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Celebrate Your Heart!

February 24, 2012

Vista Hill SmartCare

February is American Heart Month.  In honor of Valentine’s Day, what better month than to take a closer look at how we are nurturing and caring for our hearts, both literally and figuratively??!!

According to SAMHSA, (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration), Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in the United States.  People with serious mental and substance use disorders are at significantly higher risk for heart attacks and strokes because they experience diabetes, hypertension, and obesity at approximately 1.5 to 2 times the rate of the general population.  In addition, depression has been shown to increase the risk of stroke in women.  SAMHSA partnered with Million Hearts™, a national initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over five years. Million Hearts™ brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke.

Vista Hill SmartCare has embraced their mission to encourage and support our community members in leading a heart-healthy lifestyle through our integrated behavioral health services and many of our wellness events throughout the year.

During the week of Valentine’s Day Vista Hill SmartCare  hosted events in each of the communities we serve, providing both informative information for adults and interactive activities for children, focusing on many aspects of heart health, and included many of the materials provided by Million Hearts™.


Ramona Heart Health

Campo Heart Health

Most us are aware of the importance of heart- healthy foods, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight to support heart health.  But as SmartCare is about an integrated approach to health, we put just as much emphasis on our emotional hearts.  For instance, did you know that laughter aids blood flow?  And that the loss of a loved one, a break-up of a relationship or other stressors can lead to heart failure?  And that yoga reduces blood pressure? 

So, in honor of American Heart Month, in addition to practicing yoga, surround yourselves only with those who are kind to you and have a piece of dark chocolate

Pamela Bryson, LCSW


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