This Week In Mental Health

The latest on research and advocacy for the week of June 7th.

Written by Esther Fernandez

This Week In Mental Health

01 Research looks at a new potential treatment for depression, suicide rates, the mental health of college students, and more.

02 Howie Mandel, Ian Sweet, and Ryan Reynolds open up about their mental health.

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 June 7th.


Laughing Gas Shows Promise For Treatment-Resistant Depression

Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, may be a new treatment for depression. A phase 2 clinical trial had 24 participants receive two doses of nitrous oxide, one at 25 percent concentration and the other at 50 percent. A lower dose had a similar effect as a higher dose, and the effects lasted up to two weeks for some participants. After anesthetic ketamine was introduced in 2019 to treat depression, researchers believe that nitrous oxide can work the same. However, they note that larger trials must be done for future studies.

Learn more here.

Missouri Trial Shows Laughing Gas Improves Severe Depression Symptoms

Preventing Suicide Among A 'Hidden Population' In Public Housing 

A new study highlights the high rates of suicide with African American families who live in public housing. Using past data that looked at 190 Black youth, the study found that 11 percent of Black youth in a mid-Atlantic public housing development said that they had a plan to die by suicide within the past year. Researchers suggest that suicide prevention efforts should focus on this population.

Learn more here.

Dartmouth College Researchers Report Students Are Feeling More Anxious And Depressed Than Ever 

Researchers monitored 217 college students for four years starting in 2017, using an app to track information like sleep and phone usage. They found that college students feel higher levels of anxiety and depression the more sleep deprivation and phone use they have. Throughout the study, the students’ stress level would rise and fall, but the pandemic caused increased rates of anxiety and depression that have yet to come down.

Learn more here.

Types of ADHD & Comorbidities Impact Processing, Decision Making

A new study shows that children with ADHD respond differently to visual and auditory information depending on comorbidities and ADHD type. Researchers looked at 150 children categorized by ADHD type and comorbidity, and 60 children without ADHD. Both groups took performance tests, and it was found that those with combined-type ADHD process visual information best, though they had slower and less accurate processing than those without ADHD. These findings could help with creating better treatment, education, and cognitive tests.

Learn more here.

Suicide Attempts Among Adolescent Girls Surge During Pandemic

The rate of suicide among adolescent girls increased more than 50 percent during the pandemic. The CDC used data from the National Syndromic Surveillance Program, looking at emergency department visits throughout 49 states. They found that from July to August in 2020, emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempt among adolescent girls increased around 26 percent, and in February to March 2021, it jumped to around 50 percent. 

Learn more here.

Beyond Remission: From Alcohol Dependence to Optimal Mental Health 

A new study shows that older age helps with alcohol dependency, over half of people who were dependent of alcohol no longer have substance use disorder or other mental illnesses, and almost 40 percent have excellent mental health. Researchers looked at 820 Canadians with alcohol dependency and over 19,000 people without alcohol dependency. Of those who were dependent, 71 percent in the past year were not dependent anymore. More positive outcomes were greater associated with being married, not having a mental illness, and having social support.

Learn more here.


Howie Mandel Opens Up About His Struggle with Anxiety and OCD

Howie Mandel and his daughter Jackie Mandel spoke with People Magazine about living with OCD and anxiety. While Howie is most well known for his contamination obsession, he makes sure to clear misconceptions about OCD and how intrusive thoughts can be about anything. He and his daughter share about their struggle in knowing when fears are irrational but still getting stuck performing compulsions.

Learn more here.

Howie Mandel on Battling Severe Anxiety and OCD

Ian Sweet On Anxiety, Depression And Recovery

Singer Ian Sweet talked with about her newest album that was written during and after attending outpatient treatment. Sweet attended the treatment for her anxiety and depression from January to February 2020. She talks about difficulty balancing personal life while in intensive treatment, mental health perceptions she had growing up, the benefits of treatment, and more.

Learn more here.

Ryan Reynolds Says His Kids Were the Reason He Spoke Out About Anxiety

After recently opening up about his anxiety, Ryan Reynolds explains how his daughters helped him to be more transparent about his mental health. He explains to E! News how he wants to model behaviors for his daughters, and mentions how he didn’t have that type of parental model growing up. He hopes to destigmatize mental health and help people feel less alone.

Learn more here.

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