September 2021 Open Line
Take a brain break during your workday to take on this week’s word game, search, puzzle, crossword, or quiz! Download this week’s “All About the Heart” CROSSWORD PUZZLE or WORD SEARCH” HERE.
FEELING THE PRESSURE?
Did you know that nearly 1 in 2 adults has high blood pressure!?
In recognition of World Heart Day (Wednesday, September 29), check out this heart-healthy infographic.
Looking for additional resources to help you with these strategies to live a heart-healthy lifestyle? Be sure to check out the following:
- What keeps you from being more active? Find out by taking the Barriers to Being Active Quiz.
- Quitting smoking can be hard. Having a plan makes things a bit easier! Making a personalized quit plan can keep you on track and help you through the times that challenge you the most. Create a quit plan and check out these Tobacco Quit Aids (available to members of the State’s health insurance plan).
Happy National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. Celebrate by trying some of these healthy recipes!
Let's Tell a Story
Let’s take a mental virtual break to help lower stress and bring some fun into your day. Join us for a live Team Building Activity with Working for a Healthier Tennessee! This will take place on Tuesday, September 28 from 9-9:15 a.m. Central/10-10:15 a.m. Eastern.
Let’s give our brains a little workday break!
Please join WFHTN for a live word scramble BRAIN GAME.
When: Thursday, September 23 from 1-1:15 PM Central
Activity: WFHTN Wellness Coordinator, Lindsey, will be leading on WebEx. Equipment Needed: You may want to have a pen/pencil and notepad close by for this activity! Join from this meeting link!
GIVE YOUR BODY A BREAK WITH THESE WEEKLY WORKOUTS!
YOGA FOR ALL: WEDNESDAYS AT 12-12:15 PM CENTRAL
Join us for a 15-minute live virtual seated yoga class HERE ON WEBEX each week (password: yoga) that is suitable for beginners & relaxing for all fitness levels. No special equipment or attire is needed - just a chair! **
This class is brought to you by volunteer Certified Yoga Teachers and State employees in partnership with Working for a Healthier TN. Note: Each class will be led by a different yoga instructor: Denise Galben (DHS), Kristina Giard-Bradford (TDH), Lara Gill (TDH), and Noel Marie Blackmire (TDOE). We hope you'll join us every Wednesday afternoon!
DCS THURSDAY FITNESS BREAKS: FROM 11-11:15 AM CENTRAL
Give your body a break with the DCS Wellness Council every Thursday HERE ON TEAMS!
You can expect a live stream workout handpicked by the DCS Wellness Council members.
LIVING WITH A CHRONIC CONDITION?
Check out one of these available programs to help you better manage your condition, whether arthritis, asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, heart disease, or obesity.
For State health plan members: Consider "Disease Management Group Coaching." (Call ActiveHealth at 888-741- 3390 to see if you qualify!)
For non-health plan members: Consider the "Living Well with Chronic Conditions" workshops with the Tennessee Department of Health. (For more information about this program, including how to sign up please contact Danielle.McCoy@tn.gov.)
#WhyApply Day Coming Sept. 17
September is Tennessee’s College Application and Exploration Month. This fall, students across the state will be submitting college applications and celebrating their plans for the future.
To celebrate college application season and our students, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation are designating Sept. 17, 2021, as #WhyApply Day. #WhyApply Day, a national celebration championed by the American College Application Campaign, celebrates the college application season by sharing supportive and motivating messages on social media about the importance of applying to college.
Join THEC/TSAC in participating by heading to your social media accounts and answering the question, “Why apply to college?” Here’s how you can participate on social media:
1. Print a #WhyApply selfie printout or use a blank piece of paper with the hashtag #WhyApply on it
2. Write your response to the question “Why apply to college?” on the paper
3. Put on your college gear and take a photo with your #WhyApply statement
4. On Sept. 17, post your photo or statement to your personal or organization’s social media channels using the hashtags #WhyApply and #TNCollegeAppMonth.
We also welcome you to tag THEC/TSAC using our social media handle: @TNHigherEd.
Share this opportunity with your team, students, and other professionals you work with. Together, we can inspire more students to apply to college during this challenging time.
A Quick, Confidential Look at Your Mental Health
National Depression Screening Day is set for Thursday, October 7. With the effects of the pandemic, many more Tennesseans than normal are self-reporting symptoms of depression.
Taking a quick and confidential screening is an easy way you can get an honest look at your current mental health and then connect with resources based on the results.
The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and its partners at Mental Health America offers online screenings for depression and many other behavioral health concerns at this link: TN.gov/behavioral-health/screenings.
JOIN YOUR COLLEAGUES FOR HEALTHIER LUNCH HABITS
Don't miss your chance to join the DCS Wellness Council’s upcoming PACK YOUR LUNCH CHALLENGE (Monday, Sept. 13 through Friday, Sept. 24).
The goal: Aim to pack your lunch each workday. (Download your “Lunch Packer Tracker” for the challenge HERE.)
FIVE prizes for participating are up for grabs! If you'd like to receive emails with challenge tips & reminders, please sign-up HERE. (Note: You do not have to sign-up to participate in this challenge.)
WEEKLY WORD GAME: MENTAL HEALTH WORD SEARCH
Take a brain break during your workday to take on this week’s word game, search, puzzle, crossword, or quiz!
Download this week’s “Mental Health” word search HERE.
LIVE STANDING CORE WORKOUT
Ready for an activity break to help you feel energized and motivated? It’s time for the next LIVE Workout with Working for a Healthier Tennessee!
When: Tuesday, September 14 from 9:30-9:45 a.m. Central/10:30-10:45 a.m. Eastern.
Workout: WFHTN Wellness Coordinator, Kayla, will be leading a standing core workout for ALL fitness levels.
Attire: Anything you can move in!
Equipment Needed: None.
** Please sign this digital waiver prior to the live workout.**
Join from this meeting link!
A Heartfelt Note After the Floods
I wanted to highlight how amazing DCS is. The Northwest Region was hit hard by the flooding a couple of weeks ago. We lost our Humphreys County office to the flood, but even more tragically, we had three employees who lost their homes and everything they own.
The DCS community has pitched in with donations to help the three employees offset their losses -- an effort that has brought in over $2,000. The donations have been coming in from employees statewide, and the help continues to arrive every day.
Meantime, our staff have also shown up to help with the cleanup efforts.
I am in awe of how much compassion is spread across this organization.
It’s truly made up of people who are in service of others, and it shows.
-- Rebekah Bowlin
In desperate need of a bit of TLC, the visitation rooms at the Dickson County DCS office received just that when the Craig Morgan Foundation and volunteers from Cross Point church showed up!
With a heart not only for the children and families of Dickson Co but the workers who give so much of their time, these two groups joined forces to make the visitation rooms, a comfortable and cozy space that children of all ages won’t mind coming to.
The Craig Morgan Foundation funded the project and Crosspoint Volunteers created these cozy rooms. This is just one of the many things they have done for Dickson County DCS…and the staff in Dickson Co and surrounding areas could not be more grateful!
We all have the same purpose, to help the children and families in this community, and together we make that happen!
-- Donna Lorhorn
Please join Tennessee Government Management Institute (TGMI) in supporting the military and their families by participating in a virtual 5k race any time from September 1-6, 2021.
This virtual race event is hosted by the USO who serves our military service members and their families.
The USO Run for the Brave 5k (2021) virtual race can be worked on a little bit every day Sept. 1 - 6 or can be completed during one occurrence during any of these days… the choice is completely yours!
Please check out the attached flyers for additional information, including to join the TN State Government race team. If you’d rather not run but wish to support by donating to USO programs for our military service members and their families, please check out the TN State Government’s page.
Let’s salute our military service members and their families for their service and sacrifice for all of us and our great nation! Thank you for your volunteer spirit and your service to our great state and great nation.
DCS’ PACK YOUR LUNCH CHALLENGE IS COMING!
Join us in practicing healthier lunch habits in this 2-week challenge!
The goal is simple - aim to pack your lunch each workday.
Starts Monday, Sept. 13
FIVE prizes for participating are up for grabs!
If you'd like to receive emails with challenge tips & reminders, please sign-up HERE. (Note: You do not have to sign-up to participate in this challenge.)
WE’VE GOT GRAINS ON THE BRAIN
Every September, we celebrate the goodness of whole grains! Whole Grains Month is a great time for everyone to get on the whole grains bandwagon. Eating better is not an all-or-nothing choice. Every little improvement you make in your food helps—all year long.
TAKE A BREAK WITH THESE WEEKLY WORKOUTS!
YOGA FOR ALL: WEDNESDAYS AT 12-12:15 PM CENTRAL
Join us for a 15-minute live virtual seated yoga class HERE ON WEBEX each week (password: yoga) that is suitable for beginners & relaxing for all fitness levels. No special equipment or attire is needed - just a chair!
**This class is brought to you by volunteer Certified Yoga Teachers and State employees in partnership with Working for a Healthier TN.
Note: Each class will be led by a different yoga instructor: Denise Galben (DHS), Kristina Giard-Bradford (TDH), Lara Gill (TDH), and Noel Marie Blackmire (TDOE). We hope you'll join us every Wednesday afternoon!
DCS THURSDAY FITNESS BREAKS: FROM 11-11:15 AM CENTRAL
Give your body a break with the DCS Wellness Council every Thursday HERE ON TEAMS! You can expect a livestream workout handpicked by your Wellness Council members.
Wanna work out on your own? Try this “15-Minute Office Workout” from Stephen Flynn, Case Manager at Northeast Region, Sullivan County.
Why We Do the Work
One of the many services that our Post Adoption Unit provides is searching for birth relatives of individuals who were adopted in the state of Tennessee and helping them connect with each other. This is a photo of a customer who sought our assistance in finding birth family when he was able to meet his biological siblings for the first time. He wrote to the Program Specialist that managed his request:
“Just wanted to follow up with you. Thank you again so much for all your help. I made a trip to Tennessee this past weekend and met my sister and brother. It was an amazing adventure and all because of you. Thank you so much!!!”
- Lindsay Coleman
The U.S. Census Bureau this week released 52 individual data profiles on America Counts highlighting the recent 2020 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File release.
These sharable data-rich state profiles are available for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and feature data visualizations that include population, housing, race, ethnicity, diversity, and age data. Each profile provides key demographic characteristics of each state and county on one page.
If you want to go straight to Tennessee, here's the Volunteer State profile.
National Smile Week!
Thank you to all who celebrated “National Smile Week” with the DCS Wellness Council! Many of you showed off your smiles - capturing selfies and sharing about loved ones or things, pets, and/or activities that make YOU smile. Here are just a few of the photos you shared with us.
Photos submitted by: Herbert A. Smith, Kristal Ray, Vicki Burton, Kara Williams, Kayla Faulkner, Stephen Flynn, Delora Ruffin, Mechele Porter, Shannon M. Patterson, John Wesley Strahlman III, Shayna Smith, Becky Partin, Magdalynn Head, and Venus Singleton.
September is National Yoga Month
Also, want to give a beginner-level, relaxing seated yoga class a try? Don't miss this 15-minute live virtual series each week. (No special equipment or attire is needed - just a chair!)
WHEN: Wednesdays at 12-12:15 PM Central (Please note this change in time from previous months!)
**Download your calendar appointment for every Wednesday in September HERE.**
YOUR FARM-FRESH PHOTOS
Thank you for celebrating National Farmers Market Week with the DCS Wellness Council!
Here are just a few of the farm-fresh photos you shared with us.
Photos submitted by: Cindy Armes, Shayna Smith, Shawna Bertram, Rena Seay, Jessica Harman, Lucy Hensley, Venus Singleton, and Wayne Dawson.
**NEW** BREAKFAST CROSSWORD
We all experience "morning madness" — whether it's a time crunch, picky eaters, or kids without morning appetites, many things can make for a stressful morning. Breakfast, however, is really an important meal!
In honor of the back-to-school season, take a brain break to complete this BREAKFAST CROSSWORD. ** Submit your completed crossword to email@example.com to see how you did!
Want to relieve your body aches and take a moment to de-stress?
Join us for a LIVE Workout with Working for a Healthier Tennessee (WFHTN)!
- Workout: LIVEstreamed Stretch
- Attire: Anything you can move in!
- Equipment Needed: None
** Please sign this digital waiver prior to the live workout. **
To Join: Download your calendar appointment HERE.
LET’S MOVE MORE!
Join the DCS Wellness Council to compete against other executive agencies in Working for a Healthier TN’s Move More Challenge from Monday, September 13 - Sunday, October 10!
- During registration, you will take a short quiz that will sort you into one of three fitness level groups. Each fitness level group will have weekly goals including cardio, strength training, and stretching goal!
- Click HERE to register by Wednesday, September 8.
- As long as you complete two of the three goals each week, you will be placed into a prize drawing. One person from each fitness level group will win a Bluetooth speaker! During the challenge, you will receive weekly emails with tips and reminders. You will also have the option to opt into a Microsoft Teams chat where you can chat with your fellow participants. If you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org!
National Night Out in Campbell County
The DCS Campbell County Staff participated in a foster parent recruitment event at the 10th Annual Campbell County National Night Out. Our staff also donated school supplies to hand out to kids as they prepare to return to school.