Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Especially right now. As we head into the second winter since the COVID-19 pandemic began, your team at Fairview Range wants to remind you that you’re not alone and it is alright to not be alright. We’re all dealing with a changed world and the ripples continue to be felt.
A Harvard Youth Poll showed that in the spring of 2021, 51% of Americans aged 18 to 29 said that in the last two weeks there were several days where they felt down, depressed, or hopeless.
While this is a sobering statistic, there is also good news. At Fairview Range, we continue our dedication to serving the mental health needs of the Iron Range community and have recently hired Dr. Glen Rebman as the Medical Director of our Behavioral Health team.
“Studies during the pandemic have shown that around four out of 10 US adults have reported symptoms of depression or anxiety,” Dr. Rebman states. “Needless to say, there is a mental health pandemic brewing on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is further impacted by the social and political strife in our nation that is making for a perfect storm.”
When asked how people can improve their mental wellbeing during this trying time, he laid out the following recommendations.
- Turn down and tune down news and social media.
It is almost inevitable that you will feel bad if you watch the news all day during these times.
- Focus on your community, not the whole world.
There are so many issues to address that it can be paralyzing. Do what you can on a local level to stay grounded. It’s alright to forget about the rest if you need to.
- Find renewed meaning and purpose where you can.
Maybe this means drawing inspiration from volunteering, investing more in your family, or finding a hobby to fill up your cup. When we have purpose, we can endure.
- Go outside, every day, even if it is cold.
We need a break from work and computers. The outside environment connects us to what has for so long made us feel alive.
- Take a break when you can.
Live in the present moment and cherish what is in front of you.
- Adversity, disease, stress, and social conflict are nothing new for humans.
We can all be resilient and thrive in conditions we don’t feel prepared for.
- Embrace this new way of life.
There’s no turning back. Remember, the light begins to shine at the darkest moment.
- Finally, some people are doing terrific during these times, and there is nothing wrong with that. We all can learn from each other.
- Celebrate what unites us as members of the Range community and Americans. We need each other.
Dr. Rebman’s Role
Dr. Rebman comes in with big goals for mental health services and tackles a myriad of tasks every day at the hospital in Hibbing. In his role as medical director, he works with patients in the hospital to assess mental health needs, educates team members, meets with internal and external teams to improve mental health care, and is working toward expanding services on the Iron Range. He oversees a 34-bed inpatient psychiatric unit and collaborates with seven Advanced Practice Providers to provide care. Overall, he works with a team of more than 100 people, all dedicated to helping patients.
“I chose this position because I wanted to work at a smaller hospital and be invested in a community,” remarks Dr. Rebman. “Plus, I love the region. You cannot beat the natural beauty. I’m fortunate to work in this role and love the team here.”
Dr. Rebman works alongside Dr. Eliason, the other psychiatrist on staff, and is dyad partners with the Director of Nursing for Behavioral Health, Kelly Lawson. Beyond the doors of Fairview Range, he also does outreach in the community. Recently, the mental health team met with the principal from Hibbing High School to figure out ways to better serve the needs of adolescents on the Iron Range. It is just one way the department is assessing how to help the region.
A History of Helping
Not just anyone was a right fit for the medical director job. Dr. Rebman came in with the right qualifications and a vision for the program. Before joining the Fairview Range team, he attended Des Moines University for medical school and completed his residency training in psychiatry at the University of Minnesota.
“What I’m trying to do is leverage my connection to the University of Minnesota, including the Interventional Psychiatry Program,” explains Dr. Rebman. “We just don’t have access to some specialized services on the Range. I’m working toward either bringing these services to our community or improving the speed at which they can be accessed.”
Prior to moving into medicine, he worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Veterans Benefits Administration for six years. His passion for helping people is easy to see.
“I love the relationships you create with both patients, families, and the care teams,” says Dr. Rebman. “I enjoy creating the space that can allow a therapeutic relationship to thrive and then lead to positive change in patients’ lives.”
Dr. Rebman was the perfect candidate for the job for many reasons, but the Fairview Range team was especially impressed by his vision for enhancing the program. Fairview Range aimed to grow its mental health services but needed the right person to guide this expansion. Dr. Rebman fit the bill. He is already working on bringing access to some promising mental health programs and treatments.
“At Fairview Range, I am afforded the opportunity to grow a behavioral health service line, which is a really neat opportunity,” explains the doctor. “I think we have to leverage technology the best we can, and so I’m always trying to keep up-to-date on the most innovative approaches, whether it’s telehealth, new treatment techniques, or eventually incorporating artificial intelligence to improve care.”
Some of the areas he is passionate about enhancing care for are mood disorders, neuromodulation, psychotherapy, and integrative psychiatry. These are all large undertakings, but his drive and knowledge of methodologies are good indicators that his work will not be in vain.
Help Is Here
Oftentimes, people have a stigma around mental health issues. But it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
“One in 10 people will experience psychosis during their lifetime,” states Dr. Rebman. “I’ve quickly learned that there’s not much that separates me from my patients. I could have a bad day and get any of these illnesses. It can happen to any of us.”
Everyone has hardships and it is perfectly fine to not feel great all the time. It’s a part of being human.
If you do find yourself feeling depressed or anxious for long periods of time, we recommend talking to a professional. Talking to someone can help you sort out your feelings and help you discover if you need extra help.
At the moment, Dr. Rebman is only seeing patients that are admitted to the hospital who warrant more specialized care. But working alongside him is a large team of Fairview Range counselors and therapists ready to listen and help you deal with any mental health troubles you are facing.
To schedule an appointment to get a referral, call 218-362-6937.
If you are in crisis, here are some options available 24/7: text Range to 741741 for a free, confidential crisis text line, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) for free support, dial 911, or go to the nearest Emergency Department.