Breaking the Stigma: Why Mental Health Month Matters

May is recognized as Mental Health Month and it's a time to raise awareness about mental health, break down stigma, and promote mental wellness!





In 1949 Mental Health America (formerly National Association of Mental Health) started National Awareness Month in May to raise awareness, educate the public, and reduce the stigma of having mental illness. It is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will suffer a mental illness in a given year.

1. Why is mental health important?

Mental and physical health are equally important for individuals to maximize their life goals, enhance personal relations, cope with stress, and effectively contribute to their community. Research has repeatedly shown that mental health illness can affect someone’s medical condition and conversely someone’s medical condition can affect mental health illness.

2. What’s the difference between experiencing anxiety or depression, and suffering from a mental illness?

Mental health is more than just the presence or absence of a pathological condition. Anxiety, depression, other mood issues, and psychosocial disabilities are on a continuum of intensities. When those mental health issues reach a level that emotionally distresses the individual and/or begins to negatively impact their personal and social functioning it is considered to be a pathological condition of mental illness.

3. What are symptoms which can be signs of mental illness?

If you or your loved ones notice changes in your ability to effectively deal with everyday stressors, notice changes in your ability to care for yourself, notice changes in eating and sleeping patterns, have poor motivation levels, find that you are not able to regulate your emotions, if you are isolating yourself from others, have thoughts of hurting yourself or others it is time to talk with your healthcare provider for a mental health assessment.  

4. How is a mental illness diagnosed?

A mental illness is diagnosed after appropriate medical and/or psychological tests are performed along with an interview about an individual’s symptoms and family history.

5. What are some support and treatment options for those who have a mental illness?

It is best to talk with your healthcare provider as a first step in diagnosing and treating mental illness. Treatments may include counseling, medications, and/or other social interventions. There are national organizations that may also be referenced such as the American Psychiatric Association (AMA,, the American Psychological Association (APA,, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI,, 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (, and Mental Health America (

Living with mental health challenges can be difficult, but you don't have to face it alone. Our psychologists provide a safe and supportive environment to help you overcome your struggles. To make an appointment with a SIMEDHealth Psychologist, click here.








Tips for healthy feet

Take a step towards healthier feet! SIMEDHealth Podiatrist, Cynthia McDonald, discusses common foot problems, causes of foot pain, and effective ways to relieve discomfort.


SIMEDHealth Podiatrist Dr. Cynthia McDonald, has years of experience in treating common foot problems and helping patients alleviate foot pain. Dr. McDonald covers a range of topics related to foot health, including the causes of foot pain, how to prevent and treat common foot conditions, and tips for maintaining healthy feet. Common foot conditions include ingrown nails, fungus nails, plantar warts, bunions, heel pain, claw and hammer toe, and more. Regardless of age or athletic ability, don't let foot pain hold you back from daily activities. Dr. McDonald sees patients in Gainesville and Chiefland. Schedule an appointment with a SIMEDHealth Foot and Ankle specialist today!



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Dr. Stephanie Leiva, Joins SIMEDHealth

SIMEDHealth welcomes Dr. Stephanie Leiva, a board-certified OB/GYN with expertise in women's health.

Dr. Stephanie Leiva has extensive education and training, including a medical degree from UCIMED and residency from Michigan State University, she provides exceptional care for routine gynecological exams, minimally invasive surgery, and more. Now seeing patients in Gainesville starting May 1st. To learn more about Dr. Leiva, click here. To make an appointment with Dr. Leiva, click here.

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Parkinson's Disease

Neurologist Dr. Justin Yancey, discusses the symptoms and treatment options for Parkinson's disease.





Parkinson's disease is a progressive nervous system disorder affecting movement. It is caused by the loss of brain cells that produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter which helps control our movements. The cause of Parkinson's disease is unknown, but it is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There is no cure for Parkinson's disease, but there are treatments to help manage the symptoms, including medication, surgery, and physical therapy.


The symptoms of Parkinson's disease typically begin gradually and slowly worsen over time.
These symptoms can include:

* Tremors: shaking movements typically starting in the hands and fingers, and can spread to the arms, legs, head, and voice.

* Slowness of movement: increased difficulty walking, talking, and performing other tasks.

* Stiffness: increased difficulty moving the arms and legs.

* Difficulty with balance and coordination: increased fall risk when standing or walking.

* Problems with speech: increased difficulty speaking clearly or quickly.

* Swallowing problems: increased difficulty swallowing food and liquids, and creates risk of aspirating into the lungs.

* Sleep problems: increases difficulty falling or staying asleep.


The treatments that can help manage Parkinson’s symptoms include:

* Medication: reduces tremors, slowness of movement, and stiffness.

* Surgery: implants a device delivering electrical stimulation to the brain which helps reduce tremors and improve smoothness of movement.

* Physical therapy: improves balance, coordination, and flexibility.

* Occupational therapy: improves activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, and eating.

* Speech therapy: improves speech and swallowing functions.


Parkinson's disease can have a significant impact on a person's and their family’s lives over time. However, there are many resources available to help people with Parkinson's disease and their caretakers. These resources include:

* Support groups: provide a place to connect with others who understand what they are going through.

* Online resources: many are available, such as the National Parkinson’s Foundation (NPF) and the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

* Medical professionals: can provide information and support.

If you are living with Parkinson's disease, it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you live a full and active life. To learn more about Dr. Yancey, click here. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Yancey, click here.




Surviving Spring Allergies

Learn how to survive spring allergies!

Seasonal Allergies, also known as hay fever and allergic rhinitis, can be particularly challenging this time of year. In this video, Allergist Dr. Jordan Heath, discusses the symptoms, triggers, and treatment options for spring allergies. If you're struggling with allergies, SIMEDHealth is here for you. Our team of experienced allergists can help you identify your specific allergy triggers and create a personalized treatment plan to help you manage your symptoms. Don't suffer through another spring season with allergies, visit SIMEDHealth Asthma & Allergy today!


To learn more about Dr. Jordan Heath, click here.

To make an appointment with Dr. Jordan Heath, click here.


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What You Need to Know About Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer Awareness with Dr. Larissa Lim

Colorectal cancer is a disease that develops in the colon or rectum. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women worldwide, but is one of the most preventable types of cancer, and often treatable when diagnosed early. Family practice physician, Dr. Larissa Lim, discusses the symptoms and preventive screenings for colorectal cancer.



To schedule an appointment with Dr. Lim, click here

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Preventing Cancer with Dr. Floegel

Preventing Cancer with Dr. Floegel

Family Care Physician, Dr. Antje-Mareike Floegel, talks about the most preventable cancers, ways to prevent cancer, and the importance of cancer screening tests.
Lower your risk of cancer by making healthier choices, and getting the recommended screening tests and vaccines. Making healthier choices like maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco, alcohol moderation, and protecting your skin, affects your chances of getting cancer. Getting screened early for cervical, colorectal, and breast cancer offers better treatment results. Vaccines like HPV (human papillomavirus) help prevent most cervical cancers To make an appointment with Dr. Floegel, click here.
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National Caregivers Day

February 17th is National Caregivers Day!

SIMEDHealth Psychologist, Dr. Bensadon discusses the physical and emotional toll it takes to be a caregiver. 





What defines a caregiver?

A caregiver is someone who provides direct care to someone else. Types of care vary and often depend on the health status, condition, and needs of the care recipient. The United States health care system is generally an acute and sub-acute model even though our aging society has led to significant increases in chronic, incurable conditions. As a result, many Americans must self-manage their chronic conditions and this generally requires efforts from both patients and informal, non-professional/unpaid caregivers, who are often family members. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):


What are the challenges a caregiver faces?

Caregivers often face the same challenges as those for whom they provide care. Caregiver burden is a well-established concept that encapsulates these challenges. It can be broken down into objective and subjective burden. Objective burden is a measure of the amount of duties and tasks required in the caregiving role, while subjective burden is the degree to which the caregiver feels and perceives their role as burdensome. In truth, people vary in what they consider burdensome. What one person perceives as a burden another may perceive as a privilege.   

Why is self-care important for a caregiver?

Caregiving can be rewarding but can also be draining. Caregivers often perform duties which are not acknowledged by others. This lack of recognition can result in caregivers feeling they are in a thankless position. Perceived lack of appreciation for one’s efforts can accelerate frustration, deplete energy, and lead to emotional exhaustion, a core component of burnout. No one is immune to burnout. This applies to professional caregivers (e.g., doctors, nurses) and non-professional caregivers (family, friends) alike. Self-care can help caregivers preserve themselves and buffer burnout. Ultimately this can help caregivers remain in the caregiver role longer, and with fewer negative consequences. Care recipients and caregivers each have needs. Balance is vital. Without it, it is not uncommon for caregiver health to deteriorate more rapidly than the health of their care recipients.  

How can a caregiver support their mental health?

Fortunately, many of the challenging psychosocial realities of caregiving are amenable to psychological intervention. Caregivers need and can benefit from support just like anyone else. A key challenge, however, is caregivers often focus more on care recipients’ needs  than their own, and as a result may have difficulty prioritizing or even acknowledging their own needs. Caregivers often feel they cannot afford (emotionally, financially) to take the time to focus on themselves, and if they do, they often feel guilty about doing so.

What are some resources available for caregivers?

The National Alliance for Caregiving

Caregiver Action Network

Family Caregiver Alliance

National Alliance on Mental Illness


To schedule an appointment with Dr. Bensadon, click here.








Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room

Chest pain, respiratory difficulties, stomach pain, broken bone; Do you visit the ER or an urgent care center?


Urgent Care Physician, Dr. Calvin Martin discusses your options when seeking emergency medical attention.

SIMEDHealth Urgent Care is located in Gainesville, Florida. We offer walk-in, in-person and virtual appointments.

To schedule an appointment, click here.

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Achieving A Healthy Weight

Dr. Gupta's tips to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.


Family care physician, Dr. Anubha Gupta, discusses the benefits of a healthy weight, and body mass index (BMI). A healthy weight depends on factors such as sex, genetics, body frame, medical history, and lifestyle habits. Hear Dr. Gupta's tips to achieve and maintain a healthy weight through diet, physical exercise, and mental health! To schedule an appointment, click here




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