This Week In Mental Health

The latest on research and advocacy for the week of July 19th.

Written by Esther Fernandez

This Week In Mental Health

01 Research looks at the rise of anxiety during quarantine for older adults, how woodlands can help young people's mental health, the developments of PTSD among sexual assault survivors, and more.

02 Demi Lovato, Liz Cambage, and Alyson Stoner open up about mental health.

TW// Mentions of sexual assault

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 July 19th.


Vancouver Psychedelics Company Gets Health Canada Greenlight For MDMA Therapy Study

A Canadian company will conduct a study on the effect of psychedelics for PTSD. The study received federal approval from Health Canada, and will have 20 patients with PTSD participate in MDMA-assisted therapy sessions. While previous studies would have patients stay overnight for drug sessions, this study will not require that in an effort to make the therapy more affordable and more applicable to the real world.

Learn more here.

Older People Suffered Biggest Rise In Anxiety During First Lockdown

A new UK study shows that older adults had the biggest increase in anxiety and depression during the beginning of the pandemic. Researchers surveyed 380,000 people in January 2020, and again in May and June 2020. It was found that rates of anxiety doubled with older adults (60 to 80 years old), and they were the most worried about health because of being at high risk for COVID-19.

Learn more here.

Living Near Woodlands Is Good For Children And Young People's Mental Health

A new UK study shows that growing up near woodlands can lessen the risk of emotional issues and help with cognitive development. Researchers looked at the data of over 3,500 youth from London schools and found that being more exposed to woodland increased cognitive development and lowered emotional and behavioral problem risk by 16 percent. These findings suggest that urban planning should consider the best type of natural environment for helping adolescent mental health.

Learn more here.

Most Sexual Assault Survivors Develop PTSD Just One Week After Attack 

A new study shows that 81 percent of sexual assault survivors begin to have signficant PTSD one week after being assaulted. The more time has passed, the more the risk of PTSD drops, going down to 75 percent after a month and 41 percent after a year. Researchers from the University of Washington analyzed data from 22 previous studies, and they emphasize how recovery from PTSD happens mainly within the first couple months of the incident.

Learn more here.


Demi Lovato & Talkspace Are Giving Away Free Therapy

Demi Lovato will be donating 1,000 months of free therapy in partnership with Talkspace. Lovato hopes to give therapy resources to those in need, such as the BIPOC community. They plan to donate 500 months of therapy to The Loveland Foundation to launch the initiative. Lovato also mentions how therapy has helped them in their recent journey of coming out as non binary.

Learn more here.

Liz Cambage Won't Play In Tokyo Olympics, Citing Mental Health

Olympian Liz Cambage announced on social media that she would pull out of this year’s Olympics in order to protect her mental health. After feeling anxious preparing for the Olympics, such as entering the COVID-19 bubble and competing in front of no crowds, she reached a breaking point. She describes having panic attacks over the thought of having no friends or fan support. She also described how she is taking medication, and how she still needs time to feel prepared both physically and mentally.

Learn more here.

Alyson Stoner's Movement Genius Is A Different Look At Mental Health 

Alyson Stoner announced the launch of her newest platform, Movement Genius. Motivated to advocate for mental health, Stoner realized the lack of conversation around the mind-body connection. Her platform allows for people to get tools and classes for embracing their body.

Learn more here.

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