Mental Health & Equity in Focus 

By Wes Kilgore, Well Beings

Welcome to the Well Beings News Roundup. Our goal is to shed light on the latest important, but often lesser known developments in mental health research, activism and legislation and to pinpoint inequity, progress and solutions that could have a vital impact on diverse and underserved communities across the globe. From the latest reports on the accessibility of mental health treatment in the U.S. to in-depth analyses of the unique challenges faced by queer youth of color, we aim to bring forth insightful and crucial discussions. Our goal is to inform, educate, and inspire action towards cultivating a more inclusive and supportive mental health landscape.

Week of 6/16/2024

Surgeon General Calls for Social Media Warning Labels: PBS NewsHour reports on the Surgeon General’s call for warning labels on social media platforms to address the teen mental health crisis. The initiative aims to raise awareness about the potential negative effects of social media on young people’s mental health and encourage safer online practices. 

AI Helping Caregivers Reduce Stress: Forbes discusses how AI technology can support caregivers by reducing stress and improving efficiency. The article highlights innovative AI solutions that provide real-time assistance and emotional support, helping caregivers manage their responsibilities more effectively while maintaining a human touch. 

Low-Sodium Substitutes in Indonesia: Health and Economic Impact: Food Ingredients First discusses new research revealing the significant health and economic benefits of using low-sodium substitutes in Indonesia. The study highlights how reducing sodium intake can lower the risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases, leading to substantial healthcare savings and improved public health outcomes. 

Supreme Court Strikes Down Bump Stock Ban: PBS NewsHour reports on the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the ban on bump stocks. The conservative majority ruling has sparked a heated debate about gun control laws and the implications for public safety and gun violence prevention. 

Protecting Yourself During a Heat Wave: PBS NewsHour provides practical advice on how to stay safe during a heat wave, especially for those who cannot remain indoors. Tips include staying hydrated, wearing light clothing, and utilizing public cooling centers to prevent heat-related illnesses. 

EY US LGBTQ+ Workplace Barometer 2024: EY’s 2024 LGBTQ+ Workplace Barometer reveals insights into the experiences of LGBTQ+ employees in the workplace. The report emphasizes the importance of inclusivity and supportive policies in fostering a positive work environment and improving employee well-being and productivity. 

Military Bases Face Health Care Shortages: NPR highlights the ongoing health care shortages at military bases affecting Army, Navy, and Marine troops. The article discusses the impact of these shortages on service members’ health and readiness, and the need for improved medical support within the military. 

Gaps in LGBTQ+ Sex Education: Teen Vogue explores the gaps in LGBTQ+ sex education and how the lack of comprehensive information forces youth to seek potentially dangerous advice elsewhere. The article advocates for inclusive and accurate sex education to ensure the safety and well-being of LGBTQ+ youth. 

Tracking Exercise: Steps vs. Minutes: Health.com explores the benefits and drawbacks of tracking exercise by steps versus minutes. The article examines how different methods of tracking can impact motivation and fitness outcomes, providing insights into which approach may be more effective for various fitness goals and personal preferences.

Week of 6/9/2024 

Smartphones, Social Media, and Teen Mental Health: PBS NewsHour explores the debate among experts regarding the impact of smartphones and social media on teen mental health. The discussion highlights conflicting views on whether these technologies contribute to anxiety and depression or provide beneficial social connections.

Home Health Aides Struggle with Mental Health: Weill Cornell Medicine reports on a study highlighting the mental health challenges faced by home health aides. The findings indicate high levels of stress and depression among these essential workers, underscoring the need for better mental health support and resources in this field.

Black Women and Mental Health: Women’s Press delves into the mental health issues faced by Black women, discussing the unique stressors and systemic barriers they encounter. The article calls for more inclusive mental health resources and culturally sensitive care to better support this demographic.

The Internet’s Positive Impact on Mental Health: CNET highlights a new study suggesting that the internet can have positive effects on mental health comparable to a walk in nature. The research points to the potential benefits of online interactions and digital resources for improving mental well-being.

Eye-Tracking Reveals the Benefits of Nature: Phys.org discusses how eye-tracking technology has revealed the mental health benefits of simply viewing natural scenes. The study emphasizes the calming effects of nature and suggests integrating natural elements into daily environments to enhance mental health.

Seattle’s Mental Health and Criminal Justice Intersection: The Marshall Project examines a case in Seattle where a man with mental illness was arrested for assault. The article sheds light on the complex relationship between mental health issues and the criminal justice system, advocating for better mental health interventions.

Injections Instead of Pills for Homelessness Crisis: KQED reports on a new approach to addressing California’s homelessness crisis through injectable medications instead of pills. This method aims to improve compliance and mental health outcomes for homeless individuals struggling with severe mental illnesses.

Restoring Trust in Public Health: The Health Journalism blog covers discussions by the CDC Director and NYC Health Commissioner on restoring public trust in health authorities. They emphasize transparency, community engagement, and effective communication as key strategies to rebuild confidence in public health.

Climate Change Policies Neglect Children’s Mental Health: News Medical highlights a study revealing that current climate change policies often overlook the mental health needs of children. The research calls for more comprehensive policies that consider the psychological well-being of younger populations affected by climate change.

Group Therapy at Tribeca Festival: Deadline reviews “Group Therapy,” a new film showcased at the Tribeca Festival. The documentary offers an intimate look at the dynamics within group therapy sessions, highlighting the powerful impact of shared experiences on mental health recovery.

Week of 5/26/2024 

Financial Literacy Gap Widens Wealth Gap: A PBS NewsHour report highlights how unequal access to financial education disproportionately impacts Black and brown communities. Only 25 states mandate personal finance classes, and schools serving minority students are less likely to offer them. This lack of knowledge hinders wealth-building opportunities, perpetuating the racial wealth gap. 

Protecting Worker Mental Health: Greater Good Magazine at UC Berkeley offers employers a roadmap for prioritizing worker well-being. Their recommendations include offering mental health resources, fostering open communication about mental health needs, and creating a culture of work-life balance. 

Expanding Mental Health Access for College Students: TimelyCare, a virtual mental health service provider, partners with Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to increase access to mental healthcare for students of color. This initiative aims to address the unique challenges faced by minority students and bridge the mental health equity gap on campuses. 

Medicaid Expansion Boosts Mental Health & Addiction Services: The Biden-Harris administration expands access to mental health and substance abuse treatment in 10 new states. Through the expanded CCBHC Medicaid demonstration program, millions of low-income individuals will gain access to critical mental health services in their communities.  

Mental Health Challenges in the LGBTQ+ Community: The University of Washington’s Right as Rain resource center explores the mental health disparities faced by LGBTQ+ individuals. Factors like discrimination and social stigma contribute to higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide risk. The article provides resources and guidance for supporting mental wellness within the LGBTQ+ community.  

Forest Bathing for Mental Well-being: Researchers at the University of South Florida find promise in “forest bathing” to improve mental health. Immersing oneself in nature can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression while boosting mood and cognitive function. 

Culturally Competent Care for AANHPI Mental Health: Stanford Children’s Health emphasizes the importance of culturally competent care when addressing mental health concerns within the Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community. Understanding cultural beliefs and values is crucial for effective treatment and promoting mental well-being.  

Climate Change & Mental Health: The Conversation explores the link between extreme heat and worsening mental health conditions. Rising temperatures can exacerbate anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), particularly for vulnerable populations.  

Week of 5/26/2024 

Supporting the Mental Health of AAPI Youth: Psychiatric Times discusses the unique mental health challenges faced by Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) youth. The article emphasizes the importance of culturally sensitive support and resources to address these specific needs and improve mental health outcomes. 

AAPI Youth Lack Mental Health Resources: Teen Vogue highlights the resource gaps faced by AAPI youth in accessing mental health services, particularly for issues like eating disorders. The piece calls for increased awareness and the development of more inclusive mental health resources. 

How Stop AAPI Hate is Creating Healing Spaces: 11Alive reports on the efforts of Stop AAPI Hate to create safe and supportive spaces for healing within the AAPI community. The organization focuses on addressing the trauma and mental health impacts of racial discrimination and violence. 

Prioritizing Mental Health is Not Selfish: NYU Langone Health advocates for the importance of prioritizing mental health, dispelling the misconception that it is a selfish act. The article stresses that taking care of one’s mental health is crucial for overall well-being and better societal engagement. 

‘NOT ASHAMED’ PGA Golfer Grayson Murray, 30, Opened up About Mental Health Before His Death: The Sun covers PGA golfer Grayson Murray’s candid discussion about his ongoing battle with mental health issues and the impact of personal loss. Murray’s story sheds light on the mental health struggles faced by athletes and the importance of seeking help. 

Woebot: AI Chatbot for Mental Health: IEEE Spectrum explores Woebot, an AI-driven chatbot designed to provide mental health support. The article examines how Woebot leverages conversational AI to offer therapeutic interactions, aiming to bridge gaps in mental health care accessibility. 

Mental Health in Musicals: Next to Normal and A Strange Loop: The Guardian reviews how musicals like “Next to Normal” and “A Strange Loop” portray mental health issues. These performances highlight the complexities of mental illness, contributing to broader conversations and awareness through the arts. 

Addressing the Mental Health Crisis Among Black Males: Harvard Gazette addresses the urgent mental health crisis affecting Black males. The article discusses systemic barriers and the need for targeted interventions to improve mental health support and outcomes for this demographic. 

Barriers to Mental Health Care for Black and Hispanic Adults: KFF reports on the disparities in mental health care access among Black and Hispanic adults. The study highlights how cost concerns and other barriers disproportionately affect these groups, leading to lower rates of received mental health services compared to their White counterparts. 

Week of 5/19/2024 

Youth Mental Health Corps in Schools: K12 Dive reports on the introduction of Youth Mental Health Corps in schools, aimed at providing much-needed mental health support for students. This initiative seeks to address the growing mental health crisis among youth by integrating mental health professionals directly into educational environments.

Link Between Adolescent BMI and Mental Health: Medical Xpress discusses a study that explores the correlation between adolescent Body Mass Index (BMI) and mental health. The findings highlight how higher or lower BMI levels during adolescence can significantly impact mental well-being, stressing the importance of holistic health approaches.

Green Spaces and Urban Mental Health: The Guardian features insights from Andrea Mechelli on how urban green spaces can enhance mental health. The article underscores the benefits of integrating more natural environments within urban settings to improve the mental well-being of city dwellers.

National Strategy to Improve Maternal Mental Health Care: Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families discusses the federal task force’s release of a national strategy aimed at improving maternal mental health care. The strategy includes specific Medicaid policies designed to enhance support for mothers experiencing mental health challenges.

Mental Health and Ophthalmology: Ophthalmology Times examines the intersection of mental health and eye health, discussing how mental health conditions can affect ocular health and vice versa. The article calls for integrated care approaches to better address the dual challenges faced by patients.

NCAA Addresses Mental Health Impact of Sports Betting: The NCAA highlights the negative impact of sports betting culture on student-athletes’ mental health. The organization is working on strategies to support student-athletes and mitigate the stress and pressures associated with betting.

Mental Health Solutions for Menopause and Perimenopause: Stanford’s Scope Blog explores mental health solutions for women going through menopause and perimenopause. The article emphasizes the need for targeted mental health support and innovative treatment options to help women navigate these transitional phases.

Week of 5/12/2024 
CVS Survey Reveals Growing Mental Health Concerns
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Fortune covers a CVS survey showing a significant rise in mental health concerns among Americans. The survey highlights increased anxiety and stress levels, emphasizing the need for accessible mental health services and interventions to address these growing issues.

Ketogenic Diet Boosts Mental Health: News Medical discusses a study revealing that the ketogenic diet can significantly improve mental health. The findings suggest that this low-carb, high-fat diet reduces stress and enhances mood, providing a potential dietary intervention for mental health improvement.

Congress Discusses Black Male Mental Health: The Sacramento Observer reports on Congress’s recent discussions about Black male mental health. These talks mark a significant step towards addressing the unique mental health challenges faced by Black men and the need for targeted support and resources.

Report Highlights Gaps in Women Veterans’ Mental Health Care: State News covers a new report that identifies significant gaps in mental health care for women veterans. The report calls for improved services and support systems to address the unique needs of this underserved population.

Virtual Reality as a Tool for Depression Treatment: Medical News Today explores how virtual reality (VR) technology may help treat depression. The article discusses research indicating that VR can create immersive therapeutic experiences, potentially offering a novel approach to improving mental health.

Letting Go of Mental Health Stigma and Shame: Psychology Today addresses the importance of overcoming mental health stigma and shame. The article encourages individuals to rewrite their personal narratives, fostering resilience and self-acceptance in the journey towards mental well-being.

School Nurses Address Teen Mental Health: Time highlights the critical role school nurses play in supporting teen mental health. The article underscores the need for more mental health resources in schools to help address the rising mental health issues among adolescents.

Week of 5/5/2024 

Patrick Kennedy: Profiles in Mental Health Coverage

For former congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, advocating for mental health care is part of his family’s legacy. His uncle, President John F. Kennedy, signed the bill that established the nation’s community-based mental health care system. Ali Rogin sat down with Patrick Kennedy to discuss his new book, which details the mental health struggles and triumphs of everyday Americans.

Miss USA Noelia Voigt Resigns for Mental Health Reasons: Time reports on Noelia Voigt’s resignation as Miss USA, citing mental health as her primary reason. This decision highlights the intense pressures of public life and underscores the importance of prioritizing personal well-being over professional obligations.

AI and Mental Health Risks Explored: CBS News Minnesota investigates the potential mental health risks associated with increasing AI interactions. The report delves into how AI might affect human psychology, including issues of dependency, privacy concerns, and the alteration of social behaviors.

Emerging Therapies Transform Mental Health Care: Newsweek examines how new and emerging therapies are revolutionizing the field of mental health. The article discusses advancements in treatment methods that offer hope and improved outcomes for those with mental health conditions.

3/4 of Americans Give Mental Healthcare Prioritization an “F”: Even though one in five Americans lives with a mental illness, many feel it is not adequately addressed, with a new survey from West Health and Gallup suggesting that three in four Americans believe mental health conditions are not identified and treated in the same way as physical health conditions.

Impact of Anti-LGBTQ Policies on Youth Mental Health: Time highlights the detrimental effects of anti-LGBTQ policies on the mental health of young people. The article calls attention to increased rates of anxiety, depression, and fear among LGBTQ youth, advocating for more supportive and inclusive policies.

The Trevor Project’s 2024 Survey on LGBTQ Youth: The Trevor Project releases its 2024 survey, providing valuable insights into the challenges faced by LGBTQ youth. The findings emphasize the critical need for targeted support and interventions to improve mental health outcomes in this vulnerable population.

Week of 4/28/2024 

Billie Eilish on Her Mental Health Journey: Rolling Stone shares an intimate look at Billie Eilish’s mental health journey, highlighting her experiences with depression. Eilish’s story is part of a broader conversation about mental health in the entertainment industry and the pressures young artists face. 

America’s Mental Health Crisis: Insights from Patrick Kennedy: Time features Patrick Kennedy as he addresses the escalating mental health crisis in America, discussing systemic failures and advocating for substantial policy reforms. His insights highlight the need for integrated healthcare approaches and greater public awareness to combat stigma and improve mental health services. 

Alarming Rise in Mental Health Distress Among TGNC Individuals: A study in the May 2024 issue of the American Journal of Public Health reveals significant increases in mental health distress within the transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) community. The findings stress the urgent need for specialized mental health services and supportive measures to address these challenges. 

Physical Fitness Enhances Kids’ Mental Health: NBC Right Now discusses how staying physically fit can improve mental health in children. The article covers research indicating that regular physical activity helps in reducing anxiety and depression, enhancing mood and emotional well-being among the youth. 

The Role of Play in Supporting Children’s Mental Health: ANB Media explores how the Toy Association advocates for play as a crucial element in supporting the mental and behavioral health of pediatric patients. It emphasizes play’s therapeutic benefits in fostering resilience and emotional development. 

Ashley Judd Discusses Naomi Judd’s Mental Health: ET Online features Ashley Judd as she opens up about her late mother, Naomi Judd’s, struggles with mental health. She reflects on the impact of mental illness on their family and the importance of openness and support in managing such challenges. 

Week of 4/21/2024 

Genetic Links Between Nightmares and Mental Health: PsyPost reports on a study finding significant genetic overlap between nightmares and various mental health conditions. This research provides insights into potential shared pathways that could inform more targeted treatments and preventative measures. 

Mental Health the Leading Cause of Maternal Mortality: This article on Psychiatrist.com reveals that mental health issues are now the primary cause of maternal mortality. The discussion emphasizes the urgent need for enhanced mental health support and services for mothers, aiming to address this critical public health issue effectively. 

Improving Mental Health Services for Eating Disorders: Psychiatry Advisor explores the current landscape of mental health services available for eating disorders, highlighting significant gaps in care during transitions from childhood to adult services, and the necessity for comprehensive service improvements to better support individuals battling these conditions. 

Gen Z’s Mental Health Drives $27 Billion Industry: Forbes discusses how Gen Z’s increasing concerns with anxiety, stress, and loneliness are propelling the growth of a $27 billion mental health industry. This demographic’s unique needs and active seeking of solutions are shaping new market trends and services. 

JAMA Study on Depression Treatment Efficacy: JAMA publishes a study evaluating the efficacy of different treatments for depression, offering a comparative analysis that could guide clinicians in selecting the most effective therapeutic strategies for their patients. 

JAMA Explores Long COVID’s Mental Health Impact: Another critical study from JAMA examines the mental health implications of long COVID, documenting the psychological strains associated with long-term recovery and highlighting the need for integrated mental and physical health services. 

Week of 4/15/2024 

Psychology Group Warns Against Infinite Scrolling: NBC News reports on the American Psychological Association’s concerns regarding infinite scrolling on social media platforms. This feature is linked to increased addictive behaviors and mental health issues, pushing for a reevaluation of digital interface designs to better support user well-being. 

Governors Focus on Behavioral Health in 2024 Addresses: The National Governors Association highlights a significant trend where governors across the U.S. are increasingly prioritizing behavioral health issues in their 2024 State of the State addresses, aiming to address critical mental health care needs and substance abuse prevention. 

End of Federal Subsidized Internet Plans My Exacerbate Mental Health Crisis: After April, 23 million low-income households could lose their Affordable Connectivity Program benefits. CNET explores how disruptions in internet service can exacerbate the ongoing mental health crisis in America, stressing the essential role of stable digital connectivity in maintaining mental wellness amidst modern societal pressures. 

The Saddest Time of the Year May Surprise You: Psychology Today reflects on historical and recent observations that spring, particularly the months of April and May, can be challenging times for mental health, discussing potential reasons and the importance of awareness and care during this period. 

Vocal Biomarkers as Indicators of Mental Health: Medscape introduces an innovative approach to mental health diagnostics using vocal biomarkers, which can reliably indicate various mental health conditions through voice analysis technology, offering a non-invasive tool for early detection and management. 

Week of 4/8/2024 

Adults with Strabismus (Crossed Eyes) More Likely to Experience Mental Health Conditions: A study highlighted by HCPLive indicates that adults suffering from strabismus, a condition where the eyes do not properly align, have a higher likelihood of facing mental health challenges. This research underscores the significant impact of physical health conditions on psychological well-being.

The 10 Worst States to Live in for Mental Health: Fortune analyzes a recent study that ranks the ten worst U.S. states for mental health support and living conditions. This article sheds light on the disparities in mental health care accessibility and quality across different regions.

AI Will Make Mental Healthcare More Human: Psychology Today explores how advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) could enhance the mental healthcare industry. The article suggests that AI could make mental health services more accessible, efficient, and personalized, ultimately leading to a more human-centered approach.

Study Finds Link Between Quality of Sibling Relationships and Loneliness, Depression: NPR discusses a study revealing that the quality of sibling relationships has a direct correlation with feelings of loneliness and depression. This research highlights the importance of familial bonds in maintaining mental health.

Identical Twins and Autism Spectrum: NPR explores the relationship between identical twin brothers on opposite ends of the autism spectrum. This story provides insight into the complexities of sibling dynamics amid neurodiversity, highlighting the scientific and emotional aspects of autism within families. It emphasizes the profound connections and challenges siblings face, underscoring the importance of understanding and support in neurodiverse families.

Week of 3/31/2024 

Lifesum Unveils Diet Changes for Mental Health: Lifesum’s recent study highlights five dietary adjustments to boost mental health, emphasizing the profound link between what we eat and our mental state. Nutrition emerges as a key player in enhancing psychological well-being. Read more

Mental Health Conditions & Cardiovascular Risk in Women: Research unveils a connection between mental health issues and heightened cardiovascular risk among young to middle-aged women, shedding light on the intricate relationship between psychological health and heart disease. Read more

The Mental Health Crisis in Academia: An exploration into the mental health crisis facing academia reveals a pressing need for systemic changes to mitigate stress and pressure among scholars and students, advocating for a healthier educational environment. Read more

Amanda Bynes Talks Mental Health: Amanda Bynes openly discusses her mental health journey amidst talks of a Nickelodeon docuseries, providing insights into the challenges and recovery process, highlighting the importance of open dialogue on mental health. Read more

Fasting and Mental Health Benefits: The potential mental health benefits of fasting are examined, analyzing how this practice might impact psychological well-being alongside its physical health effects, with mixed findings on its efficacy. Read more

Teens, Social Media, and Self-Diagnosis: An increasing trend among teens involves self-diagnosing mental health issues via social media, pointing to the critical need for professional guidance and accurate information to navigate these self-assessments. Read more
 
Rick Yang: Voice of Mental Health Awards Winner 2024: Rick Yang’s significant contributions to mental health advocacy earn him the 2024 Student Voice of Mental Health Awards from The Jed Foundation, recognizing his efforts to foster awareness and support. Read more

The Importance of Disaster Behavioral Health: SAMHSA highlights the critical importance of disaster behavioral health services, emphasizing its vital role in aiding recovery and supporting affected communities during and after traumatic events. Read more

Week of 3/24/2024

Impact of COVID-19 on Boys’ Mental Health: Medical Xpress delves into a study revealing how the COVID-19 pandemic has notably affected boys’ mental health, pointing towards increased instances of anxiety and depression. The research underscores the need for targeted mental health support and strategies to address these challenges. Read more on Medical Xpress

Chatbots as Mental Health Therapists: The Associated Press explores the emerging role of chatbots in providing mental health therapy and counseling. This innovative approach utilizes artificial intelligence to offer accessible support, although it raises questions about the effectiveness and personal touch compared to human counselors. Read more on AP News

Sesame Workshop’s Focus on Mental Health: Upworthy reports on Sesame Workshop’s initiatives to prioritize mental health following a viral social media check-in by Elmo. The organization is dedicated to addressing mental health issues through its programming, reflecting its commitment to the well-being of children. Read more on Upworthy

They’re Not Cops. They Don’t Have Guns. But They’re Responding to More 911 Calls: The Marshall Project examines the integration of mental health considerations into police emergency responses to 911 calls. This approach aims to provide more appropriate support for individuals experiencing mental health crises, potentially reducing harmful outcomes. Read more on The Marshall Project

Athletes’ Mental Health Challenges in Memoirs: Electric Literature has compiled a list of memoirs that shed light on the mental health challenges faced by athletes. These narratives reveal the psychological pressures of competitive sports and the personal journeys of athletes in coping with mental health issues. Read more on Electric Literature

Week of 3/17/2024 

84% of Pet Owners Cite Mental Health Benefits: The American Psychiatric Association highlights research indicating pets provide substantial mental health benefits to their owners. From easing loneliness to reducing anxiety, the presence of pets can significantly impact well-being. Read more on Psychiatry.org

Study Finds Youth Enrichment Programs May Adversely Affect Mental Health: A study from the University of Georgia suggests that while youth enrichment programs such as tutoring and sports aim to foster development, they could inadvertently stress mental health under certain conditions. The findings call for a nuanced approach to such programs, recognizing the fine line between beneficial involvement and potential overload. Read more on Red and Black

Undetected Depression and Anxiety in Teen Boys: NBC News covers a study revealing that depression and anxiety are often undiagnosed in teenage boys. The report emphasizes the need for better awareness and tailored approaches to mental health care for young men. Read more on NBC News

Mental Health and Incarceration in Mississippi: Mississippi Today discusses a legislative initiative addressing the intersection of mental health and the criminal justice system in the state. The focus is on preventing the unnecessary jailing of individuals with mental health issues who have not committed criminal offenses. Read more on Mississippi Today

COVID-19’s Toll on Mothers’ Mental Health: Medical Xpress reports on a study exploring the profound mental health challenges faced by mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic, from increased stress to heightened instances of depression and anxiety. Read more on Medical Xpress

Tragic Outcome for Nonbinary Teen in Oklahoma: PBS NewsHour reports the ruling of a nonbinary teenager’s death as a suicide after a school fight in Oklahoma, raising significant concerns about bullying, mental health, and the safety of LGBTQ+ youth in educational settings. Read more on PBS

Week of 3/10/2024 

Happy Work Wife, Happy Life?: Yahoo Style UK looks at the concept of a “work wife” and the mental health benefits of having a close, supportive relationship with a colleague. Can these kind of relationships improve job satisfaction, reduce stress, and foster a positive work environment? Read more on Yahoo Style UK

How Coaches Can Support Student-Athlete Mental Health: Education Week discusses the vital role coaches play in supporting the mental health of student-athletes. The article explores strategies for coaches to provide emotional support and build a trusting environment conducive to discussing mental health challenges. Read more on EdWeek

Grandparents’ Role in Supporting Mothers’ Mental Health: Good Housekeeping highlights the significant impact that grandparents can have on their adult children’s mental health, specifically focusing on new mothers. The article delves into how the emotional and practical support from grandparents can alleviate stress and promote well-being among mothers. Read more on Good Housekeeping

Trauma Screening to Enhance Mental Health Services: Penn State University shares findings on the importance of trauma screening in improving mental health services. The article discusses how identifying past trauma can lead to more effective and tailored mental health care for individuals. Read more on Penn State News

Mental Health Treatment for Children with Epilepsy: Medical Xpress covers research on the critical need for mental health treatment options tailored to children with epilepsy. It addresses the unique challenges faced by these children and the potential benefits of early and appropriate mental health interventions. Read more on Medical Xpress

Week of 3/3/2024

Young People Look, Feel Older When They’re Stressed – Science Daily reports on groundbreaking research that uncovers how specific dietary and exercise interventions can significantly affect the brain’s structure and function. This study, conducted on a diverse cohort, emphasizes the potential of lifestyle changes in enhancing cognitive abilities and mental health, offering new avenues for preventing cognitive decline. For detailed insights, visit ScienceDaily.

The Mental Health Impacts of Solitary Confinement – Metro Philadelphia explores the profound psychological effects of solitary confinement, highlighting the experiences of individuals who have endured long periods of isolation. The article discusses the growing body of research indicating the severe mental health consequences of this practice, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress, sparking calls for reform in the criminal justice system. Read more at MetroPhiladelphia.

Childhood Adversity Linked to Cognitive Development and Mental Health – Neuroscience News delves into a study revealing the long-term impact of childhood adversity on cognitive development and mental health. The research underscores the critical need for early intervention strategies to mitigate these adverse effects and support the mental health of affected individuals. The findings contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms linking early life stress to cognitive and emotional outcomes. More information can be found on NeuroscienceNews.

Family Rejection and Mental Health Distress Among LGBTQ Asian Americans – Today at UMD highlights a study on the mental health distress experienced by LGBTQ Asian Americans in the face of family rejection. This research sheds light on the specific challenges faced by this community, including higher rates of depression and anxiety, emphasizing the importance of supportive environments for mental well-being. The study calls for culturally sensitive mental health services and greater awareness of the unique experiences of LGBTQ Asian Americans. Further details are available at Today.UMD.

Week of 2/25/2023 

Climate Emergency’s Impact on Adolescent Mental Health: Drexel University highlights the psychological effects of the climate emergency on adolescents, noting an increase in eco-anxiety and stress related to environmental concerns. The article calls for integrated approaches to address both the climate crisis and its mental health impacts. Further details can be found on Drexel.edu 

Mark Duplass Advocates for Mental Health at SAG Awards 2024: Mark Duplass, recognized at the 2024 Screen Actors Guild Awards, used his platform to highlight the importance of mental health, sharing his personal journey and the therapeutic value of creativity. He emphasized the crucial role of support networks and encouraged openness about mental health struggles to help destigmatize these conversations. For more details, visit EW.com 

Nature-Based Therapies for Mental Health: A new scientific project aims to explore the benefits of nature-based therapies for mental health improvement. This innovative approach seeks to understand how interactions with nature can be harnessed to support mental well-being, offering potential alternatives or complements to traditional treatment methods. Read more about this project on News-Medical.net

Young Adults’ Mental Health Struggles: Lee Health discusses the unique mental health challenges faced by young adults today, including high rates of depression, anxiety, and stress. This article emphasizes the need for greater awareness, resources, and supportive interventions tailored to this demographic. Learn more at LeeHealth.org 

DeMar DeRozan Launches Digital Series on Mental Health: Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan has launched a digital series to open up discussions about mental health, drawing from his personal experiences to destigmatize mental health issues and encourage seeking help. NBC Chicago provides more information at NBCChicago.com

Week of 2/18/2024

Increasing Eating Disorders Among Adolescent Boys

PBS NewsHour discusses the rise in eating disorders among adolescent boys, exploring causes and highlighting key signs for awareness. The report sheds light on societal and social media influences that contribute to this trend and emphasizes the importance of recognizing and addressing these issues early. The piece serves as a crucial reminder of the changing landscape of eating disorders, traditionally seen more in girls, and the need for broadened awareness and support systems. Read more at PBS Newshour 

Early Childhood Mental Health in Georgia: A Council for a Strong America report underscores early childhood mental health (ECMH) as crucial for the success of Georgia’s children. It highlights the role of warm, responsive interactions with caregivers in supporting healthy brain development. The report addresses challenges like Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that can hinder ECMH and stresses the importance of evidence-based interventions to support children’s mental health, enhancing community safety and national security in the long run. Read more at StrongNation.org 

Gen Z’s Education and Future Perspectives: The 74 highlights how Gen Z is reevaluating education and career paths amidst societal challenges. Concerns over mental health, political climate, and the pursuit of STEM fields reflect their desire for a functional adulthood. Gen Z advocates for better education, increased mental health support, and more inclusive STEM opportunities, despite feeling underprepared and pessimistic about political representation. Their collective experience shapes a unique outlook on personal and societal progress. Read more at 74Million.org 

EU’s TikTok Probe for Youth Protection: Amnesty International welcomes the European Commission’s investigation into TikTok for possibly breaching the Digital Services Act by not adequately protecting young users. The probe focuses on the platform’s engagement practices that may undermine children’s rights, with concerns about content that could negatively impact their mental health. The investigation aims to ensure safe online environments for children and young users. Read more at Amnesty International 

Child Suicide Prevention Legislation: Senator Tim Kaine has introduced the ‘Child Suicide Prevention and Lethal Means Safety Act’ aimed at transforming mental health care for children and teenagers. The act focuses on improving access to mental health services in underserved areas, like the Shenandoah Valley. This initiative underscores the pressing need for comprehensive mental health support for youth amidst the mental health crisis. Read more at BNN 

Mental Health Equity and Psychiatric Workforce Diversity: Psychiatric Times emphasizes the importance of recruiting a diverse psychiatric workforce to address mental health equity. It discusses how a variety of backgrounds among psychiatry residents can lead to improved understanding and treatment of patients from diverse communities, ultimately contributing to better mental health outcomes. The article highlights the need for holistic recruitment strategies that consider an applicant’s experiences, attributes, and competencies beyond academic metrics. Read more at Psychatric Times 

 Week of 2/11/202

Being Bullied in Childhood More Than Triples Risk of Mental Health Struggles Later: US News reports that experiencing bullying in childhood can more than triple the risk of mental health struggles in later life. This significant finding underscores the long-term impact of bullying on psychological well-being and highlights the importance of early intervention and support for those affected. Read more at US News and World Report 

NAMI Releases Poll Showing Post-Pandemic Workforce Demands More Mental Health Support: A new NAMI poll reveals a significant demand for more mental health support in the post-pandemic workplace. Employees express a strong belief in the importance of discussing mental health openly at work and advocate for mental health training to improve workplace culture. The poll highlights a gap in knowledge about employer-provided mental healthcare coverage, emphasizing the need for increased communication and resources. Read more at NAMI 

School District Lawsuits Against Social Media Companies Are Piling Up: Education Week reports on over 200 school districts suing social media companies, arguing these platforms contribute to a youth mental health crisis. The school districts are seeking damages and changes to social media practices, alleging that addictive product designs harm students’ mental health. This legal action highlights the growing concern over the impact of social media on young people’s well-being and the resources schools must allocate to address these issues. Read more at Education Week 

Being Bullied in Childhood More Than Triples Risk of Mental Health Struggles Later: US News reports that experiencing bullying in childhood can more than triple the risk of mental health struggles in later life. This significant finding underscores the long-term impact of bullying on psychological well-being and highlights the importance of early intervention and support for those affected. Read more at US News and World Report 

NAMI Releases Poll Showing Post-Pandemic Workforce Demands More Mental Health Support: A new NAMI poll reveals a significant demand for more mental health support in the post-pandemic workplace. Employees express a strong belief in the importance of discussing mental health openly at work and advocate for mental health training to improve workplace culture. The poll highlights a gap in knowledge about employer-provided mental healthcare coverage, emphasizing the need for increased communication and resources. Read more at NAMI 

School District Lawsuits Against Social Media Companies Are Piling Up: Education Week reports on over 200 school districts suing social media companies, arguing these platforms contribute to a youth mental health crisis. The school districts are seeking damages and changes to social media practices, alleging that addictive product designs harm students’ mental health. This legal action highlights the growing concern over the impact of social media on young people’s well-being and the resources schools must allocate to address these issues. Read more at Education Week 

Week of 2/4/2024

What Do Young People in Crisis Need From Their Communities?: Crisis Text Line, in partnership with Common Good Labs, discusses solutions to the youth mental health crisis. Their report, based on over 87,000 conversations, identifies six community resources that aid young people in crisis, including social connections, arts, mental health services, sports, reading materials, and access to nature. It highlights the decline in community programs that provide these essential resources and calls for a refocused approach to mental health support, emphasizing extracurricular activities and accessible public spaces. Read more at Crisis Text Line

14 Ways to Show Your Child Love: Valentine’s Day & Every Day: The American Academy of Pediatrics provides a guide on 14 effective ways to show love to your child, emphasizing the importance of emotional connection, support, and understanding in family dynamics. This resource offers practical advice to help parents and guardians foster a nurturing environment that contributes positively to a child’s emotional and psychological development. Read more at HealtheyChildren.org

New York City Has Designated Social Media as a ‘Public Health Hazard’: On January 24 in his State of the City address, Mayor Eric Adams announced New York’s initiative to become the first city in the country to classify social media as a health hazard for youth. In his address, the mayor discussed implications for social media companies, the broader context of mental health concerns related to social media use among youth and said that details about plans to combat the problem will be announced soon. Read more at Engadget 

Week of 1/21/2024 

New Report on Injury, Overtraining, and Burnout in Youth Sports: The American Academy of Pediatrics has published a report on the causes of injury, overtraining, and burnout in youth sports. This comprehensive report, updated from its 2007 predecessor, examines how excessive training can lead to physical and mental health issues in young athletes. It emphasizes the need for a balanced approach to training, the importance of listening to one’s body, and the role of pediatricians in encouraging healthy sports practices. Read more at American Academy of Pediatrics 

Meet NAMI’s New Class of Young Adult Advisors for 2024: NAMI has introduced the 2024 NAMI Next Gen class of 10 young adult leaders from diverse backgrounds who will represent the voices of lived experience to support youth mental health. These leaders aim to reduce stigma, provide resources, and offer support for young people facing mental health challenges. NAMI’s strategic plan prioritizes early intervention, as most mental illnesses begin by age 24. The organization will work with these young leaders to address the youth mental health crisis in the country. Read more at PR Newswire 

Week of 1/13/2024 

Targeting Kids Generates Billions In Ad Revenue For Social Media: A groundbreaking study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health exposed the staggering amount of ad revenue generated by social media platforms from U.S. teens, totaling around $11 billion. This revelation brings to light the immense economic incentives for platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram to continue to court young users, and the potential impact of these platforms on youth mental health. The study also stresses the need for more effective regulation and transparency in how these platforms operate and interact with young users. Read more at The Harvard Gazette

Climate Change is Hurting Kids’ Mental Health, Report Finds: A report by the American Psychological Association and nonprofit ecoAmerica delves into the mental health impacts of climate change on children. It shows that children, even those not directly affected by climate-related disasters, are increasingly suffering from anxiety and depression due to the stress related to climate change, and it emphasizes the importance of mental health screenings and enhanced access to mental health services for children and families. The report also highlights the critical role of parental well-being in supporting children’s mental health and encourages engaging young people in climate action. Read more at Yale Climate Connections

Most Americans With Mental Health Needs Don’t Get Treatment, Report Finds: A report by the actuary firm Milliman outlines a concerning trend in the United States regarding mental health. It reveals that a significant majority of Americans with mental health needs are not receiving the necessary treatment. The report delves into the reasons behind this treatment gap, discussing various barriers that individuals face in accessing mental health services. These barriers may include issues related to healthcare infrastructure, stigma, or financial constraints, underscoring a critical need for systemic changes to improve mental health care accessibility. Read more at NPR

Lgbtq+ Youth Of Color Predict Shorter Lives Than Their White Peers: Report: A report from the Trevor Project highlights a concerning trend among LGBTQ+ youth of color: they expect to live shorter lives than their white peers. Factors contributing to this include mental health challenges, societal stigma, and disparities in healthcare access. The report emphasizes the need for systemic policy changes and intersectional approaches to address the unique challenges faced by these youths. Read more at The Advocate


About the Author

ee Dunning, author & psychotherapist providing crisis intervention

Wes Kilgore is a writer, musician and bon vivant based in the Washington, DC area, and the proud parent of two disturbingly well-adjusted young women and two borderline sociopathic Corgis.

WellBeings.org is a mental health resource, not a crisis or suicide response website. If you are in crisis, or experiencing thoughts of suicide, please call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. The service is free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.