This Week In Mental Health

The latest on research and advocacy for the week of July 26th.

Written by Esther Fernandez

This Week In Mental Health

01 Research looks at the mental health of college students, the higher likelihood of dying by COVID-19 for those with mental disorders, and how older adults are more at risk for substance use disorder.

02 Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, Alexi Pappas, Demi Lovato, and Olivia Munn open up about mental health.

TW// Mentions of suicide, eating disorders

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 26th.


College Students Report High Levels of Anxiety Amid Pandemic 

Researchers from Ohio State University found that college students have higher rates of depression, anxiety, burnout, vaping, and tobacco use. The study looked at students in August 2020 and April 2021, finding that burnout rose 31 percent, anxiety rose 4 percent, depression rose 4 percent, and healthy coping mechanisms dropped. As a response to the study, the college will provide more mental health resources to students.

Learn more here.

Stress And Anxiety A Growing Concern As College Students Return To Campus

People With Mental Health Disorders Nearly Twice As Likely To Die From COVID-19

People with mental health disorders are 1.8 times more likely to die from COVID-19. The research comes from analyzing 16 past studies, looking at over 19,000 people with conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, and eating disorders. Researchers say this increased likelihood could also be because of difficulty in accessing healthcare, and they urge that those in health care should prioritize people with mental disorders when dealing with COVID-19 prevention.

Learn more here.

Lonelier, Older Adults More At Risk For Substance Use Disorder

A new UCSF study shows that older adults who feel alone are more at risk for substance use disorder. Researchers surveyed 6,000 participants, and found that the more lonely older adults felt, the more likely they were to have drug prescriptions. While many believe that older adults are less sociable, the lead author explains how most seniors lead social lives, and that loneliness can indicate a problem.

Learn more here.


Simone Biles Withdraws From All-Around Final At Tokyo 2020 To Focus On Mental Health 

Olympian Simone Biles announced she will not compete in the Olympics this week in order to take care of her mental health. She explains how stressful it can be to be a gymnast and have the weight of the world on your shoulders. Not feeling like she was in the right headspace to compete the best she could, she opted out, sparking global conversation. Biles will continue to decide if she would like to compete and will be evaluated daily.

Learn more here.

Simone Biles' Exit Shines Light On Mental Health

Michael Phelps Supports Simone Biles on Mental Health, Says 'It's Ok to Not Be Ok'

In light of Simone Biles not competing in Olympic events to focus on her mental health, Olympian Michael Phelps spoke up to show his support for her. As the most decorated Olympian, Phelps has felt the same pressures of fame and high expectations as Biles. He describes how overwhelming and emotional competing can be, and that it’s important to have a supportive person who can listen. He also hopes this decision can spark bigger conversations about mental health.

Learn more here.

Olympian Alexi Pappas On Reframing Mental Health As An Injury

Olympian Alexi Pappas opened up to Forbes about her relationship with mental health. Growing up, mental health was a taboo subject despite her mother having bipolar disorder and dying by suicide when Pappas was four. While Pappas found success in being an Olympian, she struggled with depression and was hesitant to confront her mental health. After experiencing difficulty in finding help and reframing the way she sees recovery, she is now a mental health advocate, focusing on helping fellow athletes.

Learn more here.

'The Demi Lovato Show': Olivia Munn's Advice to Help With Depression

Demi Lovato shared a preview for their newest talk show, The Demi Lovato Show, where they talked to Olivia Munn about mental health. They share their experiences with conditions like anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. The show will have 9 episodes about topics like mental health, being LGBT+, and activism, and is set to debut on July 30th.

Learn more here.

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