This Week In Mental Health

The latest on research and advocacy for the week of February 8th.

Written by Esther Fernandez

This Week In Mental Health

01 Research shows how mental health issues are rising worldwide, how various childhood upbringings can lead to mental disorders, how genes from placenta may help indicate schizophrenia, and more.

02 Australian artist Odette and former NFL player Brandon Marshall talk about Borderline Personality disorder.

Conversations about mental health have grown exponentially over the last decade, with more and more people committing to personal and collective wellness. While we have a ways to go before mental health awareness, education and treatment are accessible to all, each day brings new and positive strides within the field. 

Our This Week In Mental Health series covers the latest happenings in research, treatment, human interest stories, and more. Stay updated on new developments so you’re better equipped to navigate the world, and most importantly, your own recovery.

Here’s what’s happening the week of February 8.


A Happy Childhood Is No Guarantee For Good Mental Health

A new study from the University of South Australia suggests that a happy childhood doesn’t always prevent mental health disorders from developing later in life. While adverse early life experiences can elevate symptoms of poor mental health, researchers found that a variety of childhood upbringings can lead to disorders like anxiety.

Learn more here.

A Potential New Brain Stimulation Therapy For OCD

Researchers have found that in patients with non-severe obsessive compulsive disorder, brain simulation may reduce OCD tendencies. Past research has shown that people with OCD have certain brain processes and activity patterns that contribute to the disorder. These new findings suggest a future in brain stimulation, though further research needs to be done to see whether it could be used as treatment for those with clinical OCD.

Learn more here.

Depression Rates Are Soaring In The US, And No One Is Harder Hit Than Latinx Americans

A new CDC study shows that Latinx people have the highest rates of depression in America. They are also four times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19, and are disproportionately affected by unemployment and food insecurity. Overall, there have been higher rates of depression, suicidal ideation, and sustance abuse with all Americans since the pandemic started. 

Learn more here.

COVID Is Creating a Deadly Mental Health Crisis in America

Gillibrand Wants $10B for Mental Health, Substance Abuse Services in COVID Relief Bill

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is requesting $10 billion for mental health and substance abuse services for the next COVID-19 relief bill. The letter she wrote to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee comes in wake of high rates of suicide and drug overdose deaths. Half of the funding would go toward the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant program and the other half would go toward the Substance Abuse Prevent and Treatment Block Grant program. 

Learn more here.

1 in 3 Adults Are Depressed or Anxious Due to COVID-19

A new study shows that 1 in 3 adults have depression or anxiety, with women, young adults and people of lower socioeconomic status being the most affected. The study was a meta-analysis of 68 studies from 19 countries. Researchers suggest that groups who are most affected should be targeted to receive more support.

Learn more here.

Specific Genes In Placenta May Predict Size Of Baby's Brain And Risk For Schizophrenia 

A study done by Lieber Institute for Brain Development and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine suggests that certain genes from placenta may be used as an indicator for developing schizophrenia. Daniel R. Weinberger, M.D., CEO & Director of the Lieber Institute says that, “To date, prevention from early in life has seemed unapproachable if not unimaginable, but these new insights offer possibilities to change the paradigm." Studies in the past have pointed towards the importance of early life in relation to schizophrenia.

Learn more here.

Equip Startup Is Using Telehealth To Provide Eating Disorder Therapy

Equip, a mental health startup based in San Diego, has now raised $17 million for eating disorder telehealth services. The company plans to use family-based treatment — the leading evidence-based treatment for eating disorders which less than 1% of people with eating disorders have access to. Cofounders Kristina Saffran and Erin Parks, Ph.D., were planning to launch the service as all-virtual before the pandemic began, in hopes of making treatment as accessible as possible.

Learn more here.


Odette on Herald, Borderline Personality Disorder and Insects

Australian artist Odette released a new album this past week which has themes of mental health following her Borderline Personality disorder diagnosis. Despite seeing therapists since her childhood, her diagnosis for BPD only came last year, at the age of 23. The interview walks through Herald, and the meaning behind certain tracks.

Learn more here

Odette - Herald

Former NFL Star Brandon Marshall Battles Stigma of Mental Illness

Former football player Brandon Marshall is talking about his journey with borderline personality disorder following stigmatizing comments from Fox Sports commentator Skip Bayless. Marshall was in an outpatient program at McLean Hospital back in 2011 when he learned he had BPD. From that experience, he created Project 375, a foundation that supports mental health. While conversations around mental health have grown since his diagnosis, he believes there is still a lot of work to be done.

Learn more here.

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