Nurse practicing meditation

Riverside Behavioral Medicine and Kankakee Community College are hosting "Self-Care: It’s Not Just for Your Patients Anymore" on Tuesday.

Riverside Behavioral Medicine and Kankakee Community College are hosting “Self-Care: It’s Not Just for Your Patients Anymore.” The event is geared toward healthcare professionals in an effort to ease the stress they are facing with COVID-19 and beyond.

“We thought it would be really relevant to provide this to not only Riverside employees but open it up to the community as well,” said Riverside Behavioral Medicine’s business development coordinator, Rebecca J. Parks, BSW.

“There’s so many of us direct-care people and first responders who, especially in 2020, have had to face so many hardships and have had to work with much more than we’ve done before, and we’re lacking in self care.”

From 1:30 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, the presentation will be in the Johnson Lecture Hall in the Riverside Medical Center (400 N. Wall St., Kankakee — Lower Level). Participants are asked to park in the north garage and use elevator B to go down to the basement.

Registration begins right before the event at 1 p.m. or can be done online at riversidehealthcare.org/events. Because of health and safety guidelines, the event will have a max of 35 people.

Nurses will receive their evaluation and CE certificate in OLIE/Learner. Social workers will receive paper evaluations and will receive a KCC co-sponsored CE certificate upon completion for a $5 fee. The fee will be collected at registration Tuesday.

The presentation will help healthcare workers learn about, understand the importance of, absorb and implement self-care strategies.

Participants also will learn why healthcare professionals have challenges filling their own cup, what can happen if they don’t and how to be proactive using self-care strategies. A number of self-care tools will be presented, as will an initiation to start thinking about which ones to put in a self-care “toolbox” to use. Then, there will be breakout time to begin a self-care plan.

“My hope would be that people are able to walk away with new skills for self care,” Parks said. “Or even just remind themselves of the importance of implementing self care into their day-to-day lives so that they don’t burn out or they don’t get drained.”

Event and presentation objectives include analyzing data related to self-care needs; learning about why self care is a struggle for care providers; defining compassion fatigue, stress and burnout; and identifying self-care strategies and how to implement them.

With Riverside Behavioral Medicine, Parks noted they “have mental health services for pediatrics through geriatrics.” In-patient care services serve ages 5 and older; outpatient mental health group therapy serves ages 12 and older.

For more information on these services, call the 24/7 Central Intake Department at 844-442-2551. Individuals also are welcome to go straight to the ER for a mental health assessment.