’t know, it I’ve been a Y person, my whole life.

[00:20:15] I just. Didn’t have a Y. So now I have a Y

[00:20:19] Brett Terpstra: [00:20:19] very cool. Um, all right. Well, this is all very good. And I’m intrigued to hear what your top three picks are going to be. Do you have those prepared?

[00:20:29] Sarah Johnson: [00:20:29] I do.

[00:20:29] Brett Terpstra: [00:20:29] Oh, excellent. This is going to be fun.

[00:20:32] Sarah Johnson: [00:20:32] It was hard for me to pick. There were a lot of things that I, I was like, wow, I could go a lot of directions with

[00:20:38] Brett Terpstra: [00:20:38] I would have guessed that about you. A lot of my guests say I had a really hard time finding three things that I cared enough about, and then some guests once in a while. Yourself included are like, I had trouble narrowing it down to three things I was excited about.

[00:20:54] Sarah Johnson: [00:20:54] Can I give you 37?

[00:20:56] Brett Terpstra: [00:20:56] you can throw in a couple extra as needed, but, [00:21:00] um, last time, one of your picks was your cat.

[00:21:02] Franklin. Is he still around?

[00:21:05] Sarah Johnson: [00:21:05] Oh, he is, and he is still the best.

[00:21:07] Brett Terpstra: [00:21:07] that’s great to hear.

[00:21:08] Sarah Johnson: [00:21:08] I will have a second cat and he’s second best. And we’re all clear on our roles. Second best for anyone who’s like, Aw, no second. Best is still really good. You know, the best of all plants it’s top three. So

[00:21:22] Brett Terpstra: [00:21:22] We, uh, my cat Yeti, we brought home a new kitten named

[00:21:27] Sarah Johnson: [00:21:27] I fell out of that. Yeah.

[00:21:29] Brett Terpstra: [00:21:29] but the day after we brought him home, Yeti got sick

[00:21:32]Sarah Johnson: [00:21:32] Oh, no.

[00:21:34] Brett Terpstra: [00:21:34] is like 17 years old now. And all of a sudden he stopped eating was just hiding under the bed. So we got him into the vet and it turned out to be pancreatitis.

[00:21:43] Very likely, completely unrelated to the kitten. Just bad timing.

[00:21:46]Sarah Johnson: [00:21:46] yeah.

[00:21:47] Brett Terpstra: [00:21:47] he is, he is now as of today, just starting to act like his old self, following me around like a puppy, all his food on his own without a feeding tube. And, um, yeah, he’s, [00:22:00] he’s recovered. And meanwhile, Finnegan is very content in his role as like second best cat.

[00:22:06] Sarah Johnson: [00:22:06] Yup. Yup.

[00:22:07]Brett Terpstra: [00:22:07] Anyway,

[00:22:08] Sarah Johnson: [00:22:08] Well, I’m glad you’re feeling better.

[00:22:10] Brett Terpstra: [00:22:10] Yeah, me too. It’s it’s a huge relief. I was definitely facing his mortality. I’ve always faced his mortality. Cause I knew from the moment I decided that I loved him with a very full heart. I knew that that was, that had like an expiration date on it. So I’ve always prepared myself for that day, but I’m really relieved that that day isn’t yet.

[00:22:34] Sarah Johnson: [00:22:34] Yeah, me too. Yeah. Oh man. You just hit something super profound that the risk of, of opening your heart means it might, it might get hurt, but man, it’s worth it.

[00:22:47] Brett Terpstra: [00:22:47] I I’m not doing my own top three picks, but I have one I want to throw in and I’ll, sneak it in as we go, but I’ll let you start with your first pick

[00:22:56]Sarah Johnson: [00:22:56] Okay. My first pick is, um, [00:23:00] let me see which one do I want to, my first pick is effective coping skills and in particular, the coping skill of asking for help. And so what I want to share is if. People it’s a good practice to ask for help when you need it. And people don’t always know what that means when you need it.

[00:23:23] And so I want to define that. Um, if you don’t know how to do a thing or the thing in front of you exceeds your emotional bandwidth or both. You need help and that’s the time to ask for help. And that might be you Google a video that tells you how to change your bike tire, or you call somebody or you email someone, your texts, someone, right?

[00:23:49] If in, in regard to your mental health, that’s a good time to call in somebody who’s a good support for you. And. Sometimes we don’t have somebody like that. And [00:24:00] sometimes it’s the middle of the night, or sometimes we feel like we’ve already kind of tapped on that person’s shoulder a few times. So I want to give you some national resources that people can use to call or text to get help anytime of the day or night when you need it.

[00:24:13] So, um, Good news is in a couple of years, we’re going to have a national number. I believe it’s going to be nine, three, three. It’s not in place yet, but they’re there and the infrastructure. So at some point we just going to have a three number, a number that people can remember and anywhere in the country, they can, can use it to get help.

[00:24:32] We don’t. Quite don’t quite have that yet. Two, one, one is in most parts of the County entry, but not everywhere. So know that, you know, you might want to try it out and see if you can call two, one, one and get someone locally. Um, Most communities have that, but I would instead, um, send you to the national suicide hotline, which is just a helpline for anyone.

[00:24:55] You don’t have to necessarily have thoughts of, of suicide, um, to [00:25:00] call it’s just, if you are. Overwhelmed and exceeding your emotional bandwidth. Don’t know how to do a thing. They’re there to talk. And that number is 802 seven three talk. So (800) 273–8255. The other option is to text. So some people prefer texting.

[00:25:20] So you can just text the word, talk to them. The number seven four one seven four one. So just text talk to seven, four, one seven four one.

[00:25:30] Brett Terpstra: [00:25:30] Wow. Cool. Awesome.

[00:25:33]Sarah Johnson: [00:25:33] Yeah, asking for help. It’s a good one.

[00:25:36] Brett Terpstra: [00:25:36] that’s a heck of a first pick.

[00:25:38] Sarah Johnson: [00:25:38] Thank you.

[00:25:39] Brett Terpstra: [00:25:39] All right. What now might seem silly. Why don’t you go on with your second pick?

[00:25:44]Sarah Johnson: [00:25:44] Well, my third one is, is, is more about levity. So my second one is my, my second pick is, uh, Uh, something that’s, it’s been around for awhile, not everybody’s aware of [00:26:00] it. Um, so I’m trying to spread the word. Um, and that is something called science. Um,

[00:26:07] Brett Terpstra: [00:26:07] have heard the kids talking about this.

[00:26:09] Sarah Johnson: [00:26:09] yeah. Yeah. The kids are really into it these days. Um, in particular, uh, You know, the science around health, of course.

[00:26:19] Um, but I’m wanting to put a particular plug in for, um, social science. Um, I’m a social scientist. So, you know, I think about how people behave and how we think and how we act otherwise known as our mental health and. Uh, there’s a, a group that I’m involved with that I just cannot say enough about. They have changed the way I operate in so many ways and have given a scientific framework to what I’ve always.

[00:26:49] Felt to be true. So they’re, they’re giving me some data around. Yes. It makes sense to treat people like they’re people and to meet people where they’re at. And it makes [00:27:00] sense to, to come together across sectors to do work. That is what it’s going to take to, to make these big systematic changes that we need.

[00:27:10] Um, I did say systematic, I mean system, but, um, so I want to highlight the collective impact forum. It’s just a bunch of geniuses, just a bunch of geniuses sitting around and putting their genius thoughts in other people’s brains and helping communities across the globe. Actually, I think they’re, they have a national reach, um, to come together as communities to make real meaningful change.

[00:27:40] And I, it, they just. I cannot say enough. Good things about them. So collective impact forum, I’m in the name of science. A I strongly encourage you if you are somebody who wants to make sure actual change in your communities, rather than just really doing work arounds and putting bandaids on [00:28:00] problems and perpetuating systems of oppression.

[00:28:04] I encourage you to check out the collective impact forum.

[00:28:07] Brett Terpstra: [00:28:07] awesome. Um, do you spend much time on YouTube? I know you do some video as part of your job, or at least you used to do those like mental health. I think it was something to that effect.

[00:28:19] Sarah Johnson: [00:28:19] Yeah.

[00:28:19] Brett Terpstra: [00:28:19] do you, do you spend much time watching YouTube?

[00:28:22]Sarah Johnson: [00:28:22] Uh, I, I. Do not, but that reminds me, I mean, I do randomly, sometimes I’ll plug in like cute kitten video or something. Um, I don’t quite understand how YouTube works yet. So. Like all the kids are watching it like a TV channel and I’m like, I don’t, I’m not sure I don’t totally get that, but, but that does remind me, I should have answered the question you asked me about how do people learn about the, why I actually do have through our YMCAs, a YouTube channel called steady heads, open hearts.

[00:28:54] And that’s a place where people can get actually get a lot of mental health information. That’s [00:29:00] content that I’ve. Uh, put together, as you mentioned, those mindful minutes, which are kind of on minute videos, one to two minute videos that just have a, a mindful practice. And then they’re done dinner table resilience series, which are three to four minute videos featuring a mental health piece of information.

[00:29:16] And then an actual challenge or activity you can do either around your dinner table or with your friends or with your team at work or on zoom with your friends. Um, and then there’s also some hour long mental health webinars on there. So all of that content is free and available for folks, but what, what, what are you getting at with YouTube?

[00:29:37] What are you watching on YouTube?

[00:29:38] Brett Terpstra: [00:29:38] Some of my, like, I’ve just gotten into following specific channels relatively recently. And one of my favorite it’s to follow is called how to ADHD. And it’s been really helpful in kind of my own mental health journey. Um, I was just curious if there were any similar channels that you were a fan of, that you [00:30:00] would, that you would recommend getting into.

[00:30:03] Sarah Johnson: [00:30:03] Hmm. No, you know what, at that I’ll take that as homework because. I am sure there are, um, I’ve my big, new technology thing besides zoom suddenly I’m like technology person at the Y with zoom and I’m like, that’s not accurate boy. Um, but my new like technology for Ray’s like, Oh, Instagram, you can, you can follow people who have good things to say.

[00:30:29] So that’s my new thing. Um, but no, I don’t have any good ones on YouTube, but I’m going to check out how to ADHD. That sounds interesting.

[00:30:36] Brett Terpstra: [00:30:36] it’s a, it’s a one, one girl, one woman who, uh, has a team that helps her research and provide very in depth looks at very particular topics, uh, that ADHD people face. So I recommend it’s easy to watch. They’re short. Um, all right. Third pick.

[00:30:58]Sarah Johnson: [00:30:58] my third pick [00:31:00] is something that has been good for my mental health and for my. Geekiness. Um, and it’s a podcast that I can recommend, um, from vulture and it’s the good one podcast. And, uh, I love it so much on so many levels. So, um, essentially it’s the host. Who’s brilliant. Um, Jesse is just. So into comedy and does his homework so thoroughly, then he will invite a comedian to pick their favorite joke and then they dissect it.

[00:31:40] So they play the joke and then they go through the thinking King and all the iterations with the joke and why it’s funny and why it’s, why it’s the joke they chose. And, um,

[00:31:51] Brett Terpstra: [00:31:51] for jokes.

[00:31:52] Sarah Johnson: [00:31:52] Yes, that’s correct exactly what it is. It’s so deeply satisfying. So great.

[00:31:58] Brett Terpstra: [00:31:58] That’s nice.

[00:31:59] Sarah Johnson: [00:31:59] was [00:32:00] both like, it makes me laugh and it’s also geeky.

[00:32:03] And, you know, like I said, kind of sciency.

[00:32:06]Brett Terpstra: [00:32:06] Yeah. I love it. The

[00:32:07] Sarah Johnson: [00:32:07] It’s been a great distraction. Yeah. It’s been great distraction when I, at my brain’s too full of hard stuff, but I still want to have some kind of intellectual stimulation. So it’s been great.

[00:32:19] Brett Terpstra: [00:32:19] well, here’s, here’s mine and I think it actually fits into that category on Netflix. There’s a show. I’m pretty sure it’s called love on the spectrum.

[00:32:28]Sarah Johnson: [00:32:28] I just saw that it just came up as a recommendation for

[00:32:31] Brett Terpstra: [00:32:31] it is just like, my heart is overflowing for these. These autistic people that are taking their first forays into dating. And, uh, like I, especially a lot of the guys act on the outside the way I always feel on the inside on a date.

[00:32:53] Sarah Johnson: [00:32:53] Yeah.

[00:32:54] Brett Terpstra: [00:32:54] on the outset, the awkwardness and the sincerity, uh, [00:33:00] is it’s it it’s delightful like w L and I are

[00:33:04] Sarah Johnson: [00:33:04] That’s great. Sweet. I don’t

[00:33:06] Brett Terpstra: [00:33:06] it makes you think it makes you reconsider a lot of your, your preconceived notions, not just about autistic people, but about your own, the way that you relate to other people. Uh, so there’s a thinking aspect to it, but at the same time, it’s, it’s a lighthearted fun look at, uh, heartwarming. I would call it heartwarming.

[00:33:26]Sarah Johnson: [00:33:26] I’m going to have to check that out. That’s a good recommendation.

[00:33:30] Brett Terpstra: [00:33:30] all right. So where can people find you specifically?

[00:33:33]Sarah Johnson: [00:33:33] Uh, see, this is where I’m still not good at this part. Uh, how can people find it? What’s the best way to, for people, people can find me, um, So YouTube channel, so steady heads, open heart.

[00:33:46] Brett Terpstra: [00:33:46] That’ll be linked in the notes.

[00:33:48] Sarah Johnson: [00:33:48] Okay, perfect. Um, I am working on a website by working on a website. I mean, I have a domain, but I don’t know how to website, so I’ve got some work to do there, but that’ll be the joy [00:34:00] labs someday.

[00:34:01] Um, How else can people, people can find me on Instagram. I’m not doing a whole lot except for listening and learning these days. Um, but, uh, it would be at I’m a life liver. So I am a L I F E L I V E R. So I am, as in no apostrophe, I’m a, uh, those are the ways, I guess, at this point, I think, I don’t know what are other ways that people find people.

[00:34:30] Brett Terpstra: [00:34:30] Well, Twitter web,

[00:34:32] Sarah Johnson: [00:34:32] Yeah,

[00:34:34] Brett Terpstra: [00:34:34] yeah.

[00:34:35] Sarah Johnson: [00:34:35] Twitter is so overwhelming to me. I don’t understand it. Okay.

[00:34:39] Brett Terpstra: [00:34:39] tell you what though. We should definitely talk. I can help you get a quick WordPress website set up. No problem.

[00:34:47] Sarah Johnson: [00:34:47] You know what? I got a domain and have it in Squarespace because they did the thing. Cause we did this weird commercial here. So I have.

[00:34:56] Brett Terpstra: [00:34:56] rip off of a window owner rider commercial here.

[00:34:58] Sarah Johnson: [00:34:58] 100%. [00:35:00] So this was their, you know, hazard pay. I don’t know what it would, but I looked at it and I’m like, I don’t know how to do this. So I, and then the pandemic hit. So it totally zapped any like technology tenacity I have, but I would love to try to get something put together.

[00:35:19] I have lots of ideas.

[00:35:21] Brett Terpstra: [00:35:21] All right. Well, thank you for taking the time. I know you have a lot to do. It’s great to hear from you.

[00:35:27] Sarah Johnson: [00:35:27] I am so glad you asked me. And you know, actually people can email me@thejoylabsatgmail.com. That’s, that’s a thing it’s not like I’m going to get millions of emails, you know? Um, I would say though, if you’re, if you are having trouble with your mental health, if it’s feeling like a mental health crisis, don’t email me, please call somebody that you can get ahold of right away.

[00:35:50] I just, I don’t check my email every day and I would hate for someone to be reaching out cause you weren’t doing well. And then you don’t hear from me for a bit. Um, so please be sure [00:36:00] to, to, um, reach out more locally. If you, if you have some, some struggles going on, please, please reach out.

[00:36:07] Brett Terpstra: [00:36:07] that sounds great. Alright, well, thank you again, and I hope we talk again in less than five years.

[00:36:14] Sarah Johnson: [00:36:14] I guess, can we make that a goal? I feel like that’s doable.

[00:36:18] Brett Terpstra: [00:36:18] my top three.

[00:36:19]Sarah Johnson: [00:36:19] Awesome. My two now just bumped, bumped something.

[00:36:24] Brett Terpstra: [00:36:24] Right?

[00:36:25]Sarah Johnson: [00:36:25] Thanks, Brett. Take care.