Category Archives: Mental Health

“Always connected with thousands Of ‘friends’ — yet feeling all alone” – California HealthLine

Sad man in park with couples in background

by Sharon Jayson

“AUSTIN, Texas — Connor Wilton moved here for the music scene. The 24-year-old singer-guitarist “knew zero people in Austin” and felt pretty lonely at first.

While this capital city is one of the nation’s buzziest places and ranks at the top of many ‘best’ lists, Wilton wasn’t feeling it. He lived near the University of Texas at Austin but wasn’t a student; he said walking through ‘the social megaplex that’s UT-Austin’ was intimidating, with its almost 52,000 students all seemingly having fun.

“‘You definitely feel like you’re on the outside, and it’s hard to penetrate that bubble,’ Wilton said.

Read this article at California Healthline in its entirety — click here.

OPINION: “Mindfulness is not a fad. Try it.” – The Boston Globe

mindfulness

by Andy Puddicombe

Be present, be patient, be gentle, be kind . . . and everything else will take care of itself’ were the words of my teacher as I left behind my life as a Buddhist monk, some 15 years ago, to set out on a very different kind of adventure, one that would eventually lead to me getting married, having children, starting the Headspace meditation app, and moving to America.

“People often ask which I prefer: the simplicity of a monastic life, or the chaos of a working, family life? But life is not like that. Outside of extraordinary or unfortunate circumstances, our happiness is not typically defined by where we live, what we do, or what we possess.

“But instead of looking inward — recognizing that our experience of life is defined by our perception — we chase or hold on to things that we think make us happy, while running away from anything we believe makes us unhappy. This creates a never-ending cycle of hope and fear, leaving us exhausted, stressed, and no closer to the peace of mind we seek. So it’s worth considering how to step out of that cycle.”

Continue reading this opinion piece, click here.

“1 in 4 older adults report feelings of isolation” – STAT: Morning Rounds

lonliness and health

One-quarter of adults between the ages of 50 and 80 feel isolated from others, and 1 in 3 report a lack of companionship, according to a new national poll from the University of Michigan. Previous research has found that feeling socially isolated can negatively impact health, including increased stress and an elevated risk of dementia or suicide. In the survey of nearly 2,000 adults, more than a quarter of those who reported feeling isolated also reported being in fair or poor health. The poll’s authors say encouraging and supporting meaningful social connections and more frequent interactions is one way to combat isolation and subsequent health effects.

 

“Suicide prevention: Research on successful interventions” – Journalist’s Resource

suicide

by Chloe Reichel

“As suicide rates rise in the United States, researchers have been working to identify approaches to curb the trend.

“This roundup looks at recent publications in the field of suicide prevention research.

“The findings are organized by risk group, an approach endorsed by Cheryl King, a professor in the University of Michigan Medical School’s department of psychiatry. Behind this structure is the understanding that different populations exist in different contexts with respect to access to and provision of health care.

“As an example, King compared youth and veterans: youth require family permission for health care, and veterans generally have the option of seeking health care from an entirely separate system than the civilian population. This means ‘there are differences in the interventions, in the approaches we take,’ she explained in a phone call with Journalist’s Resource.

“The research below includes a sampling of successful strategies for suicide prevention for certain risk groups including men, the military, the incarcerated, youth and the elderly. ”

Click here to continue reading this article at Journalist’s Resource.

What does “successful aging” look like? Will boomers continue to be interested in senior centers and “villages?”

Two recent articles weigh in on topics that will have profound impact on services that may have to be modified as persons age.  These aging persons are not “their father’s” peers. It is a very different time and will continue to be.

successful aging“Salem residents, including baby boomers, exercised at the advanced fitness class at the Salem Community Life Center.” – SUZANNE KREITER/GLOBE STAFF

“What Is Successful Aging?” – (This nextavenue article is excerpted from the new book Better with Age: The Psychology of Successful Aging by Alan D. Castel PhD. Copyright  © 2019 by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.)

“The phrase ‘successful aging’ has grown in popularity over the past few decades. At some point in life, people become concerned about aging and want to know what to expect, what to avoid and ways to adapt. New research has shown that important paradoxes exist regarding how we think about old age and how we actually age.

T”he term successful aging was made popular in 1987, when the scientists John Wallis Rowe and Robert Kahn published an influential book entitled Successful Aging. Rowe and Kahn stated that successful aging involved three main factors: (1) being free of disability or disease, (2) having high cognitive and physical abilities, and (3) interacting with others in meaningful ways.

“Extrinsic and Intrinsic Factors of Successful Aging

“Importantly, Rowe and Kahn acknowledged that successful aging involved both intrinsic genetic factors and extrinsic lifestyle factors. Extrinsic factors such as diet, exercise, personal habits and psychosocial aspects of aging are often underestimated if one takes the simplistic view that aging  is guided by genetics.” – Click here to continue reading this article.

This Boston Globe article, “Senior groups struggle to attract ‘forever young’ baby boomers” sheds new light on what the “boomers” think about traditional senior centers and “villages.”

“I have no interest,” responded one person in the article when asked to visit the local senior center.”

Lebanon VA Medical Center announces the first “Building the Bridge” event | other dates and venues announced, too.

VA building the bridge

The first session of the Building the Bridge Series is scheduled for March 8, 2019.  Enrollment will be available and onsite throughout the event.  This event will be held at the U.S. Army Heritage Education Center (Carlisle PA), where we look forward to collaborating with key stakeholders from the Veteran community pertaining to supports and resources in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry Counties.

This year’s topics include:

  • Transition from Uniformed Services to Civilian Life: The common challenges in the transition process for both the Veteran and the family.
  • Substance Use & Abuse: Identifying when someone is using drugs &/or alcohol to cope, how to respond and where to turn for help.
  • Suicide Prevention: When warning signs of suicide begin to emerge & how family can help.  Discussion pertaining to supports & local initiatives.
  • Serving the Whole Veteran from a Wrap Around Perspective: Connecting Veterans before, during and after VA care with community partnerships.

Please join us for education, collaborative discussion and round-table sessions to further develop, strengthen and sustain working relationships.

Registration: https://08mar19cmhs.eventbrite.com

“What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?” – The Conversation

addictive“There seems be an attractive quality to things that are ostensibly unhealthy or dangerous.” Alisusha/Shutterstock.com

“Each new year, people vow to put an end to self-destructive habits like smoking, overeating or overspending.

“And how many times have we learned of someone – a celebrity, a friend or a loved one – who committed some self-destructive act that seemed to defy explanation? Think of the criminal who leaves a trail of evidence, perhaps with the hope of getting caught, or the politician who wins an election, only to start sexting someone likely to expose him.

“Why do they do it?”

Click here to continue reading this Conversation article about the nature of destructive behaviors.

 

“Can people be saved from a terrible childhood?” – The Guardian

“US researchers have found early intervention can help prevent negative experiences in infancy turning into long-term health risks”

terrible childhood Illustration: Nathalie Lees

by Lauren Zanolli in New Orleans

“When Sabrina Bugget-Kellum walked into a neighbourhood clinic in New York for a routine appointment in in 2016, she was desperateHer son was in prison. She was trying to look after his two young children, who were aged one and two. Their mother was emotionally unstable. Bugget-Kellum did not want the chaos of the adults’ lives passed down to another generation.

“‘We didn’t know if they would be safe with their mother,’ she recalled recently. ‘I began to pray, please God, I need some help. There were so many things going on.’

“While at the clinic, Bugget-Kellum learned about a new parenting programme designed for carers of young children who have faced early adversity such as domestic abuse, homelessness or the loss of a parent to incarceration. ‘It was like I had my ammunition and I knew how to fight,’ said Bugget-Kellum of the programme.”

At bottom there is a revolutionary idea. It’s about moving from ‘what’s wrong with you?’ to ‘what happened to you?’ – Leslie Lieberman

Click here to continue reading this article at The Guardian.

 

“What one devastated community can teach the world about mental health” – Wired

As the anniversary of the massive wildfires in Northern California arrives, researchers are trying to pinpoint the best ways to treat the anxiety, depression, and trauma left in the disaster’s wake.

Climate-Change-Mental-Health

“An aerial view of homes that were destroyed by the Tubbs Fire on October 11, 2017 in Santa Rosa, California. Twenty-one people have died in wildfires that have burned tens of thousands of acres and destroyed over 3,000 homes and businesses in several Northen California counties. – JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES”

by Matt Simon

“A YEAR AGO, while on a tourist visit to Latvia, Sharon Bard was awoken at 4 am by a buzzing alert from her phone. It was an email from a friend who’d been checking on her home in Santa Rosa, California. Given the alarming news, the email’s phrasing was rather gentle: A fire had broken out in the area, officials had ordered evacuations, and Bard’s country house at the end of a road might be affected.

“Then came the deluge. Six or seven emails from other folks arrived, with more urgent queries like ‘oh my God, are you OK?’ So Bard checked CNN, and sure enough, there was the fire. This was not just local news. What neither Bard nor anyone else knew at this point was that what would become the most destructive conflagration in California history, the Tubbs Fire, was well on its way to destroying more than 5,500 structures, killing 22 people, and causing $1.2 billion in damage.

“For three days after that first email jolted her awake, Bard traded frantic messages with friends.”

Continue reading this Wired article, click here.

 

 

“Childhood poverty is linked to poorer cognitive skills in old age.” – Pacific Standard

“Cognitively speaking, there may be no way to recover from a disadvantaged childhood.”

by Tom Jacobs

“The aging of the Baby Boomers has inspired a lot of research into how we can stave off old-age cognitive decline. But a large new study suggests the most effective interventions may take place at the beginning of one’s life.

“It finds people who grew up in socially disadvantaged households—defined as crowded living quarters that are lacking in books—tend to score lower than others on tests of cognitive skills.

“This gap apparently does not increase over time, but it remains significant after taking into account such factors as education, employment, and physical health.”

Continue reading this article, click here.