According to many experts, stress is a major contributor to an individual’s dysfunction. When an individual is feeling stressed, s/he is susceptible to a host of negative emotional, physical, and behavioral issues including substance misuse. Unfortunately, most individuals don’t recognize that unhealthy levels of stress contribute to susceptibility and negative consequences. Recognizing stress, understanding its effects on health, and developing/implementing a plan to try evidence-based, positive health outcome ‘stress-buffering’ strategies highlight this webinar.


  • Review definition of stress
  • Summarize mental and physical effects
  • Correlate stress ↔ substance misuse ‘magnet’
  • Review evidence-based stress strategies
  • Identify ‘Therapist plan’ … ‘Client plan’ stress management strategies: positive ‘buffering skills’ tips
  • Discuss case questions


Irene Kane, PhD, MSN, RN, CNAA, HFI, is Assistant Professor, RN Options Coordinator, Health and Community Systems at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. Throughout my career in mental health clinical and research activity, my focus has been on helping people of all ages learn behaviors and attitudes that positively influence how they think about and perceive their world. As a clinical nurse specialist, psychotherapist, educator and consultant, I have extensive experience in developing and teaching healthy lifestyle programs such as stress coping for disease management and prevention with a physical activity emphasis to improve psychobiological wellbeing. Currently, I instruct RNs in professional development with a healthy lifestyle emphasis. Further, I teach psychiatric mental health nursing including the assessment and treatment continuum options for substance abuse with a focus on Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). I am the Project Coordinator for the federally funded Emergency Department RN-SBIRT Program to train health professionals across a multihospital system regarding their role and responsibility in addressing substance use through the implementation of SBIRT to positively impact health outcomes. As a doctoral prepared exercise physiologist, I am very well aware of the theory & role of perceptions, change, motivational interviewing and the respective impact on individual participation in health choices. I believe that as professionals we need to help those we serve to take the steps to better health.

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