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Dr. Kasi Howard Discusses Mental Health in Trying Times

Join us for a discuss with Dr. Kasi Howard. We dive into how to distract, cope and be mindful with the financial, health, and personal stressors associated with the coronavirus pandemic and ensuring shutdown. We also discusses with us some of the non-profits she is most passionate about and why.


Recording: Hello and bienvenidos, San Antonio. Welcome to the Alamo Hour, discussing the people, places and passion that make our city. My name is Justin Hill, a local attorney, a proud San Antonion, and keeper of chickens and bees. On the Alamo Hour, you’ll get to hear from the people that make San Antonio great and unique and the best kept secret in Texas. We’re glad that you’re here.

Justin Hill: All right. Welcome to the Alamo Hour. Today’s guest is Dr. Kasi Howard. Dr. Howard’s one of my close friends and has been for a long time. She’s a clinical psychologist who owns and runs the Nova Recovery Center. She’s an author of Strength for the Journey: Helping you bulk up emotionally, mentally and spiritually for the journey of life. She’s a mom, she’s a volunteer, she raises money, blah blah. She’s everything. She’s joining us today. I think no time is better than now to talk about handling the mental stress and strain of what’s going on now. Thank you for being here, Dr. Howard.

Kasi Howard: Thank you.

Justin: We’re going to start, give a little background to who you are, a little color on who you are. Do you have any pets?

Kasi: I do. I have a three-legged dog named Lucy.

Justin: Okay. I’m going to leave that there, but did you name it Lucy?

Kasi: I did. She’s Lucy Lihua. Lihua is a flower in the garden.


Justin: Okay.

Kasi: I could tell you about the little flower, it’s okay, yes–

Justin: I like that you didn’t name her something calling out her issue.

Kasi: No. We’re all about acceptance in our household.

Justin: All right. Favorite restaurant to eat at right now, currently?

Kasi: Oh. I’ve actually been cooking a lot. I stocked up on food and now I feel like I need to eat a lot.

Justin: You have your food handlers license?

Kasi: [laughs] No.

Justin: You don’t run a restaurant. What’s your favorite place in town currently?

Kasi: Oh my gosh. I love sushi, so I’m a big fan of Sushima [crosstalk]. They have half-price sushi Monday through Wednesday 4:00 to 6:00. Their entire menu half off, including sake and wine.

Justin: It’s a little far for me, but I have been, it’s great.

Kasi: Yes, worth the drive.

Justin: Hidden gem in San Antonio? I always say that you got your visitor who’s never been here, Alamo and all those things, but you’ve got the guy and they’re like, tell me what the PhD visitor tour is? What is your hidden gem in San Antonio that you tell your friends, “You all got to go see this.”

Kasi: I actually love the mission trail, biking the mission trial, in the Blue Star, have a beer. Super fun [crosstalk].

Justin: Have you done a kayak version of it?

Kasi: I have not.

Justin: I haven’t either, so it’s embarrassing. We’re going to get into it more but quick one-o-one on your job and what you’re most involved with outside of your professional career.

Kasi: I am a psychologist. I own a trauma and PTSD treatment center. I’m most involved with the Alzheimer’s Association, and I recently started my own charity as well.

Justin: Currently are you the chair?

Kasi: I’m the chair of– Well, the chair of the 2020 Alzheimer’s Gala which sadly COVID 19 has cancelled out, so we’re currently regrouping.

Justin: Well, that doesn’t take away from your commitment.

Kasi: It does not, no, definitely still devoted to the cause.

Justin: Any odd hobbies? The one thing I think is most odd about you is you like to go take a seven-mile run when it’s 110 degrees outside and you find that refreshing.

Kasi: I love running in the heat. I’m a huge fan. I’m also really crafty. My goal for this quarantine season, I bought a wine bottle candle-making kit, and so I’m going to take all those wine bottles I’ve been drinking and turn them into candles.

Justin: Where you like shave the top off of them?

Kasi: Yes.

Justin: How do you do that? Do you do the string that you see on Facebook?

Kasi: No. Well, I bought this thing that you put it on a razor blade and it cuts the bottle around, but I haven’t quite been able to get that to work yet, so I may go for the acetone string.

Justin: Well, tell me if it works like Facebook says. That brings to the next, what is your best or favorite shelter-in-place activity? You’re currently living almost in a commune, so I assume you’ll have some good ideas.

Kasi: I am. The other night we had a karaoke and dance party in the kitchen, so I would say that’s definitely my way to shelter-in-place.

Justin: You’re living in a commune because somehow or another you and another family are having your homes renovated and so you all decided to cohabitate?

Kasi: We have, yes.

Justin: Bunch of kids?

Kasi: Yes, lots of kids.

Justin: You better have a good answer to this because I’ve had some poor answers so far, some good but some poor. I had a mullet as a kid, it was a stupid trend we did. I was a kid. What was the dumb trend you followed when you were younger?

Kasi: Oh my gosh. I had a perm which I have super thick hair, that was a big big big mistake. My favorite thing as a kid was to bring out “colors”. I remember I had this shirt that was neon pink and it had six little crayons across the top and I decided I should take one of those crayon colors and wear like leggings to bring out the purple in the shirt.

Justin: So you looked like a crayon?

Kasi: Yes, basically that was–

Justin: You know who also said the terrible trend they followed was a perm? Tim Maloni.

Kasi: [laughs] Tim and I share the same hairdresser, so–

Justin: Tim has no hair now.

Kasi: That’s why you shouldn’t give perms.

Justin: Do you all actually have the same hairdresser?

Kasi: No.

Justin: Because he goes I think every week to get his hair done.

Kasi: The one hair that’s left?

Justin: I don’t know. I think he just enjoys like the relaxation of it.

Kasi: My 12-year-old son is like, “Mom, can I go back and let them shampoo and massage my head?”

Justin: Because it feels great.

Kasi: It does.

Justin: What year did you move to San Antonio?

Kasi: 2010.

Justin: What’s your favorite fiesta event?

Kasi: I love the Pooch Parade.

Justin: That’s a good one. Morning, early.

Kasi: Yes.

Justin: If you’ve been fiesting too hard, it’s sometimes hard to make it.

Kasi: That’s right, but it’s all for the love of the game, you got to get up and do it.

Justin: I got the game for fiesta. I think we all know that. In the world of psychology, every one of us who took psychology in college realized there’s all these different branches and arms and even from the perspective of how you treat, there’s multiple different– What is the specific area or focus of psychology would you consider yourself to either be a disciple or that is the type of treatment you like to provide, what’s your area?

Kasi: PTSD and trauma.

Justin: When you and I met, you worked with an eating disorder clinic and since then you still do a lot of that but you also do a lot of PTSD as it relates to military veterans.

Kasi: I do, and females who have had abuse. My previous training, I had about 10 years of training and eating disorders and then over the last six years, I’ve regrouped and respecialized in PTSD and trauma.

Justin: We’ve talked off the record obviously, but I think you said that a lot of the eating disorder clients were people that were there really for trauma-related issues usually.

Kasi: That was what honestly led me to respecialize, is, as I worked in an eating disorder clinic, we would say to people, “Okay. Well, when you leave here, you’re going to go home into your trauma work in outpatient world, in the community.” Then I left working there and I started my own practice and I was in the community and I went, “Oh my gosh, there’s no one to help these people do trauma work.” That really led me to respecialize in trauma so that I could provide that.

Justin: Well, good for you.

Kasi: Thank you.

Justin: I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve had come in who tell me how hard it is to find either the specialist that they need or just anybody with capacity to see them. To have somebody more out there who’s got a broader range of treatment, it’s great for the city.

Kasi: Absolutely. I will tell you, I do see a lot of veterans, I do a lot of evaluations. As I meet them, a lot of people have no idea that there’s actually really good treatments for PTSD, and it just hurts my heart because as I start to explain that, “Look, we have known therapies, like EMDR, CBTDs, different types of things that actually work so we can get rid of your nightmares, we can stop your flashbacks.” Some of them will start to cry in my office and say, “Why hasn’t anybody ever told me this?”

Justin: It strikes me in our world nobody took concussion seriously and then there was really nothing to do but because of the NFL, that science is moving quickly, diagnostics have changed, treatments have changed. I think they said in Vietnam the signature injury was, I think, amputations and the signature injury maybe in the most recent complex has really been a lot of psychological as well as traumatic brain injuries, and that seems to be moving the science forward and really opening up a lot of therapeutic advances that we didn’t have before, they’re testing LSD and all kinds of things to treat PTSD that all seem pretty promising.

Kasi: Absolutely. I had one veteran, he was a Vietnam veteran, and he said when he got back he would scream in the night in his sleep and his dad was a World War 1 veteran. He just came in one night, handed him his pistol and said, “Sleep with us under your pillow, it makes you feel better,” and that was our approach. I feel like until recent years when people have really started doing research and really looking at what these guys are going through whenever they come back.

Justin: I had a surrogate grandpa who is a neighbor who caught me taking apples off his– It sounds stupid, but really became a the closest thing to me as a grandpa figure as a young kid and they called it the demons. He had the demons. He was in World War II as a belly gunner, those are one of the first people to die. I never knew until I became an adult that he had a massive alcohol problem and he’d picked me up Saturday and we’d cleaned his car and Sunday, we’d go run errands and I was like is grandzie, he didn’t have one.

As he got older and got sicker, his wife told me that’s why I had to go home at five o’clock because five o’clock is when he started drinking. It was just the eye-opening. As a kid, he was the nicest man but he had these real demons he was dealing with and back then, that’s how they dealt, they drank.

Kasi: He didn’t have– Well, unfortunately, it’s still a lot of how people deal with because they just don’t have another way to cope.

Justin: Sure, and they definitely wish they did.

Kasi: Absolutely, they want a better way.

Justin: We’re going to talk about COVID, it’s the elephant in the room, it’s what is literally just consuming everybody now and rightfully so. My perspective, Lindsay, the other day walked out to talk to Juan who helps me around the house on occasion and she said hello and then just started sobbing. She said it was because it was really the first time she had talked to another human in six days and you don’t really think about that but it starts this stir-crazy and cabin fever really starts to take its toll on you.

I was looking at some data before we got started today and China who dealt with this first did some research and it said almost half of the population is dealing with real serious anxiety issues as what could result from COVID specifically financially, whether they’ll get sick, whether their family will get sick, whether they’ll lose their job. Talk to me about how these environmental or societal anxieties can come to really overtake our day to day lives.

Kasi: Absolutely. I think the best way to look at anxiety is to really look at your bandwidth. If you can just pretend that your brain, your human capacity as an individual it’s sort of like a computer, right? We’ll say it’s more like a 1995 computer that has a little less hard drive space on it actively functioning than maybe a modern-day computer. We have a certain amount of things that we’ve filled our life with that probably max out our capacity at the moment.

We can deal with our children, we could deal with or spouse, we can deal with maybe our aging parents, whatever we’re at with that. We can deal with work, we can deal with someday today’s the water heater breaks. We’ve got this average baseline capacity to deal with things. Then now, we’ve taken this pandemic which is unlike anything that our generation has ever had to deal with and we’ve added that on top of the bandwidth.

Now in addition to remembering that you need to put the dishes in the dishwasher and all of the things you need to do on a daily basis, if you go out in public, now you need to remember things you never had to think about before like, “Hey, don’t touch your face, remember to wipe down the car before– Use hand sanitizer when you get in the car.”

Justin: Keep six feet distance between you and everybody else.

Kasi: Exactly. Don’t go down a crowded aisle if you have to go somewhere. Meal planning. I personally am a fairly intelligent person, I think and yet my general habit I buy groceries several times a week because I’m not good at planning ahead with meals. Then going to the store a couple of weeks ago and going, “Okay, I’m going to forecast if I was going to stock up for a few weeks, what would I need?” I couldn’t even– I came home with Rotel tomatoes and tomato paste.

Justin: Because that’s all that was left.

Kasi: Some quinoa, well, that too, right? I was like, I guess I’ll do something with this. Now we’ve had to deal with that, right? In addition to all of that and then plus you add the financial stressors and the how long is this going to end and now if you have children, now you’re a homeschool teacher. The average person’s bandwidth has now been multiplied two, three, four times depending on how many kids and their financial situation and all of that.

Justin: Yes. I was looking at NAMI, NAMI is the mental health main group. It’s fair to say the main nonprofit trade association in America. They talked about they have, all of them have resources for COVID right now because they know and they walked through and said the anxiety associated with what’s next. The people that are prone to obsession, the obsessive hand-washing or avoidance, loneliness. That’s what we’re dealing with at our house. Lindsay’s pregnant and she does not want to get exposed which I get.

The last thing which I hadn’t even thought about is they talk about the stress or traumatic stress that would be associated with if you’re quarantined. Maybe you don’t have it but you know somebody that did, all of a sudden you’re stuck on a 14-day quarantine where you’re in your house and not even supposed to talk to your family members. That can lead to real traumatic stress. Are we dealing with anything that we really have any sort of comparable component to? I mean is this all brand new?

Kasi: Absolutely, this is all brand new. I think that the classic answer for us as business owners and for me trying to decide, okay, at what point were we going to shut down our clinic? We’re a clinic that’s, by the way been telehealth since 2016. We were one of the first people or we were the first people in the state-

Justin: Yes, pioneer.

Kasi: -and one of the first in the country to start an extensive telehealth mental health program. We already have that capacity and yet making the call for when I was going to say, “Okay, we’re not going to have patients in the office anymore.” I don’t even know what to base that information on, like at what point are you saying, “Okay, someone’s mental health and betterment this way versus the safety of the office and the safety of the individual patients.”

We are trying to make these complex decisions based on something that we really have no idea about, we have no precedent for and we don’t even know forecasting how long this is going to last and what it’s going to look like. It really is a lot of guessing.

Justin: The Atlantic had an article today and it was the force the four timelines for overcoming this pandemic and it was the one to two months shut down and all experts agree this is too ambitious. Really then it said the four to eight month or if the virus gets worse or mutates then we’re looking at 12 to 18 months to have a real workable vaccine. People can’t last that long in this current situation.

Let’s take this in turn and I am in no way smart or good about dealing with these things. From the business owner standpoint, I have employees and I told them, “You all won’t lose your job.” That’s one thing I can take off their plate. “You all aren’t going anywhere.” I said, “Look, we have six months, six months, I’m going to stick by you, at the end of six months we’re going to have to have a real honest conversation.” And I hope to never have to do that but I wanted to take that stress off their plate. What is some of your advice for listeners about how to help others deal with their stress? How they can provide a crutch or take one of those stressors off their plates?

Kasi: Absolutely. I think one of the hardest things to know is what I need may be completely different than what you need because maybe my biggest concern is finances and maybe your biggest concern is loneliness. You never know, somebody else– Maybe my biggest concern is probably how am I going to cook for six months because I really don’t know how to do that. Everybody has truly a different set of needs that they’re coming from.

I think the number one thing we can do is to ask somebody, “Hey, what is your biggest concern in this?” I’m to be frank whether this is ignorant or not, my biggest personal concern is not am I going to get the virus? I feel like I’m quarantining, I’m doing that sort of thing. My biggest concern is how am I going to take care of my employees? How the long term effects, how am I going to make sure I have enough supplies to keep my family safe and so that we can prevent ourselves from getting it, right?

Justin: Yes.

Kasi: I have friends who are scared to death. What my best friend says it’s not a matter of if for me, it’s a matter of when. She has a very deficient immune system. I think if we can ask somebody, what is your biggest concern, and for some of us, that’s a need we can meet, right?

Justin: Right.

Kasi: If your biggest concern is how are you going to get groceries tomorrow maybe somebody can help with that. If your biggest concern loneliness, maybe I can offer to FaceTime with you, maybe I can offer to do a drive-by wave kind of thing so you get to see a friendly human face. I think we really need to be talking during this time and trying to feel out each other’s needs instead of just assuming.

Justin: I mean that’s some of the stress in our household is we can’t isolate. We can smartly talk to our neighbor over the fence and have that human interaction at least but we don’t have to completely shut our doors and never talk to another person. I haven’t really learned how to FaceTime but I know that’s a great thing as well. The idea is to not whether it’s a phone call or FaceTime or talking through a fence, there are ways to have interaction and we have all this downtime now we should be interacting, right?

Kasi: Absolutely. Be aware of those who aren’t. For example, your elderly folks, they’re really not leaving the house probably ever at this point. Call them, call your grandma, call your mom. Find out how they’re doing, just keep them company. Offer to do trivia over the phone, a 30-minute phone call can really be life-changing for somebody who’s really just trapped in the house alone all day.

Justin: Let’s talk about how we take care of ourselves, let’s talk about how we take care of us and let’s take this in turn. What we know is the NAMI and CDC even and these studies show let’s talk first with anxiety. What is your advice for whether exercises or mindfulness or whatever the answer is, but what are some ways that people can cope with the anxiety for whatever reason that is, are there methods people can employ sitting at home on their couch while they’re isolated to help them with their anxiety?

Kasi: Absolutely. One of the first things– we talked about the biggest issue with this is there are people basically their bandwidth is overwhelmed from what they can take in. We need to find a way to create bandwidth for ourselves. If we can– First of all you’ve got to learn to let things go. Guess what, if you were parents stressed out about homeschooling your kids right now, which I think most of us are if you’re in that situation. I am not a math teacher. You know what? Your kids are going to be fine. If they miss a couple of months of school, guess what? They’re going to be okay. Have them sit down and read a book. It’s not the end of the world. If you can do it, great, but if you can’t, that’s okay. We’re going to let that go. We’re going to just do our best because you aren’t actually a teacher.

Give yourself some grace. When we set these unrealistic expectations for ourselves that now we’re going to be, teacher, parent, employee, everything else that we’re doing, then we set up a cycle of failure. Then, when we don’t meet those expectations, then we feel like junk about ourselves. Then, that prevents us from being able to have the confidence to try to do the next thing.

We just work ourselves into a deeper spiral. We’ve got to be able to give ourselves some grace and realize it’s okay to be nervous. Nobody knows what’s going to happen next, so it’s okay if you’re not prepared for it/you don’t know how to prepare for it. Our clinic is doing telehealth. I’ve been doing conference calls and trainings with lots of therapists around the country on how to set up telehealth for their own clinics.

I promise you, there are lots of therapists out there who are more than willing to see you via telehealth if you really feel like it’s bad. Places are offering free yoga, there’s meditation apps on YouTube.

Justin: I do Calm.

Kasi: Absolutely. Calm is a great one. I do Breathe on my phone. All it does is it helps you– The Apple watches do it now, but I was old-school and did it before them. [laughs] Deep breathing. We on average only use about 10% of our lung capacity. If you will just pause and take a very deep breath, you will be amazed, the impact that that has. There are a lot of things that you can do from home in this day and age to really help you manage your anxiety.

Justin: Okay. Calm or mindfulness apps are some of those.

Kasi: Absolutely.

Justin: What else did you just say?

Kasi: Yoga.

Justin: Yoga. I think The Union maybe is doing it. There’s a few groups in San Antonio that are doing. Lindsay’s been doing the video yoga and pilates with The Union. I don’t remember if it’s charged or not. Let’s talk about some of the more traumatic anxieties. You have to see people who come in and really their big issue in life at the moment is they lose their job, which is happening right now.

Outside of the financial assistance programs that are started or some of those that’s really in your expertise, how do you talk to people about overcoming those moments? Because it’s a moment, this isn’t going to last forever. It’s a bad moment though. What is your advice for those people about overcoming these moments?

Kasi: One of the biggest issues that we have is we, as human beings, tend to catastrophize. Whenever we– in our brains, tend to do this monkey spiral down the road– All of a sudden, now I’ve lost my job, which is a very real concern. We are super blessed that a lot of our therapists can work from home. I am well aware of the fact that there are a lot of industries that are simply stalled right now. That’s a very real concern.

I think that the tendency is to catastrophize and go, “Okay, I don’t have my job. That means I’m not going to be able to pay my mortgage. That means I’m going to be homeless. That means my family is going to be out on the street. That means we’re all going to get corona. That means we’re not going to have insurance. That means we can’t go to a hospital.” That’s probably a pretty real thought cycle for a lot of people right now.

I think we have to stop before we get there and realize that most of the country is really in this same boat. The catch 22 of all this, it’s difficult versus maybe a hurricane where we have one region affected, and other people can flood in and help, and you can go to your aunt’s house, and be fine, and find respite. Whereas there’s a downside to that with this. The upside is we as a world population are all in this together, and so if you can’t pay your mortgage, then you got to know there’s a lot of people out there who can’t too.

There’s going to be exceptions, there’s going to be things that we can do to make that better. Stopping yourself from getting six months down the road ending in the ultimate the world explodes and everybody dies kind of thing. Do thought stopping and go, “Here’s what I can do today.” Make a list of the actual things you can control today. “Today, I can feed my family,” even if it’s peanut butter and jelly. Guess what? Unless you’re allergic, no one has ever died from eating peanut butter and jelly for every meal. That’s okay. You’re doing the best you can.

One day, your kids are going to look back, you’re going to look back and say, “You know what? That was a sweet season.” Be able to give yourself grace in that, control what you can today, feed your family, get some sleep, do what you can today, and then we’re going to take tomorrow as it comes. If rent is due tomorrow, okay, then that’s the day we’re going to deal with that. There’s not a lot you can do about planning for how you’re going to handle this in October.

Justin: Right. We’ve talked about the anxiety side of it, we’ve talked about the loneliness side of it. Another one of the things that NAMI put out that they’re seeing or they’re preparing for are the people that maybe have some obsessive tendencies. They specifically say the people that are obsessive about hand-washing or avoiding people or really taking your recommendations to an extent that is going to cause them health issues at the end of the day.

How do you deal with people who have these obsessive tendencies? Maybe they’re not OCD, maybe they’re not medicated, but this is the thing that has made them all of a sudden cross that barrier from they wash their hands fairly a lot to now it’s almost become an obsession.

Kasi: Absolutely. I know people who, honestly, their hands are raw at this point from so much hand-washing and so much using bleach to wipe down counters. It’s a very real and legit concern. I would say, first of all, wear gloves. There’s some practical things. Really, we laugh that’s a little almost like a jokingly common sense thing, but it’s that kind of stuff, right? Right now, if we talk realistic expectations, maybe the realistic expectation is not that we’re going to make someone with OCD or borderline OCD or whatever feel completely comfortable in this situation so they stop doing that.

Maybe that’s not entirely realistic for this week, but maybe we can look at preventative measures. Maybe we look at, “Okay, wear gloves. How can we keep you a little bit safer? Can you ask somebody else to wipe down the counters? Can you do this kind of thing?” Then, I think otherwise we have to fact-check. That’s one of the best things that we can do. Really, the odds of getting this– I don’t want to counteract anything out there. I think people are wise to stay in, to be avoidant. At this point, we’re in a city of 1.5 million people. What is it as of today? 300-

Justin: I don’t even know.

Kasi: -people have it. I don’t even know if it is. Realistically, the odds of getting it, if you are being relatively safe, are pretty low right now.

Justin: Maybe the better way to put it would be the odds of getting a really bad version of it.

Kasi: Absolutely. Again, because it’s a both-and. We want a balance. We want you to be healthy, we want you to be safe, we want people to stay home. We’re not taking risks, we’re not minimizing that in any way. However, we also want you to be mentally healthy. There’s a lot of people who live with such high anxiety, as you said, on a general rule that something like this, whether they get the virus or not, now their mental health has completely gone down. That’s what we don’t want.

We do want to do a little bit of balancing. While, for the average person, maybe they do need the more severe warning, for somebody with OCD who’s already catastrophizing, we need to help bring them back to the middle a little bit and say, “Okay, how can we keep you mentally healthy while preserving you and your family’s physical health?”

Justin: I think this segues into the next topic of how stress affects people. One of the things in San Antonio, apparently, it affects people in their worry of running out of toilet paper. What on earth is going on with this sort of mentality? There’s a line out at Nagel’s Gun Shop, 50 people long as of 10 days ago. I assume this goes back to catastrophizing, but what is the mental process that goes on that makes people go into this doomsday mentality?

Kasi: Absolutely. There’s actually a lot of research out there on something called the psychology of scarcity. There’s a couple of things that go on. For one, we all have this fear of not having enough. In this, we fear we’re not going to have enough toilet paper, we’re not going to have milk, we’re not going to have enough eggs, we’re not going to have enough food, so we are hoarding, we are stocking up. There’s that actual fear. There’s fear of scarcity relationships, there’s fear of all different kinds of scarcity. What that does is it prevents you from good decision-making.

Now, all of a sudden, instead of just thinking, “Okay, being able to plan ahead reasonably,” now we’re not able to make those good decisions. There’s actually some super interesting research out there when you look at scarcity. For example, in terms of when there’s not enough.

Part of the problem now that we have is we’ve created this self-fulfilling prophecy. People were afraid that we weren’t going to have enough toilet paper, so now everybody’s gone out and bought toilet paper, so now we actually don’t have enough toilet paper. We have created our own issue. My favorite example of this was the great Texas gas shortage non-shortage.

Justin: After Harvey, isn’t that when that was?

Kasi: Yes.

Justin: It was a strange run on gas.

Kasi: If you were not in Texas, then I think this was the main place that it it came to be then there was this huge thing that went around it, because of Hurricane Harvey they weren’t going to be able to get gas from Houston and from the ports, and so everybody needed to go fill up, and our gas stations are not equipped for the entire city to fill up in one day, so people ran out. Then gas stations really were out of gas, and so then people became afraid, “Oh my gosh, they’re out of gas. I’m not going to be able to get enough gas.”

Then you would literally have miles down the street of cars lined up to get gas, then because people were afraid they were filling up 100-gallon containers of gasoline. That’s going to go bad– to be able to take–

Justin: I don’t know what the shelf life is on gasoline.

Kasi: I know, it’s not great, I don’t think. It’s like a few months. We created a scarcity out of the fear of scarcity, and that’s exactly what we did with toilet paper. There was plenty of toilet paper, but because people get this fear of not having enough, then panic drives us to what’s really poor decision-making that then has a trickle-down effect on us.

Justin: This is this group-think at that point, right?

Kasi: Absolutely.

Justin: If you think there’s a run on toilet paper, I think there’s a run on toilet paper. Even in my own brain, I was thinking, “I don’t think there is, but if there’s going to be, I might as well get some.”

Kasi: That was my thought as well. Again, I told you I’m somebody who buys groceries a couple times a week and all of a sudden I had this thought with like, “Bull crap, if everybody else is doing this, there’s not going to be enough.”

Justin: [unintelligible 00:31:24]

Kasi: Right, exactly. “-now there’s not going to be enough for me, and so I should go and like gets out.” Unfortunately, I had that thought a little late on the toilet paper situation.

Justin: The rational thinking people all of a sudden become irrational as well.

Kasi: Exactly, and there’s some cool psychological research, if I can nerd out psychologically for a minute out there, they’ve done research on testing people’s cognitive abilities and cognitive reasoning in the face of scarcity. They’ve done it in a lot of situations with testing groups of people who have more money, people who don’t and how they make financial decision making, things like that.

You can argue about the inequalities there. They did a great study. If you look at farmers who had a harvest. They look at farm in a certain country right after harvest, they’re very wealthy at that point. They measured their cognitive abilities and their decision-making abilities based on different scenarios right after harvest. That’s the only time they get paid all year, so then before harvest they are then really what the poorest they will be all year, they measured their decision-making abilities at that point and they were a full 10 points lower all the way around the board. The exact same individuals.

I feel like, again, it’s the same thing with our decision-making abilities when we think ATB is fully stocked and we can have everything we need, we make wise decisions about how we’re spending our money and what we’re going to buy and how much we need when there’s nothing at ATB, and now we don’t know what we’re going to do, we’re making very impulsive decisions and we’re buying 10 cans of Rotel tomatoes that we don’t know what to do with.

Justin: Luckily, we live in a country though where there’s still an abundance. There might not be an abundance of toilet paper, but there’s still an abundance even when the shelves are kind of empty to make sure everybody gets fed. We’re lucky in that in that regard.

Kasi: Absolutely. I read a great article in Texas Monthly this month, I don’t know if you’ve seen it yet, that ATB has been prepared for this in January.

Justin: It is a great article.

Kasi: Yes. When the first case came out, then they already had their team ready to go and their warehouses were full and they basically knew this was coming, and so they’ve overstocked for it.

Justin: I want to change gears a little bit and talk to you about a few things. You wrote a book. Tell me about the book.

Kasi: It’s called Strengths for the journey. I always say it’s a lot of psychology, a decent amount of me and a little bit of my faith mixed in there. It’s free therapy or the price of the book, whatever you like $9.99 on Amazon therapy, but really it’s about how do you overcome anxiety and depression to find your purpose. I truly believe based on over a decade of working with clients and based on my own personal experience that most people really start to struggle when they start to think they don’t have a purpose anymore, when they start to think, “I don’t have anything to offer the world at this moment.”

My goal with that book is to help people realize no matter what situation you’re in, if you’re quarantined and locked up with corona or if you’re divorced 12 times, and whatever the situation, you still have a purpose, there’s still meaning in this life for you, and how can you push past your own feelings of inadequacy and your own anxieties to be able to realize that purpose.

Justin: You and I have been friends for a long time, and one thing that’s very grounding and important to you, I would almost say it’s maybe the most defining characteristic of you to the extent I know you is your faith.

Kasi: Absolutely.

Justin: You and I differ on that a little bit, not that I have no faith, but we I don’t lean heavily on the same way some people do, and I’m jealous of it honestly, it provides you a comfort level that I haven’t been able to understand or feel. Talk about how your faith helps you overcome situations like what we’re dealing with today where so many people and and maybe you on occasion even feel helpless and feel like your actions maybe leads to some of your employees losing jobs or maybe leads to a bad effect on somebody else. It’s a tough time. How does your faith help guide you in these moments?

Kasi: It’s different I will say, having employees and being a business owner than if I was just on my own, and being a mom than if I was just on my own, because there’s a lot of people affected by the decisions that I make. I do everything very prayerfully. I love those memes like, “Jesus will protect me, yes, Karen, but wash your hands too.” I’m very common-sense about this like we don’t need to push the limits, but I believe in beauty for ashes, I believe that there is some good to come from all things, and so I think that there is a lot of good that can come from this. That’s not being naive, I’m aware of the fact that people can’t pay their bills.

One of the biggest hurts on my heart to be a little tangential is kids that are being abused at home. They used to have a respite when they went to school and they used to be able to maybe go play at a friend’s house a little bit, and now they’re trapped at home with an abusive individual who’s also extremely stressed out, and we don’t have CPS workers that are out now and necessarily investigating all of these cases and being able to do that. We don’t have teachers that are able to report bruises and marks on kids.

The cry of my heart is there’s a lot of children who are hurting now. I’m not blind to all of that but I am actively just praying that that gets exposed and just trusting in God to try to protect those children, to try to make a way for that to be exposed and believing on the flip side that– excluded that there is a lot of good. I was scrolling through Facebook last night, probably too much like I always do like so many of us, and just one of a thousand posts like these that I’ve seen that a friend posted a picture of he and his wife dancing on the porch a little like Corona happy hour date night in their pajamas.

How many of us have ever said, “I wish we could just pause life for a second?” And for a lot of us, life has essentially paused. We get a chance now. The most memorable things I remember from high school English, the play our town. She says in there that the girl’s dead and she comes back and she’s watching her family interact as she’s come back from the dead and she’s in the little scene and she says, “Oh my gosh, look at you, you’re all walking past each other like you’re scenery, as you’re rushing out the door to go to school and you’re brushing out the door to go to work, you’re all just scenery in each other’s lives now.”

I think we have the gift during this season of having a pause button that we’re not just scenery anymore, we’re not just passing by our family members as we’re rushing off to the next thing. We actually get to embrace each other and to have happy hours on the patio and to have game nights with our kids and to have movie nights with our significant other.

Justin: Remember that when you’re trying to explain math to–?

Kasi: Yes, I know. No, I’m in the, “You’ll figure this out later, kid. Go read another book.” [laughs]

Justin: No, I think that’s fair. I think I saw somebody post on social media that I will never take for granted going to work ever again, but the same way they’re like, “But I also hope I’m not taking for granted this moment now.” It’s stressful but there is this weird window to spend time with people where you don’t have tomorrow breathing down your neck, not because we’re going to die but because we know we’re not going to work tomorrow. There’s still limitations on what we can do, so we have the ability to hang out with loved ones, family, friends, safely.

Kasi: Absolutely, and you’re not rushing off to baseball practice and you’re not rushing off to that networking event and that gala, that meeting, that– You’re not, you’re just there.

Justin: We touched on faith and I want to go back to this a second. I see a lot of people post about how they’re going to go to church and they’re going to keep having these big congregations. Am I missing something? This seems like a terribly bad idea?

Kasi: Yes. I actually don’t know of any churches that are still having church right now. Again, it’s the, “Yes, Jesus is going to help you, but wash your hands, Karen.” Stay away from each other. Stay home. In our house today, we streamed church live from our living room and had breakfast and our coffee, and we all watched church together. It was actually really beautiful. It was a great opportunity.

Justin: It’s unique.

Kasi: It is. It’s what the church was meant to be, in my opinion. It started out in homes and now, we’re actually bringing it back to homes.

Justin: Hopefully, there will be a lot of silver linings that come out of this, and hopefully everybody’s bad turns turn right again. I think everybody agrees this is going to be short-lived. Just hopefully, the length of it doesn’t make it longer than it needs to be economically. Naomi posted something that I thought was pretty interesting. One of the things they were saying was there’s a few ways to cope. There’s a few ways to deal, but there’s also a few ways to limit what you put into your body in terms of what’s going to cause stress.

They talked about don’t give yourself an information overload. At my house right now, CNN stays on or whatever news is on for about an hour. I’m told to change a channel because there’s only so much of that you can take. After an amount of that, does it just not start to take a toll on somebody’s psyche?

Kasi: Absolutely. It’s been one of the most fascinating things to me. Going into the office for a minute and talking to clients or talking to– You have to run in the store and get food or whatever it is you have to do and talking to people online and everything else. It’s everybody’s conversation 24/7. Even my conversation with my significant other and my family members, this is really all we’re talking about. It’s all that’s on TV. It’s all that you overhear anywhere you go. You are surrounded by it.

While I am a firm believer and you need to educate yourself and be aware of the situation, absolutely, you need a break. So be able to take that.

Justin: There was a huge tornado yesterday and I didn’t see it at all on the news. It’s just back to the death count. It’s very grim, the news, too. You’re at least seeing some things float around of, hey, here are some good facts that are coming out of this. When you watch the news, there is a death counter on the right-hand side of the news keeping you up to date on how many people are sick and how many people are dead. It is very grim.

Kasi: It is. It can be very disheartening to watch. I think this is one of those, you have to know thyself. If you’re one of those people who you tend to worry, I always tell my sister, “You’re not allowed to go on WebMD.” That’s not a good place for her personality type. Know yourself. If you are somebody who tends to be that OCD, you tend to worry, you tend to be anxious anyways, you probably don’t need to watch the news. If you are the personality type who thought it was still okay to go to spring break on the beach, then you should probably watch a little more of the news. It’s really a know-thyself kind of thing. What are you personally able to take in and limit yourself?

Justin: Naomi’s suggestion was, “Pick one or two news sources and limit how much you bring in.” Get caught up, move on. The next thing they said, “Or, find distractions.” At my house, we’ve been gardening. We’ve been planting, moving plants around, splitting plants. It’s been nice. It’s been a good distraction, something that needs to get done anyway. It’s been a nice break. A distraction is a good way to overcome the stress or at least avoid the anxiety that comes from the stress.

Kasi: Absolutely. If I could give people one piece of advice, it would be along those lines. We talked earlier about ways to cope. You could do Telehealth. You can do yoga. You can call friends. There’s a lot of things you can do to cope. Then the next level of coping is we really want to start to adapt. Even though it’s just for a brief time, then let’s say, “Okay, this is our new reality. We’re home for a month, two months, six, we don’t know. We’re home for X amount of time. What do I want to do in that time?”

You’ve always wanted to take guitar lessons. Fender is giving free guitar lessons for three months. You’ve dreamed of going to the Louvre. All museums are doing free tours.

Justin: I think you said you’re going to learn to cook.

Kasi: Yes. [laughs] I’m going to bake a lot of fish sticks at my house. I’m going to teach my son to cook. Really if you can take this time and instead of it being focused on scarcity and loss and what you’re not able to do and what’s out there. If you can focus on, guess what, now I have time to make that garden space that I’ve always wanted to have that I’m going to have for years to enjoy. Now I have time to write that book that I’ve been talking about doing, to start that podcast, to take those lessons.

Justin: This is where the podcast came from. I finally had time.

Kasi: Yes, seriously. There are some beautiful things that can come from this as we have a literal pause button, but I really want to encourage people, make a goal. Set something that you want to do so it’s not just a vacuum of time but that we’re filling it with something that can help you gain mastery and feel fulfilled.

Justin: I must be the type of person that distraction just is the first coping mechanism because when all this stuff started, I immediately went into these other paths. I was going to get this podcast up and running. To me, it was this part of my life’s on hold, and because courts are closed and offices are closed. I’ve always wanted to do these things, and so I just naturally went to it. It’s been a nice way to not be stuck watching the news and terrible the sky is falling.

Another thing Naomi talks about is that the unfortunate part of what everybody’s going through now, and you touched on it, is this stress is overwhelming for you. Your stress, you’re going to bleed over on to your kids or to your spouse or to your co-workers. Or some element of your life is going to be negatively affected if you let this stress overtake you. I guess it’s maybe the best plan is if people can be conscious of that, is that one of the best ways to deal with it is just to know what can happen, education is key?

Kasi: Absolutely. This situation aside, I don’t get a lot of things right as a mom, but this is one I hope I get right. [chuckles] I have always been somebody who says to my son, I’ll come home– My son is very intuitive. If I’m stressed, if I’m upset about something, he picks up on it. People need to be aware that there are a lot of– Maybe you’re intuitive, maybe you’re not. If you’re not intuitive, I promise you someone in your household is, and they pick up on those negative emotions.

The automatic default assumption of someone who is intuitive is if they don’t know what it is, they tend to assume that it’s them. If you and I are in this room and I sense that you’re being really cold, being distant, being irritable, automatically, my default is it must be me. One of the things that I do for my son, and I’ve always done, is if I’m really stressed and I know I am, I’ll say, “Hey, baby, you know what, I am really stressed right now. I just have a lot going on in my mind, or I have a lot to do, or a lot I’m working on. You need to know, it’s not you. If you can just help me by X, Y & Z. Pick up your room. Don’t make me tell you to brush your teeth.” Things like that.

Now, I’ve already confirmed for him before he even asked, “It’s not you.” I’m telling him, “Here’s what you can do to help me.” Which actually really is a legitimate help. Then that keeps me from necessarily taking it out on him whenever he would ordinarily come up to me five minutes later and be like, “Hey, mom. Can I have some juice?”

Justin: Or he feels it was taken out on him, whether it was or not.

Kasi: Absolutely. I think the first thing I would say is be aware of your own emotions, and it’s okay to give that disclaimer. It’s perfectly okay anytime, but especially in this season to say to your spouse, your kids, your co-workers, your parents, your siblings, whoever, your friends, “I’m just really stressed right now.” Then they know, first of all, it’s not them. Then to be able to ask for what you need in order to deal with it. I need you to just order the groceries because that’s one thing I can’t handle right now.

I think those are definitely good ways to be able to avoid really hurting your relationships in this season.

Justin: What did Mr. Roger’s say, “Find the helpers. There’s always helpers among us.”

Kasi: I love that quote, yes.

Justin: I was reached out to by a non-profit recently and the guy was just telling me all the tough times they were having. I’d seen some things on Facebook and I told him, “Ask. You have to ask.” I’ve had some people had in hand, ask me for help during this, and if I can, I will. If I can’t, I’m going to tell you, I’m not in a position to right now. I think it’s one of those times where everybody who can help wants to help. Those people that can’t help who need help, it’s okay to ask your close friends or your family. Now is the time. We’re going to all get through this together. It’s a strange thing that some people have a really hard time asking. If you need it, it’s okay to ask.

Kasi: I am one of those people who has a hard time asking for help as a general rule. The hard thing is I love it when people ask me for help. Like you said, if I can, I can. If I can’t, I can’t. Most people really love the opportunity to help somebody else. Even if you’re not in a position to help somebody financially, maybe you are having to ask for a loan, for help, for eggs, for food. Maybe you are having to do that. There are still ways you can give back, and that’s another great way to cope, an interesting thing.

Nursing homes are on total lockdown so they don’t have any visitors. There are a lot of elderly people who are now there all by themselves. Here’s a quick easy thing you can do, sit down and write letters, make cards. If you don’t have the money for stamps, then go drive to the closest one and drop it off on the front door. Mail them if you can. Then they’re able to get these letters to get these pieces of encouragement and you’d be amazed the difference that makes. It not only helps them, but I think for all of us, we have an internal need to want to give back, to want to do something that’s helpful for other people. I encourage people to do that during this season too. Even if you are asking for help, in some ways, that’s great. Feel free to ask for help in some ways and feel free to offer help in ways that you can help.

Justin: You see all this stuff on social media and all this gratitude, it rewires your brain or it changes the way you think. You know me, I’m stubborn as a mule and you’re not going to change most of what I think. I’ve realized that as I’ve started doing this podcast and I’ve done some more social media stuff with our law firm and we’ve really tried to focus on the positive side of things and the positive things we do. It changes your perspective. I feel better about life even in bad times. Times are bad but you start to almost feel all of these things that you know exist that maybe you’ve had a hard time feeling. You’re right. Sending letters of encouragement probably are going to make you feel better as well.

Kasi: Absolutely, big time.

Justin: We’ve got a little bit left, but I want to talk to you about two things. One, I know about your work with LLS and I think everybody, not LLS, ALS. I think everybody who’s listening probably understands the Alzheimer’s. Is it ALS?

Kasi: Alzheimer’s Association.

Justin: Alzheimer’s Association. Y’all had a gala. You were chair of the gala that got put on hold. You’ve got a very personal story and let’s get there in a second. Talk to me about this new charity or nonprofit that you’re starting.

Kasi: I’m super excited about this. It is the 42nd Warrior Battalion. Basically, there are one out of three females are sexually abused by age 18, one out of six males. On average, we’re looking at about one out of 4.5 kids is sexually abused by age 18. That’s not even counting physical abuse. That’s not accounting emotional abuse, anything like that. I’m never one who wants to reinvent the wheel. There are great charities out there. CPS does a pretty good job of once kids come into the system.

There are so many things once kids come into the system out there. The problem is getting kids into the system and helping kids make that initial outcry. A lot of times, kids will actually be abused for years and years and years. Before they say anything, if they ever do, less than one-third of people that are abused ever say anything before age 18. Most abuse never gets reported. A lot of abusers threaten children.

They start out when they’re very young and they groom them and they basically gain control over them. Then they say, “If you ever tell anybody about this, I’m going to kill you or I’m going to kill your mom or I’m going to kill your family,” or probably all of the above. If you’re a kid with your kid brain, you absolutely believe that and you don’t believe anybody can protect you. So you don’t ever make that outcry. A lot of kids then get so ashamed. There’s so many factors that go into it that the kids just don’t tell. What we want is to create an avenue, a safe place where kids can go and tell.

Justin: What does that look like structurally? How are y’all going to do that?

Kasi: We want a volunteer in every single school and they will have hours in the school. Let’s say, Susie Q and her school between 11:00 and 2:00, then we have an army member. The way this came to be is one of my best friends helped me come up with this analogy that these kids that are being abused, they’re warriors. Every warrior needs a good army of people behind them. We had children that we knew that were being abused and we use that analogy. It really just hit home with them so much because they didn’t want anybody to know. They didn’t want us to tell anybody.

As we share that, then they said, “Okay, so I have an army.” It became a thing. We said, “Okay, you get to pick who’s in your army.” It might be a non-abusing parent. It might be an uncle. It might be a teacher. It might be detectives. It might be a CPS worker. You get to pick who’s in your army. These are the people who are going to go and fight for you.

We even made t-shirts in our case. It became such a powerful thing for the kids to be able to see these people wearing their army t-shirts. Now, okay, this person is on my side. They’re on my team and I have a protector. This person who has abused me for so long and I felt so powerless. Now, I’ve got this literal army of adults standing behind me who are going to protect me. That’s why we’re the 42nd Warrior Battalion.

We want an army member in every school. They will be available between certain hours for kids to come in and make an outcry too. A big issue that happens all the time, I’ve seen in my private practice and in friends that I’ve known, et cetera, is kids will make an outcry to a parent, to an individual and they’ll minimize it. They’ll brush it under the rug. They don’t really know what to do with it and it doesn’t get handled well. There’s not a handbook on what to do when your kids tell you that they’ve been abused. Most abuse comes from a family member.

The army member is going to walk family members through the next step then. Okay, this is what you do next and this is how important it is that you advocate for your child right now or for your niece or whatever it is. This is how you get in the system and this is how you press forward in this. This is how you keep your kids safe and this is how you get them into treatment. They are really that hand-holding liaison to get them through the system.

They will also do education. In the same way, if you remember that horrible sex education class that you had to endure that was so embarrassing in fifth and sixth grade. The army members are going to come in and they’re going to educate every single class, every year on abuse and this is what’s abuse. Guess what? If you’re being threatened, I’m in the army and I’m going to help keep you safe.

Justin: What’s the timeline on this? Is it up and running? Are y’all charter? Do you have a website, anything?

Kasi: We have a website. We are finished with our 5013c paperwork with the state. We’re working on it with the IRS right now. Then we’re also going to have t-shirts. If a random person out there, they just want to show that they are in the fight against abuse, they’re in the army, then they can buy a t-shirt. How cool would it be if you’re a kid who’s been abused that you go to the mall and you see people– When we’re allowed to go to the mall again? Walking around in army t-shirts and you know they get it and they’re in the fight with you.

Justin: The volunteers in the schools are going to be trained?

Kasi: Absolutely. We already have a full curriculum laid out for them for their own training and background checks and a whole process that they have to clear. Then we have a curriculum lined out that they’ll be giving to classrooms. Then we have the training lined out for them that they’ll be able to do to adequately walk people through the system.

Justin: Have y’all gotten in with any of the school districts yet or you started that process?

Kasi: We have started that process.

Justin: Is it going to be elementary, junior high, all the above?

Kasi: Elementary is where we’re focusing right now.

Justin: I’m going to post the 42– Is it

Kasi: Yes,, sorry.

Justin: Okay, I’ll post that on our website. Tell me about your involvement with the Alzheimer’s Association. To the extent you feel free to talk about it, what got you involved with that? Why are you so passionate about it?

Kasi: My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Technically, in probably 2013, there were some things leading in before that. She hasn’t known me since 2015. We had to put her into long-term care at that point. I, being a psychologist, was the one that my family looked to to help make those decisions. I didn’t know where to go. Somebody, thankfully, directed me. The Alzheimer’s Association has a 24/7, 1-800 number that anyone can call and a live person answers. You don’t get transferred.

These people have three months of training before anyone picks up the phone. I called the number and my family was in Seattle at the time. I called from San Antonio. San Antonio transferred me to Seattle and said, “Here’s how you can find a place for your mom. Here’s what to look for. Here’s resources to start.”

They helped us look at funding and how to be able to get any kind of assistance to pay for her care down the road if it was needed. They were a priceless resource. They helped us look at caregiver support groups if my dad was interested in that if we needed that. That’s how I became involved with the association and I’ve just been passionate ever since.

Justin: How’s your mom?

Kasi: As I said, she hasn’t known me since 2015. She now really doesn’t talk. She is in a wheelchair. She mostly just sleeps about 16 hours a day.

Justin: She was early-onset, right?

Kasi: She was early-onset. For perspective, I’m 38 years old. That means, at 33, I essentially lost my mom. She is only 68 now, so that’s at 63, she essentially became incapacitated.

Justin: We’ve been friends, I think, through most of this. It’s been a tough deal for you. It’s great you’re involved. You were kind of involved with the Alzheimer’s Association, but then in the last year or two, you’ve really gotten way more involved. What’s your role now? Let’s just make some assumptions or guess what’s going to happen next for the association after the shutdown.

Kasi: I’ve been on the gala committee for the last couple of years, a pretty active member with fundraising and donation raising and planning and organizing and things like that. I volunteered to be gala chair this year. Honestly, it really hurt my heart. It was a Kentucky Derby themed gala. I’m very, very sad that it was canceled.

Justin: Is the money raised kept though?

Kasi: Absolutely. We are still looking at ways to fundraise. When all this is over, we want to have a socially come back together party and do some fundraising that way even though we probably just won’t have the planning to be able to do a full gala. For an event like that, there’s deposits and things like that that we don’t want to risk. We are still hoping to have a giant 2020 party to keep funding this mission. The Alzheimer’s Association is the number one funder of research in the world for the Alzheimer’s disease.

Justin: I know you’re involved with it locally. Is it breakdown by county or region? How’s it work?

Kasi: We are the South Texas branch, which basically encompasses San Antonio, New Braunfels, Carville, the surrounding areas. When people donate, they need to know that their money stays pretty locally. Something else I love about the Alzheimer’s Association, they have an 86% rate of giving, basically. When you give, 86 cents on every dollar goes directly to caregivers and research. Only 14 cents goes to overhead and administrative costs.

Justin: Okay, that’s great. A lot of people look into that before they give money.

Kasi: It’s very important.

Justin: Before we end this, what is the website for the Alzheimer’s Association for South Texas?


Justin: Then tell us about Innova. How can people reach out to Innova if they want to check in with y’all for services?

Kasi: Absolutely. We are definitely open for business. Everything’s done through telehealth at the moment, but we take all major insurance. If people need copay assistance, we have some funding for that. It is, I-N-N-O-V-A or they can call 210-254-3618.

Justin: I’m going to put you on the spot here. I’m going to ask you that you’ll give us a list of your top tips for dealing with the stress and anxiety of COVID that I’ll post on our website and our social media.

Kasi: Absolutely.

Justin: All right. That about does it for this episode of the Alamo Hour. Huge thanks to Dr. Howard for being here and sharing her advice. They’re getting through this as well as her passion as it relates to some of her nonprofits. Guest wish list continues, Coach Pop, come on. I know we’re not big time, but we’ll be real nice and you can be mean to me. Robert Revoir, Jackie Earle Haley, we also try to get you on if we ever can. Thank you for joining us and we’ll see y’all next episode.

Thanks for joining us on this episode of the Alamo Hour. You are all what make the city so great. We hope you join us next week. In the meantime, subscribe to our podcast. Check us out on Facebook at or our website Until next time, viva San Antonio.

[01:03:12] [END OF AUDIO]

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